Wedding Photo Tips


Are you reading this while knee deep in wedding bridal magazines or rearranging your seating chart for the 60th time? Don’t worry, the overwhelm is a natural phase in the wild ride of wedding planning. As a 2020 bride myself and a wedding photographer, I totally empathize with the chaos of wedding planning! There is so much to organize and so many decisions to make. So, today, I’d like to help take a bit of it off your plate by offering my key wedding photo tips. 

Chose A Strong Team 

Things will go a lot smoother and be more enjoyable, if you choose a good team. Turns out this general life advice also makes the list for great wedding photo tips. That includes everyone from your bridal party, to your photographer, to your DJ/band, and your wedding planner or coordinator. Choose people who make you feel supported. Don’t be scared to over-communicate what you think you’ll need from them on the day.

Take your time researching the vendors you’re hiring out. I know weddings get expensive and, often, budgets become the deciding factor in which vendors you choose. But trust me, the money saved won’t be worth it if you and your vendors aren’t aligned. So, really, take the time on the research phase. Go through their social media or website, pore over their gallery, ask a lot of questions on your calls with them. All the prep work will alleviate so much potential stress on the day! If you’re currently debating, I highly suggest hiring a wedding planner and/or coordinator. If you don’t know the difference, read this article. Having a dedicated coordinator means someone else is worrying about the timing of everything, leaving you to be fully present in each moment.

Don’t Forget The Details

Weddings have been around over 4000 years (🤯). In that time, many traditions and expectations have been cemented for what a wedding should be like. You should wear white. You should have a bridal party. You should exchange vows publicly – and on and on and on. All these “shoulds” can easily take over and before you know it, you’ve lost the YOU of your once-in-a-lifetime day! 

I’m here to remind you to make sure your wedding day feels like you! If tradition is your thing, then rock on. If it’s not, don’t be scared to shake things up – in little or big ways. Of the many weddings I’ve attended, my favorites are always the ones that feel super unique to the couple getting married.

Think about what makes your love story unique. Maybe you met your spouse-to-be in a Starbucks drive through, like me. Why not give out Starbucks gift cards or serve Starbucks coffee? Think about what you and your spouse love doing, as individuals and together. Find ways to weave those things into your wedding day. These kinds of details make wedding photos all the more fun.

When you book me as your photographer, we will discuss which of these special details you want photos of so you can always look back at them! 

Here’s just a few examples from some of the weddings I’ve shot

  • A groom who loved sports asked to shoot him/his groomsmen’s getting ready photos like typical game-day fit pics
  • A bride wanted to pull a little prank on her soon-to-be-husband by having one of the groomsmen dress as the “bride” for their first look
  • One of my couples absolutely LOVED hot sauce so one of their guest favors were small Tapatio bottles with a custom label of their faces on it. 

Timing Is Everything

Weddings truly go by so fast. It is crucial to have a well planned wedding timeline to keep things running smoothly. You will have an overall wedding timeline as well as a timeline and shot list for your wedding photos. Why is a photo timeline so important for your photos? In a nutshell, it affects the lighting situation for different parts of your wedding, determines how many hours of photo coverage you need, allows you time to breathe and actually enjoy the day!

Here are some quick insights and tips to consider when putting your timeline together. Not to worry though, as your photographer I’ll be sure to talk through everything with you on our consultation call.

  • My coverage hours: I offer three packages with varying hours of wedding day coverage – from 6 to 10 hours. Learn more about my packages HERE. Not seeing a package that’s quite right for you? I can always create custom packages based on your needs – send me an email. 
  • I arrive 20-30 minutes early on your wedding day to walk around and make sure I have a good grasp of where everything is, the lighting situation and potential shooting spots. 
  • For rehearsal dinners, I recommend 1 hour of coverage. 
  • Getting ready photos: I like to start taking your getting ready photos about 30 minutes before your hair and make-up is finished. I also use this time to snap photos of details like your rings, invitations, dress, etc.
    • Bonus tip: brides should always be the last to start their glam so they’re the freshest for the altar!
  • Couple only photos: I recommend 45 – 60 minutes for couples photos post-ceremony. If you want to cut that time down, I suggest a day after shoot. See below for more details on the day after shoot.
  • Delivering the lists: I ask to have the timeline/shot-list at least 2 weeks prior to your wedding date so I have time to review and make any edits with you.
  • Always budget extra time for everything. 

