8 Things To Think About For Your Photo Session

By Lauren, Eichar Photography (Photos by Ali Brassel Photography)

I'm always the one taking photos, so I get used to that nice, comfortable feeling of hiding behind my camera. I forget what it's like to be on the other side of the lens, having photos taken of me. I was reminded of that experience this summer when Jamie and I had photos taken of us by our photographer friend, Ali Brassel, for our 2 year wedding anniversary session. Here are 8 tips for your session!

 

1. Set your mentality for the session. You get to decide what it's really about. Jamie and I wanted to make our session about enjoying a nice, easy morning together as we started our second year of marriage. A photo shoot is the perfect time to soak in time with your partner and feel your gratitude for them. Might as well think about it as a special date in a beautiful spot with the person you love! 

Ali Brassel Photography

Ali Brassel Photography


2. Pick a location for your session that wows you every time you walk into the space. Jamie and I picked Bowood farms for our session because we get inspired by the beautiful industrial feel of the building and windows. We love the natural light and we always get caught up in the gift shop looking at their cute details and plants that fill the space. We also picked our home... because well, we love it. :) 

Ali Brassel Photography

Ali Brassel Photography

Ali Brassel Photography

Ali Brassel Photography

3. Pick outfits that make you feel awesome. Duh, I know. But it's a real thing. Wear the anthropologie dress that you've been dying to have an excuse to wear, or the hat that makes you feel trendy, that might be hard to wear out to dinner with friends. We found Jamie an awesome button up shirt the week of our shoot, and it was perfect for a between casual and dressy look. One thing we always tell our couples is to dress like you're attending the same party, so that you're either both casual or both dressy. 

Ali Brassel Photography

Ali Brassel Photography

4. The day of your shoot, let the things you love about yourself run your day. I woke up and decided to not buy any self conscious thoughts that entered. If I had one come up when looking in the mirror, I would tell myself, nope, not today! Today is about embracing who I am and loving what I see when I look in the mirror. Okay, now how cool would it be to do that everyday!? :)

Ali Brassel Photography

Ali Brassel Photography

5. Incorporate things that help tell a story. We love that the feeling of our anniversary session is a morning spent at our favorite local shop and then cuddling up at home with some warm drinks and music. What are some of your favorite activities to do together as a couple?

Ali Brassel Photography

Ali Brassel Photography

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6. Trust your photographer. Before we started the shoot, we told Ali that we trusted her completely. I’m sure she already knew that, but it helped set the tone for the session, letting her do her thing. She felt comfortable spontaneously asking us to stop and pose in different spots where the light was peaking through and she knew we were game for almost anything. Giving your photographer that full trust allows them the freedom to do their best work. That part I do know from experience. :)  

Ali Brassel Photography

Ali Brassel Photography

7. Pay attention to the things your photographer gets excited about. About half way through the shoot, I noticed Ali would start to celebrate when ever we used our hands on each other's faces, and when Jamie would pull my hair back. Looking at the photos now, that really did make the moment feel intimate and sweet.  

Ali Brassel Photography

Ali Brassel Photography

8. Let yourself loosen up and be weird. Okay, yes, easier said than done. When your photographer sets you up in a pose, they actually want you to be fluid within that pose: have fun giggling, whispering things to each other, and try closing your eyes to breathe in the moment. Part of trusting your photographer is knowing that they want you to look amazing and they'll be editing the photos that do make you look good. Ali pointed out anytime we had to fix our shirt or reposition our faces towards the light, so any worrying about how we looked just wasn't our job at all. She snapped away when we made our weird giggle noises and now we have photos of ourselves during this time in our lives with big, fat, authentic smiles! No self consciousness there. :)

Ali Brassel Photography

Ali Brassel Photography

Thanks for stopping by Lauren's Tips!! Now go plan your dream session! :)

5 Tips for Getting Through Family Photos Quickly

By Lauren, Eichar Photography

Did you know that family photos can take up to 45 minutes on your wedding day? I'd love to help you shave off all of the time you can so that you can get back to your party! :)

 

1. Make a list! 

I highly recommend writing up a list of family photos you want. This way, on your wedding day you're not spending your time thinking about that. From my experience I've noticed that parents are the ones most excited about family photos, so think about setting up a dinner date with the rents to write down their wishes, too. Don't forget to print out the list and send it over to your photographers before the big day.

