Bride's Guide to Gorgeous Wedding Photos
Picture Perfect Wedding Day Pictures
The day of your wedding will always be a fond memory in your heart, but it’s important to have physical reminders of the glorious celebration as well. Beautiful photos that document every important moment will make the best mementos, and this simple guide will help you find the best photographer and plan your wedding in a way that will allow for gorgeous pictures to be taken.
Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing Your Wedding Photographer
There are many good photographers offering their services in every city, but you need to find one who will truly be the best. To do this, you should take the following steps:
Do your research
The Internet will help you find photographers in your area. Take a look at their websites and read reviews from their previous clients to learn more about these professionals. Compile a list of those whose photography you find the most interesting.
Study portfolios and choose the style
Every photographer has his or her own unique style. This personal touch is what makes a true artist, but you need to understand that a professional with a specialization in one type of art may not be able to create equally great pictures in a different style. Therefore, it’s essential to study the portfolios offered by different specialists carefully and pick the ones who work in a style you like most.
Going through portfolios will help you shortlist several (3-5 will be best) photographers whose style appeals to you. You should set up meetings with these people as a personal interview is an essential factor in choosing a photographer. You need to feel comfortable with this person so that you can relax in front of the camera and trust the specialist to take stunning pictures. Make sure to prepare for the interview by compiling a list of questions. This way, you won’t forget anything important.
Technical details, such as package, cost, your rights, other people included in the photographer’s crew, etc. must be discussed in great detail. They don’t affect the quality and artistic value of the shots, but these things must be considered for the sake of your budget. Compare the offers and pick the one that meets your needs best.
The Importance of Wedding Photo Timeline
Ideal Times for your Photography
Planning is the key to a successful operation, so if you want to get gorgeous pictures, you need to be sure you set aside enough time to make them. Note that the best shots require natural light, so consider the season and daylight hours when planning your timeline. Here is an example of what it should look like.
Ideal Location: Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite
Details: 30 minutes.
These are the pictures of the rings, dress, shoes, and other objects that will help to tell the story of this magical day. There are times when a hotel room is too crowded or simply unappealing; we have to take the dress all the way down to the lobby or even outside. This can take some time, but as you can see from the results, it's well worth the additional work.
Get ready photos: 60 minutes.
Invite a photographer to arrive at least an hour before the scheduled end of your get ready session so that he or she will have enough time to take detail shots as well as get ready shots of both the bride and groom. Having an hour of preparation is ideal for our style. During this time, we are getting close-ups of the makeup and hair being applied as well as the candid moments and the bridesmaids and groomsmen get ready for the day. Keep in mind that these are some of the most emotional and fun times of the day, so you don’t want to cut it short. While it doesn’t take guys an hour to get dressed, there are still tons of great moments during this time between the groom and his family and friends.
Bride & Groom Individual Portraits
Ideal Location: Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite, Venue Lobby, or Venue Garden
Right after prep is the best time for individual portraits of the bride and groom (separately). Besides makeup and hair being completely fresh, the day hasn’t gotten hectic yet so we can take our time and get those perfect portraits.
Also, keep in mind that the window lighting in most hotel rooms creates a unique look that can’t be duplicated in any environment throughout the rest of the day.
First Look and Daytime Couple session
Ideal Time Allotment: 45-60 Minutes (If you choose to do First-look)
Ideal Location: Venue Garden, Empty Venue Hallway (shaded areas with natural light)
The first look should be around 45-60 minutes. During this time, the bride and groom enjoy seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day. While the actual first look might only be 5-10 minutes, the rest of the time is spent on a few basic portraits of the bride and groom.
Ideally, we are saving the bulk of the couples session for later (see the “couples session” section below). However, if there is no other time in the day, it is best to allocate another 45 minutes to an hour here so that we make sure we have enough photos of just you two.
Wedding Party Photos
Ideal Time Allotment: 45-60 Minutes
Ideal Time of the day: Sunset hour or after first look
Ideal Location: Venue Garden, Empty Venue Hallway (shaded areas with natural light), Park, Off-site Location (to give you some ideas you can take a look at our Montreal Photography Locations)
Wedding Party Photos should be around 45 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, we get a variety of shots in a variety of poses. We start off with the basic, classic photos focused on great expressions and lighting.
