Your Wedding Day will probably be one of the biggest and most emotional day of your life; and for us girls, that means we have to be extra careful about not ruining our makeup for our photos.
Whether you’re doing your makeup by yourself or hiring a makeup artist you will want to keep these tips in mind so your makeup lasts all day.
It fills in fine lines and fades imperfections that the camera lens can often magnify. Invest in a good one, it’ll really make a difference instead of using a drug store brand.
If you stop your foundation at your jawline, your face/neck color difference could be noticeable in photos (even if the contrast isn’t noticeable in your mirror).
Mix under-eye concealer with a bit of foundation before applying. This helps prevent skin-brightening concealer from popping out and looking too white when a flash hits.
Dust a sheer bronzer (like Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder) just around the perimeter to flatteringly shape your face and take the focus off your forehead.
If you always have major T-zone shine and regular powder doesn’t cut it, try a blotting powder, like MAC Blot Powder, this stuff will be your new best friend.
Brows bring out your bone structure in photos. Subtly sketch them in with a bit of pencil so they don’t disappear in photos
Even if you usually use pencil, liquid will define your eyes more for photos and can still look natural; just trace a thin line extra-close to your lashes.
Don’t be scared to go a bit brighter, just be sure to blend around the edges, and choose a blush that has gleam but not noticeable sparkles. It’ll make you look radiant when the flash hits your face.
Even if you hate the stuff, try using it just on your upper V and outer corner.
“Remember that a smile will brighten your face and is always better than any lipstick or mascara!”
Now you may be wondering “What does a photographer know about makeup?”. Well, I used to be a makeup artist in a past life and I believe makeup should enhance your beauty.
Wedding photographers have their own favorite things about a wedding and their own dislikes. Of the photographers I’ve spoken to or worked with these were their most common comments on what they wish their client know.
If you’ve always wondered what a wedding photographer thinks then read below.
Your wedding photographer never wants to be put in a box! More than that, wouldn’t you love the photos at your engagement session and wedding to be beautifully unique? Besides the fact that copying an exact photo is nearly impossible due to elements beyond our control, I hope that you hire your wedding photographer for their unique talent and artistic vision! Not their ability to copy what someone else has already done. I pour SO much of myself into every wedding I shoot and every single photograph taken, and your experience and images will be so much better if you trust me to do my job!
I get that almost every bride is working with a budget. I totally do. Unless you’re marrying someone in the NFL or related to the queen of England, chances are, you’re working with a tight budget! However, I’ve seen so many couples choose someone to capture the most important day of their lives based on budget alone, and have regretted it ever since! After the flowers are wilted, the cake is gone and the candles are melted, what do you have left? Your memories and photos. I hope that you would take the time to get to know someone who will potentially be capturing those precious memories you will have forever! Looking back, I think you’ll be glad you chose someone who’s a great fit for you instead of that $200 Craigslist deal!
Anxiety issues aside, you’re not the only ones who get nervous before your session and wedding day! Sometimes, I get even more nervous before a wedding than I did at my own wedding day! Mainly because I care SO MUCH about your experience and wedding photos. I realize that not everything goes perfectly according to plan on a wedding day, but I work my hardest to make sure everything goes as perfectly as possible!
Sometimes, I’ll spend an HOUR on a SINGLE image in order to make sure it’s perfect! I will meticulously color correct your images if need be, so they look as beautiful as possible when I deliver them to you! When I see that you’ve put an Instagram filter on one of those images, it makes my stomach drop a little! As a wedding photographer, I pour so much of myself into every image I deliver and I hope that’s always reflected in my images! And word of mouth is a photographer’s LIFEBLOOD. It’s how we pay our mortgages and buy groceries. When you give us credit for our images on social media, we do a grateful happy dance inside! (Also, it may be against the contract with your photography to apply filters to a photo)
And not for selfish reasons. I want you to do a first look for YOU. A lot of brides want the first time their groom sees them to be while they’re walking down the aisle, which I completely understand. I wanted that too when I got married, until I realized how beautiful and special the moment could be with just the two of us. There are NO distractions of an audience and music when you do a first look. It’s just you, your sweetheart, and me hiding in a bush somewhere to capture it all. We’re able to get SO much better photos of your reaction to seeing each other for the first time when you do a first look and I LOVE being able to give those photos to a couple after their wedding day!
