How To Backup, Print, and Save your Wedding Photographs

Making sure that you take care of your wedding photographs after you’ve received them is SO important.  All too often we forget that digital files don’t last forever, and we absolutely need to take steps to ensure that something as important as your wedding photographs get preserved and saved to share with future generations.  While I offer a variety of printed products with all of my wedding photography packages, there are a few more steps you can take at home to ensure you will get to enjoy your photographs for years to come.

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Backing up your wedding photographs digitally

Computers crash, hard drives get destroyed or stolen, technology like USB’s become obsolete……as much as we don’t want to believe it, these things happen (and all the time), so make sure your photographs aren’t just living in one digital location.  I recommend having at least one physical, external hard drive with duplicate copies of all your important files.  Your wedding photographs should absolutely be saved on here!  Store this hard drive in a different location from your computer to deter theft, and most importantly, make sure you actually know how to use it!  (Anybody thinkkkk they have their computer backed up, but aren’t completely sure it worked properly?  Hands? Anyone? Bueller?).  Replace this hard drive once in a while; technology doesn’t last forever.  I also recommend storing all of your photographs online through a cloud based software, pick whatever option is best for you, whether that’s google drive, dropbox, crashplan, or a myriad of other online options.  Finally, ensure you’re saving the high resolution copies of your photographs, this is key!

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Printing your wedding photographs

All of my wedding photography packages come with a printed album, and I offer a variety of other print options to help ensure you have beautiful, tangible copies of your favourite photographs.  From various classic album options, to beautiful boxed print sets, to gorgeous large scale prints on handmade paper, ask me for my printed products guide to shop all the beautiful printing options! Should you want to print your own photographs, while any prints are good prints, I recommend finding a printer that does archival printing.  This means that your photographs are printed on top quality materials, and in such a way that they are intended to last for a lifetime together without beginning to warp, yellow, discolour, or fade.  It’s a bit more expensive to print, but is well worth it to save your photographs in a beautiful format that you will one day share with your children and grandchildren!

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Preserving your photographs

Once you’ve printed your images, make sure you’re storing them in such a way that they will last.  Avoid leaving prints out in the full sun, frame wall mounted prints under UV protective glass, and store your albums out of direct sun and in a dry location.  It goes without saying that prints and albums must be kept dry, but sometimes this is forgotten if they are ever stored for a period of time.  If you’re moving, cleaning up, or otherwise will be moving your photographs to a new location, make sure to pack them carefully, ensure they are protected from getting wet, and don’t leave them for a prolonged period of time somewhere damp like a basement or storage locker.  Properly cared for, the printed products you order through me are intended to be heirlooms, and should be passed down for years, telling and carrying on your story every time they are shared.

Get in touch with me by email to request my printed products guide, inquire about printing options for your own wedding photographs, or browse some of my print options through your online gallery on Pic-time.  I look forward to getting some beautiful printed photographs into your hands!

 

 

Creating Your Perfect Wedding Day Photo Timeline

The number one question I get asked is ‘how much time do we need for our photographs’.  My answer to this is often quite varied, depending on what type of coverage individual couples are looking for, but I thought I would outline a general guideline for planning time for photographs into your wedding day.

            The photographer in me instantly says, ‘the more time for photos the better!’, BUT the WEDDING photographer in me says that we want to plan enough time for your photographs, while making sure that it still feels like the photographs are about your wedding day, rather than your wedding day being about the photographs.  Consider the guidelines below for each series of photographs you would like to have taken, and feel free to get in touch to talk about creating your timeline together if you’re unsure!

Getting Ready Photographs

These are some of my favourite photographs of the day, and make for some amazing candid images of your family and friends spending time together.  Even though I often work with a second shooter, I like getting to stop in with the guys and the girls in the morning if possible.  I usually spend about 30 minutes with the guys, then head to the girls location for about 1 to 1.5 hours.  30 minutes to an hour of candid and ‘makeup’ shots is plenty, and I usually find 15-20 minutes to put on your dress and finishing touches is enough.  I love getting to spend a quiet 10 minutes after you’re finished getting dressed to capture a few really beautiful and fresh bridal portraits before the day truly begins.  Make sure to plan enough time to get packed up and into the Uber after this, while I hop in the car and head to our next destination early.

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First Look Photographs

While this is called the ‘first look’, this is actually when we get the bulk of the photographs done for the day.  Plan approximately 1.5-2 hours for this depending on what photographs we will be taking.  Plan around 10 minutes for your first look, 30 minutes for bride and groom portraits together, 30 minutes for wedding party photographs, and 30 minutes for immediate family photographs.  If possible, 2 hours is ideal for this, as it gives us some extra buffer time if anyone is late, and allows everyone a bit of room to have more fun instead of having to run your photographs like a drill sergeant.  Try to plan in an extra 20-30 minutes after these photographs to take a rest before your ceremony.  This can be some quiet time, a little champagne celebration, or simply time to eat a sandwich and drink some water.

