TIPS TO HAVE EVEN BETTER WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHS

1. BE WILLING TO BE BLOGGABLE

I love to showcase beautiful weddings on my website. It’s what inspired you to pick me as your photographer. My work has a strong editorial and fashion influence. I capture and plan all of my clients weddings with showcasing these images on my website in mind. This inspires me to be a better photographer, challenge my own creativity and produce luxurious romantic images that will make your wedding album look like a magazine feature. I love to submit beautiful gorgeous weddings to third party blogs such as Style Me Pretty, with your permission.  

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2. IT’S ALL IN THE PREPARATION: 

Hiring a great professional hair and make up artist DOES make a huge difference. It’s the one thing I absolutely would not pass on. They are professional and experienced with ‘how to get you camera ready’. Take the opportunity to be pampered and look and feel like a movie star whilst in the comfort of your hotel.  Myself or your wedding planner will recommend the best vendors for you that speak english…which is so important when it comes to describing how you want your hair.. isn’t it?

Looking like those couples on my website is easier than it looks. Believe me, you’ll be WOW’ing at yourselves.  Just don’t forget the little things.  Book your nails appointment, have your hair highlights re-done and make sure you arrive in France a few days before the big day so you look and feel re-freshed.  

And guys…  If you are wearing a BOW TIE… please practice tying this well in advance of the big day. It can be more difficult than it looks. 

3. HAVE YOUR DETAILS READY BEFORE YOU GET READY

Creatively capturing and styling all your pretty details takes time. Please allow me 30 mins to 1 hour in your itinerary depending on the amount of details you have.

At the start of your day before you are camera ready, I love to collect your special details and take them aside to photograph. I bring along my styling boards and create beautiful pretty, studio inspired photos of your most special details. Your details could include your oh so pretty rings, shoes, perfume, flowers, stationery (invites, announcement cards with envelope) buttoners, your dress  and anything particularly sentimental or unique that you’d like photographed (maybe a piece of jewellery passed down through your family or a DIY project that you spent days on.

 *You could ask your florist (or allow me permission to ask) for a few extra styling pieces to play with so I can create pretty styled details for you using your wedding flowers theme.  Purchasing a matching coloured ring box looks super cute to show off that amazing engagement and or wedding rings.  http://themrsbox.com/     www.lapetitbox.co.uk    

Bring along a set of your oh so pretty wedding stationary for me to capture too.  I’m in love with the Calligraphy + Design by Joy:  http://www.studiofrenchblue.com/        *Don’t forget to bring or post to me your paper goods: Wedding invites etc… So that I can shoot these as part of your details collection.

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4. TO THE BRIDE TO BE:  THINK ABOUT YOUR GETTING READY WEAR

Getting ready is one of my favourite parts of the day to shoot. These photographs will be an essential part of the story of your day, so I want you to look and feel amazing. Match an outfit up with your bridesmaids for a cute and fun look. Or wear something oh so pretty and elegant. Wrap yourself up in the most delicate romantic french lace and opt for some tasteful timeless boudoir portraits once you’re hair and make up ready. (*Please remember to ensure you leave ample time in your itinerary). http://thelaceatelier.com/ have a beautiful range.

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5. KEEP LUGGAGE OUT OF SIGHT

Keep the room you are getting ready in as tidy as possible. That way you’ll have the clean beautiful look you desire to see in your photographs.

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6. DO YOUR FORMAL GROUP PORTRAITS WITH EASE – WRITE AND SEND ME A LIST IN ADVANCE !!!   

I understand that weddings require a certain number of formal group photos therefore I dedicate a small amount of time to getting these shots done as efficiently as possible. I would encourage you to have no more than around eight group shots, which can take around 15-30 minutes.  Think about these in advance and write them down on more than 1 phone incase you forget the list. A helpful bridesmaid or usher can help during this time by rounding up the guests on your list whilst I focus on making sure everyone looks great on the photos. The time of day and location is important for these portraits. We want to avoid having groups squinting looking into the sun or half of the guests in shadow and half of the guests in light. This can often happen during the afternoon in summer when the sun is at it’s strongest. Be flexible about the location or consider doing them late afternoon when the sun is not so intense.

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7. TIMING FOR YOUR COUPLE PORTRAITS

Here are some ideas for you to get the most out of your portraits.

Talk to me if you need advise about the best time of day for your portraits session in Paris. Light and other variables change throughout the year. If you are requiring a specific location this may need to be photographed at a certain time of the day.

