Love at City Hall

I had the best day yesterday – I was at City Hall to shoot a wedding & on my way in, the cutest LGBT couple stopped me and asked if I’d snap a photo of them because “I looked like I might know what I was doing.”  They looked so happy & I was delighted that they are finally able to marry.  I didn’t ask them to share their story, it wasn’t really necessary – their emotion just said it all.

(c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY (c) eLLe PHOTOGRAPHY

What ya gonna wear?

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To get ready for wedding?  Now I am not in the business of pushing brides to get more stuff that they don’t need for their weddings, but I am in the business of making your day look really pretty.  One thing I always tell my couples is that if we’re shooting you while you’re getting ready, try to keep the area where that’s happening clean.  More often than not, the bridal parties will dump their duffle bags and assorted snacks all over the hotel suite where the primping is happening.  The more clear the areas can stay, the prettier your pictures will look because there won’t be clutter in the background.  I need to add this tip — brides, pick out something pretty to get dressed in.  I think this might be the last thing I’d personally ever think about because I am prone to dressing in my ratty bathrobe.  But getting ready pictures can be gorgeous & with a little thought behind your “dressing gown,” even lovelier.  There are a lot of vendors for this sort of thing, but I was digging around the interwebs for some finds that I haven’t seen before & came upon these three lovely options on Etsy.  The upper left is a vintage hot pink dressing gown that I liked color-wise, and it looks like it has a nice soft feeling that would photograph well.  I was also drawn to the subtly vibrant (is there such a thing?) floral patterned robe (the bottom image).  But my favorite is the vintage Pucci set – it looks so glamorous.  Ladies – I’d put on your pretty heels for the dressing portion of the day too (or at least for a few shots).

behind the scenes – wedding photography tip #1, a series

……….I thought I’d start a little series about the things we see as photographers “behind the scenes” that will hopefully make your wedding planning a little easier.  I know there are a zillion blogs out there that will tell you the perfect place to get a stripey straw, and others that will tell you have to save money, etc.  I’m not trying to get into that space.  Instead, I thought I’d share our perspective on what little things can contribute to great wedding photos and can make your focus a little easier.

The first thing I’ll suggest is the “first look” session and/or getting all your formal shots done before the wedding starts.  Now, I am suggesting this with the caveat that if you have always had your heart set on a traditional “the first time my guy/gal sees me is at the ceremony” vision for your wedding day, this is probably not the suggestion for you.  I firmly believe that every couple really should do what feels right for them.  This suggestion is really for the people who aren’t tied to an idea about this or who are on the fence about whether to do a first look.

Every couple we’ve done this with has been really happy that they went in this direction.  They loved doing the first look for a lot of reasons, but the big ones were

– it took away some of the stress of the day.  The couple had a moment before the ceremony started and before everyone arrived to be together and to reflect on what they were about to do.  It calmed the couple’s nerves about cold feet too.

– it helped the flow of the day — because the majority of the portraits were taken before the ceremony, the couple and their bridal party were able to attend their own cocktail hour and be present for their entire day.

– the couples felt like they really had some quality time together on their wedding day.  We usually schedule them to be well in advance of everything starting, so there’s some real time to just be together while we step back and capture little moments.

Anyway, it’s something to consider and by no means a requirement!  What do you think?  Would you do a first look?

STOP.THE.PRESSES!! We are in Matchbook Magazine this month!!!

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Everyone, I am about to get all super fan girl here, but I am cartwheeling & spinning with excitement because *Matchbook Magazine* (my absolute favorite ever) is featuring a wedding that we shot at City Hall in this month’s issue!!  It is on page 93 & you must go look immediately.  I am jumping for joy!!

PS – if you want to see more of this shoot, it was also featured on Grey Likes Weddings (check out Lady Grey’s fabulous site redesign while you’re there) and on the lovely Classic Bride.