Category Archives: brides

Unique weddings

After twenty seven years photographing weddings all over the U.S and Europe I have seen it all!

My best advice to you on having a creative wedding is make it your own!  Ask yourself What are you passionate about? Next,throw tradition out the window!

Sometimes its the venue that you pick that makes your wedding unique.I had a couple who instead of spending allot of $$ on the wedding they flew a few friends to Germany and had an intimate wedding at  Neuschwanstein castle.It was just the couple their two closest friends ,me,(their lucky photographer/me) and the wedding coordinator.Personally,this was most appealing to me.We had the ceremony at the castle and afterwards went for a carriage ride in the mountains,it was breath taking like a real life fairy tale without all of the stress that comes along with most weddings.





 In my experience, its always the place that makes your wedding unique and memorable.Below,the Biltmore in Asheville N.C how incredibly beautiful!


I had an unusual wedding in Clearwater Florida,The couple was inspired by their favorite movie”Pirates Of The Caribbean ” The bride and groom dressed as Pirates,they rented a Pirate ship for the reception and all of their guests dressed as pirates!


If you are a fun couple and love live music,art,food excitement,New Orleans cannot be beat.In my book one of the best backdrops for photography! You can actually have your very own parade and hire a second line band!


Some of my other favorites,in Key West Florida you can get married at Ernest Hemingways house (must not be allergic to cats)!


If you cant afford to get married in a castle in Germany,I recently discovered a man made castle in St Augustine Florida (there is no electricity/no bathrooms) but it is unique and beautiful!

Its called Castle Ottis


Also in the Florida keys there is an Island called little Palm Island (best kept secret of presidents and celebrities. Recommended for intimate weddings and a great place for honeymooners.There is no T.V’s or phones (for a reason). The private island has only thirty suites ,five acres of paradise. I dont know how the miniature Key deer got on the island but be warned they might eat your wedding bouquet!

1 a lp flow


Wedding guests by creative freedom photo

I always tell me couples more guests=more stress,you dont need to invite 200 people to your wedding.Its  quality not quantity!grandma-for-ws

When to do the group shots and who should be in them? What I usually do is get the group shot session done after the ceremony.Make sure that you tell all beforehand who needs to stay put.You do not want someone who disappeared to the bathroom holding up the session.

New Orleans superdome

What I tell my couples dont make a list of every combination you can think of.make it simple.Example bride and groom with brides immediate family,then add on the extended family,then the same with the groom.Entire bridal party,bride with gals and groom with his guys.


Discuss with your photographer if you want them to be fun formal or both. Appoint an assertive and organized friend or family member to be in charge of the list and assisting your photographer.If you plan all of this in advance and all goes smoothly it should take no longer than twenty minuets.

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Before the ceremony is a good time to get all the guys together and all the girls for some bridal party shots.I usually look for an interesting background.They dont all have to be posed!


Thing of creative ways to entertain your guests,receptions tend to be redundant.Photo booths are fun,or you could hire a caricature artist,table magician,cigar roller etc make it your own,make it unique,get creative!

Children are adorable at weddings and make for some great photographs.I do not recommend a candy bar,children have enough energy without all of the sugar! How bout keeping them occupied with table games ,fun things for them to do.

Notice  beforehand if there is an Ariel view at the venue,if so arrange to have the entire group (everyone at your wedding)  to be photographed.That is a great vantage point for a big crowd.

Or you could include all of your guests in a parting shot


The what if’s”What if it rains on my wedding day? “

I will be doing a series of “what if’s”After twenty five years of photographing weddings I have heard them all!

One big one is “what if it rains”..Dont panic! First off overcast is the most flattering light for portraits!



Always be prepared, its better to be safe than sorry. I always tell my brides bring umbrellas,   incorporate the colors of your wedding,


“Multi-colored or completely clear, there’s an artistic opportunity to take advantage of with rain.


Hopefully you will  have a very creative photographer who will go with the flow and use the rain to his or her advantage!

