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Pro Tips: Photographer Insight on Outdoor Weddings


Have you decided to hold your ceremony and/or reception outdoors? If you are having an outdoor wedding there may be details that you have not thought of yet. Five of our lead photographers have chimed in to give you some tips to have a successful outdoor wedding AND the photos to prove it.

Sunny Day vs. Cloudy Day

Think about the different circumstances that could affect outdoor wedding photos as you create expectations for the shots you will want.  Sunny days make for a beautiful event but can be more difficult for your photographers in terms of shadows and spotting. Consider where your ceremony will take place on your venue’s property and consult with your venue coordinator in case they have any suggestions to avoid direct sunlight at the time of the ceremony.
“When outside, we have to work around the sun. If it’s cloudy or overcast, that’s fine, but on a bright sunny day, we have to work around the sun so your images might be spotty with sun and shade,” says Stephanie C.
Consider where your ceremony will take place on your venue’s property and consult with your venue coordinator in case they have any suggestions to avoid direct sunlight at the time of the ceremony. Stephanie C. adds, “Often times your venue will have the ceremony area set up in a place that will take the sun into account, but it is worth discussing with your venue coordinator.  Also, don’t forget about your guests when it comes to the sun and seating.”

Ceremony Seating

Shade is key, right? Specifically, in hot months, you should anticipate your guests avoiding seats in direct sunlight.  Your guests do not want their vision to be hindered during your ceremony and may avoid seats that distract their sight of you and your soon to be spouse! Guests may opt to stand in the back and this could affect the areas that your photographers have planned to shoot.
Landon D. says, ” For outdoor weddings, guests will try to avoid seats that are in direct sunlight, and we may get people standing in the back that may get in the way of the photographer’s shooting areas.”

When Will The Sun Set?

Are you having a day wedding or an evening wedding? Have you thought about what sorts of formal photos you would like with your wedding party and spouse? As you plan your wedding day timeline, consider when the sun will set and plan it to maximize the number of photo opportunities you will be able to get before it is dark.
Tiffany D. reminds us, “to find out when sunset is before you plan your ceremony time. Especially if you want outdoor photos and you don’t want them all in the dark.”
“Having the sunset behind the ceremony – where the light is directly in their wedding party & wedding guest’s faces can be tough,” adds David E.

Surrounding Objects

Be aware of what else is around. Your photographer is going to be on top of this as well, but remember to consider surrounding objects that could affect your photos.  Jaclyn F. says, “Surrounding objects like lawn mowers or tractors, garbage cans, dumpsters, wires etc can end up in the peripherals.”  So you may want to make sure you move whatever you have control over so they do not end up in any of your photos.

Bugs!

Lastly…nobody likes bugs, but they do live outside.
“For outdoor weddings, I would definitely say bugs! I’m not sure that’s one of the things brides and grooms think about. Mosquitos and gnats can be very annoying when trying to take pictures so make sure you have some bug spray handy (your guests will appreciate it too)” continues Tiffany D.

written by Keith Phillips

Contributors:
Stephanie C. – Chicago Based
Tiffany D. – Atlanta Based
Landon D. – Los Angeles Based
David E. – Minneapolis Based
Jaclyn F. – New Hampshire Based

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