Making The Most of your Wedding Photography! Part 4 | THE CEREMONY


    Who Are We?

    We are Ashley and Shayne and we are wedding and family photographers based in Central Virginia! We love nature, the beach, the beautiful mountaintop views we are so lucky to have so close to us on the Skyline Drive, food, cameras, our HILARIOUS little boy Rhitten, animals (especially our strange cat, Baloo), weddings and serving Christ! Get to know us by following us here on our blog and by following us on our other sites:

    Welcome to Part 4! In this section we will discuss the CEREMONY. Remember, your photographer(s) are trained and ready to handle any ceremony scenario, and should be able to create beautiful images without interfering with your vision! This is YOUR ceremony and the only thing that matters is that it is perfect for you! The last thing we want to do is try to alter or control what you have planned for your ceremony…but we want to help you to be better able to fully enjoy the experience!! The following are tips to help you avoid distractions and simulataneously set yourself and your ceremony up for the most STUNNING images so that when you look back on them, you will remember how perfect your big day was!

    1. The most important thing you can consider when planning your ceremony is the TIMING. This is a great way to ensure your images are the best possible because you can do this in advance! This is especially important if your ceremony is outdoors because it is ALL about the sunlight…indoors it won’t matter much! If your ceremony IS outdoors, you will need to ensure that your ceremony time fits the rest of your timeline well…this can change depending on a few factors. One thing that can influence when you should time your ceremony is whether you are doing a FIRST LOOK (we LOVE the First Look for so many reasons and if you haven’t already, check out Part 3 HERE!!). If you do a First Look, you will have most of your bridal portraits and your bridal party portraits done before the ceremony…this means you can push the timing right up close to sunset and be just fine because you don’t need to rush! BUT, if you don’t do a First Look, time your ceremony early enough to have plenty of light after the ceremony to do all of your portraits! (One great reason to do a First Look is that your ceremony images will be softer with more glowy light because the sun is getting a bit lower…remember, the BEST time for natural light photographers to shoot is two hours before sunset or two hours after sunrise!!)
    2. This suggestion is a great one! Consider making your ceremony UNPLUGGED…this means your guests will be asked to leave their phones AND cameras behind during the ceremony. The ceremony is the most important part of your wedding…and it only happens once. Every moment of your ceremony is important to us and it can be so frustrating for a photographer when they are trying to capture your kiss and someone jumps up with their phone to snap a photo and ruins the shot! This happens ALL THE TIME, and so many photographers wish every ceremony they shot was unplugged for this very reason! Also, if someone brings a camera and is using the flash, the light from their flash can interrupt the image we were taking and totally ruin it! Think about that dreamy image of you walking down the aisle, a big smile of anticipation and excitement spread across your face….and an iPhone sticking out into the aisle from one of your guests! The reception….sure, bring your cameras and phones and snap all you want! But the ceremony is a delicate procedure for a photographer, and you may be so much happier if you just avoid these distractions altogether by opting for an unplugged ceremony. Easy ways to do this are to either have a sign set up at the ceremony space that politely asks all guests to turn off their phones and/or leave them and their cameras behind…or you can ask your officiant to announce it right at the beginning, before you walk down the aisle…OR you can even put it in to your invitation suite so that everyone knows ahead of time!
    3. Pay attention to the LIGHTING!! This is inseperable from the first tip, about the timing. The best lighting for your ceremony will be for the entire bridal party to be in the SHADE…if you can’t get the whole bridal party in the shade, at least make sure the bride and groom are! If you can’t get ANYONE in the shade, the best situation is when the light comes from BEHIND the subject. This actually applies to shaded situations as well. Remember, we are professionals and will change our angle depending on where the light is coming from, but if you can remember to plan your ceremony to NOT face directly into the sun, that would be GREAT. Another great tip is to have the father of the bride SHADE her as he walks her down the aisle…so have him walk on the side of you where the sun is coming from! This way we won’t get harsh lighting on your face!!

    We hope this was helpful, and can’t wait to post the next part of the series!!

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