This is so so important! Having uncle Bob step out in front of me in the aisle to snap a poor quality iPad photo is not only frustrating to myself, but I’m frustrated FOR you! When I miss a moment due to a guest with an iPhone, it breaks my heart for you. You hired us to capture your wedding day beautifully, so why not kindly ask your guests to put away their phones and cameras, so they can enjoy the ceremony and let me document all those beautiful moments!
Yep. There’s nothing like photographing in natural light. The way it flatters skin tones and gleams across reception details is unmatched by yucky artificial light. Nothing makes me happier than when a couple chooses to have their ceremony and reception outdoors!
No seriously. During your engagement session and bride and groom portraits, I don’t want you to look at me! Unless I tell you to. The goal is to get you to interact with each other and share some beautiful moments together! I’m just there to capture it all. Of course, I’ll give you some cues and help you out along the way. But for the most part, just try to forget I’m there, and you’ll love your images!
My favorite words a couple can say to me, are “we’re up for anything!” Those are the couples who get crazy beautiful images. We try things that seem nuts to them at first, but they trust me anyway, and are blown away with the results! This includes the time of day you get married, and how much time you give me for photos of the two of you. Lighting is EVERYTHING for photos. Yes, your dress will likely get dirty and you might think I’m crazy, but I don’t think you’ll regret it once you see your photos! The more freedom you give me to be creative, the better your wedding photos will be.
Nope! I hope you already knew this. But I’ll say it again, I’m not God. I don’t control the weather or the lighting. That’s up to the man upstairs. If it rains, I’ll roll with it! Shooting in the rain is less scary than it seems and we can still get some beautiful photos. But don’t expect me to have a tent and umbrellas for 300 people in my camera bag. That’s just silly.
I love love love my job more than anything, but photographing weddings is exhausting! In between the events of the day, I’ll take a quick breather to check my equipment, change a lens, or grab some water. I’m not looking through Facebook or taking a Buzzfeed quiz, promise… I’m resetting for a moment so I can keep photographing your beautiful day!
After months (sometimes years), of chatting with you about your day, coffee dates, going over timelines, shooting your engagement, spending time with you on your wedding day, pouring into your images for weeks, and sending them off, I’m always waiting on pins and needles to hear what you think! SO much of myself goes into the final delivery of your images and I CANNOT wait to hear what you think! You being overjoyed with your images is just as important to you as it is to me, and my heart is always so full when I get excited texts or calls from my brides!
Every. Single. Time.
While I try to avoid ugly Kim Kardashian crying while you’re sharing your first look or during an emotional daddy-daughter dance, I’m secretly wiping tears away and hiding my Kim face behind my camera. After getting to know you and your family and sharing in all the preparation for your big day, I can’t help but tear up with happiness when capturing those beautiful moments!
Taking engagement photos may be something you’re greatly looking forward to, especially if you’re planning on using those photos for your save-the-dates, wedding website, and even as decorations at your wedding reception.
But before you step in front of the camera with your partner, it’s important to take a step back and prepare yourself for the photoshoot. Twisting and turning your bodies into poses, smiling for hours on end, and figuring out the best outfits to wear takes time, practice, and preparation.
Here are the best tips, I think, on how to practice for your engagement photos so you feel confident and relaxed during your session.
Picking what you want to wear for your engagement pictures can be half the battle. If you’re torn between a handful of outfits, bring them with you to the photoshoot. Bring a few outfits with you that are not only flattering but also won’t leave you cold or uncomfortable. If it’s a cold day and you are shivering in a sleek dress, your misery will show in the photographs. I also recommended 2 outfits to bring to the session.
At first, taking your engagement photos might seem awkward or strange because you’re posing in unfamiliar ways and holding a smile for a very long time. That’s why it’s important to keep the mood light. Have conversations with each other, make each other laugh, and tell jokes. Just being yourself makes for the best photos.
