day eleven. communication is key.

The fifth, and probably most important way to make a huge impact on your wedding photography is to have a great relationship with the person taking your photos. Communication between you and your photographer is key. That being said, I truly believe that there is a fine line between communication and over the top expectations.

I am not one to write out a complete list of shots that “need to be taken” – I would rather document the day as it goes. When Jamie and I get married, I want our photographer to feel comfortable documenting our day however they see fit. I know that I will be able to trust their artistic and professional judgement.

There does need to be good understanding between the photographer and the couple they are taking photos for. For example, the last wedding I shot was for Brandi and Carlton. Throughout the year leading up to her wedding Brandi and I communicated through email, facebook and pinterest. I developed an outstanding relationship with her and by the time her wedding rolled around in November, I had a clear understanding of her style and expectations. Not because she made a list to give to her wedding planner to give to me, but because we had worked on it together throughout the year. Through conversation I learned that her dad was very important to her, that their twins were only going to be at the ceremony for a short period of time, their was a death in the family (and that loved one had a special PBR pin in the bouquet her groom made!), she had poured her heart into planning and organizing the details of her wedding – so throughout our conversations I made sure to focus on these aspects at her wedding. Without that communication I would have been less likely to know what was most important to Brandi as a person. Sure she could have written a list, but my understanding of the situations, I believe, lent itself to some fabulous photos.

If photography is important to you, if you want an artistic and journalistic approach to your wedding photography, communicate with the person telling your story in a genuine and real way. You won’t regret it.





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day ten. so, you love pictures – take your wedding photography one step further.

If photography is important to you, and I’m guessing it is if you are reading these blog posts, you are going to want to make the most of your wedding photography experience. I always suggest either shooting a boudoir session, trash the dress, or day after session. One of my favorites to shoot are trash the dress sessions, because it allows my couples to be creative and have fun in front of the camera. Trash the dress session always guarantee unique and artistic photos. I asked Rochelle, one of my 2012 brides to explain a bit about why she is choosing to do a trash the dress session. She gave me an amazing response:

Kirsten asked me to tell her a little bit about why I decided I wanted her to shoot a trash the dress session for me and why I even decided I wanted to do one.  It took me a little bit to figure that out because the first time I saw photos from a trash the dress shoot I was in awe I knew I wanted to it! I wasn’t engaged yet I don’t even think I was in a serious relationship at the time I just thought wow that looks fun and I really want to do that.  When I got engaged a few months ago and decided to use Kirsten as my photographer I asked her to do a trash the dress session and started looking for inspiration and thinking more about it.  I am getting married on the beach so that made it even more exciting because there is so much we can do to get amazing photos.

People have asked me how could you do that to a dress you are spending that much money on?  You have a daughter, don’t you want to pass that dress on to her?  What are you going to get from ruining your dress?  So I began to think more about it and question myself and then I came to the same conclusion. I want to have those amazing pictures, I want to have fun with the love of my life after all the stresses that we have gone through over the last year planning our wedding are over.  I highly doubt that my daughter will ever wear my dress! I thought about wearing my moms dress and couldn’t even begin to fit into it, so I decided to take a little of it and make it into a garter.  I am going to have mine cleaned and save it and my daughter can do what she wishes with it. If it doesn’t come clean then I’m sure she won’t even know the difference.   What am I going to get out of trashing my dress???? AHHHMAZING Pictures……and I LOVE pictures!!!!!

I am very excited about how much fun we will have during our trash the dress shoot, with each other and with our amazing photographer Kirsten Manick. I can’t wait for you to all see the results!!

I love that Rochelle shares photos with me that she finds inspirational. It gives me an idea of what kind of style she is drawn to, what things she finds beauty in and what kind of images she is attracted to. Even before her wedding I will be able to envision her images because I have such a clear sense of her style. Here are some images that she shared with me for her trash the dress inspiration:



One of my favorite sessions to date was a trash the dress shoot with Nicole, and I personally believe we got some pretty incredible and artistic images. Nicole had the opportunity to totally let go and get creative in front of the camera. This is where feeling comfortable and having a relationship where your photographer gets you and you get your photographer is absolutely critical.


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day nine. a look you’ll never forget.

Imagine the world stops. The only thing you can hear or even think about is your pounding heart. You’re walking up to your fiance, soon to be husband, your situated in a beautiful location and there is no one there beside your photographer. You tap him on the shoulder, he turns around and you have one of the most intimate moments you can ever imagine. No distractions, no hustling or worrying about time. The only thing in that moment that matters is the two of you.

The best part? It’s all documented for you to remember and relive. It’s a first look.

Some people aren’t into it, and that’s ok, I understand tradition – I think it has it’s place and if it’s important to you that’s fine and I totally respect that. But to me, having that moment is invaluable. Not only do you get to have a private romantic moment between the two of you, there is time for portraits before the ceremony. It makes your wedding schedule run like clockwork. Before the ceremony you get first look, portraits, family portraits and bridal party portraits covered. Did I mention that a first look helps make your wedding schedule run like clockwork? Awesome? I think so.

After the ceremony that means there is extra time for portraits of the bride and groom – usually during the glowing light right before sunset, and your family members and bridal party can go enjoy cocktail hour. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Brandi and Carlton were my most recent couple to opt for a first look before the ceremony. If these photos do not make you a believer, I don’t know what will!


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