This photograph was shot after the rain,there was a big puddle on the beach,one of my favorites,would not have been possible if it didint rain!


It could be good luck.

Maybe in your mind, rain on your wedding day is the worst thing that can happen. A sign, if you will, that you have really bad luck.  “in some cultures, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck, symbolizing fertility and cleansing.

Another great puddle reflection!


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I Do! The ceremony by creativefreedomphoto

This blog is in a four part series,Getting Ready,The Ceremony,The Intimate session and the reception.,so stay tuned!

If you are having an outdoor wedding,hope for the best but always prepare for the worst.make sure that you have a back up plan!! If you have your heart set on getting married outside,go with the flow,have lots of umbrellas handy,incorporate your wedding colors. Do keep in mind that overcast is  best for portraits


As far as ceremony sites I have seen it all in my twenty four years of photographing weddings nationwide.From elaborate castles in Germany,to beach blankets in Key West .Make it your own.There are no rules!


I am often asked about timelines.The best light for photography is when the sun is low in the sky. I would say ,if you are having an outdoor wedding,look up the time of sunset for that day and schedule your ceremony two hours before time of sunset.Allowing plenty of time afterward for your group shots and saving the very best light about a half hour before the sunset for your “intimate session” the photographs of just the two of you alone .Dont rush your photographer through this,give them at the very least a half an hour.Remember these are the photos you will probably be hanging on your walls.


Some couples now a days have a “first look” before the ceremony. This helps take the edge off, (good for nervous couples).Also a wonderful time for your photographer .Also a great Idea is the “first look” for Fathers and daughters


I always ask my couple,”what is the most important photo to you” 99% of my brides and many of my grooms will say (or better say) the first time I see my bride!This is such an important shot,I never miss it!!

During the ceremony look at each other! believe it or not I have seen couples who look at the notary the entire time.

I absoulutely love shooting candid during the ceremony,there are so many emotions.Another favorite are capturing kids at this time.

The most important kiss of your lifetime is your first kiss as husband and wife. I always have a second shooter and we are both getting this most important moment from two different views. I would highly recommend that your photographer have a 2nd shooter/assistant,especially for the larger weddings

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GETTING READY! wedding advice

This blog will be in four parts,”Getting ready” Ceremony”., “The intimate session” and the reception.

Today I will be covering “getting ready”

I always get to the location early. The first thing that I photograph is the atmosphere of the venue,this is important to my couples,they have chosen this venue for a reason. After twenty five years of photographing weddings I have had the privilege of traveling to castles in Germany,the super dome in New Orleans,the Biltmore in North carolina,Hemingway house in Key West just to name a few.

international fine arts wedding photojournalism



For my couples,try to have the ladies and the guys get ready at the same location,there are two sides to the story.I like to go back and forth.

international fine arts wedding photojournalism

During this time I like to photograph the details,  have a go to person for your photographer. I always ask to have the details ready for me when I come in.The rings,the flowers,an invitation or newspaper,something with the date on it,shoes dress,vows etc…

Advice to the ladies,choose a room with the most natural light,remember that light is very important for the sake of the photos,you do not want to get ready in a room with florescent lite with no windows.Try to keep the room free of clutter.

international fine arts wedding photojournalism

Leave plenty of time for some bride and groom portraits when you are all ready.For the brides do not be last to have your hair and makeup done.

international fine arts wedding photojournalism

Try to get plenty of rest the night before and if you get nervous remember it is about the marriage. Dont sweat the small stuff,just go with the flow.


