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Pinterest…..so great for ideas and inspiration…..for some things. That old dresser you want to refinish? Perfect! Doing a bathroom reno? Absolutely! Christmas rolls around and I am all over that app for ideas. However, Pinterest can not plan your wedding. In fact, in my experience Pinterest can in fact give a false perception of what is actually doable on wedding day.

Here is the thing, those beautiful photos you see of tablescapes, floral arches, centrepieces etc? Nine times out of ten those are staged photos done for a stylized shoot. I know this because I shoot stylized weddings for magazines all the time.

Meaning…..that is not a real wedding. This means there is no budget for flowers, decor etc because it is ONE table. No food, venue, photographer and DJ to pay for! You however, DO have a budget. This makes managing expectations hard when you approach your planner and/or decorator.

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This false perception is also true for wedding portraits themselves. Wedding photos can not be duplicated. Those photos you see on Pinterest are either staged or they are that couples “moment.” The lighting, location, time of year and most importantly, the emotion can not be copied.

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Pin the style of photography you like, certain poses that appeal to you but don’t expect your photographer to copy a Pinterest photo. Your photographer will create your very own Pinterest moments for you! After all, you hired him or her for reason, their creativity and talent – trust that and let the magic happen.

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Like everything else on wedding day, getting ready photos do require some prep on your part. Here are some points to keep in mind.

Your prep location should be kept clutter free and have good lighting. This does not mean your location needs to be kept spotless, as that is nearly impossible on wedding day! However, designate a room for your prep shots and keep it neat and tidy. This could be a room with a big front window or even a gorgeous front porch if the lighting at the location is very dark. If you are at a hotel, pick one room for getting photos only.

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Have everything out and ready for your photographer. That means, your dress, shoes, rings, jewellery, veil, flowers and I like to have an invitation too. Also, anything sentimental, Grandma’s broach, a loved one’s photo. If you are busy, elect a bridesmaid to show your photographer where they can find all these items.

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If you and your groom to be are giving each other gifts, hold off on opening them until your photographer arrives.

Make sure your bridesmaids are aware of timings and what is happening next, they should be getting dressed while your photographer is getting detail shots so they can then help you with your dress when the time comes!

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If you want any special moments captured, such as revealing the dress to your Dad or your bridesmaids make sure your photographer is aware and then they can set up those shots for you.

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Last, enjoy these moments, do not worry about posing or if you cry, your photographer is there to capture the emotion. Relax and take it all in!

Claire xo

YES! So often I hear “I don’t think we need engagement photos.” Well, I am here to tell you, yes you do!

Engagement photos are the perfect opportunity to get to know your photographer before the big day. You and your spouse-to-be get a preview of how your photographer shoots, what posing styles they go to and most important, how they give direction. It also gives you time to chat more about your upcoming wedding, share details and manage expectations. Grooms also discover that photos are not a form of torture but can, in fact, be fun! :)

I find that couples who partake in engagement sessions are much more relaxed on their wedding day because they know exactly what to expect from me. This makes wedding day portraits flow smoothly and take less time.

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And bonus! You get a beautiful reminder of that period in your relationship! You can also include the photos in the wedding! I have seen engagement photos used for guest books, table numbers, save the dates and invitations just to name a few.

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A little advice? Personalize your session. Do you love the beach? or camping? do you love to get dressed up? Incorporate those things into your session. Also, I always suggest to my clients to do the engagement sessions during a different season than their weddings. That way, your engagement photos have a completely different look than your wedding photos.

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Trust me. Get those engagement photos done, you won’t regret it.

Claire xo

I LOVE winter weddings. The pop of colour against the snow, the cuddly, cozy photos and the accessories are just a few reasons why.

How do you comfortably pull off these gorgeous cold weather photos?

Be prepared for the cold. Bring your winter boots, parka and mittens. Warm up sessions in between photos will be needed.

Leave some extra time, the photo process in the winter is definitely more time consuming.

Have a “warm up” spot close by. A running limo, someone’s home etc.

Accessorize your wedding to fit the winter theme. Fur capes, wool shawls, scarves and cute mittens can all be incorporated into you and your weddings parties ensembles. Also, put your bridesmaids in long dresses so they can wear boots under their dresses – no one will know the difference and you will all have warm feet!

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Add to the winter romance with soft blankets, matching mittens and other snuggling accessories for your bride/groom portraits.

Don’t stress over red noses, cheeks or hands. Post editing can take care of that – no problem!

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Most of all – have fun! It may not be glamorous but it will be worth it when you hang those stunning winter portraits on your walls!

Claire
xo

What is the main ingredient to creating amazing wedding photos other than a gorgeous couple? Lighting. When choosing a location for wedding photos, consider how pretty the spot is AND what kind of lighting it produces as well.

A professional photographer will always, always look for the best lighting situation to place their clients in.  99% of the time wedding photos take place after the ceremony, at an outdoor location, in the harshest light of the day.  When I shoot weddings, I will immediately look for shaded areas that will diffuse this light.  That will eliminate squinting and shadows on faces.  Any of my past clients will tell you, I never place them in direct sun.  The photos below were taken in the middle of the afternoon in harsh light, by placing them in the shade the light is consistent (especially on faces) and also much more flattering.

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I know what you are thinking!   I want photos looking over the water, or in middle of that gorgeous field and you can still get that – I promise!  The trick is to shoot those photos at the correct time of day – the “golden hour.”  In other words, when the sun is low in the sky.  When my couples have finished their meal and their guests are having a break between dinner and dessert, I steal them for 15 or so mins so we can get those dreamy light, on the dock or the beach, in the middle of a field, gorgeous shots.  As you can see below, in the mid-afternoon light, I placed my lovely couple in the shaded woods but after dinner we got stunning shots of them dipping their toes in the water.

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So when you are considering locations for your photos, pick a spot that you love and reflects you as a couple but can provide some great lighting for your photographer. If your photographer doesn’t know the location, they should go see it prior to your wedding date to make sure they can work with it. I scout a location before I shoot at it, that way there are no surprises on wedding day. If you get stuck picking a location, ask your photographers advice. Most photographers have some great spots they love that you might not be aware of.

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Happy Planning!

Claire xo