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Post-Ceremony Photographs

Immediately following your ceremony I will grab you for 5 minutes to take a few quick ‘just married’ photos, because at this point you’re going to be feeling on top of the world, and we want to document that!  During this time it’s best to have a designated family member making sure that your extended family is all gathering in a set location, so that we can dive right in to taking photographs with your grandparents, cousins, uncles etc.  Try to schedule about 30 minutes for these extended family photographs (depending on how many shots you would like to have).  I can usually move through them pretty fast with an organized list and roll call. 

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Cocktail Hour Candid Photographs

If we’ve finished most of our photographs early, this means that you’ll have time to head to your cocktail hour!  Yay!  I use this time to capture candid photographs of you, your guests, and the many, many, many hugs that are shared!  I often disappear for a few minutes to get some photos of the reception décor before guests enter.  I find that spending around 30 minutes at the cocktail hours after family photographs is enough to capture some beautiful candid moments. 

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Sunset Photographs

If you want to have a variety of beautiful photographs with your partner on your wedding day, sunset photographs are a must!  I try to convince everyone to schedule time for sunset photos into their day, no matter what.  The light at this time of day is beautiful for portraits, it’s a lovely quiet time to slip off together for a few minutes of privacy, and it creates one more ‘buffer’ time into the schedule in case things ran later than expected and we haven’t captured enough photographs of the two of you together yet.  I recommend scheduling in at least 10-15 minutes for these, and the beautiful photographs we can create if we have a relaxed 20 minutes to half an hour to work with will blow you away!

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Reception Photographs

It’s always important to make sure I’m there late enough to capture some of the fun stuff too!  Once the band kicks in and your guests hit the dance floor, we have an opportunity to capture a few more great candid moments to end the night.  I find that usually about a half hour of dance floor coverage is enough, but schedule in an extra half hour to make sure that we have enough time to capture the party if it doesn’t start on time (which, chances are, it won’t).  If you’re wondering what time we should finish photography coverage, there’s definitely a point about an hour or so into the party when the bar has been open for long enough that I recommend switching to photo booths and iPhones to capture the remainder of the evening.  People have much more fun with a photo booth anyways! 

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The Grand Exit

Sometimes people have a grand exit planned that they want to have photographed, but don’t necessarily want to hire me to stay until 1 am.  If this is the case, there’s absolutely no problem with having some fun and having your ‘exit’ ahead of time.  Sparkler photographs don’t have to happen right as you’re leaving, and photographs getting into your getaway car can happen at any time in the evening.  My favourite ‘grand exit’ moment happened when the party was going much later than expected, and the couple wanted their grandmother to feel that she could go to bed, so they took off in their getaway car, and drove around the traffic circle a few times while their grandmother was escorted upstairs to bed.  They came back to join the party, we captured fantastic ‘get away’ photographs, and family members could go to sleep not feeling like they were missing anything.  It was a win-win plan!

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I value working closely with every couple I get to photograph, to make sure that we create a photography coverage plan that is uniquely suited to their wedding day, and the photographs they value most.  While this is intended to serve as a guideline, I’m always happy to sit down for coffee or a phone call to over your individual timeline in more detail, to make sure we create the perfect balance for your wedding day!

 

8 Reasons To Plan a First Look on Your Wedding Day

Planning a first look is the number one way I recommend for couples to create a wedding day timeline that helps them feel relaxed, unhurried, and stress-free on the big day.  A first look helps your day flow smoothly, makes for a great photo opportunity, and gives the two of you a chance for a private moment together in a day that will otherwise fly by. If you’re on the fence about whether you want to do a first look, or save this moment for when you’re walking down the aisle, here are 8 reasons why I find couples always love including a first look as part of their wedding day.

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1. It helps get rid of your jitters.

As soon as the last button is done up on your wedding dress or the bowtie is straightened on your tux, things will really start to feel real.  Inevitably, some nerves start to emerge at this point, and everybody (I mean everyyyybody) finds that a first look helps them calm down.   It’s a chance to see your other half, hug it out, remember what this amazing day is supposed to be all about, and get excited for it together.

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2.     It’s a rare moment of privacy together on your wedding day.

It can be hard to even find a moment of privacy for yourself on your wedding day, let alone spend a peaceful moment with your partner to soak it all in.   The first look is one of the only moments when you can send everyone away and enjoy a few minutes of solitude together laugh, cry, hug, and generally take a step back to enjoy the momentous occasion that this day will be for the two of you.

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3.     You’ll get to enjoy your cocktail hour.

Adding a first look to your wedding day timeline means that we can create time and space before the ceremony to get a whole whack of photographs out of the way.  Photographs that we would otherwise have to capturing during your cocktail hour. We often try to do a series of bride and groom photographs during the first look, as well as your wedding party portraits, and immediate family portraits.  This means that, after the ceremony, the only photos we’ll have left to take are your extended family photographs, so you’ll be able to get back to your cocktail hour, guests, food, and drinks in no time!

