This one simple idea can make planning your wedding a whole lot more fun and is a great way to get your partner involved ;)
One of the most common things we hear from couples is that they feel awkward and uncomfortable in front of the camera. We always take these concerns on board, but to be honest it excites us to think that hopefully we will be able to change their perception of being photographed and facilitate a really positive experience.
To help ensure this, we’ve pulled together some thoughts on what we have found can really help make the portrait time the most enjoyable experience. As a guide, one hour to an hour and a half is a really good amount of time to schedule for your portrait session, but we can work with less time if necessary.
This is our Guide to Knockout Portraits
CHOOSE A VERSATILE LOCATION
We have found that having time to relax and really feel comfortable is one of the greatest advantages when it comes to your portrait session. This often comes down to choosing a good location with plenty of options and not needing to do lots of running around. It's worth considering what kind of environment you would like for your portrait time and then chatting to your photographer about finding somewhere with a few different angles or backgrounds and different spaces within walking distance to each other. It’s always fun to choose somewhere that is a little unique too and not a typical go-to wedding photo spot, as we find this a great way to boost creativity.
MINIMIZE TRAVEL TIME
This really comes back to choosing a good location and only needing to go to one or two places. It makes sense to choose somewhere nearby your ceremony or reception venues or in between, so that you’re not spending your wedding day stuck in a car. It's always a bonus if your ceremony and reception are in the same place and the venue has plenty of photo opportunities on site. The less distance to travel the more time to relax during your portrait session and the quicker you will be back partying with your guests.
It’s quite possible that by the time you get to your portrait session, the last meal you ate was breakfast, so chances are you may be a little hungry and thirsty. It is such a great idea to have an esky packed for you and your bridal party to have a little picnic, pop some champagne and relax when you get to your portrait location. This can really set the tone for your photos and help ease into things, you also get a moment to take in that you just got married and celebrate with your closest.
TIME JUST FOR THE TWO OF YOU
Something we really value in a portrait session is that it is often the first time a couple has a moment together to take in all that has happened and not be swamped by people wanting to congratulate, hug or take a photo. Time with just you and your love is so precious and important. Factoring just 10-15 minutes to breathe and have some time together, will really help you relax and help us create portraits that truly reflect you as a couple.
We can get as creative and abstract as you like with photography, but there is one image we like to walk away with from every wedding. A simple and beautiful portrait, looking straight down the lens. It’s one that you may frame and definitely one that your parents or grandparents will love. It’s a simple and honest record of you on your wedding day.
ONE THING TO REMEMBER
If there was just one thing we could express to our couples, it’s that we want to create images that reflect who they are. There’s no pressure to be a model or perform for the camera, all we need is for you to be you and we will capture the two incredible people we see through our lens. Our heart is always for creativity and connection, honest moments, the imperfectly beautiful, images that capture who you are and how you felt on your wedding day.
The photo and/or video coverage of your day begins in the preparation time, so it's worth considering the overall aesthetic or importance of the space where you will be getting ready and how to make this time as smooth and relaxed as possible.
Stress-free wedding prep & engaging imagery.
Airbnb or Stayz accommodation is a great place to start when looking for an interesting space to get ready in. Finding somewhere with a bit of character or interesting design and architecture that suits your personalities or compliments the overall theme for your wedding is a real win and adds a lot to your photos. Interesting spaces open up creative opportunities for photos and can help tell your story more than a standard hotel room. It can also be really special to get ready in the home you grew up in or anywhere that holds sentimental value as this also adds another level to your photos and the story of your day.
Something we ask our couples to consider doing the day before or the morning of is to place any important items, that they would especially love photographed all in the one spot. This might include invitations, dress/suit, accessories, flowers etc. This ensures that any important details are documented.
On this note, if you love the idea of having a photo of your dress/outfit hanging somewhere, consider having a coat hanger where the hook can spin, this opens up a lot more possibilities for where your dress/suit/wedding attire can be hung.
It is also worth considering the distance between where you and your love will be getting ready. We know that not every couple wants to get ready in the same house, but choosing locations that are nearby can be a huge benefit when wanting to capture both of you during the preparation time. The less travel time for us, means we can maximise our coverage time. However, having two photographers does help reduce the time pressure around this.
Allowing enough time for yourself to get ready and not needing to rush is invaluable. We love when there is just a little bit of time to breathe before making such important promises, to take a moment and maybe a few photos rather than needing to race to the ceremony. This is the perfect time to take some portraits of you and your bridesmaids/groomsmen and parents and any other important people while everyone is looking fresh.
One final thought is simply to be organised where you can and try to keep your space tidy and free of clutter, but on the day if you forget something or some small detail just doesn’t happen, it really doesn’t matter. Keeping perspective and focusing on being in the moment and trying not to stress is going to be far more beneficial than a checklist and rigid time schedule adhered to minute by minute.
Undoubtedly, the ceremony is the pivotal point of any wedding day, without it there is no marriage and really that is what everyone is celebrating, so how can you ensure your ceremony is captured the best way possible?
5 invaluable steps for a meaningful and photogenic ceremony.
