Share the timeline: send your timeline to your photographer, videographer, coordinator, bridal party and immediate family. Make sure your friends and family know when to be ready for photos and the ceremony.
Create a list of emergency phone numbers and share
Have both rings with the bride in the morning, as I will photograph them together, and then arrange for someone to take them back to the groom, as needed.
Rainy weather is not a reason to be sad on your wedding day. Have few nice looking umbrellas on stand-by, for unpredictable rainy-day shots. Transparent/ see-through umbrellas will look great in photographs. You can buy them from Look Sharp or two dollar shops for under $10.
I’m a natural lighting photographer with a background in fine art. I live for gorgeous natural light, incorporating a flash only during the reception after the sun’s gone down. The goal is to capture a wedding’s warmth; how it felt. There are a few times where a little preparation can make for more flattering photos.
Enjoy your day! As busy as the day can be, remember to plan enough time to simply enjoy yourselves and feel the love. That’s what a wedding is all about anyway.
Relaxed people = Happiness = beautiful wedding photos.
Try to plan for harsh light, but if you’re worried about it being overcast on your wedding day, don’t! It’s just like a giant soft box in the sky. Overcast light is light that makes everyone look great and timing for portraits doesn’t have to be as crucial because it will be consistent for most of the day.
Below is a guide on the duration of the wedding day shoots, so you can work your day schedule around these:
Preparation shots for girls - 1.5+ hours, for boys - 1h+
Family Formal Portraits – 15-45 minutes (allow 5 min per 1 group)
Bridal Party – 20-30 minutes
Couples photoshoot – 1 hour to 2 hours (before or after the ceremony)
Window light is the best light. Bride's make-up should be done by a window. Good lighting is a key to make images look beautiful. The best conditions for lighting would be a room with large windows and enough light coming in through the windows to light the room evenly with the lights off. An ideal getting ready area would be a space with windows and light walls (not yellow) for lots of reflective light. This is why I recommend looking at renting out homes on AirBNB.
Lighting to avoid: anything with mixed light (example: a little bit of daylight + mostly orange tungsten bulbs, tungsten + fluorescents lights, daylight + florescent light, etc). It’s hard to see with the naked eye, but in photos, it can lead to odd skin colours. Natural light is the most flattering!
Please iron all your robes, so they don't look messy in the photos.
Prepare yourself a mini breakfast (something that will look good in photos: fresh juice, berries, a cake etc.. ) Decorate your room with flowers.
Groom & Groomsmen Getting Ready & Portraits- the boys need to be fully showered by this start time and starting to get ready into their suits etc, but without the final details e.g. shoes, tie, & cufflinks as I will photograph them putting on the details., then take some photos of them all together.
Please ask them to put all of these together: groom's shoes, belt, socks, perfume, cufflinks, tie, boutonnieres.
Bride and Bridesmaids Getting Ready & Portraits - please put all of these together so I can photograph them: dress, shoes, earrings, engagement ring, invites, perfume, jewellery, bridesmaids shoes and dresses, flowers.
When getting ready, have your bridesmaids put all their stuff in a condensed corner of the room.
Bring a non-plastic hanger for your dress shot. Try using a wooden or designer hanger for your dress/suit shot.
Bring printed invites + rings, perfume, shoes, jewellery etc. for detail shots
Plan enough time for getting ready photos: make-up and hair, putting the dress on, portraits, photos with your bridesmaids and family.
Try to cut the crowd down, so you can relax a bit, and so your photographer and makeup artist can do their work.
On your wedding day, everything will take longer than you think, from getting your hair done to getting dressed. It’s always better to be ready half-an-hour before you leave, as your photographer will want to take photos as soon as you are completely ready.
Preparation shots take at least 1.5+ hours
Ask people to not use their phones during ceremony, we are doing photos and videos, you don't want photos where people are holding phones. It takes away from the special moment of the bride walking towards the groom. Guests simply focus on the beauty of the moment.
Lighting is the most important ingredient in photography. For indoor receptions, the more lighting you have the better. Please avoid green lights, it will not look good.
From the photographer’s point of view, the best time for outdoor ceremonies is 2-3 h before the sunset. For outdoors: try to avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. unless you can pick shade or dappled light from a tree. Mid-day is not only the hottest time of the day, but it can also leave harsh shadows under eyes (making you appear to have dark circles under eyes) and nose. Facing the sun will cause everyone to have squinted eyes.
