What Every Bride Should Know {Part 1: Photography}

Before the WEDDING DAY

Try to book an engagement session with your photographer so you can get to know each other, and be comfortable working together.

blog engagement

Make sure your photographer gets an idea of the story you wish to tell before you schedule your shoot. One couple may feel that a sweet fun session is more suited to their relationship story,

chris and michelle blog

…yet another couple my want something a bit more classic and natural,

m and k blog

…or the couple’s taste in photos might lean toward urban/city styled images. Tell your photographer if you love black and white images.

scott and solome blog

Bringing your storyteller in on some of the details of your relationship may be the catalyst for building a session around some of the story. For example, if the two of you are building a life connected to a rich history of a generational family farm, why not create a shoot that utilizes elements that highlight the past, present, and future pieces of that story?

Tell your photographer as many details as possible to get the best images. Surprise wedding guests, gifts, songs – you want your photographer to know these things so that he/she can make your memories personal and unique. Some examples: The groom and his groomsmen are in a band and will probably be jamming the morning of the wedding; a brother just arrived home after a two-year military deployment;  the bride plans to surprise her love with photos from a boudoir photo session that she did for him.

Wynn wedding

These are the precious moments that you hope a photographer captures.

Wynn wedding

Make plain for your photographer your expectations, needs and desires prior to your wedding. This helps your photographer anticipate shots.


Collaboration is important, so don’t be afraid to discuss locations, backgrounds and some poses you’d like to try. However, while it’s tempting to share your enthusiasm for wonderful pictures in the form of extensive shot requests and examples you have seen in magazines and on the internet, curtail your ideas to the few you love the most and share those with your photographer before the wedding day. Great photographers will not be able to capture every image you can think of, but they can deliver images you never dreamed of.

A good photographer can get the shots you want without endless hours of posed shots. Work with your photographer before the wedding to set aside the necessary time to do your pictures. Be sure to include travel time and a little extra time for inevitable surprises and delays. Most photographers should have a shot list of the most popular photos you can discuss prior to the wedding to find what you would like to do, and a really good photographer will create a schedule with you to assure proper time is alloted to give you what you want.


Wedding Day Tips
  • If your wedding is later in the day, plan for clean food and drink for you and your party so that you feel your best during the wedding.
  • The room you get dressed in will be a part of your photos, so keep things out of sight that you donʼt want in pictures.
  • Designate a friend to be in charge of keeping the people who are scheduled for formal pics gathered and ready. Make sure everyone that you want in formal photos is aware and knows to stick around after the ceremony for instructions.
  • During the ceremony, make the kiss a good one (a couple of seconds) so the photographer can catch it.
  • If you plan anything special for the ceremony, such as a unity candle, sand ceremony, or communion, donʼt stand shoulder to shoulder, but open up so your guests and photographer can see you.
  • Like the kiss, make your first dance a good one, as well. Donʼt cut it short or have your bridal party join you halfway through it.
  • If you run into a hitch and are going to be late, immediately talk with your photographer about how to adjust your photography schedule to recover some of the time. It may mean you have to curtail some of the posed groups, do away with a third location, or do some of the formal groupings at the reception. Communicate, be on your toes, and be flexible.
  • Ask for an internet link to the wedding images. When a photographer is taking posed or more traditional shots, sometimes guests attempt to capture the same images, potentially slowing the process. If you request an internet link to the wedding images from the photographer then you can send it to your guests later and save time on your wedding day.

Great wedding pictures reveal something special about the people in the photos. As a couple, the feelings you have for one another are unique and should shine through in your shots. When people have fun and are spontaneous, great pictures easily happen. Just go with it!

The wedding is your day, so relax, enjoy it, and let your photographer handle the rest.


Take a deep breath, take many deep breaths. Focus on the positive and delegate the little details. It’s entirely possible to have a blast at your wedding and, in the process, make great pictures!

Something for Everyone (Wedding, Beauty, Travel, and Good Eats) Part 2


The morning of the wedding was kind of fun because the bride and all of her maids were prepping at Salon Envy where I work. The bride is also a stylist there. I love this salon; it’s a quaint little boutique salon dedicated to educating the stylist and raising the bar of customer service. At Envy we love serving the brides.

The bridal party chose airbrush makeup and soft wavy knotted hairstyles. Check the images and videos below.

quick how-to demo

How gorgeous was the final product?

I love that she used a brooch to embellish her style. This is so on trend. It’s her “something borrowed”. It will look sweet when she takes the veil off.

