wedding day start to finish
Wedding photographer's portfolios are usually pretty one note, there I said it. There are countless images of just the couple– the bangers as I call them. One after the other. But wedding days are so much more than just the couples session. That's why I created a different kind of wedding portfolio. This portfolio shows off the entire day, from start to finish. You'll see images from getting ready all the wedding to send off and everything in between. You'll see the goofy images, the heartfelt images, the images of drunken groomsmen and crying dads– all the details that make your wedding day, yours. So grab a glass of wine and browse through some of my favorite wedding day moments, from start to finish.
For some, detail photos are an absolute top priority and for some, they aren't. It's totally fine whatever camp you fall into. Detail photos are a great way to tell the story of your day, they show off all those small elements that you chose specifically and intentionally. So I love to photograph them. But I like to do details a little differently. I want to bring life into your detail photos. I want to show them off on your body or hanging from your venue. Usually detail photos take about 30-45 minutes, depending on the complexity and number of items.
Getting ready is one of my favorite parts of the day. There's so much energy and anticipation. For couples, this is usually the most stressful part of the day, but it really doesn't need to be! As long as you have a solid timeline and know when everyone needs to be dressed– everything will go great! This portion is mostly candid coverage– sometimes I will direct you for where to stand in the best lighting or move things around for a cleaner backdrop, but mostly I just let the moments unfold!
There are 3 main types of first looks and I love them ALL. You can have a first look with your partner (10/10 recommend), you can have a first look with a family member and/or you can have a first look with your wedding party. I truly do think first looks are incredible for so many reasons. If you want to read an entire blog post about first looks and figure out if one is right for you, check out this post here. The TL;DR, first looks are intimate and emotional and they create a much easier, leisurely timeline throughout the day.
Wedding party is one of the most fun parts of the days for my couples, it's when they just get to hang out and get silly with some of their favorite people. I try to make sure wedding party photos are quick and fun. Typically these photos will be taken before ceremony. If you choose not to do a first look, we'll do separate wedding party photos before ceremony and the full group after the ceremony. I always get individuals of every wedding party member and the couple.
Finally! The ceremony! The reason everyone is (hopefully) here! During the ceremony I have what I call "the big 3", these are the main shots I am focusing on. The first look shot, the walking down the aisle shot, and the kiss. If you have chosen to have a second photographer (which I highly recommend) they will be focusing on different angles, perspectives, guest reactions and little moments. Having a second person really helps tell the story of your ceremony and ensures no moment will be missed.
Cocktail hour is the time directly after the ceremony when the reception space is being prepared and the couple are taking their photos. If you've chosen to do a first look usually cocktail hour can be around 30-45 minutes (20 minutes for extended family photos, 25 minutes for extra couples portraits) if you've decided not to do a first look the cocktail hour can be around 1.5 hours (30 minutes for wedding party, 30 minutes for family photos, and 30 minutes for couples portraits). Cocktail hour will not be photographed unless there is a second photographer or the couple joins the cocktail hour.
Family formals usually happen either before the ceremony (if doing a first look) or right after the ceremony (if not doing a first look or an especially big family). I always encourage the officiant to make an announcement that we'll be doing family formals so that everyone knows to stay put. It also encourages guests not involved in the pictures to clear out towards cocktail hour. To keep family formals running smoothly I work off a family shot list that we've prepared before wedding day. I recommend trying to stick to 10 different groupings, anymore and this portion of the day can take a long time. If there's any additional photos my couples would like with family members, we can always grab them at the reception.
I always make sure to grab some solo portraits throughout the day, these can be during getting ready or after the ceremony. Most couples don't want to be separated from their family and friends, so I always make sure to make the snappy. But after spending all this time and money getting dolled up, you should definitely have a couple photos of you looking your absolute best! If you know that you won't want to take the time for solo portraits, I highly recommend adding on a bridal session before your wedding.
These are some of my favorite photos of the whole day. These are transition moments, tiny glances, any small little moment that you probably won't even remember after your wedding day is over. But they capture the true essence of your family, friends and relationship. These moments are what make your wedding day, yours.
At wedding receptions there are some traditional events that usually take place– cake cutting, speeches, toasts, welcome speeches or blessings, first dances, family dances, bouquet tosses. My couples have had a variety of events take place at their reception, some are traditional, some are completely unique to them. Whether you choose to do one, some or all of these above traditions, make sure they feel authentic to you as a couple. If something doesn't feel genuine or fun, scrap it!
The dance party is another one of my favorite parts of the day (I know I've said that a lot). But this is really the moment when my couples get to let loose and just be themselves. I've had weddings with reserved dancing and I've had receptions that literally feel like a club. I love them both. During dancing I am in on the action and if "Yeah by Usher" comes on, I will do a lil shimmy. I love to capture the energy of the dancefloor. I don't want boring, stiff shots. I want my couples to feel the dancefloor again.
Depending on the hours of coverage, an exit might be something to be photographed. The options are endless! Streamers, glowsticks, sparklers (just clear it with your venue beforehand), bubbles, light sabers. I've seen it all! If you don't want me to stay the entire reception to capture your sendoff, consider doing a staged exit. This is where your VIPS will head outside, we'll do a fake exit and then you get to go back inside and party. You get the pictures, but can still party like it's 1999 until 1am.