Couples are often curious to know what approach I will take to photographing the actual wedding day. Since every wedding is different, it is difficult to predict exactly how it will unfold. However, my proven approach outlined below will provide insight about how I prepare for and handle each separate part of a wedding day. 


Photographer arrival

I typically arrive at the start location 30-minutes to one-hour before the official start time. This approach allows the day to begin stress-free and helps me handle any unforeseen circumstances that arise. With this buffer, there is often a little extra time for bonus coverage of the bridal party getting ready. There is no extra-charge for this service and it is another way to make you comfortable on your wedding day. 

Getting ready

During this chapter of the wedding day, the Studio uses a photojournalistic style with minimal disruption to the bride, groom and bridal party members. Images will be captured as the events unfold naturally. During this time, we document the bride and her bridesmaids and the groom and his guys making final preparations. This includes photos of hair and makeup, putting on the dress and moments with Mom and Dad. Beautiful detail images of the bride’s shoes, wedding dress, jewelry, garter and other special items are also photographed. 

If the bride and groom get ready at the same location, we will be able to easily go back and forth between the guys and the girls. Typically, the guys are faster to get ready than the girls, and more casual. If there are separate getting ready locations, a second photographer can be advantageous to capture events at the other location.

Travel to the ceremony location

Some weddings have all of the events of the day happen at the same location. Logistically, this arrangement can be easier than when traveling is involved. (i.e. hotel, church, reception) When possible, we try to get images of the bridal party in the limo or bus en route to the next location. Occasionally, the Studio will join the bridal party in the vehicle and make some additional images while traveling along with the group. Some weddings have the guys traveling to the ceremony venue in a different car. This is another situation where a second photographer can be helpful.

Bride and groom first look

Some couples are more traditional and prefer not to see each other before the ceremony. However, many contemporary couples prefer to have a “first look” before the ceremony begins where they take a few minutes to see each other. This is a special moment during the day that is always filled with anticipation and real emotion. Some couples prefer that their first look photographs be done privately (only the bride, groom and photographer are present). Other couples prefer to include family and select members of the bridal party. Either way, our Studio captures the moment as it unfolds and it is often one of the most emotional moments of the entire day.

Couples may also elect to do the first look because of a tight schedule following the ceremony that limits photography opportunities with beautiful light. In these cases, the Studio captures as much as possible and will engage the couple when appropriate during the reception for more photos.

Wedding ceremony

We use wedding photojournalism to capture the ceremony with a combination of long lenses that create intimate photos and wider lenses that capture the spirit of the venue. During most ceremonies, the photographer is allowed to quietly move around to capture the event from many angles. However, depending upon the rules of a particular sanctuary, moving from location to location may not be allowed. Some venues may require photographers to remain in the back or in the upper balcony the entire service. This limits photo opportunities so keep this possibility in mind when selecting your venue.

No matter which location you choose for your ceremony, the Studio will work hard to beautifully capture each moment. Though some photos may not be possible at every venue, we try to document the minister, guests arriving and family being seated. Special moments like the lighting of a unity candle are photographed.

The entire processional and bride walking down the aisle are photographed along with the hand-off of the bride. For these images, we typically crouch in the front near the bridal party for the best angle while being as unobtrusive as possible. As the ceremony continues, we monitor the reactions from the parents and invited guests. This is special since you may not know what was happening behind you until you see your wedding photos. The vows, ring exchange, first kiss and recessional are documented as the events happen.

Family portraits

Most often, the family portraits are captured immediately following the ceremony. These images can be made either in the sanctuary with flash or naturally outside depending on the preference of the client. If possible, we suggest making these images as close as possible to the ceremony site to reduce the time needed for family to get into position. Staying close to the ceremony site also reduces the possibility that family will wander off to the reception before being documented.

The Studio helps to organize and direct the family photos to ensure that this chapter of the day moves quickly. This organization starts well in advance of the actual wedding day and the Studio helps you develop a family photo list so that no one is forgotten. We also encourage each couple to appoint a representative from each side of the family who can help locate the people who will be in the photographs. This approach works well because it is likely that the studio will not know the names of the people designated to be in each photo.

Once the correct people have been assembled for each photo, the Studio takes over to pose the group. We photograph full-length and tighter shots to provide a variety of options to choose from. The bride and groom are always photographed with family first (before the bridal party) so the family can be released to the reception to enjoy the celebration. Depending upon the number of people involved with the photos, the family portraits can take between 15-30 minutes.

The list below highlights some possible family photo combinations. Each wedding will vary and the Studio can work with you to develop your own custom list. 

  • Bride with Mother
  • Bride with Father
  • Bride with Grandparents
  • Bride with Brother and Sisters
  • Bride and Groom with Bride’s Parents
  • Bride and Groom with Grandparents
  • Bride and Groom with Mother and Father, Brothers and Sisters, Grandparents
  • Bride with Flower Girl; Bride with Ring Bearer
  • Groom with Mother
  • Groom with Father
  • Groom with Grandparents
  • Groom with Brother and Sisters
  • Bride and Groom with Grooms Parents
  • Bride and Groom with Grandparents
  • Bride and Groom with Mother and Father, Brothers and Sisters

Bridal party portraits

Once the family photos are completed, the family is released to the reception and we focus on the bridal party photographs. During this chapter of the day, the Studio photographs the girls, the guys and then the entire bridal party together. We blend traditional group poses with casual and fun arrangements to provide a variety of images. During this time, we also like to shoot casual portraits of the bride with each bridesmaid and the groom with each groomsman. Once these photos are finished, we send the bridal party back to the reception for cocktail hour.

  • All of the wedding party with couple
  • Groomsmen with Bride
  • Groom with Bridesmaids
  • Bride with each Bridesmaid
  • Groom with each Groomsman
  • Bride with Maid/Matron of Honor
  • Groom with Best Man 

Bride and groom portrait session

The portrait session with the bride and groom is our favorite part of the wedding day. During this time, we spend 15-30 minutes alone with the bride and groom to create some beautiful images around your venue. During this session, the Studio will help guide your poses and interaction with the goal of creating natural images. When possible, the Studio scouts the location in advance to get an idea of the best locations with the best light to maximize the time available for photographs. 

The wedding reception

The reception is filled with opportunities for wedding photojournalism and the Studio always has a great time capturing these types of moments. To get started, there are the bridal party introductions and the bride and groom’s grand entrance. After the grand entrance, some couples prefer to go have their first dance, father-daughter dance and mother-son dance. The Studio uses advanced lighting techniques to create photos with depth and dimension no matter how dark the room.

Typically after the entrances, dinner is served. During dinner, we take a break and check our equipment. We also use this time to shoot detail photos of the rings. However, we avoid taking pictures of guests while eating.

After dinner, the Studio captures the toasts and speeches. We photograph multiple angles to capture the reactions from the bride and groom as well as the person delivering the speech or toast. A similar approach is used to document the cake cutting, bouquet toss and garter toss. After these events have concluded, we focus on the dance floor to document guests having fun. The Studio moves around constantly, so people who choose not to dance are not forgotten in your wedding reception photographs.

The exit

Sparkler, bubble or glow-stick exits always make for dramatic photos and can be the perfect way to put an exclamation point on an amazing wedding day. When a client books the Studio for full-day coverage, our cameras will be in the middle of the action documenting the emotions and reactions of everyone involved. Photos of a high-energy exit are also the ideal way to close your wedding album design. If you plan on incorporating this event into your wedding day, make sure to discuss it in advance with the Studio or clearly identify it on your wedding timeline to ensure that we are ready.