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Because LHW often gets asked by couples what they can do to better prepare for their wedding day, we decided to create this document. The following information has been written with photography in mind to help each couple develop some understanding for what your photographer may look for or require. The idea behind this is simply to highlight some points leading up to and on the wedding day that each couple could potentially control in order to get the most out of their wedding photography.  We are going to take amazing photos no matter what, which is why the following is only intended to be used as a guide and is by no means a necessity. 

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU LOCKING IN TIMES: Are you planning a wedding during daylight savings time? Do you need to travel between locations (travel times)? Are you getting married during a holiday period (extra traffic)? Are there any special events on which could interfere with plans?

FINDING A BRIDAL PARTY PREP SPACE: 1. If you plan on booking a house or hotel room for the bridal prep, always aim to book a place or room that is filled with lots of natural light. Turning everyday tungsten lights on to help brighten a space isn't a good idea because they tend to throw off a yellow/orange colour cast. This colour cast is why most photographers will request they be turned off. 2. Does the house or hotel have curtains? It’s not a necessity, but always an added bonus if we have complete control over the amount of light which enters the room and which direction we want it to come from. 3. Does the place you plan on booking have some character and charm that would look great in photos?


1. Try to have all the details that you would like your us to photograph set to one side as this is usually where we will start the day. 2. In order to create your detail shots, we will try to work with any unique objects/textures/light that we find around your space. These shots could potentially be improved if you were to help by providing a small box of items that we could use to style alongside the rings/shoes /invitations etc. This can be anything from a mixture of flowers/foliage, textures or ornaments which works cohesively with your wedding theme. For example, the photo by @peytonrbyford on the left can be used as a reference. 3. Avoid mess and clutter where possible. LHW understands that it’s easy to leave empty bottles/food/belongings laying around a room when you have a full bridal party getting ready. However, if possible, try to help us by keeping the rooms tidy and these objects out of sight. 4. Aim to be dressed and ready half an hour before leaving for the ceremony, this will allow some time for us to get creative with a few extra shots.

BRIDE & BRIDESMAIDS: 1. It's a good idea to have your hair and makeup completed 2 hours before you leave to attend the ceremony with only small touch-ups left for us to photograph. 2. It's preferable to use natural light (window light) when final makeup touch-ups are being applied.

GROOM & GROOMSMEN: 1. If you have only booked one photographer and would like both bridal party preps documented, please discuss this with us prior to the day so we can work out a plan. 2. Unless requested, please avoid getting ready before your photographer arrives. 3. For all formal and portrait shots, it's preferable to have suit buttons done up. Suits that have two buttons should only ever have the top button done up, never the bottom. Suits that have three buttons, should always have the top button done up, sometimes the middle but never the bottom button.

CEREMONIES: 1. The first Kiss, this moment can come and go very quickly so if possible, try to avoid rushing it. There is no harm in going for one or two kisses or even a longer kiss. After all, you just got married, why not show that excitement. Doing this means we won't miss the shot and we may even be able to get a few varying shots (tight and zoomed out). 2. Phones or no phones? This is a personal choice but in our professional opinion, your photos will look better when your guests are present in the moment and the photos aren't filled with phones. It can also make it slightly more difficult to photograph when everyone is trying to get 'the shot'. 3. Confetti or rose petals - These photos always look incredible when you have a giant grin on your face and you are being showered in confetti or rose petals as you walk back down the isle. This is why we think it's a good idea to have something for guests to throw, provided you're having an outdoor ceremony. 4. If you want family formal photos (which most do) please allow some extra time for these in the itinerary.

OUTDOOR CEREMONIES: 1. When picking a location for your arbour its best to either be in full sun or full shade. A camera cannot see as much dynamic range as the human eye can. Dynamic range is the difference in contrast between light and shadow. It’s difficult for us to expose correctly when you have dappled light (patchy sun and shadow) on your body or face. So aim to pick one or the other and not half/half if possible. Full shade - While there is always a direction that light comes from, more often than not the light will be nice and even if you're situated in the shade. Full Sun - If you have opted to go for full sun, its preferable to have the sun somewhat behind you or directly in front of you (not side on). If the option is available to place the sun behind you, it would be preferred. This is because it will create an even shadow on your face. Having the sun directly in front of you (lighting your face) is also fine but keep in mind that it tends to make people squint. 2. Because you will be at the mercy of the weather, it’s important to pay close attention to the wind and its forecasted direction. Wind and rain are unfortunately out of our control. It's a good idea to keep this in mind when deciding which direction to face the arbour or which side the bride should stand on. If possible, aim to have the wind blowing into her face from the front or diagonally from the side/front.

CHURCH CEREMONIES: 1. When booking a church, it’s important to ask the priest if there are any limitations for the photographer. Some churches won’t permit the use of flash, allow photographers up onto the alter or past a certain point. These restrictions are out of our control and you will need to be comfortable with them should you decide to make a booking with that church.

FAMILY PORTRAITS: 1. It would help us if you were to prepare a list of all the family portrait combinations that you would like taken prior to the day. Keep this list on hand or send it to us via email to ensure that no combination gets missed. To make the portrait session run as smooth and efficiently as possible, it would also be beneficial if you could allocate a family member to help round up each individual on the list. The less time we spend looking for people, the more time we can spend photographing the bride and groom at the allocated location. 2. Please help to ensure that your family members or guests remove sunglasses prior to having their photo taken during the portrait session.


1. It’s good to allocate roughly 1-1.5 hours for the location shoot. If you need to travel to get to your location, this should be added onto the 1-1.5 hours as well as an allowance for traffic. This should give us an adequate amount of time at the location to get all the photos of the bridal party we need without rushing. 2. Wet weather - If it rains, try to embrace it and use it in your photos. It's also a good idea to have a wet weather plan so that you can get some variation in your photos. 3. Daylight savings & sunset photos - If possible, try to coordinate a small 20-25minute window in between the formal events of the evening for you to step out and take advantage of it.

THE RECEPTION: 1. It's a good idea to provide us with an up to date itinerary or have the MC let us know when the formalities of the night will take place so we have enough time to set up any additional equipment before the events take place. 2. Try to fight the nerves and avoid calling guests up too soon during the first dance. Enjoy that special moment with your partner a little longer. This will give us more time and opportunity to nail the shot or shots. 3. If the venue you hired has some unique features that would be good for night photography and you would like to use them, it's best to do this toward the start of the night rather than the end.

FINAL NOTES Don't forget that your wedding day is about what you and your partner want, it's not a commercial photo shoot, so don't be afraid to speak up and let the us know if something isn't to your liking. Good communication is key and will ensure that everything runs exactly how you would like it to. Most importantly though, be yourself and have fun!

Lonely Hunter Weddings Website: Email:

All Images used in this document except for one were taken by Lonely Hunter Weddings

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The Bride & Groom's Guide To Imporoving Your Wedding Photos  

This document was designed to help brides and grooms better prepare for their wedding day so that they can get the most out of their wedding...

The Bride & Groom's Guide To Imporoving Your Wedding Photos  

This document was designed to help brides and grooms better prepare for their wedding day so that they can get the most out of their wedding...