Since you might not know exactly how you want your engagement photos to turn out, before the session starts, practice beforehand with your partner. Practice poses in the mirror that makes you feel good. When practicing, smile a lot, and engage with your partner by looking at them and thinking of different poses that make you both feel comfortable.
If you’re not sure where to start, you might want to pine through other engagement photos that you see on social media and save the ones you like. Look at Instagram, Pinterest, wherever you get photo inspiration, and save a few engagement photos that feel especially you. Not just images you think are beautiful, but shots you can really see yourself in with your fiancé. Make sure you share these photos with your photographer as inspiration and say, “this is what feels like us!” Having a visual reference for yourself that doesn’t make you feel awkward goes a long way towards feeling psychologically prepared to be photographed.
Before you practice and prep for your photoshoot, have a talk with your partner to suss out each of your comfort levels. Find out what each person is and isn’t comfortable doing in front of the camera. Some people want intimate kissing shots, for some, that is too much, and they prefer more straightforward portraits. Are you both comfortable looking straight into the camera, or do you prefer lifestyle shots where you are looking off into the distance? Come to an agreement in advance about what you like and what your photo boundaries are.
One way to ease engagement photo nerves is to pick a place that is meaningful and memorable to you and your partner. Pick a place that’s important to you, it may be the neighborhood you live in or the park where you go on Saturday mornings to jog together. If you’re in a place that’s familiar and comfortable, you’ll feel more relaxed in front of the camera.
I Exist in Two Places;
Here & Wherever You Are
As you start the wedding planning process, you may have wondered why certain vendors charge what they do and why they’re worth investing in. When it comes to your wedding photographer, their value has to do with so much more than a gallery of photos you receive six to eight weeks after the wedding. Before hiring someone to capture your big day, keep these reasons in mind to help you invest in a photographer and experience that’s more than just another vendor.
When you envision your wedding, you probably picture yourself spending time with family, friends, and of course your new spouse. However, there’s one person you actually spend more time with than anyone else on the big day: your photographer. From getting ready until sparkler send-off, your wedding photographer is with you every step of the way, capturing moments as they pass you in a whirlwind of joy.
When you start researching wedding photographers, keep in mind that liking them as a person is just as important as liking their work. Besides your actual wedding day, you actually spend more time before and after the wedding with your photographer than any other vendor when you think about your engagement session and photo delivery! Find someone you click with, whether that’s through bonding over Parks and Rec quotes or your mutual love of dogs. During your Skype call or in-person meeting, see if the photographer makes you laugh, makes you comfortable, and makes you inspired. Are you already making plans to grab a drink or see your favorite band together when they come to town next month? That’s a great sign! Hire someone you want to hang out with and that time spent together on your wedding day will be as comfortable and effortless as possible.
In addition to liking your photographer, you’ve seriously got to trust them! Trust in your wedding photographer goes beyond knowing they’ll show up on time and deliver your photos according to the contract. It’s so important that you also trust in their process. We’ve written before about why your photographer doesn’t need a shot list. The root of that post lies in trusting that they not only know that you’ll want photos with your bridesmaids and of the cake cutting, but that they’re going to capture the real, unscripted moments that are unique to you and your celebration (AKA the photos you really want from your wedding day!).
While this is likely the first wedding you’ve ever planned, your wedding photographer does this every weekend and knows a thing or two about what to expect. In addition to playing the role of the person who takes your wedding photos, your photographer can also be your biggest advocate throughout the wedding process. Lean on them when it comes to making your wedding day timeline because they know how to get you the best photos in the best light and also keep you from feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or tired in the process. You don’t want to feel “over it” on your wedding day, and neither does your photographer — that doesn’t make for very good photos! Ultimately, heeding your photographer’s advice only makes the day go more smoothly.
Hand in hand with trust comes connection. Those emotional photos you fell in love with your photographer’s portfolio didn’t just happen out of thin air. Having a deeper connection with your photographer allows them to capture intimate moments throughout your wedding because you let them see that moment unfold. Part of this connection has to do with trust; trusting your photographer’s process means giving them the space to be an artist. Your photographer wants to create the sort of images seen in their portfolio of you, but they need for you to let them guide the session to make their vision happen.
