You care a lot about your wedding photos. You probably wouldn't be here if that weren't true. 

But I wanted to take this moment to let you know that the reason my couples look natural, unposed, comfortable, and above all else -- happy, is because they've prioritized real moments over staged photo ops! It might sound counterintuitive, but I absolutely believe that the best photos are unplanned.

Instead of scheduling a shot where you put on your dad's boutonnière, consider how you could incorporate him into your morning preparations in a way that will mean something to the two of you. And if you've always envisioned fun photos of you getting ready with your bridesmaids, that has to begin with the environment! Make sure there's music on, and that the champagne is flowing! Remember, if you put moments before photos, that's where the real magic happens.

MOMENTS BEFORE PHOTOS

I shoot family photos a little bit differently than most! I don't work from a shot list -- instead, I get a list of the names of your family members (plus any of the family dynamics that might come into play such as separated parents who won't appear in the same photo), and from there I create a structure to make those family shots happen as quickly and seamlessly as possible. 

I can shoot family photos in 25 minutes and we will always prioritize shots with young children or elderly grandparents wherever applicable. 

You'll let me know if there's anything out of the ordinary but otherwise, I know all the shots that will make EVERY family members beyond thrilled with the collection. Promise!

FAMILY PHOTOS

I'm asked pretty often how we can get a "sparkler exit" when my coverage won't extend until those last few minutes of the day. Many of my couples incorporate sparklers into their outdoor first dance! Alternatively, this is the kind of thing we can arrange with just the wedding party around sunset or dusk, for a few gorgeous shots. 

Similarly, a flower petal toss is another gorgeous photo opportunity that we can arrange for you and the wedding party and/or family!

outdoor elements

My coverage typically ends between 9:30pm - 10:30pm depending on the events of your day. Factors include how early your ceremony begins, or how many courses or speeches are included in your reception. I've recorded a podcast episode on HOW to build your photography timeline, which directly answers the following questions that I'm sure are on your mind:

HOW LATE SHOULD MY COVERAGE GO?

What time should we start hair and makeup?
How do you capture both the bride AND the groom getting ready?
Where should our bouquets be delivered for photos?
Should we do a first look?
What time should we do our first dance?

LISTEN HERE

This isn't my first rodeo when it comes to weddings, but it might be yours! Here are a few nuggets of wisdom I've collection over the last 8 years as a professional wedding photographer. Use any or all that feel like a good fit for you! Remember, no two weddings are the same, so your goal should always be to do what feels right for you as a couple. 

- A loose strand of hair from your up-do looks gorge in the salon, but it can go rogue when the wind picks up during your outdoor ceremony! Consider a tuck before you walk down the aisle.

- Uneven wedding parties are NOTHING to fret over -- I can make your group look great even if there's an odd number of bridesmaids and groomsmen.

- You can actually cut your cake without making an announcement. It keeps the moment quick and doesn't interrupt the flow of events!

- We've budgeted lots of time for your dress to go on. If you feel yourself getting stressed about the buttons taking forever or the need to snip a loose thread, no worries! Relax, and know that we're not delayed. This is not the time to start sweating!

- Family photos means immediate family (parents, siblings, plus spouses and children of your siblings, and grandparents.) Extended family photos would require an extra 30 mins of time. You might only plan on doing a handful of large group shots, but inevitably you'll be asked by a parent or a family member for "just a quick shot" of all the cousins, or all the aunts who haven't been together in a photo for 20 years. Quick shots add up, which is why we budget the proper time for these likely additions. 

any other tips?
NUGGETS OF WISDOM:

FAQ SITE // LAURA KELLY // ottawa kingston montreal toronto