  I am always asked these question and I am happy to help in fact, your photographer is the best and most valuable person to go to to help you plan the timeline. Photography IS 50% light,50% composition.
  I am also asked how many hours of coverage should you need. Let me put it this way more coverage = more quality photographs, dont rush your photographer.
  How much coverage depends on a few things, is your wedding big with over 100 people, does it have several locations,or is it a small intimate wedding.
  Getting ready/So much happens during this time,try very hard to have the guys nearby you dont want to miss this part of your story,the contrast can often times be hilarious!
 Keep in mind if you have two locations for guys and girls the photographer will need allot more time to go to two location,driving time,finding parking,packing and unpacking equipment etc that takes allot of time and can take time away from what is most important,capturing your wedding day.When I have the guys and girls at the same location, I just go back and forth, if mot much is going on with the girls, I check out the guys. During this time is not only about “getting ready” doing hair putting on makeup and getting “the dress” on its about the details, have them ready when the photog comes in, your rings, an invitation, newspaper something with the date, wedding vows,your grandmas necklace,Have the flower there as well, whatever it is you want photographed. During this time if I am at one location the entire day (best option ) I will usually go into the reception room and photograph the set up,the venue itself the atmosphere is also very important. The set up for the ceremony and then back to the brides room to spend some quality one on one time for bridal portraits
 Have hair and makeup come to you ALWAYS!. Brides, DO NOT be the last to get ready,allow more time for everything than you think it will take.Get ready early, if you are last and its almost time for the ceremony, not only will I not have enough time for bridal portraits,you will feel nervous and rushed and it will show on your face, again I stress this do not rush your photographer! The ultimate time for me at the beginning of the story if everyone is at one location is about three hrs. It is a very important time with so much going on and so many wonderful photo opportunities also a good time for me to get to know family and friends of the couple.
TIME- If outdoor wedding,two to three hours before the time of sunset. Two if you dont have a million groups shots and the ceremony is very quick,three if you have allot of group shots with a long ceremony.Group shots take more time than you think. Again allow more time for everything
 Most important leave the last half hour or more of light (The magic hour) the best lite of the day for just the two of you alone, I call it the “intimate session” plan a cocktail hr for this time your guests will be fine and it will be the only “alone “time you might have together all day. Out of this time comes the most beautiful portraits of my couples capturing their relationship and the love they have for each other, this is absoulutely my favorite time to photograph, DO NOT miss this time, do not rush your photographer or cut it short, I have had couples after we have disused this only give me five minutes, you will never get this time back!
   Again will there be a huge party with dancing   bouquet toss,cake cutting sparkler send off/parting shot, do you want the entire reception covered,if not push up the most important moments to you. If so, remember photographer, D.J all of your vendors should be fed,treat people the way you would want them to treat you. While everyone is eating take care of your vendors.People dont look their best when they are eating!
  My full coverage (the time I need to tell the story is about eight hrs. You can always add more if your photographer is up to it.
  If it is a small intimate wedding on the beach with just the two of you and a few close family members, I have a minimum of two hrs and have it on an off day, most photographers are booked on the weekends or wont take a two hr wedding on a Saturday.
  I do hope I have helped and answered allot of your questions.Keep this in mind, I am an award winning international fine arts wedding photojournalist with a very unique style, I travel worldwide
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232ee5Photography is mainly made up of light and composition, you can have the greatest composition but without the right light…bla,or you have the most amazing light but with out a great composition,it will not be a great photograph

  I have been asked many times, how do you learn about light. My answer is go out there and shoot in every possible light.
  The two “magic hours, the first and last hour of light.
Back lighting is my favorite (makes things POP,look three dimensional)
a for thumt n re size-001
When your subject is in front of the sun silhouette)
NOON the WORST time of day for portraits deep shadows and texture,however
 if that is what you are going for like the photo below I wanted her to look as if she were rising out of the ground (I call it up rising) would NOT have worked at all in the “magic hr”
 NOW my FAVORITE is overcast makes colors POP, skin tones perfect,so dont freak out if it rains on your wedding day chances are the light will be great for portraits.
Rain, protect your gear but DO get out there or right after the rain, puddles and reflections make such interesting photos.
TWILIGHT, the 10 minuete window after sunset when the sky is not black yet and all the neon and available night light comes out,good to use a tripod at this time and perhaps a slow shutter speed.
Now get out there!!