The art we create together is meant to be touched, seen, and held off a screen
How are you going to display your photos? Get your photos off your facebook wall and on to your real one where they can be treasured and admired for years to come. I pride myself in being a full service photographer who captures and documents your most fleeting moments to be looked back on for years to come.
Social media changes, technology advances and fails, but albums and framed prints are timeless and the archival paper I print on can last hundreds of years! One of my favorite things to do is pull out the boxes of photo albums, prints, and slides we have saved from all the way back to my great grand-parents' days, will your great grand children be able to say the same? We are the most photographed generation, let's make sure those photographs live on past facebook and instagram and into the hands of our future loved ones to remember our stories by for generations to come.
I believe in full service photography that involves planning your session, guiding you through your photos, and getting you tangible items you can view daily to put a smile on your face. Show people who you are and show them with great style.
I. Be sure to have a hair and makeup trial at least three months before your elopement or wedding. This will give you peace of mind to know exactly how you will look and give you the opportunity to change things in advance if necessary!
II. Allowing 50% more time for hair and makeup than you originally anticipated alleviates the number one reason wedding schedules end up running late. This will assure you have plenty of time for all the portraits you want to take before your elopement ceremony or wedding.
III. Have food delivered to your getting ready location. It may be hectic, but take the time to have a bite before your wedding since it will be a while before you have the opportunity to nourish yourself during your reception. Snacks are also great to have on hand at any given time.
IV. Have your florist deliver your bouquet/boutonnieres to where you are getting ready, getting ready can have plenty of downtime for photographing those details. Plus you’ll want your flowers there and ready to go for portraits as soon as you're ready!
V. Prepare an emergency bridal kit with clear nail polish, mints, a sewing kit, stain remover, Visine, safety pins, bobby pins, pain reliever and mini deodorant.
VI. If your wedding is in a church or historical venue find out their rules on photography and flash photography. All venues are different, and some restrict flash photography, the location of photographs, where the photographer can be during your ceremony, and even the times when photos are permitted.
VII. If possible, arrange to have your formal photographs taken before your ceremony. Getting this step out of the way early in the day frees up the rest of your time to spend with each other or your guests. You will be able to go straight to cocktail hour and catch up with loved ones without stress. It’s a new age and it’s no longer considered bad luck to see each other before your ceremony, in fact it's encouraged by having a first look that will lead into your couples portraits and formals.
VIII. Make sure you discuss a “rain plan” just in case Mother Nature doesn’t see sunshine in the cards, and make sure it's a plan you are okay with. Utilizing umbrellas as opposed to taking the whole show inside can dramatically change your photos and expectations.
Shooting an engagement is important for several reasons.First, this time allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera with me as your photographer, figuring out how you work best together before the wedding. Next, you can showcase your personalities in a more intimate setting, while creating some fun captures for wall art, your weddings sign-in book,sign-in board and thank you cards (shot early enough, we can also provide the images for your Save The Date cards and invitations).
Engagements are so engaging! Romance is in the air and the anticipation of a lifetime together comes to a crescendo in the rush during the weks leading up to your wedding, causing you to wonder: Is an engagement shoot necessary? After all, your wedding pictures share the beginning of your life, right?
Well let's explore this a bit so you can make a more informed decision on if an engagement session is right for you!
Great Engagement Shoot Ideas
At your home: An intimate setting where you both feel relaxed and that is special to the both of you.
At your favorite cute coffee shop: Quirky and cozy, local mom and pop shops area great way to take a quick break to refuel and to catch some local, architectural shots with you in the process.
Your favorite hike: Always a favorite, take your love outside and into some epic views, shout your love from the mountain tops!
Doing your favorite activity: You both enjoy listening to music on vinyl and your record collection is out of this world! what better way to set the mood than to spin your favorite tunes together and get close!
I pride myself in capturing the most natural, candid portraiture possible. This style show cases your day as it organically occurred, helping to bring your personalities forward and documenting your day for a life time of memories to look back on.