It really is worth having your celebrant ask your guests to put down their phones, iPads, cameras and be in the moment. Not only will they be fully engaged and able to enjoy your ceremony, you will be able to see the faces of your guests rather than screens and we won't have to compete with extra paparazzi, ensuring we can get the shots we need. Honestly, it is just the best when you can capture the real emotion of your guests being fully present and actively participating in the ceremony. Speaking as a guest at my brother's wedding recently, the opportunity to be completely there and in the moment was irreplaceable.
Something to consider when deciding on your ceremony location is the amount of space your photographers and videographer will have to move around. The physical space of your ceremony will determine the range of angles and types of photos possible. Having access to the centre aisle, sides and even being able to move around the alter really opens up opportunities to get interesting and intimate shots.
WORKING WITH YOUR CELEBRANT
We’ve worked with some really amazing celebrants, and a lot of them are already clued onto this, but consider chatting to your celebrant about where they will stand during the ceremony. For the moments in your ceremony where the focus is primarily on the two of you, for example your vows, exchanging rings and the kiss, it’s a nice idea to see if your celebrant is willing to move off to one side. This means that the images of the two of you during these really pivotal moments are just that, photos of the two of you experiencing these moments together. One of the most amusing things we see when going through photos of “the kiss” is a third head belonging to the celebrant popping up between the couple.
This is just a quick one, but having a microphone stand at your ceremony can be distracting in photos and cause an image to look cluttered. If you or your celebrant have access to a cordless microphone, we highly recommend using one.
Throwing confetti, petals, rice or whatever you would like to throw always makes for such fun photos. However, it is key to have lots of whatever you are throwing and also to make sure your guests are ready to throw. Asking your celebrant to announce this and prepare your guests just before you walk back down the aisle is a good idea.
These are just 5 elements of a wedding ceremony that we have found can really help facilitate wonderful ceremony photos and not only enhance your photos but the whole ceremony experience for you and your guests.
For tips on ceremony lighting, be sure to check out our Lighting Guide.
As always, feel free to take away whatever you feel will work best for you.
Just a few key points about us,
our heart is always for creativity and connection, honest moments and the imperfectly beautiful. Our approach is calm and unobtrusive, allowing your day to unfold naturally and capturing all that takes place rather than interrupting to orchestrate shots.
When you book our photography services, both Trent and Jessie will be there to document your day. Having two professional photographers ensures less time pressure, a calm atmosphere and more opportunity for different angles and honest moments to be captured. It also means that you are getting the benefit of two main photographers, rather than a professional photographer and a less experienced second shooter.
If you’re keen for photo and film, you will be booking all three of us, Trent, Jessie and Tim. We've put together a team where we know each other well, we understand how each of us works and our styles are cohesive, enabling us to work seamlessly together to produce a beautiful product, where the photos and film truly compliment each other.
The three of us were recently invited to capture Penny and Matt's wedding in Tenterfield. Below, you can view some of the highlights from their day in both photo and film.
We would love to hear from you.
Trent, Jessie and Tim x
When it comes to photography, nothing could be more important than light. The very way a photograph is created requires light to enter the lens and react with the film or sensor to create an image. Not only is light a crucial element to the physical creation of an image, it will also determine the feel and mood of every one of your photos. So, it’s worthwhile taking the time to consider the lighting for your wedding, here are just a few things to think about when planning your day.
Walking into a space with big windows and light streaming in is probably one of our favourite lighting scenarios. The soft outside light is often very flattering and the resulting shadows create interest. Big windows where you are getting ready is a real bonus, not only for us but your hair and makeup artists will thank you too. We love creating portraits with window light.
Outdoor Ceremony Lighting
If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, even shade is ideal. We know this is not always possible, so if you can't have even shade, try to avoid having the sun shining directly into either of your faces, where one of you may be squinting and the other in shadow. Dappled lighting can also be tricky. If your outdoor ceremony is in a sunny location, having the sun behind you is one of the best scenarios. It’s a good idea to visit your ceremony location close to your wedding date, even the day before and stand in position at the time of your ceremony to see what the sun is doing, then you can always angle the ceremony orientation to ensure the best lighting conditions possible.
Indoor Ceremony Lighting
When it comes to an indoor ceremony, the lighting is often already in place and it may not be possible to change it. The crucial things to look out for are whether there is enough light where you will be standing and if you will be on a stage with access to stage lighting we suggest warm/yellow light as this will be most flattering for skin tones. Even if you would like to use coloured lights, it’s helpful to have some warm light hitting your faces as well.
The last hour before sunset and the following 15 minutes of dusk is our favourite time to make portraits. This is the time when the sun is most golden then often becomes soft and pink and the glorious blue of dusk. Googling what time the sun will set on your wedding day and potentially factoring that into the way you schedule your day is worthwhile. Of course, if the sun decides not to join us on your wedding day, clouds, rain and shadows are cool too, we may just need to start portraits earlier as it can get dark quickly. This is also true for photos in urban locations where there are tall buildings that the sun can hide behind.
For your reception try to avoid fluorescent lighting, as fluoros can cause inconsistent lighting conditions and have a tendency to make skin tones look green-ish. Plenty of candles, strings of festoon lighting or any warm lighting is perfect and creates a lovely ambience.
This is of course only a guide and ideal lighting conditions are not always possible. We can work with whatever lighting we encounter on the day and sometimes this leads to even more creativity in how we photograph. Either way there's no need to stress.
Comment below if you found this helpful?