Getting The Best Wedding Portraits

By February 18, 2011Client Resources, F.A.Qs

For Great Wedding Photos, Timing Is Everything

Dallas Wedding Photographers - Lucky Pro Photography

Today’s brides and grooms not only look for the memories of their special day to be captured, they also want great portraits – candid and artistic for the most part. We constantly meet with new couples and they all seem to have one phrase in common, “We want photos like the ones we see in your portfolio!” While we work very hard to produce every photo we take, there is that crucial element of timing that can make or break your wedding portrait session.

Dallas Wedding Photographers - Lucky Pro Photography
Let’s consider the wedding portraits on our portfolio website (excluding ceremony, reception)… some of these couples had a specific block of time scheduled in their day just for us. Sometimes this was an hour, other cases up to 2 hours – some agreed to see each other before the wedding and others had the time scheduled between the ceremony and reception. All had the same common goal – to have great wedding portraits.

Do we have a preference regarding taking pictures before or after the ceremony? Not necessarily because we’ve had success both ways and we respect those couples who honor the tradition of not seeing each other beforehand. But there are some great benefits to pre-ceremony portraits. Let’s examine two simple schedules:

Portraits Before Ceremony

  • 2:00 Bride & Groom Arrive
  • 2:00 – 2:30 Getting Ready Candids & Details
  • 2:30 – 4:00 Wedding Portraits (Bride, Groom, Wedding Party)
  • 4:00 – 4:30 Formals & Family Portraits
  • 4:30 – 5:00 Open
  • 5:00 – 5:30 Ceremony
  • 6:00 Reception

Portraits After Ceremony

  • 2:00 Bride & Groom Arrive
  • 2:00 – 2:30 Getting Ready Candids & Details
  • 2:30 – 3:30 Bride’s Portraits
  • 3:30 – 4:30 Groom’s Portraits
  • 4:30 – 5:00 Open
  • 5:00 – 5:30 Ceremony
  • 5:45 – 6:15 Formals & Family Portraits
  • 6:15 – 7:30 Wedding Portraits (Bride, Groom, Wedding Party)
  • 7:30 Reception

Dallas Wedding Photographers - Lucky Pro PhotographyThe biggest difference you notice is the start time of the reception, rather the time when the bride and groom arrive to the reception. In either instance, it goes a long way to plan out your day and notify your guests far in advance of your tentative schedule should they have a waiting period in between events.

What if we do not have time in our day? We’ve worked with some pretty tight schedules which had very minimal time for the photographer. Some time constraints are enforced by the wedding venue, but most time constraints are inadvertently created when the bride and groom or wedding coordinator simply forget about the photographer… it happens! However, there are opportunities during the reception where we can sneak away with the bride and groom in order to get some additional portrait time.

What about the time of day? We prefer natural lighting for our photographs. For clients living in Texas, the natural lighting comes with a bit of a downer called natural heat. When planning your wedding, consider the time of day you want your portrait session. Late afternoon to early evening hours usually provides the best natural lighting as you get a soft golden glow instead of the harsh brightness. In the spring and fall we can push the limits much more than in the Texas summer and Wisconsin winter. Consider padding your time a little more in the summer to account for water and A/C breaks.

We have more questions regarding timing, what do we do? Contact us. We would love to provide you our insight from our experiences. We want nothing more than to provide you an amazing photography experience by capturing the types of photographs you desire. Cheers!!!

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