While I shoot a majority of my images this way, it's also very important to capture traditional formal portraits as well. These group shots are the best immediately before or after your ceremony when everyone is ready and fresh; and since our most important goal is keeping your timeline on schedule, I allow 3-5 minutes for each desired grouping to ensure maximum results with minimal time.
Because I prefer to keep the number of groups to ten or less for more intimate group shots, I always start with the largest group and break it down after that to allow for mingling. As time permits, I love to include a photo of the bride with each of her bridesmaids and the groom with each of his groomsmen, since each person has been invited due to close, personal ties with the couple.
If you have any ideas for "can't miss" portrait groupings you would like to have photographed during this time please make sure to note them on your provided wedding itinerary form.
A wedding is a whirl wind of events, gone in the blink of an eye. The most important aspect to a perfectly executed event is a well organized timeline. If you are looking to effectively plan out your wedding day with your wedding coordinator or fiance, here’s a look at a typical wedding photo timeline from my point of view. I am here to help assist you in planning out your day so that you don’t miss a beat!
8 HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY
I’ve just finished packing my bags and I’m now going over the wedding information form and having a meting with my assistant to talk about the details of the day.
4 HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY
I leave the studio for the wedding site. The bride’s hair and makeup should be well under way to leave plenty of time for first look and couples photos.
3.5 HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY
I arive at the preparation site to capture the finishing touches of hair and makeup and to document the bride getting into her wedding dress and the groomsmen making their final preparations.
2.5 HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY
We arrange for a“first look” for the bride and groom where they see each other before the ceremony for the first time. Immediately after this we begin the bride and groom’s portraits. We work in a variety of locations and capture a wide range of poses.
2 HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY
We begin formal photographs with the entire wedding party. About an hour before the ceremony we stop to allow you to freshen up, relax, and make it to the ceremony site on time.
30 MINUTES BEFORE THE CEREMONY
I leave the preparation site to set out for the ceremony site. Here I coordinate with my assistant and set up any equipment we need during the ceremony. I'll take a last look around and find where the light is coming from so I can properly capture your ceremony.
15 MINUTES AFTER THE CEREMONY
I immediately begin photographing family formals of the bride and groom’s immediate family.
30 MINUTES AFTER THE CEREMONY
I will arrive to cocktail hour and start candid photos of guests and continue into the reception. If there are any additional formal photographs desired we will take this time to finish them in plenty of time for the reception.
1 HOUR AFTER THE CEREMONY
At this time I strictly document the reception candidly as it unfolds, including the first dances, toasts, dancing, and cake cutting. But don’t worry; I am always available for any photo request you may have throughout the evening. Just ask!
4 HOURS AFTER THE CEREMONY
I will pack my equipment and prepare for departure. But first, I will check with you to make sure there aren’t any further photos you would like or an over time request. We may go outside for a night “time exposure” photograph of the both of you to showcase the beauty of your location at night.
*One month before your wedding i will provide you with my Wedding Day Itinerary form to fill out with all your wedding details including times, locations, family members, special wedding day events, vendors and much more. This information will ensure we are all on the same page for an unforgettable and stress-free event!
The timeline is above is based on a full 8 hour intimate wedding day, all elements can be tailored and suited to your wedding day needs. I work closely with my couples to ensure their timelines line up with their unique wedding day. A timeline for an elopement will be much smaller and tailored to the elopements alocated time and location.
Lets talk about light and how it can effect the look and feel of your elopement or small intimate wedding. While I am fully confident in shooting your destination elopement or wedding in any lighting condition there are a few factors to consider with how light can interact with your photos on your day. If you want the best lighting possible and that dreamy, evenly lit, natural light goodness, you will have to plan accordingly. Let's dive into it shall we...
A sunset session in Ouray, Colorado with the San Juan Mountains in the background
Evening light is by far the best light to shoot in. One - Two hours before sunset is what we as photographers call “golden hour”, the sun is low in the sky creating flattering light that is a dream to shoot in! An example of evening light is in the first photo, you’ll notice how the shadows give the background more dimension and really make it pop! This is also going to be the best time to get those golden back-lit photos a lot of couples really enjoy along with those more moody tones to balance.
