Category Archives: photographing wedding details

The Wedding Reception/Ideas and advice from a wedding photographer

This blog is part of a four part series on weddings. “Getting Ready” The Ceremony” The Intimate session” and lastly “The Reception”

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After twenty four years of photographing weddings nationwide, I have been to allot more receptions that most people on the planet.in this blog I am going to share with you advice to make your reception memorable.

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The venue you choose is important,its all about the atmosphere. I know that venues are extremely expensive.Here is my suggestion,why not rent a beautiful house on the beach and have everything come to you,caterers,hair and makeup,band or D.J. Some of my favorite weddings were at private homes.Also I do believe you would save allot of money this way.

I do suggest you have live music,D.J’s are alright but so redundant .Personally I feel a live band is so much more memorable.Makes your wedding more unique.

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I would stay away from the big resorts,unless you want to feel like a number and see other couples getting married the same day.Some of these places to me feel like an Assembly line of weddings

Make it your own,be creative,be unique.

Why not hire a cartoon artist, a magician, a fortune teller,a cigar roller.Give your guests something to talk about.To be honest,a great deal of the receptions I have been to were a bit boring.You want yours to stand out,you want your guests to have a great time.

A photo booth is allot of fun for children and to get adults to feel like a child again.

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Instead of a cake, I have seen all kinds of things,a coffee and desert bar,even Key Lime Pie on a stick, again,make it your own,have fun with the planning!

As for the food,why not ask your favorite restaurant if they will cater your event, or if you have relatives who cook you could save allot of $$.r

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE/WEDDING TIME LINE ADVICE By creativefreedomphoto

  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.
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  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.
 THE CEREMONY:
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!
Reception-
   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  http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/
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“GIVE ME THE DETAILS” Photographing wedding details by

Byhttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

Like any event photographer, most of my wedding shots are of people, i.e. the bride, the groom and their guests. This, after all, is what a wedding is all about and what people mainly want to see when they open a wedding photo album. Weddings, though, are always packed full of other visual details besides the people. So much time is spent in preparation to make a wedding look beautiful that it would be a shame not to preserve some of this in the album. I find that sometimes the best way to achieve this is to make these details the subjects of some of my photographs, even if this means leaving people out of some shots completely.

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Efficient time management is a major factor in a successful wedding shoot, and it can be difficult to capture all the shots you require across the day. That’s why I always show up   early. I do this partly because it affords me the opportunity to walk around the venue – both inside and outside – and assess the lighting conditions on the day. However, it also gives me the chance to get some photos of the building itself and perhaps some of the decorations, flower arrangements and so on before any of the guests have arrived. I always remind my bride to have all of her details together for me when I come into the room where she is getting ready, flowers, rings, vows ,jewelry,shoes, anything and everything that she wants photographed. I challenge myself to find many creative ways of photographing  inanimate objects (since  I am a people photographer) this is always a challenge. I have been know to take an interesting painting off the walls and use it as my background. I try to stick with the colors of the wedding. Keep in mind all of this put together will want to look coordinated in a wedding album.

Of course, often we are asked to take photos of the bride, groom or both getting ready for the wedding. If this is in a hotel or other location far from the venue, it may be difficult to find time to turn up early and capture these detail shots. If so, don’t worry, there will be plenty of other opportunities. Try to spot details and photograph them across the day, and perhaps steal a bit of time at an opportune moment. An ideal opportunity is usually during the meal; most people don’t want to be photographed when they’re eating, so I take the chance to have a walk around the building and its exterior to grab some extra shots.

ALWAYS remember to photograph the venue and location. For destination weddings I might include some of my personal shots of the place I have taken before or after the wedding/

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Wedding Photojournalism/The Story Teller by creativefreedomphoto

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 In the limo

Dont just keep pressing the shutter and hope that something sticks,wait,watch,observe.Do not ask people to do anything,allow life to happen .There are moments at a wedding like the dances that you are just about guaranteedfws1-003

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that there will be plenty of emotion to capture.Shoot like you are using film.If you are just starting out,I suggest that you use film. One of the best angles for capturing candidws is above,do take advantage I always look for this vantage point

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…A great wedding photographer is a great story teller. . Get to know your clients,meet with them, do an engagement session, it is very important that they feel comfortable with you, the more you know them the more passion you will feel.

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As a wedding photojournalist, I allow the story to come to me.I very rarely tell people what to do (unless I am doing the group shots,my least favorite because I feel I am missing out on the “real moments”) I ask my clients to keep the group shot list to a minimum. They didint hire me for a bunch of posed group shots but for my ability to “capture emotions” To me weddings are by far the easiest because they tend to be a field day of emotions.

  •  At the beginning of the story,remember to photograph the place,the details,the venue.These are all important to the couple and are a part of their story.

Mecedes Benz Super Dome New Orleanswedding details

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I ask my clients to have the guys nearby so that I can go back and forth between the guys and the ladies, You want to get both sides of the story!

Try to be a fly on the wall, wear black not bright colors.You want people to forget that you are there so that things can happen naturally. I long zoom lens is a good Idea for candid s at weddings.

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Keep in mind that there are two sides of the story,during the ceremony for instance,its not just about the couple but pay attention to the audience,know who the parents are,most often the Mothers will shed some tears.

 

The most important shot during the ceremony most often it is the grooms reaction when he sees his bride for the first time

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My students often ask me what do you photograph during the reception when everyone is eating. Good question, it is not flattering to photograph people eating,but children can be adorable during this time.It is also a good time to shoot some of the details.Also the atmosphere,the musicians if they do have live music

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A great story has a beginning,middle and an ending, think of a parting shot,it could be a back shot of the couple walking away in the sunset or grandma asleep at the reception,most often I dont think, I just allow things to happen naturally.Sometimes my couple does request a specific parting shot .

Super dome wedding

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Most important,dont pose people,allow them to be themselves,stand back,remember you are there to tell the story and to capture all the emotions

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