Something for Everyone (Wedding, Beauty, Travel, and Good Eats) Part 1

michelle and chris blog

I shared a post months back about an engagement session in the Sequoias. The bride-to-be Michelle told me a cute little story about how she turned down her first opportunity to date Chris. He had asked her if she would like to go skiing with him. She said no. All she could imagine was falling and making a fool of herself–not her ideal first date. She feared that he would never ask her out again. She had to come up with a plan to make sure that she had just one more opportunity. He was a bass player in a band, so she decided to go to one of his shows… The rest of this story is still being written.

The day we chose to do the engagement session, we had no idea we would find snow on the ground. I think it’s kind of cute how he got his snow date after all. It’s a good thing she was able to roll with the punches. I think she even had some fun that day.

We made a pit stop on our drive down the mountain at one of my favorite candy/ice cream shops. Reimers is just yummy. I used this great little place to do another engagement session last year. Here’s a peek.

After shooting the wonderful engagement session with Chris and Michelle, she and I got together to shoot a fun little surprise for her sweetheart. We created a gorgeous book for her to give to him on the day of the wedding. This was so outside the scope of her personality, so she knew he would be shocked. Remember earlier in the post when I mentioned he was a bass player in the band…

The look on his face was priceless.

Wynn wedding


Leading up to the wedding, I was making my plans. I like to map out the day for my clients so they can just kick back and enjoy the ride. I drove up the week before to scope out some shooting locations. I was very familiar with the venue that they were using for their wedding. It’s the venue where I got married, so I knew it was beautiful. I wanted to add just a little twist to their images and surprise them with an extra location. According to the schedule that we had set, I already knew that there would be time in the day to wisk them away to a more private location. On my journey the week prior I stumbled upon a glorious vacation rental. Totally by accident, my husband and I journeyed down this little country road and found this hidden treasure. I asked the host if it would be possible that I shoot my bride there in the week to come. She shared with me how they like to keep the grounds very intimate and secluded, so (oh darn) we would have to be guests if we wanted to shoot there. I kept my fingers crossed because she shared with me that they are usually booked out for a year. To my surprise they were open on that weekend. The name of this place is The River Jewel. Wait till you see the images from the wedding portrait session.

Here is some photos from this beautiful wedding.


First Look

Extra Location


Look for tomorrows post.

Boy Meets Girl (And a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget!)

Follow me on an adorable journey.  I’m a photographic writer. I love to tell my client’s stories, and this is one I’ve had the privilege of following for quite awhile. I hope you love their story as much as I do.

This couple is the coolest pair, ever!

They are two very spirited young people with vintage old souls. They live everyday… emphasis on the word LIVE.

This is Donovan and Melissa, aka Fred and Ethel. She says he likes her to ride on the front of this vintage cycle because he likes to look at her bum; however, as you can see, he has other motives.

Hope this isn’t a sign of things to come…

This is Donovan.  He’s a curious bloke.  Not much in his life resembles the everyday “Joe Schmo.”

He loves life.  He takes life by the hand and runs with her.

He’s a closet musician with a taste for Willie Nelson, The Beatles, and Donovan… to name a few. He loves to write short stories,and screen plays. He’s a total movie snob. He believes in self-sustained lifestyle. This means he operates on solar, grows his own veggies, and has chickens in his backyard (all of which are name after Beatles songs)

And… he loves painting… especially Her…

Wow, is she unique… right down to brown spot in the middle of those beautiful green eyes.

You guessed it. This is “Life” and her name is Melissa.

I have a feeling she is gonna take him for the ride of his life!!!

…or maybe he will take her

This couple’s wedding was just as a creative as they are, and the amazing part is it was done on a tight budget!

(Dress: $8.00 from China)

(Venue, including the antique doors and seating: Free)

(Flowers by a Friend: Almost Free)

Funny story about his suit. He purchased the jacket at a thrift store before there were engaged, and it was one of his favorites. Later, she found a matching pair of pants at… you guessed it, a thrift store. What are the chances?

(Bride’s getaway “car”: Free)

(Reception in Dad’s Landscape Nursery: Free)

(Reception Decor–Hanging windows, doors, and mason jar candle holders–: Free)




She made the cake herself!

Happiness takes some elbow grease but is definitely free.

Not the end …It’s the beginning.

Donovan and Melissa sittin’ by a tree K  I  S  S  I  N  G…