For Brides: How to Plan for Photography-friendly Wedding Photos

Wait… what does that mean?! Photography-friendly photos? To explain, I’m sharing my top tips for how to plan certain parts of your day that is Photography-friendly in terms of how your photos will look! Although I (and other photographers) can work in any given situation (even super dark receptions!), if you want to help ensure you have the dreamiest, prettiest photos possible, here are 3 suggestions I would make to any bride:

1. Think about lighting in terms of when and where your ceremony will take place. This is mostly applicable to those with an outdoor ceremony! You’ll want to be sure to consider which direction the sun sets when deciding on your ceremony spot, as well as when it sets when setting your ceremony time. If you’re having a summer wedding, a later ceremony time of 5 or 6pm will work a lot better than an early afternoon time, because the sun will be starting to set and look a little softer than mid-day sun. As far as your ceremony spot, the most ideal spot for the sun to be is “behind” you and slightly off center (to the right or left). If you’re considering a few different spots at your venue for your ceremony site, definitely keep this in mind and choose according to what’s closest. Not only will it make your photos look better, but your faces won’t be blinded by the sun! If you don’t have the luxury of choosing where the sun is, consider my first point about an evening ceremony time… because even if the sun is right on you, it will at least be a little softer. :)

2. Choose your getting ready location wisely. The best getting ready spots that are the best for photography have multiple and/or huge windows, clean walls (meaning, not a lot of clutter on them and neutral colors :) ), and enough space for your photographer to step back a little bit and get a few wide shots. When trying to decide where you should get ready, definitely keep these things in mind! You’ll be getting ready for your WEDDING day, so you definitely want the getting ready portion of the day to look beautiful as well and flow with the rest of your day. So if you’re given the option at your church to get ready in a basement room with no windows and green walls, versus a room upstairs with white walls and a few windows… definitely opt for the latter! :) If you’re getting ready in a house, definitely consider these things when deciding where you should put on your dress. When I’m at a home on a wedding day, I will also evaluate the rooms and give suggestions based on what I think looks best!!

3. Ensure you schedule at least 15 minutes of portraits around an hour before sunset, or “golden hour”. My favorite time to shoot is about one hour before the sun goes down. This time of the day will give you the BEST lighting for portraits! You’ll have those DREAMMYY romantic photos you see everywhere. This typically means either sneaking out during your reception or taking a few more after your ceremony is finished! I promise you won’t regret it, and they will probably be some of your favorite photos because of how incredible they look. :)

If you loved this, read more on Stephanie’s blog:

Why I Don’t Ask for a Shot List

Why a Second Shooter is Valuable on Your Wedding Day

Why Albums are Worth the Investment

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