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meet felicia

hey there!

I'm Felicia - caffeine aficionado, architecture junkie, eternal optimist, world wanderer, puppy lover, dreamer, and believer. 

CATEGORIES

weddings

Engagements

destination

seniors

Personal

For Photographers

proposals

BRIDAL

for brides

as seen On:

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10 Tips for Perfect Wedding Photos // The Bride Guide

May 2, 2016

• How to Get the Wedding Photos of Your Dreams •

We all want gorgeously perfect wedding photos but obviously, outside of hiring a great photographer, the photos are out of your control, right? No way! I’m giving you 10 tips to make sure you get perfect wedding photos below:

10 Tips for Perfect Wedding Photos

 


Tip 1:   Don’t Give Your Photographer a Shot List

–and don’t shove Pinterest at them. That was kind of a rude way of articulating, but it’s in everyone’s best interest.

Pinterest is amazing. I myself am also in love. I do not recommend shoving a Pinterest board of 137 must have shots at your photographer and this is why: First off, the reason so many of us love images we find on Pinterest is very specific. Sometimes we like the pose, but most of the time we love the lighting, how elaborate the venue or landscape is, how stunning the people are, or how it freezes a beautifully candid moment. Pinterest is inspiring, but stringing the best image from 65 different weddings together isn’t helpful. You love those images for the reasons above. I guarantee in capturing a beautiful moment, the photographer didn’t tell the bride, ‘ok now flip your hair look off into the distance and laugh, and while she’s doing that why don’t you grab her by the shoulders and kiss her neck.’ Not a chance! Just like the crispness of a stunning Alaskan tundra won’t be achievable in the woods of Alabama, you can’t recreate someone else’s moment in a genuine way. Embrace what is beautiful about YOUR wedding. The ‘real’ is what makes them perfect wedding photos. Allow the photographer to express your day with creative freedom and capture your own unique story and moments. Instead of showing them images, tell them things you like such as: the little details, like the way his hand touches my face, or the way we exchange looks sometimes, or wide shots that include a lot of our surroundings, or a mixture of posed and candids, etc.

** The one exception to showing a photographer images is showing them their own and what you like about specific images in their portfolio. Being asked to replicate another artist’s work is a bit off-putting, but ask them to replicate an element of their own, and you’ve reaffirmed your trust in them as well as given them a creative direction, rather than an impossible shot list of images that all occurred under different circumstances. The only time I ever ask my clients for a list is for a list of family portrait combinations for after the wedding. This is something I guide my brides through every step of the way, and we do that in order to ensure we get all of the key players in one photo before the reception starts.

(to see more of this wedding click here)


Tip 2:   Play to Your Photographer’s Strengths
Shadow Glen Country Club Wedding | 10 Tips to perfect wedding photos | Images by: www.feliciathephotographer.com

Figure out what it is that draws you to your photographer, and ask them how to make sure you can have photos with the same spark that you see in their work.

For example: 90% of brides that I book come to me and say, ‘I love that glow!’ They’re talking about the way I use sun flare and the golden hour. This is of course 100% intentional on my part and 10000% dependent on the light that takes place during the hour before dark each day. I recommend that if my brides want these glowing images, we make sure the time for their portraits is within this precious window of time. The last 2 hours of the day work, but the last hour is where the magic happens. Depending on the time of year, we can fit all of the bride and groom, bridesmaid, groomsmen, and entire bridal party portraits in this window, but at minimum we make sure we can capture at least the bride and groom portraits. This simple step of tailoring the schedule to the sun makes an insane impact on ‘that glowiness’ I can incorporate into an image.

Maybe you love the way your photographer shoots with soft colors or incorporates architectural elements. Whatever it is, communicate WHY you like their images and what specifically you would love for your own photos, and then ASK how you can help make sure they’re possible. You’d be surprised at how much of an impact communication has on achieving your perfect wedding photos.

(to see more of this wedding click here)


Tip 3:   Create a Timeline

 

Plan a timeline. Not all photographers do this, but it’s a must for me and my brides especially because the style of my work that attracts many of my brides is time sensitive! Allowing enough time is half of the battle for getting your ideal ‘must have’ shots. Maybe you just love candids and want time to relax and just be – you’ll want time to actually relax. Or maybe love the way a certain photographer creates signature landscape shots with brides and grooms featured in a dramatic, yet itty bitty way but your venue is in the city. This would require time either to travel to get to a location where your photographer could capture that for you! With a little communication, you too can have perfect wedding photos!

