Preparing for Wedding Day Photos

Preparing for Wedding Day Photos

I’ve shot quite a few weddings over the years.  And during that time I’ve come to realize certain things that brides and grooms need pointers on to help them get the best photos.  So, I decided to write a blog post about preparing for wedding day photos.  This is not meant to knock on any couples who are guilty of any of the following.  It’s meant to help future couples who are planning their wedding photos.

preparing for wedding day photos

1) Be Ready

I spend about one hour shooting the getting ready photos before heading to the ceremony site.  That’s not a lot of time to shoot detail shots, getting ready shots and portraits.  So, the wedding couple, wedding party and family should be ready when I arrive.  This means that hair and makeup should be done before I arrive.  Give yourself an extra 30 minutes buffer time between when hair and makeup is supposed to be finished for everyone and when your photographer arrives, because makeup and hair ALWAYS take longer than planned.

Another reason why I like the hair and makeup to be finished before I arrive is because I like to use the window light for portraits.  However, makeup artists sit their clients right by the window to apply the makeup to get the best light.  I totally understand why they do it, but it just makes it that much harder for your photographer to get the best light, since the best light is being used by the makeup artist.

If the bride and/or the bridesmaids don’t have their dresses on yet, they should be ready to put their dresses on by the time the photographer arrives.  And everyone should have eaten before the photographer arrives.

Finally, make sure that EVERYTHING is ready for when the wedding photographer arrives.  This includes having the flowers on site.  It’s best to have the groom have his photos taken with his boutiniere on and to have the bride holding her bouquet for the portraits.  I also like to take detail shots, so that would normally be the time I take shots of the shoes, flowers, dress, etc.


2) Tidy Up

Wherever you’re having your getting ready photos taken (at home or in a hotel room), make sure to tidy up.  Make the bed.  Clear tables, night stands and dressers of clutter.  Don’t leave stuff strewn everywhere because you don’t want that stuff in the background of your photos.  (This is why your hair and makeup should also be done before I arrive, so that the makeup artist/hair stylist’s stuff isn’t everywhere.)

Designate at least two rooms that will be used for the getting ready photos (usually the living room and bedroom).  Make sure the chosen rooms have great natural light, if possible.

I like to also take bridal portraits outside, weather permitting.  So, if you have a front or backyard that could be used for the outdoor photos, make sure that the grass is cut and there’s no clutter.


3) Limit the Amount of People at The Getting Ready Location

I recently shot some getting ready photos in a hotel room with at least 20 people in it. This included two makeup artists, (and a boyfriend taking portfolio photos), a hair stylist, a child, parents of the bride and groom, other family members, bridesmaids, the bride, two videographers, myself and my second shooter.  Even though there were two rooms in this hotel suite, it was WAY too crowded.  I barely had any room to shoot and there was clutter everywhere.

If step one had been done, four less people, including all of their gear, wouldn’t have been there.  Consequently, there would have been a lot more room for me to work with, since their styling/makeup stuff wouldn’t have been taking up room on the table and bed.  I’m not knocking on makeup artists.  I’m just saying that you should make sure to have your makeup and hair done by the time your photographer arrives, so that they’re not competing for window light and space to shoot.

For example, the bride should only have her immediate family and bridesmaids there, while the groom should only have his immediate family and groomsmen there.


4) Designate Two People to Be in Charge of Arranging Group Photos

I recommend for all wedding couples to make a detailed list of all group shots that they want taken.  This includes names of people in each group shot.  The two designated people are in charge of having the actual list of required group photos, as well as gathering all people for each shot.

Be sure to pick people who know who most of these people are.  The best way is to choose one person from each side of the family.  Getting people to come for their group shot is like herding cats.  So, by having a couple of people in charge of gathering people for group shots, it makes the formal portrait time go much more efficiently.


5) Give Your Photographer A Heads Up

If you’re planning anything unique, give your photographers a heads up, so that they’re ready to get that money shot.  Are you planning a special dance number?  Perhaps you’re going to do a dip at the end of your first dance.  If so, let your photographer know which way you’ll be facing for the dip, so that they’re ready to take that shot.  Are you going to have a special entrance?  Let them know that too.  You’ll help your photographers get the best photos for you.