While all wedding vendors can be considered artists, there’s something different about what photographers create because they are doing so in the moment. They have two people in front of them who are all dressed up and ready to celebrate the most exciting day of their lives and, despite a rapid timeline and minor stressors throughout the wedding, they’re going to create some freaking magical art on the spot. While other vendors have months to plan and perfect each detail they contribute to your wedding, your photographer just needs to feel as connected to you as possible in order to tap into the “why” of your wedding – the beautiful marriage that’s about to begin, the one-of-a-kind relationship you’ve had up until this point, and the little quirks that make you fall in love with each other more every day. Getting along with your other vendors is important, but the connection you have with your photographer is unparalleled.
What a photographer does for their client (that’s you!) is really twofold: there’s the experience they create leading up to and on your wedding day and then there are the images they deliver when all is said and done. With the exception of a few iPhone photos your friends and family take during the day, your wedding photographer’s images are all that you have to remember your wedding by. No matter how much you spend on flowers, food, or fabulous reception chairs, the one thing you get to keep is your photos.
When you look through your wedding album, whether that’s a leather-bound book you pass down to your children or a digital gallery you’ve shared on Facebook, you’ll be able to remember it all: the songs that played while you danced for the first time as a married couple, the look your bridesmaids gave you when they saw you in your dress for the first time, the tears in your partner’s eyes (and yours too!) as they spoke their vows aloud at the altar. Your wedding photographer is able to give you something that other vendors just can’t, and that’s ultimately why investing in someone whose work you believe in and who you’d totally hang out with in real life is worth it.
Being a Wedding Photographer, we don’t normally help or deal with the planning of a wedding, BUT wedding photographers see a lot of the behind the scenes and learn things that don’t always pertain to photography.
So I wanted to share my tips on planning a wedding and a checklist to help make your planning less stressful and your big day more fun.
I’m sure you have scrolled through Pinterest and seen photos of weddings you adore. Save those photos and then refer back to them when your making decisions from picking out your venue to your wedding dress.
Determine how much money you have to spend on your ceremony, reception, dress, florals, photographer, etc. based on your families’ contributions and your own.
Pick your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, don’t forget the Maid of Honor & Best Man.
If you haven’t already, I would recommend signing up for either The Knot or the Wedding Wire. They make checking track of your guest list simple easy!
A good planner will always have relationships with top-rated vendors and they can help with a lot of wedding day stress.
Decide whether to have separate locations for the ceremony and the reception. Don’t forget to factor in travel time between the two venues.
Keep in mind that the best event pros tend to book up over a year in advance, so make sure to get your inquires in early!
If you want, attend gigs of potential acts to see how they perform in front of audiences, then reserve your favorite(s)
If your wedding venue doesn’t offer its own catering service, look for one now, and hire the service this month or early next month.
You need time to schedule for at least 3 fittings. Veil shopping can be postponed for another two to three months.
Pick around 2 or 3 hotels at different price points that are close to the reception venue.
You can choose the go the old fashion route with choosing big retailers or you can make an Amazon or Zola registry. My personal favorite that you can make a Honeymoon fund instead of doing the traditional wedding registry.
Create a personal website where you can have your wedding date, travel information, accommodations, registry, etc. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. The Knot and the Wedding Wire offer to make your website. It is easy, quick, and simple.
This is the time when you should design, purchase, and write out your save-the-dates, invitations, etc. You can also hire a calligrapher if you desire. Addressing cards is time-consuming, so make sure to budget accordingly.
Whether you’re going to Disney or taking a romantic trip to Paris, make sure that your passports are up to date and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need.
Make sure to allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized.
Map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding (these vary by county and religion).
Pretty self-explanatory 🙂
This is not always the prettiest part of a wedding, but an absolute necessity to make your guest happy. Book portable toilets for outdoor events, extra chairs if you need them, lighting components, and so on.
Consider limos, minibusses, trolleys, and town cars. Anything you might want wedding photos for, plan accordingly.
Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (the cake-cutting, the first dance, wedding portraits, etc.). If you have a planner, they will assist with this.
Negotiate the cost and the menu. If you’re planning to host a day-after brunch for guests, book that place as well.
Ask the stationer and/or calligrapher for samples of the finished invitations and revise them to suit your needs.
Some in-demand bakers require a longer wait time. You should attend several tastings before committing to any one dessert pro.
Make sure to bring the shoes along to your first fitting so the tailor can choose the appropriate length for your look.
Make a few appointments with local experts to try them out. Snap a photo at each so you can compare results.
What should be playing when the wedding party is announced? During dinner? To kick off the dancing? Keep a running list of what you do and don’t want played.
You’ll want to wait until now to see what will be available since food and flowers are affected by the season.
Some people like giving out favors to their guests, some people don’t think it’s necessary. Whatever your choice is that is completely fine!
Which loved ones would you like to have speak at the reception? Ask them now.
This is also the perfect time to schedule your second fitting
This can also be coordinated this your Wedding Planner.
You can go to a professional printer, get them custom made on Etsy, or easily make them at home.
This will give you time for resizing and engraving.
Giving them a first draft now allows ample time for tweaks and feedback.
Make sure any questions you or they had on your first draft have been answered.
This is the perfect time to discuss specific shots you want and walk through the locations to note spots that appeal to you.
Though you probably won’t be able to dictate every single song played, you should come prepared with a wish list.
A good rule of thumb: Mail invitations six to eight weeks before the ceremony, setting the RSVP cutoff at three weeks after the postmark date.
Arranging a night out with your girlfriends generally falls to the maid of honor. But if she hasn’t mentioned one to you by now, feel free to ask—for scheduling purposes, of course!—if a celebration is in the works.
And contact people who have not yet responded.
The process can take up to six days, but it’s good to give yourself some leeway. If you are changing your name, order several copies
That’s if you’re planning a rehearsal dinner.
For peace of mind, you may want to schedule a fitting the week of your wedding. You can always cancel the appointment if you try on the dress then and it fits perfectly.
Now that you have a firm headcount you can order accordingly.
Getting this done before the day or the week of your wedding can save you a lot of stress. Some vendors might actually require the final payment before the Wedding. Also, make sure to look at the contract.
As well for all other vendors. This can include photographers, band, DJ, officiant, etc.
Draw out table shapes on a layout of the room to help plan place settings. Write the names of female guests on pink sticky notes and the names of male guests on blue sticky notes so you can move people about without resketching the entire setting.
You can present them at the rehearsal dinner, the night before the wedding, or while getting ready
If this is necessary for you.
If this is necessary for you as well.
Choose someone to bustle your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of gifts (especially the enveloped sort), someone to hand out tips, and someone to be the point person for each vendor. Normally this is for the Wedding Planner to take care of, but if you don’t have one get some help from family or wedding party.
Include every member’s contact information, along with the point people you’ve asked to deal with the vendors if problems arise.
Or make arrangements for delivery.
Supply them with a list of moments you want captured on film. Never feel like your reaching out too many times. I love it when my clients reach out to me, so I can calm their stresses and address their concerns.
If you haven’t given a final payment to your vendors this is the time to do it. Also, don’t forget to put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event.
Treat yourself! Make an appointment for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the “I dos.” (Consider a stress-relieving massage, too.)
You don’t want your feet hurting during the big day.
When your getting overwhelmed, make sure to take a deep breath and a break. Go spend time with your Partner and reflect on why you love them. I always see it that the wedding will sort itself out, no matter how big or small your day is.
Don’t forget to save this page and refer back to it when you get stumped 🙂
Most brides have never modeled and gotten professional pictures done before. So having your wedding day, which is one of the biggest days of your life, to be the first day you are in front of a camera can be extremely nerve-wracking. Especially if you don’t know what to do in front of the camera.
Sadly, a lot of photographers don’t understand that it’s not just about the beautiful compositions, backdrops, and even moments. Though those are all important, it is an absolute necessity to be a master in the art of posing to ensure the bride AND the groom look absolutely dazzling on the best day of their life.