 In summer there are two times during the day when the lighting is incredible outdoors: early in the morning and late afternoon to evening. As a rule it’s best to avoid outdoor mid day harsh light (12-4PM) during the summer months. Two hours before and leading into sunset when the light is low in the sky produces a soft romantic portrait.  Mid-day summer sun light can be harsh producing strong light and shadows and be extremely hot. Depending on your wedding date, sunset is different all year round. Feel free to ask me for advice about light, sunset and your portraits. 

Consider 1.5 -2 hours in your timetable for portraits in Paris at varied locations. For 3 locations with travel time through the city, I’d safely mark out 2 hours which includes some buffer time. The getting ready stage  – 100% of the time runs late and often it has to be made up during the portraits time allowance so that you arrive at your ceremony on time.  

If you are also working with a videographer, it is important to allow extra time for this part of the day so as you can get amazing results for both photography and film.

A ‘First Look’ can be a lovely way to create more time for portrait photography on your wedding day without the restraints of an timeline or taking time away from your guests.  

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8. PARIS LOCATIONS:  (FOR PARIS WEDDINGS & ELOPEMENTS) 

Tell me your absolute preferred locations/ monuments or ideas and let me design the rest!

I will then present you with a plan that is achievable for your time allowance. 

Please note some locations such as Eiffel Tower Trocadero is more difficult to shoot without tourists after 9am. But if you are not a morning person or your schedule doesn’t allow for a morning shoot… you could take photos there at sunset instead. Or I can pick you another view of the tower from my ‘Hidden Paris’ knowledge.  Just remember Paris is a big busy city after all.  You just have to allow me to guide you a little and have some spontaneity in the schedule. 

You could also leave the portraits locations entirely in our creative hands. 

Here are some top locations for you to research: 

Eiffel Tower, Trocadero, Pont Bir Hakeim, Avenue Camoens   – Some hotel balconies have amazing Eiffel Tower views. 

The Louvre / The Tuileries Gardens / Pont des Arts

Notre Dame Area – Banks of the River Seine, The Ile Saint Louis,

Place Vendôme / Pont Alexandre / Palais Royal Gardens

Undercover Galleries:  Galerie Véro-Dodat/   Passage des Panoramas /  Galerie Vivienne

And Montmartre –  This one is a little further out of Paris. Although it’s incredibly beautiful it does take 20-25 mins to get there from the centre of Paris heading in the northern direction. 

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9. THE RECEPTION:

ARRANGE FOR US TO EAT THE SAME TIME YOU DO 

We ask to eat the same time as you do (no-one likes photographs of themselves eating). That way we’ll also be ready to document the action as the timeline progresses.  If you intend to have your speeches spread out through your meal, it is important that we are sat with you and your guests through dinner. That way we can just jump up and capture the action, including any spontaneous speeches. If we are sat in another room and we are not informed there is a speech about to happen often we can miss the first parts of the speech or all of it in some cases.

Please note: for weddings 8 hours or more – I’m a vegetarian when providing my vendor meal. Thank you so much. 

ALLOW 15 – 30 MINS FOR RECEPTION DETAILS PHOTOGRAPHY

Depending on the size of your reception room. Capturing all those gorgeous details you spent years planning takes time. Please allow in your itinerary 20 – 30 mins for me to creatively capture your reception set up. 

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10. CONSIDER GOING PHONE-LESS  (As much as possible)

Mobile phones date very quickly and take away the timeless element to your elegant photographs. 

Consider asking your guests not to use phones during the ceremony and other intimate moments. Remind them that you will happily share the professional photographs with them via the passworded website ClaireMorrisPhotography.com. Here you and your guest can download all your wedding photographs for free. Ask them to simply enjoy the moment and be present with you so there hands are free to high five you!  My photos will be way better than there’s anyway.  hehe.  

****GUYS**** please remember to take your phone out of your pocket. The shape of the phone in your pocket can be very visible in the photographs.  You’ve been told 😉   

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11. HAVE A PRE-WEDDING SHOOT

A pre-wedding shoot is not only a really great way to practice being in front of the camera but an opportunity to tell more of your wedding story.  You’ll get some really amazing photographs utilising the gorgeous location surrounding your venue as time can be tight on the wedding day itself. Together we can think up some really great personal ideas for the shoot so that it’s something unique that contributes to telling your love story. France wedding photographer, Paris wedding photographer, Italy wedding photographer, Europe pre wedding photographer,

12.  TRANSPORT FOR DAY 

PLAN GOOD TRANSPORT FOR THE PORTRAITS SESSION AROUND PARIS

Transportation around Paris for the portraits session is the responsibility of the client. Your wedding planner can help you with this.