(to see more of this wedding click here)


Tip 4:   Enjoy the Day!

You can’t do anything wrong. Ever. You’re the bride and everything you do is perfect because the whole day is tailored to your favorite everything. Nothing you do will ever mess up a photo. Be silly with your girls, ugly cry, be playful with your man. Those amazing genuine moments happen when you relax and live in the moment and stop worrying about what’s perfect and just soak in the happiest day of your life!

(to see more of this wedding click here)


Tip 5:   Your Venue has a Huge Impact

The Guild | 10 Tips to perfect wedding photos | Images by: www.feliciathephotographer.com

It’s easy to think, ‘the venue is kinda weird but I bet the photographer can make it look ok’ or ‘she can just crop it out.’ In part this is true. We are masters at manipulating our surroundings to tell your story in a way that is beautiful. With that being said, if you book a middle school gymnasium and don’t decorate much, it will still look like a gymnasium. After your wedding, all you have left are memories and pictures. That means you will remember how you felt, and what it looked like. In my opinion, a budget is much better spent on a venue than a fancy dinner. Don’t skip serving dinner, but I hardly remember how delicious the food tasted at the weddings of my dearest friends. I would say that venue, DJ, and duh photographer 😉 are the biggest bang for your buck- venue sets the stage, DJ directs the show, and photographer eternalizes the memories. Plus, if you have a sick venue, centerpieces and a few other details go much further than having to dress a blank, cheaper slate.

(to see more of this wedding click here)


Tip 6:   Hire a Photographer You Like – as a person

This goes for other vendors too I suppose, but your photographer will be with you all day. If they’re not with you, you don’t get a picture of that. That’s a big decision. Make sure you feel a personal connection to them. If you love their work but she seems like a diva, or he’s a dud, it will take away from your experience and your photos too, because you have to look at that person all day. The expression you give them is the one forever in your wedding album! I know many entrepreneurs would shame me for this, but I actually tell brides not to book me if they don’t feel like we vibe. No, I’m not crazy. This is the biggest day of your life, and you deserve to have the best day possible; that includes the best fit for you in a photographer and every other vendor out there. This is the real deal. I’m not in it to book ‘X’ amount of weddings. I do this to enrich your day and deliver the most perfect wedding photos you could ever dream of.

(to see more of this wedding click here)


Tip 7:   Be On-time

This goes without saying but it is huge! 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there adds up over time and things have to be eliminated from the photographer’s to do list… it’s a domino effect and it can get ugly. I’m not hating on the fashionably late *ahem, me in my personal life, ahem* but your wedding day is NOT the day for that. Here are a few sub-tips to this tip because that’s how important timeliness is on a wedding day.

  1. Make sure the bride’s hair and makeup are done FIRST. This might seem crazy but you’re the priority. So what if you still have to ‘find things’ or text the florist. It’s your day and everyone is here for you. Someone will find the lip gloss you misplaced, and hand you your phone so you can text your florist while you get your hair started. When it’s time to get your bridal portraits taken, it’s ok if the last bridesmaid is still getting finishing touches done, if you’re the last in the makeup chair and things aren’t running on time, it’s less ok.
  2. Tell everyone they need to be where you need them 30 minutes before you actually need them there. The prompt will inevitably be 45 minutes early, but they’re type-A and relish in being early, and the less prompt will be there by the time you actually need them. win-win.
  3. Send an e-mail to everyone involved in family pictures a week before the wedding detailing where you’d like them to be. It’s also helpful to delegate and appoint the bossiest relative on each side of the family to gather bodies and do a head check. Let them chase down the people who are missing before it comes time for their group photo.

(to see more of this wedding click here)


Tip 8:   Details Take Pictures to Another Level


Details and decor transform a space into an experience, and a beautiful one at that. Think of details to a wedding as context clues in a novel. They’re descriptors that subtly add to the richness of a story. This goes for wedding venue decor as well as little things you don’t normally think about- like whether you and all of your girls coordinate in robes or have random sports tees on, or what kind of drinking glass you’re using in lieu of a plastic water bottle.

