Category Archives: weddings

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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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.

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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.

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HERE COMES THE GROOM

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Everyone always gets so carried away with the bride,what about the groom’s?

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I always ask my couples to get ready at the same location.I like to go back and forth between the guys and gals to get both sides of the story.

The brides room is usually chaotic,a mess,full of emotion,makeup,hair spray,chocolate, and mimosas everywhere. The contrast when you put the two together is hilarious. The guys are just hanging out and having a good time with their buddies. The only stress they have is how to pin on the boutonniere ,.

I always ask my couples separately “What is the most important moment to you” 90% of brides will say “When he sees me coming down the isle”When I ask the guys the same question most will say,”the first time I see her coming down the isle as my bride”

I always make sure I get this shot,I am usually shooting behind the bride and her Dad focusing on the grooms reaction between the shoulders of the bride and her Dad/Mom or whoever is walking her down the Isle. I have a student/apprentice have another camera focused on the groom from another angle, I teach my student (this is usually their first lesson on capturing emotion) do not turn around keep you focus on the groom at all times, you will know when he see’s her and I want a series of shots. Its very rare that a groom will not show any emotion , the most beautiful shot to me is when the groom cries. Guys try so hard to hold in their feelings.It is   an amazing moment/

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“GIVE ME THE DETAILS” Photographing wedding details by

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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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ALL BRIDES ARE BEAUTIFUL!! by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

(  A lesson for future brides and for wedding photographers )

  I believe that being a woman has an advantage when it comes to wedding photography.Most brides do feel much more comfortable around women, especially during the “getting ready”  time. I also believe everyone is their most beautiful when they are happy!!

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  Dont skip the “getting ready” session with your photographer. A great wedding photographer is a great storyteller. To me the beginning of the story is so important,. all of the chaos the emotions and the alone time that I spend with the bride getting the bridal portraits.
   Also try to have the guys near by,you do not want to forget the other part of the story. Having several locations is not a good Idea your photographer will have less time with you,with the guys, and you will have less photos and might even miss out on allot of great moments. The best case scenario   is when you can have everything at one location for instance,rent a beautiful house   and have all vendors come to you ,it really does cut down on the stress level. .
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  I feel one of the most important part of being a great wedding photographer is getting to know your couples, if you can meet with them or have an engagement session do it! If not, often times my couples are from out of state or country, get to know each other through e mails and phone conversations. By the time the wedding day comes, my brides are so happy to see me,they are 100% comfortable and it shows through the lens! Being comfortable   with your wedding photographer also cuts down on the stress.
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  For brides and grooms, dont try to pose,let your emotions flow ,try to forget about the camera and just enjoy every moment.The photo below,”the grooms reaction” is usually the most important moment for both the bride and the groom.
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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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