Pick The Right “First Look” For You

Traditionally, the first time a bride and groom saw each other was during the ceremony, on the aisle. It gives you some leeway in case anything runs later than expected. But if we happen to be ahead of schedule, then even better! 

More recently, couples have started opting for first looks or first touches. For a first look, couples typically plan a moment to see each other between getting ready and the ceremony. 

Pros to first looks are

  • For shyer couples, it may be more calm to come together in a quiet moment before you’re in front a crowd
  • Some couples even chose to do share their personal vows during the first look
  • It’s another great photo moment 
  • It’s worth noting first looks aren’t just for couples! You can have a first look with your bridal party, mom, dad, and/or child(ren) too. 

If you’re looking for something between the traditional reveal at the ceremony and a first look beforehand, let me put you on to the first touch. A first touch is exactly what it sounds like – I’ll set you two up so that you can’t see each other but you can hold hands. 

Pros to first touches are

  • You will have a private moment together before the ceremony but still have the big reveal moment on the aisle
  • I’ve had couples do everything from reassure each other, pray together, and take a shot together during their first touch 
  • Also a great photo moment! 

Consider An Unplugged Ceremony

Perhaps one of my biggest wedding photo tips is to consider an “unplugged ceremony”. An unplugged ceremony is when a couple kindly asks their guests to put away their phones during the ceremony. I 1000% support this move. 

Hear me out. I get it, I’m just as glued to my phone as the next person and we live in a world where we love to document every single detail. But hey, that’s why you’ve got me there! Encourage your guests to fully immerse themselves in the moment; allow them to witness the love and commitment unfolding before them. Let them know you’ll share a link to the wedding gallery with them so you can all share in the moments of your beautiful day. 

Another major pro to an “unplugged” ceremony is for your photos! It allows your photographer (me 🙋🏻‍♀️) to capture unobstructed, clear shots during your ceremony so that when you look back on your gallery 40+ years from now, you can focus on how beautiful everything was, rather than all the phones that were in the middle of the aisle. I always do my best to change angles if I am unable to clearly see, however, if every other guest has their phone out or a few of them are standing in the middle of the aisle to get “the shot,” it’s unavoidable.

Book Day After The Wedding Photos

The party doesn’t actually have to end with your wedding exit! 

A “Day-After” or “Trash the Dress” photoshoot usually takes place the day after your wedding. It is a 1- hour shoot at a location of your choice. I can provide recommendations upon request and, trust me, we will have a BLAST!

Whether it’s staying dry or jumping in the water at the end, we can do it all. Want some steamy pics in the water while wearing your wedding gown & tux? Let’s do it! We can start the shoot dry in your formal wedding attire, then do an outfit change to finish photos and jump in the water with that look. You also don’t have to get wet at all.

Pros to a Day-After Shoot

  • Save time on your wedding day. 

I typically recommend 45-60 min of couples photos after your ceremony. With a Day-After shoot, we can cut that time 20-30 min since you’ll be taking lots of couples photos the next day. This way, you can enjoy more time with your guests at cocktail hour.

  • Variety of photos & use of wedding attire

Typically, your wedding attire only gets worn once and let’s be honest, it can be a hell of an investment. So let’s get you more bang for your buck! Plus, a day-after shoot can add a completely different scenery to your photo gallery.

  • The stress is gone 

You made it through the main event and you’re officially hitched! Everyone’s chillin’ and the pressure is off. You’ll be a natural in front of the camera after a full day of me photographing your wedding, you can be even more at ease. Don’t worry though, I will still guide you in posing. 

There you have it, several of my best wedding photo tips!

The only thing that really matters, though, is that you and your partner are as much at ease and in the moment as possible. Your wedding is a day to express and commit to your unique love story and enjoy a day filled with the support of each other and your community. After all, I can give you all the wedding photo tips in the world but nothing impacts the photos and memories as having a great time! 

Ready to book your dream wedding photos? Fill out my form HERE or browse my portfolio HERE