Category Archives: the perfect wedding day

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,

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“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!

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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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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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ALONE AT LAST /the intimate session

part of a four part series on wedding photography. getting ready,the ceremony,the intimate session,and the reception  Advice for the client.

The only thing that I do insist on with my clients is an “intimate session” This will perhaps be the only alone time that you will have on your wedding day.I feel that these photographs are the most romantic and probably the ones that you will be hanging on your walls.

http://creativefreedomphoto.com/ Some people do not realize that photography is made up of light and composition.

When you are working on your timeline, leave at least a half hour or more in the best light of the day,the last hour before the sun is setting.Think about the background,are there some beautiful nature spots on the grounds of your venue? If not try to explore and find a beautiful nature spot nearby your venue

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Do not allow anyone to tag along,this is a distraction to you and to your photographer.Your guests will be fine, might be a good time to plan a cocktail hour. Always work with your D.J. and wedding coordinator and let them know in advance .

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When I am photographing a destination wedding,I sometimes plan with my couples for a “day after” session. using the destination as my background. My couples are always so much more relaxed the day after,I get to spend allot more time with them = more beautiful and interesting photos.

 

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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

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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.

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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!!

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

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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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CREATIVE FREEDOM FOR ALL!How to look great in your wedding photos!

TRUST THEM

Of all the wedding photographers I know, one of their biggest gripes is when a client hands them a detailed shot by shot list of every single thing they want photographed – the dress hanging in front of the window, the shoes, bride getting into her dress, dad looking proud… you get the idea. Trust your photographer. They’ve been doing this a lot longer than you and they will be well aware which shots to get .

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Creative people need “Creative Freedom”That is why I call my business creativefreedomphoto.When artist are told what to do, they  can loose their passion,it interferes with the creative process.When I was a photojournalist for newspapers they give you 100% “Creative Freedom”they trust your eye and talent to tell the story” That is why they hired you!

obviously if you have something particularly sentimental or unique that you’d like photographed (maybe a piece of jewelry passed down through your family or a DIY project that you spent days on) then be sure to let them know, but don’t hand them a blow by blow list of every single shot you want. Allow your photographer to do their job and to be creative. They’ll enjoy the day more which will result in better photographs.

THINK ABOUT THE LIGHT

This is another thing that couples tend to not consider (or not even know they have to consider) but be aware that the light changes throughout the day and different light will result in very different photographs.

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Usually two hrs befog the sunset will give enough light and time for group shots and the”intimate session. Even better,     do a ‘first look’ (where you see each other before the ceremony and get your photos taken then). If you’re not superstitious about seeing each other beforehand, this is a great option too.

When looking at venues think about the light in each room. Is the bedroom you’re getting ready in to small, if there will be allot of people in the room ,obviously you need a big room.does it have an abundance of natural light  ,DO NOT get ready in a locker room with florescent light.  Are the ceremony room walls covered in dark wood with small windows? Remember, photography is essentially painting with light and if there isn’t any, there’s only so much your photographer can do without using a flash.

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Getting ready: “Having about   two hrs with the bride before the ceremony would give me enough time to photograph all the details of the dress, shoes, jewelry etc as well as take some informal photos of everyone getting.  I always ask to have the grooms nearby,keep in mind if I have to go to two location you are missing out on photos I could be taking while I am traveling

Another thing to consider is to politely ask your guests to not take photos during the ceremony (you can do so in the order of service). Guests holding up mobile phones as you walk down the aisle or flashes going off throughout the vows are only going to be distracting for you and other guests (and/or ruin the professional shots).

LEAVE ENOUGH TIME

As I said, time is of the essence and the more time your photographer has the better. They are the experts so ask them how long they think each element should take. Group shots for example are notorious for taking longer than you expect. Having to round up a half-cut usher or a camera-shy aunt for the photos can take a while Give a trusted friend or relative   a list of the group shots you want, do not put down every combination of everyone,keep it simple, try to photograph the elderly first  and if possible delegate the task of helping round people up to a trustworthy usher or bridesmaid.Best to let them know beforehand.

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GET CREATIVE

Your photographer is not just there to snap away aimlessly. Wedding photographers are a super creative bunch so be open to their ideas and again, trust them! For your portraits, listen to their ideas and don’t be afraid to walk off that beaten path a little bit. These often result in THE MOST AMAZING PHOTOS!  Set aside as much time as possible for this part of the day. The more time the photographer has, the better the results will be.

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The “intimate session”I like to call it is probably the only time the two of you will be alone.leave the best light for these photos.I like to have at least a half hr,the last hr before sunset.  pick a beautiful location nearby,do not allow anyone to follow you and your photographer.This is a good time to have a cocktail hr.

Do not go out and get a tan,does not look flattering in photographs. Guys watch out for those racoon eyes. Try your best to get plenty of sleep and drink as much water as you can before the big day! Hold your bouquet down low it will elongate your waist . Never stand straight in front of the camera, turn your body and put weight on your back leg. If you are self conscious about back fat (yes I said it)  or your arms are not perfect, why not get sleeves 3/4 sowed in, I know it seems like all wedding gowns are sleeveless I dont know why ,if that wont work for you,do go with a veil or even a bolero jacket or a shawl depending on your style of dress. Do established a friendship with your wedding photographer,the more comfortable you feel the better,the less nervous you are in front of the camera the better,!  I always make a strong point of getting to know my clients,I have heard so many times that they felt so at ease as if family were taking their wedding photographs,believe me it really makes a difference!

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Most of all forget about the camera and enjoy the day!!

And do keep in mind I travel worldwide!

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