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Our Director of Photography, Michelle Chevatewa, is sharing some of the small things that can make a big difference in your wedding photography. Here’s a few of her big (little) tips:

It’s All In the Details. The personalized cufflinks, the invitation, grandma’s rosary, even the custom golf balls used at the bachelor golf outing have special meaning to the couple. Every bride wants all those little details she’s carefully planned and created photographed, and your photographer should get those images for you. It’s important to plan ahead and ensure those details are shared with your photographer and available for pictures. Giving your bridesmaids a gift? Why not keep them aside so your photographer can arrange them artfully for a cute photo¬†– and then give them to your bridesmaids, for another great photo moment. Everyone loves the dress photos – and yours will look so much better on a pretty satin or wood hanger. Attention to details early in the process and shared with your photographer can make all the difference in your wedding album.
Less Really Is More. Actually, getting the room prepared for the Getting Ready photos is more important than most brides realize. Having a neat, well lit area makes for a much nicer backdrop to showcase you and your girls as you get ready for your big day. A room full of dress bags, accessory boxes, snack bags, and unmade beds will be distracting and detract from those special moments. When you look at the picture will you think what a great day or why didn’t I clean that up? Pay as much attention to the detail of your getting ready room as you do to the rest of your decor for your day.
Getting Ready. The time you spend directly before the ceremony is some of the most emotionally charged of the day. You may be nervous and a little on edge about timeline. Try to limit guests from coming in to wish the bride luck so that you can step back and relax a few minutes before heading down the aisle and share some special moments with your bridal party or parents.
First Look. More couples are electing to have a private portrait session prior to the ceremony. If you’re having a First Look Session, it pays to plan ahead. Think of a romantic location that would have meaning or that you would love to have as the setting for your First Look photos. If your timeline allows, you could select a location separate from your ceremony location, such as the spot you met or became engaged. This should be a special moment for the two of you; let the bridal party know that you’ll call on them when ready for pictures.
The Ceremony. Some churches have very few, if any restrictions on the photographer – other churches have rules that dictate whether a photographer cis allowed to stand (or not stand), how many photos the photographer is allowed to take, and so on. It is important to learn these restrictions when booking your ceremony site so that you have a good idea of how your ceremony will be captured. – and to make the photographer aware so that you can form a plan together.
Smile For the Camera. During the day, your photographer will give you coaching to look your best, but there are some times that we just can’t interfere to remind you. During the processional and recessional, remember to look at the camera so we can get a great shot of the beautiful bride.
Formals. Family formals are a must at every wedding, but are often overlooked when planning your wedding. Most churches will allow 30 minutes for altar images so it’s very important that you have a clear idea of what group and individual photos you need at the church. Assigning a shot list helper to your photographer, who knows all the parties involved, can help you get those images in an efficient way. This is a great job for a close friend or cousin that isn’t in the bridal party, but wants to help. Getting the important family formals while keeping the list to a minimum will insure that there will be sufficient time for photos of the bride and groom (the stars of the day) after the ceremony.
The Reception. It’s time to party! Your reception is a time for you to have fun, sharing special time with your new husband and blended families. If you have special groups you want captured, tell your photographer, after all their your personal photographer for the day. During your First Dance, Father/Daughter Dance, and Mother/Son Dance, don’t forget your photographer is capturing your dance. We don’t like to interfere and want to capture it as it happens, but you’ll likely want one of you looking directly at the camera too! Discuss your preferences with your photographer so that you get the image you want.

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