PORTFOLIO

 

Wedding Tips & FAQ

My goal is to be a resource for my wedding clients. Below are a number of tips to help you plan your day and get the best possible result from your professional photos. I’ve also included a number of answers to frequently asked questions. As always, please contact me if you have questions about anything not covered here!

Planning Your Day

How much time should we plan for pictures?

Getting Ready & Detail Pictures

We typically require 2 hours, certainly no less than 1.5 hours, for getting ready and detail pictures. Details include your bouquet, dress, rings, shoes, guest souvenirs, signage, table settings, lighting, decorations, etc. There can be a lot of little things for us to capture, and it often takes about 45 minutes to do so. The rest of the time, we will be covering each of you getting ready.

Family Pictures

Each family grouping can take anywhere from 2-5 minutes, depending on the size of the group. Therefore, to save time, we recommend you limit family groupings to immediate family only. If there are other individuals or groups whom you’d like photographed, then we can do so at the reception.

Bridal Party Pictures

For a fun and memorable assortment of bridal party photographs, we recommend reserving at least 45 minutes. During this time we will be the photographing the whole group and individual groupings.

Couple Pictures Immediately After Ceremony

If the ceremony and reception are at the same location, then 30-45 minutes is typically sufficient for the two of you. However, if we need to travel to an alternate location, then factor that into your schedule. Of course, the more time you allot for your pictures, the more creative we can be! If possible, we’d even recommend a “first look” as a way to get some great photos without keeping your guests waiting.

Couple Pictures Later in the Day

At some point during the reception, we like to take the couple away from the reception briefly (20-30 minutes) to get a few additional intimate pictures. This is especially the case if the sun is setting, as it can lead to simply amazing shots.

What should I look for in a getting ready location?

Choose a well-lit (preferably natural light), spacious location to get ready in and make sure it is kept clean. You don’t want those old sneakers sitting in the corner to make their way into your pictures.

Do you have any hair and makeup suggestions?

Invest in a great makeup artist and hair stylist. It’s invaluable to find someone who can bring out your natural beauty without going overboard. Well done makeup can also withstand a number of environmental factors including sweat. Consult with your hair stylist to determine the best style for your hair type and your ceremony location. For example, if you’re getting married on the ocean, perhaps you’ll want your hair up to minimize the chances of it blowing in your face.

What is a first look and do you recommend one?

A first look is when you see each other BEFORE the ceremony. It’s usually done after you’ve both gotten ready. It’s a time to truly relax with one another and spend a little moment together before the hustle and bustle begins. Though admittedly not for everyone, we highly recommend having a first look. It’s a great way to capture a very real, candid moment when you see each other for the first time. It’s also a way to get intimate, unhurried portraits without keeping your guests waiting.

In addition to these great benefits, a first look can make your schedule more efficient. Many couples do formals with the bridal party and immediate family after their first look, so that those individuals won’t have to stick around after the ceremony. A first look often leaves you with more time between the ceremony and reception to socialize with your guests and get a quick refresher.

How can I make sure I look good in my pictures?

The biggest advice we can provide is to relax and enjoy yourself! How you’re feeling on the inside really does show on the outside. The next thing we’d say is to trust our advice and discretion. We’re pretty good at noticing when people are getting tired or slowing down, and we will keep pace with you accordingly.

A big source of stress and anxiety, which eventually shows up on your face, is keeping things on schedule. Therefore, give yourself breathing room throughout the day and pay attention to our timeline recommendations. The less rushed you feel, the easier it will be for you to relax and enjoy the moment.

Finally, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep the night before. Take it easy at the rehearsal dinner and/or bachelorette/bachelor parties. It’s no fun nursing a wedding day hangover. And be sure to keep yourself hydrated throughout your wedding day. Dehydration can lead to headaches and exhaustion.

What time of day is best for outdoor pictures?

We can accommodate any time of day for your wedding, but usually two hours before sunset is the ideal time to begin outdoor portraits. That’s because there’s still adequate lighting, but shadows and harsh angles are reduced. We recommend you keep this in mind when scheduling your ceremony, so that you have a greater likelihood of good lighting for formals. Believe it or not, a cloudy day can lead to fantastic outdoor portraits, while a sunny day at high noon can cause bothersome shadowing and blinded subjects.

What if we plan to get married in church?

Church weddings are beautiful, but unfortunately churches are often difficult locations for photography. Lighting tends to be inadequate, flash is typically discouraged or prohibited, and photographers are sometimes not allowed to get close to the alter. We ask that you speak with your priest or pastor in advance so we may be respectful of any restrictions they might have. That said, church ceremonies are perfectly doable; we just need to know what to expect ahead of time, as each church is different.