Book a Consultation with Me

Are you getting married?  Are you currently searching for a wedding photographer?  Great!  I’d love to hear from you.  I love working with friendly, down-to-earth couples.  And if you happen to be planning a rustic styled wedding, I’d be over-the-moon to be your photographer.  Contact me through my contact form to get my wedding photography pricing guide as well as to set up a date that all three of us can meet.  That way we can see if we’re a good fit for each other.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Ottawa Outdoor Snowy Portraits

Ottawa Outdoor Snowy Portraits

Today we had such a beautiful downfall of white, fluffy snow.  I love seeing the beautiful snow on the trees.  It really makes my heart sing.  I absolutely love to take winter portraits with that pretty snow in the background.  So, I’m just putting it out there that I would love to shoot some Ottawa outdoor snowy portraits.  I’ve shot winter wedding photos, winter engagement and winter maternity photos.

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Are you looking for an Ottawa photographer who could shoot beautiful portraits of you in the snow?  If yes, then I’d love to hear from you!  Contact me today and I will happily book a date for your portrait session in the snow.  I look forward to hearing from you.  🙂

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Jeff and Abby’s Orchardview Wedding Photos

Jeff and Abby’s Orchardview Wedding Photos

A month ago today Jeff and Abby were married.  So, I wanted to show some of Jeff and Abby’s Orchardview wedding photos.  As any person from the Ottawa area knows, we had a tornado touch down on September 21st.  That was the day before Jeff and Abby’s wedding.  As a consequence of the tornado, many of the traffic lights weren’t working and there were power outages around town.  Luckily, their hotel still had power.  However, the church didn’t.  So, their wedding ceremony took place without any indoor lights.  Luckily, the church had a sky light right above the altar, so it was all good.  This type of lighting situation gave a bit more of a dramatic feel to the photos.  And thank goodness their reception venue had power as well.  Yay!

We shot their formal portraits at the altar as per the request of the bride.  I think it gave a more personal touch to their formal portraits.  Afterwards, we headed down to Orchardview for the reception.  With the traffic lights being out, there was quite a bit of slow traffic getting there.  However, it was all good once we arrived at Orchardview.  Orchardview is a pretty little wedding venue.  They have a large pond on the property and it’s quite rustic.  Despite it being a bit chilly, we were able to get some nice shots of Jeff and Abby, before heading inside for their reception.

I’ve seen the he/she game at past weddings that I’ve attended.  However, I liked the personal touch of them using their own faces (instead of a their shoes or a he/she sign).  And it made it cuter because they had silly faces on the face signs.  I also wanted to mention that they brought their own backdrop for their photo booth.  It’s the most beautiful photo booth backdrop I’ve ever seen.  Just look at the pretty paper flowers.  So beautiful and colourful.  It made for pretty photo booth snapshots.

Rock Star Photography Clients

I must mention that it was awesome to work with Jeff and Abby again.  This is the fourth time that we’ve worked together in the past year.  You can check out their past portrait shoots with me:

Jeff and Abby, it’s been a total pleasure working with you so many times.  You’re both great people.  It’s also been great to see your little family grow with the birth of your daughter.  I wish you and your family nothing but happiness.  Take care.  🙂


Thanks to my 2nd shooter, Emily, for taking the photos of Jeff.


Finally, their special day was helped by the following wedding vendors:

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Early Autumn Maternity Photos Gatineau QC

Early Autumn Maternity Photos Gatineau QC

A few weeks ago I shot some early autumn maternity photos Gatineau QC.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon.  A little chilly, but beautiful.  These two were awesome to work with.  They did everything that I asked them to and brought some cute props.  Just look at those adorable toddler cowgirl boots!  Too cute.  It was a great session.   I love shooting maternity sessions.  I’d love to be your maternity photographer.

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I’d love to hear from you!  Get a hold of me to book your portrait session.  It’s ok if you’re not expecting a baby.  I also shoot family portraits, children’s portraits and cake smash sessions.  Perhaps you’re newly engaged.  Well, you’re in luck as I also shoot engagement and wedding photography.  🙂

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