As far as venue decor goes, I’ll be the first to respect a budget. Everyone on the planet has one, and it’s just rude to disregard that in giving advice. Whatever your budget, whether unlimited or DIY, don’t shy away from the details. Welcome signs, place cards, centerpieces, string lights, koozies, you name it- all of the little details add up and offer a way of personalizing your venue. Details aren’t the only piece of the puzzle in making sure you get perfect wedding photos, but it makes a huge dent in the endeavor. 😉 The more the merrier. I’ve never seen a wedding with too many details. Go to town.  (Here is a wedding with some amazingly cool details).

(to see more of this wedding click here)


Tip 9:   Just Let Go

You want your photos to be genuine. Don’t worry if you’re slouched, if your ring is twisted, or if you should be looking at the photographer. Just be. It’s the best, most special day of your life. Photographers are there to capture these memories so you never forget them. Unless it’s time for the portraits you’ve scheduled, just do you, and let the photographer take care of the rest. We’ll tell you if we’d like you to do anything other than what you already are doing! At this point we’re already on the same page and you’ve communicated what’s important and your stylistic preferences. Chances are, something won’t go according to plan, but if you’re with an awesome photographer they’ll know your priorities and problem solve accordingly. Trust our experience and judgement and the homework we’ve done in talking with you leading up to your big day. We won’t lead you astray.

(to see more of this wedding click here)

 


Tip 10:   When in Doubt, Ask Your Photographer

We’ve done this before. In fact, we do this dozens of times per year. I hope that you’ve found a photographer who loves what they do, and loves you because that means they’re a fountain of advice. Your photographer is involved in weddings 24/7. They’ll know what works and what doesn’t and how to execute what you want. Communicate your likes and dislikes ahead of time. It’s not demanding, it’s actually helpful. Perfect Wedding Photos can be had by all with a little intention and strategic planning and a little creative freedom given to the photographer.

(to see more of this wedding click here)


If you liked this post, you may also like these posts from The Bride Guide:

Why You Should Bring Your Own Photographer to Your Destination Wedding

What to Wear to Your Engagement Session

 


 

Image Details

Image 1: Makeup: Paradise Makeup, Hair, and Airbrush Tanning, Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar, Bridal Salon: The Gown Gallery, Wedding Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero , Venue: The Rumely Event Space // Image 2: Venue: Shadow Glen Golf Club, Florist: Good Earth Floral, Wedding Gown Designer: Watters// Image 3: Wedding Venue : The Mackey House, Hair: Brandy Polk, Bridal Gown : Ladies of Lineage , Bridesmaids Dresses : Show Me Your Mumu , Decor : Michelle at Improvisions , Wedding Coordinator : Dave Gibson , Florist : Michelle Roberson  // Image 4: Hair: Silver Screen Salon Team, Makeup: Dani Jo Belle, Bridal Gown: Belle Vogue Bridal, Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids, Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse, Florist: Wild Hill Flowers, Planning & Coordination: J Levi Events // Image 5: Venue: The Guild, Catering: Olive Events, Planning: Confetti Events KC // Image 6: Makeup: Paradise Makeup, Hair, and Airbrush Tanning, Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar, Bridal Salon: The Gown Gallery, Wedding Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero , Venue: The Rumely Event Space // Image 7: Rings: Gooden Jewelers, Hair: Anna Merricks, Makeup: Paradise Hair and Makeup LLC, Bridal Gown: Essense of Australia via Belle Vogue, Bridesmaids Dresses: Etsy, Menswear: Tip Top Tux // Image 8: Hair: Silver Screen Salon Team, Makeup: Dani Jo Belle, Bridal Gown: Belle Vogue Bridal, Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids, Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse, Florist: Wild Hill Flowers, Planning & Coordination: J Levi Events // Image 9: Dress: Rhylan Lang Bridal Salon – Truvelle – Jordan, Shoes: J. Crew, Hair and Makeup: Chameleon Hair Design // Image 10: Wedding Gown: Mori Lee via Mia’s Bridal, Bridesmaids Dresses & Menswear: Mia’s Bridal, Rings: Meierotto’s

 

 

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