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

2. Start big and then go small. 

When making your list, start off with all of the big groupings first and then have the list end with the smallest groupings. For example, start with the family photo of all cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, and siblings, and then dismiss people so that you're next focusing on immediate family. This way, people are able to go start enjoying themselves, and you'll get through your photos more efficiently. 

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

3. Assign a family member or friend to help call out names.

This is my best piece of advice for getting through family photos quickly. As photographers, we don't know names of your family yet, and we're busy lining people up, making sure everyone is seen, and making sure all eyes are open in the shots we're taking. I suggest thinking of someone who is both loud and knows lots of family names. This will help you save so much time! Plus, your photographers will have a new best friend at the wedding. :)

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

4. Stay put.

Your only job during family photos as the bride or groom is to stay in the middle of each photo and let everyone fill in beside you. Oh, and smile. :)

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

5. Let family know the time and location for family photos.

Most couples get their family photos done following right after their ceremony, although some couples like to get all staged photos done before going into their ceremony if they've chosen to also have a "first look". Do what ever works best for your schedule, just don't forget to let all of your family know the plan. You can also save some time by telling family to meet 10 minutes earlier than you plan on starting. 

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

Hope these tips help you save some time for partying! 

5 Tips For Planning Your Outdoor Wedding

By Lauren, Eichar Photography

1. If your ceremony is scheduled to be midday, find a shady location.

Why shade? Under shade the light on faces will be even. You won't risk having faces overexposed in photos from a bright sun, and you won't risk having scattered light on faces. Not to mention, your guests will probably enjoy the ceremony more without the sun in their eyes.

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

2. Think about scheduling your couple portraits during golden hour.

Couple portraits are the photos of just you two. It's one of the only times during a wedding day where you can pause, soak in your day, and enjoy one-on-one time together. Why not soak that special time in together while the light looks best!? The hour before the sun sets allows for warm, soft, and gorgeous light for your photos! When the sun is lower in the sky, the light offers a much more flattering glow than when above you where it catches shadows from your eyes and nose. Maybe you plan on taking some couple portraits after your first-look, before the ceremony, but think about stepping out for some more during the golden hour. If you have dinner scheduled during golden hour, think about slipping away for just 15 minutes while guests keep enjoying their dinner. 

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

3. Have a conversation about what you'll do if it rains.

Some couples choose to rent a tent for back up, and some embrace the rain. I've seen brides leave umbrellas out for guests in a decorative way in case of rain. When you come up with a plan, the rain won't feel like it interrupted the flow of the day. Just tell your guests, "it was all part of the plan". :)

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

4. Take advantage of the outdoors with some outdoor activities!

Not only will guests love goofing off at your wedding, it will create some awesome photos too! Consider how you spend your free time and incorporate that into your day. For my wedding I had guests from Jamie's side of the family and my side of the family throwing huge dice, the size of their hands, for a big game of pharkle. It was a lot of fun seeing people who didn't know each other enjoy our wedding day and get to know each other over a big game of dice. Whether it's a lawn game or taking a canoe out on the lake, just do what is fun for you. 

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

5. Decorate your outdoor wedding with touches of nature.

Let who you are as a couple shine through in the details at your wedding! Whether you have a love for wild flowers, mountains, or adventure, have fun incorporating that into the details. You can bring the outdoors to your table decorations and remind your guests what a beautiful day they're a part of. These special details can add to the feeling of your wedding day and can help tell the story of your day when you look back on your wedding photos.

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

Thanks for checking out my tips on planning your outdoor wedding! Please feel free to leave comments and questions below.