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4.     It’s the perfect chance to capture so many great bride and groom photographs.

If creating great photographs of the two of you together is a priority for your wedding day, this is often the best moment to really spend some time crafting beautiful photographs together.  You will be able to feel fully present and enjoy this time together without feeling like you have to get back to your guests, or fielding a flurry of questions like who has the napkins and where the card box goes.   Plus, earlier in the day you’ll still feel like your hair and makeup is fresh, your feet are comfortable, and you won’t be too hot inside of your suit, all things that make having your photograph taken feel so much more comfortable and fun!



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5.     It builds some buffer time into your day.

This is my favorite reason why first looks are so great. Scheduling an hour or two in for photographs pre-ceremony photographs will automatically build some much needed buffer time into your wedding day.  When things start to run behind (which they inevitably do at some time) you won’t have to worry about being late for your ceremony, or losing all your time for bride and groom photographs together.  In addition to the first look, we schedule several other, shorter, photo sessions into the day, so we can always get back on track and never have to worry about running out of time.  Could it get any more relaxing?!?

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6.     Get your family photographs finished early.

Some of the most important photographs of the day are your family photographs, but they’re also everybody’s least favourite part of the day.  I love getting to take the bulk of your family photographs ahead of time, during the first look photo session.  This means you won’t have to spend as long taking photographs instead of going to your cocktail hour after the ceremony, helps us make sure that all family members are present and accounted for in photographs, gives us a chance to take photographs of everybody before they get too hungry, hot, and bothered. Seriously, this is how to make family photographs not suck!

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7.     Create space for a great emotional photograph

Most people have a much easier time showing their emotion when seeing each other for the first time during the first look, rather than walking down the aisle in front of everybody.  Some of the favourite photographs of every wedding day are captured during the first look, when couples feel free to gaze at each other, hug, kiss, twirl, and laugh without the pressure of hundreds of eyes on them.

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8.     Never worry about being late!

Alright, I may have already said this earlier, but this point is SO important!  The number one thing that I see causing stress on a wedding day is the timeline and running behind. Take advantage of the fact that YOU get to create your schedule, and use tools like a first look to schedule in extra time, buffer time, and generally far more time than we actually need for photographs.  I can guarantee that some of this time will get used up by other parts of the day running behind, and if we find ourselves with a few extra minutes here and there then you just get to relax, eat, and maybe pop a bottle of bubbly early to celebrate!

 

 






Helping your Photographer Capture Beautiful Getting Ready Photographs

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 The getting ready portion of your wedding day is often when some of the most intimate moments occur between you and your best friends and family who are there with you.  Your photographer can capture these beautiful moments no matter where you are, but it helps to put a little bit of time and effort into making sure that your ‘getting ready’ spaces will look just as good as the rest of your wedding photographs.

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Clean Up

Cleaning up the rooms you’re getting ready in will go a long way in helping your photographer create gorgeous photographs of the morning leading up to your wedding.  It helps to ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to keep their bags and clothing stored in a separate room where you won’t be taking photographs,  request that your hair and makeup team keep a tidy workspace, and generally remove any clutter that’s housed in the room you’ll be getting ready in.   As a photographer I absolutely don’t mind doing a bit of tidying and re-organizing, but the more time we spend doing this the less time we’ll spend capturing candid moments.  A clean background brings an emotional photograph from touching to visually stunning. 

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Choose a Bright Location

People often spend so much time selecting a beautiful ceremony and reception space, but don’t think about where they will be getting ready.  I often spend several hours photographing the getting ready portion of the day with couples, and usually shoot important photographs during this time such as bridal and bridesmaid portraits, detail shots, and father/daughter reveals.  Make sure to do these photographs justice by choosing a location that has as much natural light as possible.  The brighter and airier the better!  Don’t count artificial lighting such as floor lamps and pot lights when considering how bright a location is.  These lighting options create a yellow/green skin tone and cast awkward shadows, so your photographer will likely turn them off to shoot anyways.

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Set Up Close to a Window

No matter where you choose to get ready, the best light for your photographer to work with will almost always be next to a window.  See if your hair and makeup team can set up close to a window with the natural light falling across your getting ready scene.  Try to clear a space close to a window or in a well-lit room for photographs such as putting your dress on, and spending some time with your wedding party and family members. 

Create Time and Space for Moments to Unfold

The best way to create great photographs from your wedding morning is to allow yourself to enjoy the time without feeling rushed.  You’ve picked a beautiful space to get ready in and cleaned it up; now make sure you create time to spend there with your favourite people.  If it’s important to capture some meaningful portraits with your grandmother, invite her to sit and chat with you for a while.  If you want to capture images with your mother, ask her to get dressed early so she has time to help your into your dress.  Don’t worry about the camera being there, don’t hold back on hugs, and make sure everybody there knows how important they are to you.  

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