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Tips for bride to have beautiful wedding photos

Tips for bride to have beautiful wedding photos

Just because everyone has access to digital cameras today, doesn’t make them all photographers anymore than a typewriter makes someone a great book author.  To tell a story with a camera takes an artist with vision, someone who can anticipate moments, understand light, as well as someone who can capture emotion. Before you can have a beautiful wedding album, first you must have great images. Don’t choose your uncle John as the photographer just because he has some equipment and shoot on ocassion. 


When interviewing a photographer, ask what kind of professional camera equipment that they use. A true professional photographer will have at least 2 professional cameras with at least 4 camera lenses. You should hire a professional. A seasoned professional will be fine too but look at his experience. If your looking at a low priced photographer, you may get a deal on pricing, but the overall quality may not be to the level that you expected. With less than adequate professional camera and experience, your wedding photos may not turn out as you wish and you cannot redo those moment. Hire a professional who loves photographing wedding. It’s your life dream wedding, you deserve the best without being burden to your finances.



  Do the pre wedding session engagement  with your San Francisco photographer before the wedding date if you are able to.

Take some of this precious time and schedule a personal engagement session. This photo session is also known as Couple Portrait.  It probably will be the incredible moments you’ll cherish forever. The session will be more relax since it’s not a busy wedding day. You will get a chance to get use to the cameras and get to know which style of photography fit you. You may use these photos for the wedding invitation, slideshow on your wedding day, using the photo to make canvas print and leave it at the grand entrance of the reception or showcase these photos on a table.


      Accept the reality that your wedding day won’t be 100% perfect

We know deep down every bride prays for the perfect wedding day, and believe us, We do too . But out of all the wedding we had photographed, we never had the pleasure of experiencing a wedding where everything was 100 % perfect. There is always something that will not live up to your expectation and little things went wrong. Whatever that is whether its vendor mistakes, the flower did not come on time, the bouquet is not at the hotel so the photographer can photograph it or bridal party came late arrivals, miscommunication, mom and dad didn’t show up on time at the altar, or photographer error. My advice is don’t get frustrated because it’ll show up in the wedding photos. Try to take a deep breath, have a little drink, sometime little wine will help. Try to think positive and hope for the best. Try to relaxes and enjoy the day. Your wedding is full of people who love you so I’m not surprise to see your families & friends & wedding party to do thing for you to make it better. 




     Hold Your partner hand when you are Exchanging the ring at the altar.

  I think it's a better photos if the groom would hold the bride hand and then use the other hand to put the ring in her finger instead of putting the ring on her by using just one of his hand. Try to put on the ring slowly.



            Looking up when you walk down the isle , chin up please.

Please remind yourself, grooms, bridesmaids, groomsmen, sponsors and who ever is walking down the isle, make sure you’re looking up when you’re walking. It’s really hard for a San Francisco wedding photographer to capture you when you are looking down the floor. Remember to smile, that will be my best advice. By lifting your chin you banish the double chin. Don’t slouch either.


         IMPORTANT: Family portrait right after the wedding ceremony.


 Please let those family members & friends who are going to be in the family portrait know to stay put right after the ceremony so we can take family portrait. We often ran into delay if we have to wait and looking for uncle bob or aunt sally . If we have everyone there then things will go smoothly and on with our schedule. If your wedding ceremony is at a church, most of the time you have to get out of the church at a certain time of there so they can have the next wedding event. If we have to keep waiting and looking for a certain member than we will get delay.


You need to provide some assistant with the family portrait to our photographer( family portrait is generally after the wedding ceremony) . As you know your family better and who need to be in it. The photographer will line them up and coordinate for the shot but it’s you or designated person who will call them so they can come up and take photo with you. It is you who will determine who you want to have in the photos and the photographer will capture that. The Bride and Groom should have a family member ( or two ) from each side of the family to gather who will be in the photo . Also, you need to advice the DJ so he/she can make more than 1 announcement to let the guests or families to stay for post wedding photos. The photographer cannot be held responsible for whomever not in the photos.


Please let the bridal party group know to stay close as well. If you have a rehearsal dinner, then be sure to mention about this to your families member who will be in the family portrait.


     Please feed your Photographer / Videographer: 


If your reception dinner is a sit down style, please talk to your Venue about feeding photographer/videographer at the same time with the guest. At the very least, please serve us before the guests finish eating. This way we can take 10 minutes to eat & replenish our energy and get back to work quickly while there is not an event going on.   Some venues have a bad habit of serving vendors last, and only if there is food left over. This is bad practice because there are always immediate activities after dinner so we won’t be able to eat at all until 9 pm ish. or missing important shot while we are eating. We practically work non-stop with heavy equipments so please advise your venue to serve us a plate. If your dinner is buffet line then you don’t worry about it. We will grab a plate ( after bride & groom ) and get back to work quickly and capture your special moments without missing a beat. 


     Beautiful Flowers must be ready for your wedding photographer

Have your florist prepare the wedding facility or church at least 2 to 1 hours before the wedding. Make sure your bouquet are there at the hotel or the place you are getting ready so the photographer can capture you with the flower. Be sure to discuss this with your florist and have a plan for the day. Many wedding photographers are delayed in shooting the detail due to the florist being late or not completing the decorations on time.

