Wedding Photo Tips for Brides & Grooms

Here are some tips & suggestions to help you get the best result from your wedding photography.

The Day Before/Rehearsal

If you have a destination wedding, you would typically plan a lot of fun things to do with your guests such as snorkeling in the Caribbean ocean, or ziplining in the jungle of Mexico.  Let us capture the events leading up to the wedding day and make it an amazing wedding weekend’s worth of memories. grace_bay_club_turks_and_caicos_wedding_0017

Getting Ready

Do you like to get ready in peace and quiet? Or do you enjoy a room full of friends and family surrounding you as you are getting ready? This will provide a very different dynamics in your getting ready photos.  If possible, please get ready in a room with plenty of light. More importantly, during hair and makeup, leave enough room around you for our photographer to get the best angle and try to minimize the clutter as much as possible so they won’t interfere with your photos. And make sure to add enough time on your schedule to your hair and makeup portion of the day. Marta_Ben_266 meadowood_napa_wedding_apertura_05

First Look

After the bride and groom are dressed and ready, it is advisable that they see each other for the first time prior to the ceremony. The first look usually provides an emotional encounter in a private and intimate setting. Plus, it creates less stress for your wedding day schedule because the bridal party and family portraits can be completed right after the first look. wedding_samar_ali_0017 skirball_cultural_center_wedding_by_apertura_0009

Church Ceremony

Some churches have very strict policy regarding wedding photography. Before you book your church, please find out what the restrictions are so we all have realistic expectations for the ceremony photographs. The closer and more open access to the ceremony would allow us to capture a more intimate feel of your ceremony.  Not to worry, we will always be respectful. apertura-erwin-wedding-ceremony-first-congregational-church-los-angeles-photo-12 Katherine_Ari_331

Outdoor Ceremony

Typically, the best time for an outdoor ceremony is 2-3 hours prior to sunset. Please keep in mind to stand where there will be even light falling on both the bride and groom. Try to avoid shadows cast by trees, pillar and the likes or one in the light and one in the shadow. Lastly, it would be very helpful to let your guests know to enjoy the ceremony without being overly concerned about taking pictures so they do not interfere with our photography. aliso_beach_orange_county_wedding_0020 wedding_samar_ali_0027

Bride & Groom Portraits

Don’t forget to set aside 40 minutes to an hour of total portrait time of just the two of you. The best time for outdoor portraits is 1 hour before sunset. When inspiration strikes, we might pull you out for a quick portrait during a lull in the schedule. Please keep an open mind as these portraits sometimes require patience and time – even portraits have moments and moments need time to develop. angelus_mountain_center_altadena_wedding_0021 rancho_palos_verdes_wedding_by_apertura_0015 bride_groom_portrait_7_degrees_wedding_laguna_beach_0019

Group Portraits

If you are not doing the first look, the best time for the family portraits is right after the ceremony. We will ask for a list of the groupings beforehand and try to finish this part in 15-20 minutes. Efficiency is key here because we want your guests to go back to cocktail hours so they can enjoy themselves. It is still advisable to let the people who is participating in the group photos aware that they need to stay after the ceremony ahead of time so there won’t be any confusion when the time comes. mia_alex_by_apertura_0306

Details & Decor

We understand that details and decor are very important parts of your wedding day. We ask that we have 10 minutes of uninterrupted time during the cocktail hour so we can capture the beautiful settings before the guests put their purses and jackets on their seats. wedding_samar_ali_0034 lara_ben_apertura_0030


Photography is all about lights! You might want to invest on having accent lightings such as uplights in addition to candles, spotlights, and chandeliers. If you’re going to have an outdoor reception, additional lights such as string lights and candles are even more important to brighten up your photographs. Another thing to consider is to have the sweetheart table away from the kitchen activities. Nothing is more distracting than having the kitchen staff walking around in the background during a moving toast.  Lastly, please include your photographers on the guest list so we are properly fed at the same time as the guests (since this is the downtime for photography), never too far from you and never miss important moments. Marta_Ben_620 ritz_carlton_pacific_place_jakarta_wedding_by_apertura_0031 Kate_Shaun_813


It’s important that your photographer and videographer are compatible in style and approach so they can perform their best for you without getting in each other’s way. We strive to capture real moments and real moments happen naturally. We work best with videographers who document the day unobtrusively. Please ask your photographers if they have a list of videographers they prefer.

When Things Don’t Go As Planned

No matter how much you plan for a flawless day, sometimes the weather turns bad, or you may forget a thing or two. Always keep an open mind and positive attitude even if things don’t go your way. They could be the magical elements that may make your wedding photography unique and truly yours. apertura_jackie_anthony_maui_hawaii_0009 angelus_mountain_center_altadena_wedding_0027