If your ceremony will be in a church, then we might need to travel to a different location afterward to capture formals of you and your bridal party. If this is the case, then extra time will have to be worked into your schedule and a portrait location will have to be determined. Alternatively, you may choose to have your portraits taken as part of a first look.

Guest photography? Should we go unplugged?

We understand that guests are excited for you and they want to capture the moment too. However, we respectfully recommend that guests be instructed in advance when it is, and isn’t, appropriate for them to take pictures. You’ve hired a professional photographer for a reason, and in order for us to do our best work we need your attention on us. Guest photography during the ceremony and during formal sessions can distract you, block our shots, and improperly affect lighting.

Though it’s hard to have a completely unplugged wedding, it is possible to have an unplugged ceremony, and we recommend it. One way to accomplish this is to have your priest or officiant make an announcement at the beginning of the ceremony asking that everyone take a moment to turn off their devices. This way, there’s less likelihood that a guest will jump in front of us or block our view with an iPad, for example. You will receive digital copies of the photos we take, which you can share with any and all friends and family. So guests really don’t need to try duplicating our work.

Other Questions

How will we know you're the right fit for us?

It’s really important that you enjoy working with your wedding photographer! We can’t stress that enough. First and foremost, it’s important that you like our style of photography. We’ve provided many examples of our work on this website.

Next, it’s important that we get along well together. Email is useful for starting a dialogue, but we generally won’t commit to a couple until we’ve had a chance to talk on the phone, at a minimum, or in person, at best. Video-conferencing (like Skype or FaceTime) is also an option. Wedding photography is a very personal business, and we want to have a human connection with our clients from the outset.

After we’ve had a chance to get to know each other a bit and you’ve looked through our work, you should have a good idea about whether we’re right for you.

How and when should we book?

In order to book your wedding date, we require a deposit of $1,000 along with a signed contract. The remainder of your payment will be due 14 days before your wedding.

We typically start booking a year or more in advance. Therefore, we recommending booking as soon as you’ve decided to work with us. Because there are only so many wedding weekends each year, we must book when we can. Therefore, we book on a first-come, first-serve basis. A date is not considered booked until we have received a deposit and signed contract.

Do you charge for travel?

Depending on the wedding location, yes. However, the first 100 miles of travel is free. Additional travel is calculated based on the standard mileage rate published by the IRS each year. We also reserve the right to charge for hotel and meal costs, depending on the situation. To the extent possible, travel charges will be determined and agreed to by all parties in advance.

Why do you insist on two photographers?

Because it results in a better final product and a better overall experience for you. Click the link, The Benefit of Two Photographers, for a more in-depth explanation.

How long does it take to receive our pictures?

Expect to receive your edited pictures approximately 6-8 weeks after your wedding date. We do our best to provide sneak peeks via Facebook and our blog in the interim.

What rights do we have to the pictures?

As part of your signed contract, you will be granted rights to print or reproduce photos for personal, non-commercial use. You’re free to print your photographs wherever you’d like. Of course, you always have the option to order prints through our online store, which will ensure high quality, color correct prints from our professional vendor.

You will be provided with both high resolution, print-quality files and lower resolution, web-ready files. We ask that, when using photos online, you credit Lexi Lowell Photography and provide a link to our website or Facebook page if possible. We ask that you not edit or modify the images in any way. You will also be prohibited from selling or publishing the images without our prior permission.

All copyrights, commercial printing rights, distribution rights, and other rights will be retained solely by Lexi Lowell Photography, LLC.

Who chooses the pictures we receive?

When it comes to the pictures taken on your wedding day, we will choose which ones to edit and provide. Rest assured, we are good at this, and we will provide you with the very best photos from all aspects of your day. If there are particular people, places, things etc. that you would like to receive, then we ask that you let us know in advance so we can be sure to capture those particular shots, provided they are feasible.

When it comes to the pictures taken during a session, such as an engagement session or a bridal session, we will provide you with a proofing gallery with the best photographs from that session. You will then be able to choose which ones we edit and provide.

You can Photoshop that, right?

We always strive to get pictures as correct as possible in camera. In other words, posing, location, attention to detail, camera settings, and lighting are what make a great photograph, not Photoshop.

That said, we do edit our pictures before you receive them, as necessary. Typically, this involves relatively minor corrections like color, white balance, saturation, etc. We will also make you look your best and clear up blemishes, dark circles, and the like.

Significant edits beyond this can be more challenging to pull off discreetly. For example, there’s no way to Photoshop your face back into the picture if your uncle stands up in front of us with his iPad at a crucial moment. That’s why we recommend unplugged ceremonies to better control for the things that we cannot reasonably fix in Photoshop. Photoshop is a tool, and like any tool it has its limits. The less we have to use it, the better.