25Aug

We’ve Got Dancing Covered! | Open Dance Photos

By, August 25, 2017

A lot can happen during the reception, especially on the dance floor! That’s why we advise having us stick around after the traditional stuff (aka speeches, cake cutting, etc) is finished. But how much open dancing coverage do you really need? Probably a lot less than you might think, when you hire the right photographer. By having us there for 20 minutes of open dancing, it will result in photos that make it look like we were there all night :)

The key to getting a lot of great dance photos, in a short period of time, is to get everyone on their feet right away. To accomplish this, ask the DJ to request that everyone hit the dance floor for a song or two. Maybe start with a big group photo, then immediately after the picture, ensure that the DJ puts on the perfect crowd pleaser song. Get that dance floor packed, and in 20 minutes, we will get the spirit of the room covered!

To illustrate our point, here are examples of photographs captured within the first 20 minutes of dance coverage:

Guests and couple having a great time dancing on the dance floor
At Jenn and Nick's wedding, we used a wide angle lens, showing the happy couple celebrating on the dance floor with their guests.
A shot of the bride and groom having a great time.
We always grab some shots of the VIPs having a blast!
Little boy riding on dad's shoulders, having fun.
This happy guy hitched a ride on his dad's shoulders to get a bird's eye view of the festivities.
Wide shot of a full dance floor
To show the full scope of the party, we raised the camera above the crowd, and made use of a wide angle lens. This provided an expanded view of the dance floor, and preserved all the action occurring in the moment.
Group of guests dancig on the edge of the dance floor.
At Ryann and Manuel's wedding, while most of the focus was on the center of the dance floor, we turned the camera around to capture the action on the perimeter. In doing so, we got this great shot of a groomsman dancing to amuse Manuel's mother.
Group of guests smile for the camera
By asking guests to get together and smile for the camera, we can get great group portraits during the open dancing. We even welcome the occasional photo bomber in the background.
DJ getting the crowd dancing.
As the party escalates, your dedicated vendors are working hard, and making sure that everything is awesome!
Group of guests having a great time dancing
By raising above the crowd, we were able to capture this unique perspective shot.
Group of guests having a great time dancing
Groom dancing and laughing while dancing with guest
In some situations, off-camera lighting can give images a dynamic look, which goes perfectly with fun dancing photos.

Keep grooving and check out more fun wedding dance photos.

24Aug

Should I Have A Wedding Shot List?

By, August 24, 2017

From our perspective, there are a few scenarios where a short list is helpful, such as a list of family pictures. As well, if there is a shot you have been dreaming about, we definitely want to know. But typically, we find we can be more fun and creative for you by getting to know you, as opposed to going straight down a list. By talking together, starting early in the booking process, we are able to learn much more about you. We find out what is important to you, and how you interact as a couple. By preparing in advance, and then letting the day happen naturally, we can capture the most genuine and spontaneous moments. 

bride and bridesmaids getting ready with champagne
Lists and Pinterest boards can be a great way to describe your sense of style in a few photos. But they can also be constricting. Giving artistic freedom allows your photographer to create images that are personal and original to your special day!
Groom laughing with groomsmen
Bride Details on Wedding Day
Groomsmen Gifts in Hotel Room
If there are special details, important family, and surprise events, these are examples of things to talk over in advance with your photographer! Not necessarily as a shot list, but as a heads up, so the details can be worked out. That way, we can reserve time to capture things creatively.
Funny Bride and Groom during First Look
On Synthia and Yupeng's wedding day at Estancia (above), the couple wanted to have a moment together before the ceremony with a First Look. For a bigger surprise, we asked Synthia to strike a funny pose before Yupeng turned around. Because we got to know each other, we knew Synthia would be on board :)
Bride and Groom reactions during wedding ceremony
By avoiding memorized lists of poses, your photographer will be able to focus more on the magic of the moment, as well as candid expressions, and the best artistic angles.
0059Kelli_Chad
Bride and Groom re-enact First Kiss after Wedding Ceremony
Group Photo during wedding ceremony
Bride and Groom with Parents on Wedding Day
Bride selfie with parents
During family portraits, we make it a point to capture individual photos of you with all your closest family members. We love it when the whole family gets into the spirit!
0093Justine_Jason_pf
Fun Bride and Groom showing off Shoes
On Owen Brenna and George's wedding day at the Andaz Hotel, we arrived early to find this amazing modern bath in Owen Brenna's room. After draining and waterproofing everything, we had her hop in for a fun photo. The moment was totally unscripted, and totally awesome!
Groom carries Bride for funny photo at La Jolla Cove
creative modern wedding couple
Wedding Couple embrace on cliff at Sunset
As the sun set during Nicole and Brandon's wedding at Scripps Seaside Forum, we took the couple out to some rocks we scouted earlier in the day. After waiting for the perfect moment, and illuminating the couple with off-camera flash, we were able to create an effect that stretched far beyond the couple's expectations.
Outdoor Wedding Reception at Sunset
In addition to photos of all your friends and family, we love photographing all the details that go into making the day so special.
Colorful wedding reception details
Air banner in sky for wedding couple
Guests throw flower petals during wedding couple's grand entrance at reception
By hiring a photographer whose vision and expertise you trust, you ensure a memorable experience, as well as unforgettable and timeless images that leave you surprised.
Bride and Groom share First Dance during wedding reception
Wedding Couple and Cake at Wedding Reception
Bride and Groom embrace while watching fireworks in Downtown San Diego
Rather than an abundance of visual examples, or an extensive list with shots to cross off, know that you have hired a great team to take care of you. We will bring out your personalities in a creative and flattering ways!