Then we move into a set of fun and creative shots. Finally, we know how much your wedding party means to you, so we are sure to get pictures with you and each one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen individually.
Ideal Time Allotment: 30-45 minutes
Ideal Location: Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Park, Off-site Location
Immediate Family Photos should take another 45 minutes. It’s important to have additional images with your parents, grandparents, and siblings beyond the basic formal (mentioned in the section below). Plan on 3 minutes per group on average. For example, if you have 10 groups, schedule in a 30 minutes time slot.
We all know how much weddings mean to the immediate family, and we want to make sure we’re capturing enough pictures with them.
Ceremony Detail and Venue
Ideal Time Allotment: 30 minutes
Ideal Location: Ceremony Site
Please allow 30 minutes for the second shooter to take pictures of the ceremony site, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area.
Before you have the guests seated, it’s important that we are there to capture the complete set up of your ceremony site so we can capture the scene at its best.
Formals (Extended Family, Immediate family, and friends)
Ideal Time Allotment: 45-60 minutes
Ideal Location: Ceremony Site
Ideal Time of the day: Pre or Post ceremony
Formals should take around 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of your family and the number of guests. Plan on 3 minutes per group on average. For example, if you have 10 groups, schedule in a 30-minute time slot.
Some couples have decided that they want a picture with all guests while others have decided that they only want pictures with select VIPs to save time. We recommend something in between.
We also recommend being very organized, with a list of groups and helpers from each side of the family to help round people up.
Bride and Groom Portrait Session
Ideal Time Allotment: at least 1 hour
Ideal Location: Venue Garden, Hotel Lobby, Park, off-site location
Ideal Time of the Day: Late afternoon (Golden Hour / Sunset Hour)
Bride and Groom portrait session should be at least 1 hour and should take place ideally 45-60 minutes before sunset. This is the best time in terms of lighting.
It also allows us to capture the awesome scenic shots with colorful skies. If your wedding is in downtown or in an area with tall buildings, it’s not as important for us to have this specific time frame (although it still helps).
However, if you booked your venue because of the spectacular view of the ocean or the gorgeous vines in the winery, it’s essential to follow this advice in your timeline.
Reception Details and Venue
Ideal Time Allotment: 30 minutes
Ideal Location: Reception Site
Ideal Time of the day: Before Cocktail Hour / Early evening
Please allow 30 minutes for the second shooter to take pictures of the reception room, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area.
Similar to the ceremony details, this is the only opportunity we have to capture the beauty of the reception room prior to guest arrival.
Reception First Look
Ideal Time Allotment: 10-15 minutes
Ideal Location: Reception
Ideal Time of the day: At the end of Cocktail Hour before doors open for guests
This is when the reception space is revealed to the couple for the first time. It’s a great opportunity to capture a genuine reaction, as well as a moment alone with the dance floor to practice your first dance, which also makes a great photo!
Bride and Groom Session - Reception Sneak Out
Ideal Time Allotment: 20 - 30 minutes
Ideal Location: Areas with interesting lights, fountains, cityscapes and mirrors
Ideal Time of the day: Dust to Night Time
During the reception, please plan on sneaking out for a couple of night shots. We only need 20-30 minutes, as we understand the importance of being a good host. However, this time is important if you appreciate the night photography that we deliver. The ideal time for this is right after you grab a bite to eat or during the open floor dancing after you’ve danced a few songs and would like a break. Another suggestion would be to get these shots at the very end of the night once all the guests have departed.
Additional Wedding Day Details
Receiving Line Pictures - If you would like to take pictures with all guests before they go into the reception, you can greet all the guests and have pictures with them. Please allocate time accordingly based on the number of guests you have.
Table Shots – Table shots are when you go around visiting tables. There are two options for photography during this time. (1) You can take formal pictures with each of these tables or (2) we can simply focus on photojournalism, capturing the smiles and hugs as you mingle with each table. If you’re planning on doing formal table shots, please keep in mind that these will take about 3-5 minutes per table. For example, 20 tables would require 60-100 minutes of time.
Cultural Weddings – For cultural weddings like Chinese or Indian weddings, there are elements like the tea ceremony, Baraat that require time to photograph.