Part of my job as a Fine Art Wedding Photographer is setting you up to have the most success out of ALL of your pictures on your wedding day. The best way to do that is to be organized and have plans in place for every part of your day. It's not always about lighting or capturing the perfect moments-those things are extremely important; however, a little cleanliness can go a long way when it comes to the preparation/dressing pictures. These tips will also help to alleviate stress on your wedding day. The LAST thing you want is for the photographer or photographer's assistant to be pestering you for your accessories, etc., and you certainly don't want the photographer to constantly be moving things around, picking up things. You paid them a great deal for them to do their job, so take as much advantage of their "eye" as you possibly can!
(In the above image taken at Harvest Community Church in Concord NC, the Bride was dressing in one of the children's Sunday School Rooms. There were colorful images and papers all over the walls, and tables in front of this mirror. I had everyone help and we moved all tables out of the way. I then moved 3 mirrors side by side on the other side of the room-where I'm standing in this pic. I moved the screen to cover the color splotches on the wall, and it helped to add a bit of fill with the light AND it mimicked the window. There are more pictures at the bottom of this blog so you can see ideas of what I'm talking about.)
1.) Assign a Bridesmaid/Groomsman or someone that will be present in those rooms to tidy up about 20 minutes before the photographer arrives.
It's important that they remove all trash from out of sight-water bottles, cans, food, wrappers, etc.
Then have them get a handle on all the bags, purses, clothing, shoes, sandals, etc. and have them move them to a corner or closet in the room, or they can hide them in the bathroom. If there's a large tub that isn't going to be used or hasn't been used recently it's a great place for everyone's belongings.
Make sure this person knows and understands they are our go-to person for help in moving furniture around if necessary and gathering accessories from point 3.
2.) Have the hair/make-up person set up by a big window that lets in a lot of light or the most beautiful spot in the room. Make sure this spot is free of clutter and trash. If there isn't a nice window, there may be a beautiful mirror or something interesting like that. Have that person use their best judgement, and then make sure there's nothing that would pull focus from you in the way-a big chair beside it, a bed, a couch, etc.
3.) Have all garments and accessories together and easily accessible for us. We will be taking detail pictures of the dress and shoes/etc before you put them on, so these items need to be easily grabbed. Things to include:
letters/gifts for one another
Special dress hanger
When your photographer arrives they will survey the area and make changes if necessary. They will go about adding extra lighting (probably in the corner of a room) if necessary or if they feel it will enhance their vision. I hope this article has helped you in planning, and as always if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me!
Fine Art Wedding Photographer NC & SC
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