When booking your wedding photographer it is important to get to know "who" you are working with and that your personalities and style matches what you are looking for. Look through examples of our wedding photos and point out images you want for your wedding. This would require the bride and groom sitting down and deciding what shots you want on your wedding day. Some poses might require you to practice beforehand to get the right angle. (Example: The dip, most brides want an elegant pose of her husband holding her with one shoe pointing out.)
I also want to point out that if you want a full coverage of your wedding day, you will need two photographers. In this blog, I would like to share with you what's it like working with my husband, Myles.
Let's take a look at the Wedding we did this spring for Bryan and Toi.
Time: Sat. March 16th, 4:00 PM.
The photographers were asked to arrive at the hotel at 4:00PM. Myles dropped me off at the hotel lobby, then he is off to meet with the groom and grooms party at another location. The bride shows up and I followed her to the hotel room where the bridesmaids are getting ready. The bride was very organized and had all her stuff for me to start taking pictures. She already had her hair and makeup already done, all she needed to do was get into her dress.
Important shots that I always make sure to capture are the wedding details: Dress, Veil, Headpiece, Shoes, Jewelry, Garter, Undergarments for the honeymoon (if any), Bridesmaids dresses next to Bride's dress, Bridesmaids shoes next to Bride's shoes. Close-ups of the rings, then flowers and different artistic views of the rings with the flowers or shoes. I also ask for anything with the Bride and Groom's name or wedding date on it. It could be their invitation, wedding program, signs directing the guests where to go, anything that is "personalized" are all important shots I capture.
Since the bride and groom's family are from Atlanta, I made sure to include the city scape of buildings as the background for the flowers.
While I am still taking photos of the details, I ask the bridesmaids to get ready and get into their dress first before the Bride. The reason is so I can take pictures of the bridesmaids already dressed helping the bride get ready. After the wedding day is over, the bride will want memories of her closest friends with her one last time. I also ask the bride to designated each person to help her. (Example: Maid of honor, putting on the garter, Bridesmaid putting on shoes, Mother of the Bride, put on jewelry, necklace, earrings, bracelet, and so on.) Once we have assigned the jobs, the process goes by smoothly.
While the bridesmaids are getting ready, the bride was calm and was making sure we are all on schedule. After I was done with the detail pics, I had a few extra time to take photos of the bride. We even sneaked in a little boudoir session to surprise the groom. So if you are wanting some wedding boudoir, make sure you have time for it. I ask that the bedroom and bed be free of clutter, a simple white sheet over it will be just fine. Bride standing by a large window or mirror is also very flattering.
After everyone was dressed it was time to go downstairs to the lobby and wait for the limo to arrive. I usually get inside the elevator with the bride and take photos of everyone all squished together and different shot of their reactions. I also try to go ahead of the wedding party so I can take a picture of the different angles of the bride and party walking towards me. Without knowing the hotel that well, I had to make a quick decision where to start taking group photos. We were lucky there is a nearby water fountain across the parking lot. We tried to find a spot that is not in direct sunlight so the white dress is not blown out.
When taking bridesmaids photos, I like to include their shoes in the photos:
I also like to take photos of the bride's interaction with children, children playing and all dressed up. Children play an important part in weddings, bringing good luck to the wedding couple if they plan to have children.
The limo arrives and it's time to go to the wedding venue. One thing to plan is make sure I have transportation to the wedding. I got to sit in the front next to the driver.
By this time, my husband has already taken photos of the groom and groomsmen. He is taking pictures of the wedding ceremony setup and the details.
At this time, the bride is hiding inside the limo, while the bridesmaids got out and prepare to line up ready for the ceremony. Guests are starting to arrive and be seated. The coordinator comes out and there was a bit of waiting time. Once the groom and groomsmen are inside the ceremony, the bride gets out of the limo and gets her mind ready for the walk down the aisle. This can be a very emotional time and we all have to be calm and patient.
As the bride's photographer, I stay a few feet back to get the details of the back shots. My husband is already inside the venue and will take the front shots when the curtain opens.