Also, it helps to assign one bridesmaid or groomsmen  to pin on the groomsmen’s’ boutonnieres. Many photographers face delays when the groomsmen are not ready or not there when the photographer show up


    Please plan  enough time for just you two and the photographer to photograph Couple portrait

This gives your photographer time to capture couple portrait. We usually do this in a cool - shaded location without a lot of people around. Usually after the wedding ceremony then we will take family portrait of both families. After that we will shoot bridal party portrait. This usually take at least 30 minutes depending on how many bridesmaid and groomsmen in your wedding party. Then we will photograph couple portrait in private. You will probably do this during cocktail hours.

I always recommend at least 40 minutes of alone time with your photographer at the day of the wedding.  If you are seeing each other in advance then this can be before the wedding ceremony.  So during the cocktail hour you can mingle with the guests.  If not, then this will be the time . The more time we have then the better it will be since this will be the only time you will be wearing your wedding gown.

Have fun and be crazy, be goofy.  Do you remember the moment when you saw a picture in a magazine bride photos and you said to yourself  " I want to have pictures like these " “ It can happen to you too. But do you know that those pictures are well planned, rehearsed, and the photo that you finally see in the magazine was probably picked from at least a hundred of photo. The more time you spend with your photographer, the more likely it is that he will capture that one special moment that only happens once. This is the reason why your wedding photographer takes lots of photo. So give him or her that time if you can.



    Have your mom and Dad & bridesmaid & maid of honor & other important people get ready on time for the wedding.

Another important tip for the bride and groom on the wedding day is to make sure mom and dad are dressed and ready early. Sometime mom and dad don’t think about being in these photos, but they should be. Parents should be dressed and ready so when it’s time to help your daughter get dress the pictures will show up better. The pictures will be much better if mom is not dress in robe while helping her daughter putting on earring, dress ect. 

Please make sure to let your bridesmaid, maid of honor and important someone to be in the room together when it's time for the photographer to photograph the bride getting dress. Most of the time thing get delay because we have to wait for a certain person. For example, if there are total of 5 bridesmaid but at the time of the shoot ( bride getting dress ) there is only 4 bridesmaid . Then bride will decide to let the photographer know if he should wait or we can shoot and move on if we are running late.



   Lighting at your wedding reception venue is also important for your wedding Photographer

As a professional San Francisco photographers, they should try to make it work in any lighting environment, but it’s better if there are much light there in the first place. If your wedding is indoors, try to avoid buildings with high dark ceilings and few windows. Since natural light will look much better in your photos, try to plan your wedding when the room will be the brightest. Have the wedding venue not dimming the light too low will be nice. It’s nice to have dim light at the wedding venue but some of the venue we went to is way too dark. You cannot even see the food you are eating.



don’t wear mascara if you think you will cry at the altar . Water proof may not always work.

 Even if the mascara is water proof, I suggest that you should avoid mascara just in case you cry. Smear on your eye will not look good on photos


 Please don’t worry about scenery ( location ) at the formal couple portrait 

Even though scenery does help but a professional wedding photographer can capture great photograph in a place that you have not thought of. The scenery doesn’t make the photo memorable, it’s the bride and the groom.  Just be comfortable and show your love toward one another and we will show you your love through our lenses & poses.  More importantly be yourself. Don’t hesitates to let your photographer know certain poses are not right for you.


If you are going to large veil, pay attention so that it will not block your face.

We photographers often ran into siatuation where the veil would cover one side of the bride face . At the altar when the bride is side by side with the groom, it tend to get into the way due to wind . I attach a pictures here as an example. If the bride keep her head toward the pastor, the the guest cannot really see her face.


For Bridal group portrait shot .

We also had ran into siatution where right after the wedding ceremony, some groomsmen or bridesmaid would change to their regular outfit. This would be fine with the bride and groom doesn't mind. But if you do , please let them know ahead of time that we will be doing bridal group portrait so they  won't change until we done.


Bridal Party Group Portrait at another Location : 

Also, if you are going to take Group bridal portrait at another location, be sure to cordinate transporation & address for everyone who will be driving. It's best if we can all go into a limo or cars. This way everyone will be together. We often have to wait for all the group member to arrive because they get lost or stop somewhere along the way. That mean the group shot will be delay or the group shot is missing a certain someone. 

Here is an example of 2 bridesmaid missing because they get lost on the way there. We have to do it without them or otherwise we will be late going to the reception.


If your Portrait shoot is at another location : 

If you have pre wedding footage at another location that require traveling, please schedule extra cushion time for our photographer to leave on time in order to get to the reception or ceremony site.  You have to understand that there are other factor involve including taking in and out equipment out of the car, set up , parking, unexpected traffic, finding parking especially in San Francisco, find a parking spot at the church with hundredth of other guest trying to find parking as well. We require to have 20 to 30 minutes cushion on top of traveling time. For example, if from A to B take 10 minutes then we need to schedule it for 30 minutes for our photographer.  This applies to all wedding that require our photographer to travel at least 2 locations or more. Here is an example of a wedding that have at least multiple location. Bride A , plan to have pre wedding at her home in San Leandro. Then from her home go to a park in Oakland to take family photo. After that then from the park go to church at Oakland for ceremony, After church go to Reception Dinner at Berkeley. These are in 4 separate places that need traveling.  



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