I came across this study that mentioned that close to 40% of brides had regrets when it came to their wedding photos.
“Wow!” I thought to myself. I couldn’t believe that percentage was so high!
I started digging deeper to really see the reasons why these brides we’re unhappy, and this is what I found…
1. “Our photographer got drunk, and you can see the photos in the gallery getting blurrier and blurrier as you scroll through.”
2. “He just really didn’t seem to know what he was doing! He didn’t guide us during the portrait session and we were just standing there awkwardly!”
3. “She only captured moments of my husband and me, but not of our close friends and loved ones. That was really disappointing.”
And that was just the tip of the iceberg…
I take pride in my work, and after seeing almost half of brides out there being extremely unhappy with the results they were getting from other so called professional photographers, I couldn’t let my brides say the same negative things about their wedding photography experiences.
I’m going to share with you as much value in my expertise in posing wedding couples so you can ensure you look your best and have no regrets for your special day.
Posing is an ART.
But understandably it’s an art that a lot of couples are nervous about, and SADLY that a lot of so-called “professional” photographers actually don’t know how to direct correctly. So if you happen to have a photographer who doesn’t know how to pose you with expertise and intention, what are a few things you should remember?
I call these THE FOUNDATION of posing:
1. Imaginary String: First off you want to ensure that your spine is straight, but NOT stiff and unnatural. I often ask my couples to act as if there is a string on the back/top of their head pull up. Have a straight spine and natural curve in your lumbar (lower back).
2. Shoulders: Push your shoulders 1 inch back. This will further bring confidence and beauty to your pose.
3. Weight Distribution: You want your weight distribution to be uneven or else your pose will look unnatural. There are two ways to do this. Either cross one leg over the other or put more weight on your back leg.
I could write a book on how to pose hands and eyes… it’s the photographer’s job to not just “memorize” poses, but to learn how to “build” a pose for our brides and grooms.
But here a few pointers so you’ll know what to do on your wedding day.
The hands and arms can be used to lead attention to the right places. With this cigarette pose, it leads the viewers’ attention to the dress and also to her face that is looking at the distance. The pose itself can feel unnatural but is very natural and beautiful in portraits. With her other arm, we could either make it out of sight behind her or where it is across her waist also looks very natural.
When you hold something it naturally gives your hands something to do but also brings attention to that object. Here the bride is holding her dress which also is a beautiful way to lead attention and show it off.
In this pose, she is also doing the cigarette pose which for this particular case worked out beautifully. If there is nothing to hold and I see a pose may look better with hands and arms NOT straight down, you can place one or two hands at the waist.
Having your elbow at more than a 90-degree angle gives a more elegant pose than having it at 90 degrees or more.
Where you look can dramatically change the feel of the portrait. As you can see in the first photo I had the bride look away, giving an almost candid feel of the portrait. But no matter where you look, you want to avoid only seeing the “white” part of your eye.
If you pay very close attention to the movement of the camera you’ll get a portrait like so…
When you focus on something very hard, it triggers the Parietal Lobe in the brain. This brings out a VERY captivating look in the eyes.
Photographers who don’t know how to pose the hands and arms often give brides and grooms what is called the floating head (what you don’t want). It’s when you have a close-up shot of the face, but no hands and arms in the photo.
You can use hands and fingers to lead attention to where you want with a close-up. This can enhance a close-up portrait in a really beautiful way.
So you’ve just learned: The Foundations of Posing, How to Make Your Portraits NOT Cheesy, & Posing Your Hands and Eyes
So you won’t be close to 40% of brides who have regrets with their wedding photographer. The crazy thing is… at this point you may know more about posing than most “professional” wedding photographers out there lol.
As a bonus, I’ll teach you the correct way to WALK in front of the camera.
Remember how I talked about weight distribution for your portraits? It’s the same thing for walking. If you walk normally, it’s possible your portraits could look like a penguin walking.
So for the camera, what you want to do is walk as if you are walking on a straight line under you.
This will change the weight distribution in your hips making them look much more flattering in the portrait.