When the ceremony starts, I quickly get to the front aisle and get low to the ground away from view. Myles is still in the back of the room with his telephoto lens. I have my telephoto lens as well, to make sure I have close-up shots of the ring exchange and close-up face shots.
Immediately after the ceremony, it was photographers time to take photos of the wedding party. We always try to get the older parents and children taken first so they don't have to stand outside too long. Then we take shots of the groomsmen with the wedding couple. With a large group, I changed my lens back to the wide angle lens and re-adjust my setting for the outdoor. We make sure to include formal and funny shots. While I am setting the camera ready, Myles is lining up the party and arranging them and directing them how to stand, etc.
After the group shots are done, it is time for the bride and groom session. We look for the sunset and different parts of the location to capture the mood.
Our favorite is the ring shot.
The coordinator comes out again, the guests are already seated at their tables ready for the dinner party to begin. Luckily, the wedding ceremony and reception are at the same place, so we were lucky to spend more time with the wedding couple. More time with couple means more different shots. Tip: When planning your wedding, try to avoid driving time so you get more photos.
It is time to announce the new Mr. and Mrs. Also their First Dance as a married couple, then followed by Father-Daughter dance and then Son-Mother dance.
After the dance, the wedding couple sits down for dinner. We continue to take photos around the dinner table, capturing the yummy food, while you can still see the steam coming out. The wine glasses, the guest table and table decoration. All this planning and money spent on your wedding, you will want memories what food you ate that day!
At this time, I finally get to sit down, and the camera is turned off. We changed the batteries for the flash and check our settings for the night time. I got a plate of food after the buffet line starts to clear and the guests already got their food. We ate really fast, probably in 10-minutes or so. Sometimes I eat first and Myles is still taking pictures of the guests. Then after I am done eating it was my turn to take photos of the kids dancing on the dance floor.
After the bride and groom are done with their dinner. They mingle with their guest and we basically follow them around, just in case they needed some group photos of them with their friends.
We noticed the sun was setting and starting to get dark so Myles pulled the bride and groom aside to take one last outdoor shot. Myles found a lamp post behind the building. It was actually in a shopping mall, but we found a spot that you can't even tell it's in a shopping area. I was in the ballroom in the dark, so Myles did not know where I was. I was still taking pics of the kids dancing and totally entertained by them dancing to gangam style and Michael Jackson songs.
Then it was time for the speech. With this location, the setup was hard to get the Best Man and the wedding couple in one photo. We noticed the mirror on the wall, so that's how we got to capture this shot.
Time: 10:00 PM
Then it was Cake Cutting Time. This is a gorgeous cake with bible verses on it. We never know what's going happen, so we set our cameras ready for surprises!
We continue to walk around, taking photos of the guests, couples, children and anyone that want to get their picture taken. Tip: To all the young brides, if there is a photo you must have with a special guest or family member, make sure to speak up and grab the photographer. You paid us to be there so please be forward with us with what you want on your wedding day. Don't get upset if we don't have the shot you want because you never told us beforehand. Sometimes the bride or groom is busy talking to guest, you are missing out on your photo opportunity.
Finally it was the traditional Bouquet Toss and the Garter Toss. We get to take photos of the reactions and fun side of the bride and groom.
Lastly, it was the grand exit with bubbles and saying good bye to the guests. A great way to end the day and the beginning of a "happily ever after" story. We like to thank Bryan and Toi for letting us be your wedding photographers and sharing your story. You have made our work easy to work with nice, courteous people like you.
It was a 30-min drive going back home, it was past midnight, I took a shower, changed into my PJs and fell asleep fast. It normally takes me a week to recoup but with so many weddings back to back I got used to the routine and normally need a day to get my body back to normal.
What you don't know is after I uploaded all the images to my computer, I spend about 1-2 weeks going through each image and edit them. For a full 8-hr wedding we usually get around 800 to 1200 photos.
If you or someone you know needs a hardworking, dedicated wedding photographer, please consider us and set up a consultation meeting to see if we are the right photographer for you.
Myles and Eve
Atlanta Wedding Photographers