Making The Most of your Wedding Photography! Part 5 | PORTRAITS


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    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:

    Hi again!! We have been absent on the blog for a couple of weeks due to a CRAZY schedule, but we’re back to bring you Part 5 of our series!! This time we will discuss Portraits. Again, it is important to remember that your photographer should be perfectly capable of capturing amazing images of your wedding day regardless of the circumstances! This series is about HELPING your photographer create these images which can always free them up to be even more creative and will save them time when setting up the ideal situation for each portion of your day!

    If you are just jumping into the conversation, please feel free to go back and start at Part 1 so that you have your whole wedding day covered!

    Alright, so here are the important things to consider about your portraits:

    Portrait time on a wedding day usually has three stages: family formals, the bridal party and bride and groom portraits. The most important thing to remember when planning your portraits is TIME…how much time we will need will depend on a couple of different things:

    1. Whether or not you decide to do a First Look (read Part 3 for more info on this!!)
    2. How many family formals you would like (also, how many people are in your families and bridal party!)
    3. Whether we need to travel from the ceremony location to a different location for the reception

    The following tips assume that you have NOT chosen to do a First Look:

    1. Make sure your photographer has a LIST of family formals before the wedding day! This saves SOO much time and catching up that is totally unnecessary on the big day! Include each member’s title and name on the list (for example: Mom (Kristin) + Dad (Paul) + Bride + Groom). We will work right off the list and be able to arrange each setup easily and call everyone by name! Most photographers will include this in a questionnaire they ask you to fill out before the wedding. Again, this saves time, and saved time means more creativity, better images, and more of them!
    2. Communicate with your family members WHERE and WHEN they need to be present for portraits! If your photographer (or anyone for that matter) has to run around and hunt down family members to get them to the portrait location a LOT of time can be wasted and you may end up feeling rushed during the formals! Often, if family is not told they need to be somewhere at a certain time for these, they will be off enjoying cocktail hour immediately after the ceremony…and it’s no fun to have to be pulled away from that either!! We want to get your portraits done as efficiently as possible so that everyone can go and enjoy themselves!
    3. Also communicate this with your bridal party. Make sure they know they need to stay behind after the ceremony for portraits! Tell them to avoid getting snacks or drinks until this part of the day is finished and it will be over with much more quickly!
    4. RELAX. This is important and is really the purpose behind ensuring you have the previous three tips in play. Once we are finished with the family formals and the bridal party portraits, we let them all go and focus on just you and your groom…and the key is to relax!! Let the distractions melt away and just focus on eachother…your new husband…your new bride. These will be some of your favorite images from your wedding day (unless you do a First Look….. 😉  ), so make sure you enjoy them…it will show!
    5. Trust your photographer. They are experts at placing you in PERFECT lighting and placing you in just the most beautiful locations, so let go and just trust them to serve you with all their creativity!

    Hopefully these tips are helpful for you…please feel free to comment below! And look out for Part 6 coming soon!!!

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