A back-lit photo at sunset
A more moody toned photo shot at sunset
Early Morning & Overcast
An overcast mid-morning session in the same location as above but with mid morning overcast lighting
The second best and my personal recommendation for shooting elopements in, is early morning light, I am talking up before the sun shooting at sunrise early; and overcast. In the early morning before the sun has reached its peak can have some of the loveliest lighting, I also find this time best for elopements because most people aren't out hiking or enjoying the scenery yet. It leaves your location intimate and open just for the two of you. I also find in mornings it can be overcast and the clouds create a nice even light source by diffusing the harsh sun. If all else fails we hope for cloud coverage on bright sunny days during none-ideal lighting times. An example of early morning and overcast lighting is in the photo above, taken in the same location as the first you can see a major difference in lighting! While the lighting is nice and even the background gets more flat without the shadow casted by that low evening sun. Below are two great examples of a sunrise elopement session where you can clearly see the difference created by the location of the sun. This is also an ideal time for getting those back-lit and moody images mentioned above!
A sunrise elopement at Mount Rainier early in the morning before the sun came up over the mountain
Same location about 45 minutes later after the sun had fully come up
Mid-day Full Sun
An intimate wedding ceremony shot in Ouray, Colorado with the San Juan Mountains in the background during full mid-day sun
The third and possibly worst lighting condition is known as mid-day full sun. When the sun is at its highest peak in the sky, blaring down on all, causing harsh direct shadows. Not only is this lighting condition none-ideal but it can make guests hot and uncomfortable to be in. For photos taken in this lighting condition the best option is to look for open shade to do photos. While this lighting situation is none-ideal I am fully confident in shooting during mid-day sun.
A wedding party photo utilizing open shade under a structure at their venue, Dairy Land
A ceremony in Lake Tahoe mid-day utilizing open shade for their ceremony
Now that you've graduated this crash course into lighting you can make an educated decision on when to plan your photos whether it be for your elopement, wedding, engagements, day after, etc. In the end it all depends on what you want the look and feel of your photos to be, the majority of what I shoot is sunrise or sunset and often overcast due to the temperamental Pacific Northwest Weather. I am always here to help, it's part of what you are paying me for, my expertise in knowing whats best when it comes to your photos, so if you have any questions never be afraid to ask! I hope this helped in your wedding planning process, congratulations on your engagement!
Rocio and Duncan's intimate Rainier Chapter House wedding. Set in the quirky Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle, this small wedding definitely packed on the feels, with a traditional ceremony done in both English and Spanish with the traditional offering of flowers to the Virgin Mary this wedding was definitely a favorite of mine!
Capital Hill was a special place to Rocio and Duncan as it was where their relationship first began, a lot of the locations we used for their couples portraits were places they lived and frequented. Having so much importance to their relationship it only made sense for the couple to get maried in the historic Rainier Chapter House that they had walked by many times before.
Erin and Nick flew over from the east coast to have a very special and intimate elopement atop Mount Rainier at sunrise. We got up in the dark and made our way to the top where they said their vows and shed some tears and shared some great laughs.
Supahtra and Chris' downtown Seattle elopement is one for the books! With getting chauffeured around the city of Seattle in a classic Bentley, to the gorgeous views from the Seattle Municipal Courthouse on 5th ave, and of course their reception down in Ballard with great food and drinks. This was definitely one of my all time favorite courthouse elopements with how much thought and effort Supahrta and Chris put into it to make it their own. This is why elopements rule, you can take any seemingly boring or ordinary idea and make it into your own amazing fairy tail day!
A great tip for all you courthouse elopers, if you're going to downtown Seattle for your elopement call ahead and request to be wed at the courthouse on 5th and not 3rd, it's much more modern, updated, and as you can see it is FILLED to the brim with natural light and has a rooftop area for ceremonies and photos!
Now enjoy the elopement of Supahtra and Chris...
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