How do I pick a great getting-ready location?

By Lauren, Eichar Photography

 

You may have heard people say this before: other than the memories, the one thing from your wedding day that will truly last for the rest of your lives will be the photographs. Here's what you probably haven't heard before: your planning influences a huge aspect of the photos you'll end up with. There's a lot you can do to help make your photos turn out better. So let’s make your wedding photos beautiful! 

Whether you don’t know where to start when picking a getting-ready location or you're wanting a few tips to ensure special moments captured with your loved ones, this is for you. 

Let's dive straight into the photography perspective of planning the getting-ready portion of your day! 

 

1. Look for a space with big windows that let in lots of natural light. 

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

2. Envision the people you'd like to have around while you get ready. Does the space fit all of them? Does it allow a natural flow in the room?

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

3. Look for a quirky or unique space that represents you. Think about asking to borrow a friend's house for a few hours on the morning of your wedding day or renting an awesome airbnb!

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

 

Do I need my photographer for all of the getting-ready portion of my day?

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

For some people, the most emotional and sweet moments happen while they're getting-ready. If you're lucky and are able to afford an all-day package with your photographer, you'll be happy they were able to photograph this portion of your day. You'll be giving them plenty of opportunity to capture some incredible shots even through out some of the regular moments. I think you'll be surprised by how many nuggets come out of this portion of your day!

If you're working with a tight budget this is one place where you can cut out hours with your photographer(s). You can plan to have them arrive during your last 30 minutes of getting ready. Hold off on putting on your dress and veil and let your photographer capture those special moments when your wedding day really starts to feel real. For the guys, if you're wanting a few snazzy photos of getting ready, hold off on putting on your jacket and tie. It often makes for some fun photos when the guys are hanging out before the ceremony, too.

 

What should I be aware of during the getting-ready moments on my wedding day? 

1. Face the window.

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

2. Have fun! Don't forget to smile.

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

3. Grab the people you care about while you're getting ready. Your mom might be in the corner helping someone, but make sure to get her in some photos with you while you're doing last minute touches.

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

4. Be yourself and try to forget about the camera(s) on you.

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

How many people should I have around while I get ready?

This completely depends on you. I can only tell you what personally worked well for me on my wedding day. Here's what I did:

Phil Chester

Phil Chester

I had my hair and make-up done at the Airbnb that I rented for all of my bridesmaids. It was a perfect place to have friends spread out and slowly get ready for the day. When my hair and makeup was done I hopped in a car, headed to my family's cabin where I met just my immediate family. They helped me put on my dress, shoes, and earrings. I made a decision early on that I wanted a moment with just my family around and it ended up being one of the most special parts of my day.

You may want to make your day into a giant get-together and invite your wedding party and even grandparents to be around. Or you may, like me, want some special, intimate moments planned out in advance. 

 

What else should I know/think about before the day comes?

1. Your photographs will turn out so much better with a clean space. Think about assigning a friend or family member to be in charge of keeping the getting-ready room clean and clear of clutter. 

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

2. Lay out the items you want photographed before your photographer arrives. This way your photographer doesn't have to bother you or your friends as you're getting ready.

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

3. Think about having a 'first look' for all of your bridesmaids after you've put on your dress. Most of the time this means picking out one person (mom/maid of honor) to help get you in the dress and then having a grand reveal right after.

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

4. Start getting ready a tad earlier than you have planned. From our experience, weddings tend to get off schedule because the getting-ready portion of the day takes longer than you think it will. 

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

5. If you have enough window light, turn off the lights while you get ready. This will help keep the coloring in your photos natural and flattering. 

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

5. Reading love letters from your partner while you get ready is such an amazing way to start your day.

Eichar Photography

Eichar Photography

 

For amazing images from the getting-ready portion of your day remember to face the window, grab your loved ones, and try to forget about the cameras. Just be you and have fun.

Thanks for reading my tips! Hopefully you've already started to think like a photographer as you plan getting-ready! Please leave any comments or questions below!