Below you’ll see examples of direct sunlight (on left) and soft light (on right):
Walk slowly down the aisle and do not look down. As you and your bridesmaids walk down the aisle, keep your flowers centered around your belly button.
Your first kiss should be at least 3 seconds
If you have an arch, make sure you are standing in the middle of it.
Include confetti, rice, bubbles, sparkles or flower petals in your grand exit, they will add something to your photos. My favourite are rice and white confetti.
Make a list of groups you want to capture so you can remember and assign a person (MC) who can help me to organise them, because I don't know all your relatives.
Have the Bridal Party stay for around 30 minutes for photos then allow them to leave.
Start with big group photos and end with close family and small groups, it will be easier to manage.
I recommend doing group photos straight after the ceremony before people have gone for drinks, snacks or WC.
Keep in mind that having more than 6-8 groups can take lots of time and people will get tired. (allow 5 min per 1 group)
Pick a Timekeeper and proceed with time on your side.
Have flat shoes with you in case we need to walk a lot or climb.
Usually I need at least 1 hour ( the best is 2 h ) for a photoshoot with the couple, though timing does depend on your unique requirements. I would love to have an opportunity to get to a special location to ensure that you have the perfect set of images.
Golden hour is the key to outstanding photos. Schedule The Couples Session during the best lighting. 1 - 2hrs before sunset the light will be perfect. Last minutes of sunset and 20 minutes after the sun goes down you will get dusk light. It is an even softer light that creates the intimate mood . See some samples below:
Sunset photos (before sunset):
Dusk hour photos (after sunset):
If you can't plan your photoshoot before sunset and it's not overcast, try to schedule 10-15 minutes of down time for a mini photo session at sunset. It will be nice to sneak away for a private moment and get some stunning photos in the gorgeous light.
Fake smiles are not always flattering, but the same cannot be said for fake laughs. To relax and loosen up for a photo, let out a forced “Ha! Ha!” And then do it again. And again. It will feel pretty ridiculous but it will make you and everybody else laugh for real.
Relax and be yourself.
During the photoshoot, remember to breathe, roll your shoulders a few times to release tension. Your photos will reveal a relaxed looking you.
I prefer real moments and emotions, not posing. I will ask you to hold hands, be with each other, hug, kiss, run, walk, and dance while taking photos of your real emotions.
I have a speaker, if music would help you to relax, let me know and we can have romantic songs playing in the background. If you want you can bring your own music with you and connect to my speaker via bluetooth.
Smoke bombs are available. Colours: white, blue, red, yellow, purple, green. One smoke bomb is $55, two for $90, more will be cheaper.
We can agree on a location for the photoshoot before the wedding. If you need any advice on locations, please ask. Beaches, forests, mountains, parks, and city centres are all great locations! I have made a list of great locations for a photoshoot around Auckland:
Muriwai and Maori bay
Karekare beach + Karekare waterfall
Kitekite falls on Auckland’s West Coast (40 minutes to 1 hour hike)
The North shore with a view to Rongitoto: Cheltenham Beach, Narrow Neck Beach and Takapuna Beach
Whatipu and sand dunes
Maraetai Beach in South-East Auckland
The Auckland Botanic Gardens
St Heliers and Mission Bay
Duder regional park
Domain winter gardens
Lighting in receptions varies stylistically from person to person and venue to venue, but my vote is always natural looking, warm light. Avoid green and red lights, they will change your skin colour.
Italian string lights are a beautiful (the out of focus orbs in the background of photos) for backdrops. They are ideal for outdoor yards, to make borders around dance floors and eating areas, and they help to light the perimeter of the reception too.
Candles on tables will give a romantic cozy look.
Ask DJ/ reception to avoid laser lights, especially during the first dance.
Choose a nice place for cake cutting, avoid ugly walls with light switches, signs etc.
Sparkler exit is a great way to end a day of celebrations. Not only are sparkler exits unique and exciting, but it looks good in photos.
Try to be creative and make a special corner with lights. Here is some inspiration:
Do you want to have a unique wedding? Do you want to be featured in a magazine? Do something special. Below you will find more inspiration for your wedding:
Give your rings a little home
Print your invites and photos for a creative detail shot. Get some elements or ask me to bring some with me.
Be original with your cake.
Pre-wedding shoot is such a good thing to do before your wedding day! You get so many more shots of the two of you in pretty lighting! There is no stress on time, as wedding day portraits usually go. You also have an opportunity to practice being in front of the camera and get used to it.