You are welcome to hire a chauffeur service. Although vintage transportation can look really beautiful, a chauffeur van is the most efficient recommended transportation for space and ease. A van can fit the lovely couple, photographer + assistant, and any hired videographer and crew in.  Staying together is important so that nobody gets lost in the city. The Eiffel Tower area is especially large and meeting spots can easily get confused. 

Please note: The Eiffel Tower is outside of the city centre. To give you an idea of travel times; the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower is 15 minutes drive in really good traffic.

TRANSPORT FOR THE DAY FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY 

Where possible travelling with the bride and groom or bridal party is most convenient. That way I’m always with the wedding party to capture beautiful photographs. If your wedding is held at more than 1 venue let’s talk about logistics and the best way for getting me around with you. Please consider the 2nd photographer and videographer if you have booked them too.     

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13.  WHAT IF IT RAINS?

Please please please don’t watch the weather until 24 hours before your big day. It’s 95% of the time wrong. I’ve had a client crying on the phone with me 2 weeks before their big day because the weather showed rain. Then on the big day it was beautiful sunshine. Watching the weather in advance just causes unnecessary stress if it’s not the news you want to see.

I’ve captured many weddings in both rainy weather and melting heat. Planning with both in mind allows you to embrace the unexpected and have fun with whatever mother nature gives us.  Keeping an open mind will allow spontaneity and magic to surprise and delight you, and make your wedding uniquely yours.  

If it does rain it’s not bad either.  In fact it’s considered good luck in France to rain on your wedding day. 🙂 Be flexible and smile about it! You could bring an umbrella for some cute and wonderful portraits photos. If the rain is strong, we’ll try and re-jig the itinerary and or where possible utilise indoor locations such as inside your beautiful venue.  

14. EMAIL ME PHOTOS OF ANY DETAILS YOU CONFIRM such as; your style and colours, your dress, bridesmaids dresses, flowers, shoes, stationary, reception styling.  I will add these to your file and it really helps me to plan the photography to perfection.  It allows me to plan how I can tie your colours and style in with photographing your details all luxuriously and much more.    

15. YOUR TIMELINE 

Planning some space into your timeline is a great way to relax and enjoy your day rather than moving from 1 doing thing to the next thing on the agenda.  Weddings 99% time run late.. especially at the getting ready stage.  Adding buffer time and breathe time in to your timeline allows you to sit back and take it in.

Allow your wedding day to simply be what it is. Whether that means inclement weather forgetting that bracelet you wanted to wear, or events running way off schedule. It’s your ONE BIG DAY  you’ve planned for months… if not years!  On the day ensure you RELAX and enjoy every minute, it passes by in a heartbeat. 

 

ADVISE ON YOUR TIME LINE

**Please note this is very generalised in order to guide you** 

To recap here’s what you should budget for in your timeline: 

Styled details:  30 mins – 1 hour depending on amount of details. 

Getting ready… If you are getting ready at different venues you may want to consider a 2nd Photographer for this to be possible to capture both bride and groom getting ready. If you are not having a 2nd photographer please leave sufficient time for me to capture the below details and travel between locations. Often this means the groom getting ready earlier than necessary. Then you can take off your jacket and relax while I go off to the bride. 

Bride Getting Ready:  1 hour:  Includes photography of make up touch ups, styled getting ready shots and bridal portraits when dressed. More time needed for more coverage.  

Bridal Boudoir:  30 mins 

Groom Getting Ready:   40 – 60 mins = last getting ready details, the fun of the guys, styled portraits  

First look + Portraits:

Paris first look + Portraits: Bride and groom portraits in Paris needs at least 2 hours for 2 – 3 locations. 

Outside of Paris – first look + Portraits: Bride and groom portraits around wedding venue:  1 hour.  More time needed for more creative portraits utilising more of the venue. The first look takes more time than you think to co-ordinate and enjoy the experience in the moment. 

Ceremony:  20 – 45 mins depending on ceremony type. 

Family portraits:  20 – 30 mins depending on size of wedding. 

Cocktail Hour:  1 – 2 hours – Depending on if you’re having a first look and portraits before the ceremony. If you are not…. you will want a longer cocktail hour so that you can enjoy some time with your guests other than during the family portraits and couple portraits time. 

Reception Details Photographed:  30 mins 

Reception Party:  This can vary according to what you have planned.