San Diego Wedding Photography

Quick tips for smooth and successful wedding photography 

Schedule an Engagement Session
Engagement photography sessions are something you can schedule before your wedding day, usually 6 to 9 months before your wedding is recommended.  The sooner the better!  It gives the couple a chance to pick a location that might have special meaning or interest and get photographed together in a fun and relaxed environment.  Think of a place where you might of had your first date or where he proposed, even a place you enjoy spending time together works great.  If you prefer, ask your wedding photographer to recommend a few locations in your area that are great for photos.  If you are having a themed wedding, then coming up with a themed engagement session would be a fun way to tie everything together. 

The engagement session allows the couple to get to know their photographer better before the wedding day and builds trust and confidence.  You get a chance to get familiar with their shooting style and approach to taking photos. The photographer is going to be with you the entire day of your wedding, you want to make sure you feel comfortable while being photographed, before your wedding day.

After your engagement session you can use your amazing photos to use for the “Save the date” cards,  for the guest sign-books, invitations, large prints, and slideshows to name a few things. 

The First Look
Weddings are filled with traditions that unfold throughout the day.  One tradition in particular that has been long lasting is when the groom sees the bride for the first time walking down the aisle. Times have changed lady’s and gents, and new traditions are being used.  One of those traditions that is growing in popularity is having a “First Look” between the couple before the ceremony.  It gives the couple an opportunity to meet each other in a more private and intimate setting.  The photographer captures the emotions between the couple as they see each other for the first time.  Which in turn makes for amazing imagery that will be remembered forever. In addition, and depending on the timeline of the wedding you can schedule to have all the formal photos taken before the ceremony instead of after which will allow more time during the cocktail hour to be enjoyed

I lean towards having the “First Look” but, respect whatever the couple prefer.

Hair & Make-up
The wedding day timeline will be out of sync if your hair and make-up runs anywhere from 30-45 minutes late. Make sure you schedule an absolute cut off time with your stylist and make-up artist to be finished with everyone in the bridal party and family.  You generally want all your bridesmaids and flower girls to be finished with hair and make-up before the bride.  To be safe, schedule your hair & make-up to be finished 1 hour before pictures.  That will ensure enough time to have the bridal party dressed and ready to help the bride get into her dress.  The same goes for the mother and or grandmother of the bride.  Sometimes the mother and the Grandmother of the bride will need to be ready to help the bride get into the dress and pictures best when everyone is ready and not in sweatpants or hair up in curlers. 

Wedding dress and accessories.
On the day of the wedding, have all your accessories i.e earrings, shoes, necklace, bracelet, rings, invitations, etc in a bag.  The first thing I like to do when I show up is photograph all the details before shooting candids.  So for instance, if the hotel room you are getting ready in doesn’t have the best light.  I can grab the bag of accessories and easily take them to another spot in the room or another location at the hotel etc.  Have the dress hanging unpinned and resting in a location out of the way of foot traffic.  

When you get your wedding dress from the gown store or tailor,  make sure to keep it close by.  If you are traveling to the hotel to get ready, make sure you or someone traveling with you is in possession of the dress.  I don’t recommend relying on a family member to transport it for you.  You take the risk of someone running behind and in turn falling behind with the timeline.   

Schedule a time for family formals
When planning the family formals for the wedding day, it is a good idea to make sure you let everyone who is going to be in the formal photos know what time and where the photos will be taken. Make sure to hand out, mail, or email exact directions and time you want them there.  If the formal photos are going to be before the ceremony, let them know to be there about 30 to 45 minutes before the actual start time,  in case anyone is running late.  If the formal photos are going to be after the ceremony let them know not to wonder off since photos are going to start immediately after the ceremony. 

Transportation, Limousines & Custom Car Drivers
There has been more then one occasion where the wedding day transportation has been late or got lost getting to the requested location.  To prevent this from happening make sure your driver has directions for the exact location and time they need to be there.  I would even suggest having them arrive 15-20 minutes before the the actual pick up time.  Make sure you know exactly how many people can fit into one vehicle too. 

If the driver is transporting the bridal party and photographer to a specific location, make sure to give plenty of time for photos so they can make their next stop on time. 

Photographing the special moments.
Your wedding is a special day filled with memories that will last for the rest of your life.  Make sure your wedding photographer is present for special moments so they can capture it.