It's almost show time!

As you prepare for your big day, this wedding guide is designed to help ensure you get the best possible images & audio by helping me with just a few things.

So, here are some tips to help you prepare for your wedding day!

But first...

The Importance of a First look

This private moment allows you to share your emotions, or a heartfelt letter, and have a few minutes to yourselves. This is the ideal, and sometimes, the only time to capture candid and intimate shots of the couple alone.

Not only that, but this is also the perfect time to complete a lot of portraits from your shot list. This includes the rest of the bridal party and even close family members. That way, by knocking out those portraits before the ceremony, you can actually enjoy part of your cocktail hour and not be stressed or rushed through an hour, or more, of standing for portraits.

While some couples choose to do a first look to help calm their nerves before the ceremony, others simply want to have a special moment together before the day gets busy. Whatever the reason, a first look can be a beautiful addition to a couple's wedding day.

What to expect?


I will literally tell you everything you need to do. I will even model or act it out for you. From verbal cues like "walk hand-in-hand while looking at each other," to "then bump hips like your drunk," to "look at each, now bring each other in for a kiss," and "bring your hand up to his chest or her face."


While we'll start with a prompt, I'm looking for the in-between moments where the real connection lies. While posed looks & "breaking the 4th wall" can look great & be powerful, I honestly want to feel the connection & capture genuine interactions between the two of you.


Once I direct you through some basic motions and we have a connection, its time to hit record. It's important to note now: There WILL be retakes. There will be adjustments. There will be fly away hair. There will be an outfit adjustment. Retakes are completely normal & to be expected.

*Note for the guys*

I get it that taking pictures or video for hours is not the most ideal situation and you may feel shy or awkward in front of a camera. Believe me. I know.

However, I'm going to be honest. You DO have the easiest job here. You are going to put your hand in your pocket, smile, then not smile, hold hands & kiss a little bit while I make y'all look the BEST as possible so you feel like a million bucks. I may ask you to stick your hand up & out as she twirls. If you got a good back, I may ask you do a lift. I'll ask you to wear a microphone during the ceremony. But that's pretty much it!

Now if you do enjoy camera time for yourself, I HIGHLY recommend selecting to hire add a 2nd videographer, as most of the day I will be with the bride.

Getting Ready

FLAT LAYs, Details & Invitations

In a flat lay, objects are arranged on a flat surface and photographed/videoed from above. Any details included can help to create interest and add depth to the image, as well showcase any sentimental details that are important to you or your new family.

Below is a list of items that I would love to have in 1 place upon my arrival:

HERS: invitation suite, shoes, ring(s), ring box, bracelets, earrings, necklace, hair pieces, vow book, perfume, etc.

HIS: cologne, shoes, bowtie or tie, tie clip, pocket square, watch, cuff links, vow book, etc.

request Loose florals

To really bring a flat-lay shot to life, loose florals literally add some life to the image, so if possible, please request that your florist deliveries some extra loose florals (no more than a handful) so we can add it to your details.

all rings start with bride

Since photo & video typically starts with the bride, so do all the rings. While we are taking the flat-lay/detail shots, your rings need to be together. Once we are finished with them, we will bring them to the groom/best man or whoever is holding the rings for the ceremony and then start getting him dressed & ready to go.

Dress form over Hanger

If possible, ask the hotel, venue, or even your wedding planner, if they have access to a dress form to showcase your wedding dress.

Hanger shots are the standard dress shot but they are a bit lifeless to me and since I'm shooting video, I would love movement and what better than be able to pan 180-degrees up the 3D dress rather than something flat.

"Getting Ready" Space & Light

Consider getting ready in an open, clean room with soft natural light coming through the windows. Try to get your makeup done near a window as it is much prettier for details and your skin will look more radiant, instead of yellow-ish from overhead lighting.

Keep indoor lights off during getting ready photos so you don’t get mixed colors.

Make-up Touch-up Shots

Typically no one wants to be recorded without looking their best so I usually wont start shooting you until your make-up is nearly finished.

If we need too, we can always recreate make-up with touch-up shots but be prepared to keep your makeup artist there until I can get a few shots.


Lavalier Microphones & audio

Throughout the day, audio is just as important as the images we are capturing. You will notice I will usuaully have an on-camera microphone on my main camera to record candid moments & ambiance. For more directed audio, I use personal lavalier microphones that may be pinned to a lapel or hidden underneath clothing. I may want to record you reading your vows, or your letter to one another, ahead of time.

Due to the time & difficulty of placing a mic underneath a bride's dress, but also since they are sensitive, all I need to do is place a lavalier microphone on the groom & and the officiant, which will pick up the bride's audio too. I will also be connected to any DJ/soundboard for backup.

Commericial grade lighting

I shoot on cinema line cameras so while these cameras are great in low-light, they still need "a kiss of light" for subjects to look the best as possible. Throughout the day, I will try to find natural light sources to use but sometimes we have to use external lights to not only light you properly but to also change the scene or make it more dramatic & cinematic.

During the ceremony, I may need to add external lights, especially if your ceremony site is backlit, as shown above. If there is light coming in from behind the alter area, I need add lights to compensate or the windows will be blown out and it'll washout your skintones.


During this time, I will capture some portraits but if you notice, most formal portraits do not make the highlight film because they don't help move the story because I need movement & motion.

If you could, please help the photographer by keeping all bridal party & family members nearby during this time.

While I will get a few group shots of the bridal party & immediate family members, usually due to time constraints we have to move very quickly.

I just need about 10-15 minutes with the two of you alone during this time so we can make some quick magic with the two of you alone.


Reception Lighting

Again, for the best possible image, lights are REQUIRED for me to shoot. I will turn down the lights during dinner and dancing so it's "a kiss of light," but if they turn off, I will not be shooting much because the image becomes too noisey. I will tell you after 6 years of doing this, if people are not on the dance floor, its not because of the lights!


In order for me to get the best speech/reception audio, I need to plug right into the DJ's soundboard or external speaker. If you could give them a heads up that your videographer will ask to plug in for audio, that;ll usually do the trick! In case they ask you, I have a mix of connections for XLR, 1/4", 1/8" & component.


During speeches, it's vital that the person speaking stays still while standing near or next to your sweetheart table. If they move out of the light, away from the dance floor, or sweetheart table area, they won't be recorded! So please give everyone a heads up to try and stay still by your table while giving their speech so they can face & address everybody.


An exit is the perfect way to end your wedding day and send you off in style! It's also a great way to end the wedding film with you pulling off to your new life together. If your packages hours of coverage allow it, since exit's usually take place outside in the dark, I will usually use a single light to expose you properly.

Still have questions?

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