If you do have a list, like for must-have family shots, it is most important that the people included know they are taking part. They will need to know where to be, and be ready to go at the right time. To achieve this, it is helpful to dedicate a family member to gather people, especially when dealing with larger groups. Having everyone aware and present will set you up for success.

For more, check out some of our favorite recent wedding photos

22Aug

Where Does the Time Go? | Wedding Timeline Planning

By, August 22, 2017

From the first pre-ceremony Bellinis with bridesmaids, to the last traditional event you’d like photographed, the wedding timeline can fill up quickly! So how do you fit in all of the memorable activities you will want to look back on, and ensure you have photographic coverage? We are here to help!

A very general timeline may look like the following (of course every wedding is different):

  • 3:00pm-3:45pm: We arrive onsite to photograph final getting ready shots. Bride should be 90% ready, with exception of dress being put on. Bridesmaids should be 100% ready.
  • 3:45-4:15: Photograph bridesmaids
  • 4:15-4:45: Photograph groomsmen
  • 5:00-5:30 Photograph ceremony
  • 5:30-6:30: Capture Cocktail hour (one photographer will head to cocktail hour, and the other will photograph the room details)
  • 5:30-6:00: Photograph family. This is one of the most important parts of the day! During this time, it is vital that all family know where to be, and are present. If we are chasing after an uncle that went to cocktail hour by accident, there is a domino effect and it takes time away from the couple’s photos. After the pics, the family heads to cocktail hour.
  • 6:00-6:15: Photograph bridal party. To get everyone quickly and efficiently, the bridal party needs to stick around, and not head to cocktail hour until after the pictures.
  • 6:15-6:35: Pictures of the wedding couple. If more time is needed or requested, we will pull you out during salads, and get a few more portraits
  • 6:35-10:00: Photograph dances and traditional reception events

To ensure the most success with your wedding timeline, it is beneficial to remember that all the little in-between times (getting to and from) really add up, and need to be cushioned. If you create a “perfect” timeline, then you have to be totally perfect, down to the second. That can be a bit stressful with all the moving parts of the wedding day. Let’s make a “not perfect” timeline, and allow windows of time to get from point a to b ;)

Here is a breakdown of each event paired, with the typical amount of time it takes for each activity. This will help you visualize the time the in-between moments can take up, so you can successfully plan your day.

Pre-Ceremony
Hair and make-up for brides and bridesmaids can take 1.5 to two hours per person. For bigger bridal parties, multiple artists/stylists make this time more efficient. If 1:45 is the goal for being done with hair and make-up, we suggest telling the beauty team that they need to be done 20 minutes before the actual cutoff. Also, bridesmaids need to arrive and be ready for hair and make-up early (for example by 8:40 rather than 9), and to be ready for portraits by 1:30. This way, they are dressed and ready to help you with your getting ready shots.

As bridesmaids are and heading towards the next destination, it can take 5-10 minutes to leave the “getting ready” area. This is true whether the bridal party pictures on site, or everyone is piling into a limo.  This time buffer should be accounted for, and built in, so you have the full amount of planned time at the next event. Bridesmaids chat while bride gets her makeup done. Bride gets her makeup applied. Bride and bridesmaids have fun while getting ready.

Post-Ceremony
Clearing out the ceremony area and gathering family for portraits can take about 10 minutes. So, if the ceremony ends promptly at 5:30pm, family portraits are likely to have an actual start time more like 5:45. A piece of expert advice is to have someone assigned to help move the guests towards the cocktail hour. Likewise, if there is any other activity after the ceremony, it will take time to gather guests and make sure they know the plan.Newlyweds kiss beneath arch of swords. Family portrait taken on wedding day.
Travel
When planning a wedding that requires any travel time, leave room in the schedule so that people can find parking and settle in. For example, if your ceremony is in a different spot than your “getting ready” location, and ten minute cushion to get settled should suffice. If you leave for portraits after the ceremony, and then travel back to the reception venue, the same buffer will be needed. The same is true when walking is involved from one place to another, like at a large hotel property. Whenever walking is involved, always plan for more time than you think you will use!Bride and groom kissing while driving. Bride and groom kiss each other in the
Reception
According to our sample timeline, the cake cutting would be at 6:55pm, so having it announced at 6:50 covers the 5 minutes it takes to gather people to watch.The actual cutting of the cake itself lasts around 5-7 minutes with photos and guest interactions factored in.

Similarly, the 7:30pm bouquet toss, which is likely to be followed by a garter toss, can use a five minute pre-event announcement.
Happy bride laughs as she cuts her cake. Newlyweds laugh during hora Groom entertains his bride during garter toss. Entering a reception with sparkler entrance.No two weddings are exactly alike, so consider any factors relevant to your specific plans. For example, at a beach wedding, walking through the sand will slow people down. Ultimately, the day doesn’t have to be perfect to reduce stress, it just needs some room for time flexibility!