I'm a wedding, elopement, and engagement photographer specializing in storytelling and true to life photography!
As a wedding photographer, there are always “must-have” wedding photos on my shot list. When it comes to delivering a wedding gallery, these are the images I think should always be there. Here are the moments and details that DESERVE to be documented!
This is part of the day I often hear brides say it’s not high on their priority of photos. And I totally get it! If your main focus is getting images of your actual wedding, let me tell you I will document every second. But those moments before you put on your wedding gown where you’re surrounded by your closest friends and family. The women and men who love and support you, deserve to be documented. If you’re a bride that doesn’t want too much time spent on getting ready photos, that is a-okay. We can get these shots in 10 minutes if that’s all you want.
If you don’t have a bridal party or you’re getting ready alone, you can still take getting ready” photos! I like to arrive when my brides are almost ready or already have hair and makeup done. Arriving when I do allows this portion of the photography timeline to go faster. If you choose to write letters to one another, you can sit by yourself and read them. Or, you can take a few moments to stand in stillness and take in that it’s your wedding day before you get dressed.
This is the moment it suddenly feels real! When you step into your dress, your hair and makeup are finished, and your jewelry is on, it hits. You’re really getting married, and it’s about to happen so soon! Whether it’s your mom, sister, you’re doing it alone, or you have your best friend helping you into your dress. This is a photo you’ll cherish forever.
There’s so much thought that goes into wedding planning, even the most laid-back weddings include thoughtful touches. The shoes you wear, the jewelry you pick out, your save the dates, and the invitation suite. Maybe you picked out a new perfume, or you’re wearing Chanel lipstick on your big day; let’s capture it! In my wedding guide, I have a checklist for all my couples on things to include and pack for their detailed photos.
Before the guests arrive and are seated, this is a must-have shot. The florals, the tablescape, the chairs, etc. There’s something so beautiful about the settings where your vows and party will happen! I like to get the ceremony shots right after getting ready photos, and the reception space during cocktail hour if possible. If you have a wedding planner, we will set aside time in your wedding day timeline for these shots to happen!
This is a no-brainer when it comes to must-have wedding photos. However, I have some tips for this! I go over this in my wedding guide, but I feel they’re so important that I want to share it with everyone. When it comes to your first kiss, have your officiant step OUT OF THE WAY. You want this shot to be solely focused on you two. Before the ceremony, ask your officiant if they will step to the side when it comes time for your first kiss as husband and wife.
Another must-have shot that ties into this is when you’re walking back down the aisle. I tell my couples before their ceremony to stop mid-way down the aisle, stop and kiss, or stop and do a dip and kiss! Then again, in the end – with all your guests behind you, stop and show off your rings, stop and kiss, or do another dip. These shots are to die for and are so fun every time!
After the ceremony and formal family portraits are finished is when we typically take your bride and groom photos. I always do my best to time it for when golden hour is (right before the sun sets) so you get the golden sunshine during sunset in your photos! This is one of the only times during your wedding you will have to be together just the two of you. I encourage my couples to take it all in and soak up the excitement of being officially husband and wife!
This is where your must-have photos can differ from other couples. Maybe you choose to have a dessert bar instead of a cake, or you shoot t-shirts with your faces on them from a t-shirt launcher to your guests after your first dance?! Maybe you kick off the party with an epic champagne tower! Whatever you decide, the whole reception deserves to be documented! From your first dance to the private last dance, to maybe even a grand exit, the whole party should be preserved.
I tell my couples I have a documentary style approach to wedding photography. Of course you will get those moments that are set up perfectly for the camera, but I believe in documenting the day as it happens. Those simple moments, the way your friends and family interact, the laughs, tears, and all the emotion in between will be captured when you hire me as your wedding photographer. You won’t ever have to worry about if a moment went missed and undocumented!