Here are some TIPS to prepare for the best photos for your wedding.
#1 – Tan lines. If your wedding dress is strapless or shows your chest at all, think about what style bathing suit you will be wearing the week before your wedding. If you are planning on tanning at all, wear a strapless bathing suit top to prevent stark tan lines. It will be VERY evident in your wedding photos if you have bright tan lines.
#2 – Sunglass tans. Make sure you do not get “raccoon eyes” before the wedding. This is important for your groom also! Please tell them to be aware of this before the wedding.
#3 – Straps. The little hanger straps to hang your strapless or halter wedding dress can pop out during the wedding and show up in your images. It is helpful to either cut them out or pin them down into your dress. You can safety pin them back onto your dress after the wedding.
#4 – Invitation. Bring your wedding invitation so the photographer can get some pretty shots of it with the rings or flowers. Make sure you or a bridesmaid lets the photographer know you have it for photos.
#5 – Ring Exchange. During the ring exchange in the ceremony, slip on your partners ring from underneath. Keep in mind that your photographer will be trying to capture this great moment. To capture this, it is good to hold the ring from underneath and slightly open up to the camera. Not too much like you are posing for it, but just a bit so you’ll get a good memory of it for your wedding album.
#6 – Smile! Keep in mind that candid photos will be taken throughout the day. Keeping a smile on your face will give you many more happy pictures of your special day.
#7 – Attractive angles. By lifting your chin a little bit you banish the double chin. Holding your elbows slightly away from your body reduces the apparent width of your torso and helps with any upper arm width. Shifting your weight to your rear foot puts your hips into a position that gives you a nice curviness.
#8 – Face Side. Let me know if you have a preferred side of your face you like photographed. Some people do and some people don’t. If you do, please let me know so I can think about that through out the day.
#9 – Wind!! Maui is sometimes, a very windy place. Be sure to test out your hairstyle in the wind. If you can’t do that, use extra hairspray. Some brides end up having their hair in their face for all the photos. That’s not very good for the wedding album. A good rule is to opt for an updo instead of having your hair fly around. Usually updos are set in place by pins and hairspray so you won’t have to worry about it. The same thing goes for tendrils! Watch out for long tendrils. You might end up with a calm beautiful day, but there is a good possibility that it will be windy.
#10 – Aisle-way. If you will not be having chairs on the beach and having your guests stand around you for the ceremony, it is a good idea to keep an “aisle-way” between the group. It makes for much better photos of the ceremony, the two of you and the entire group. You can always bring cute matts or pillows for an alternative to chairs.
#11 – Time of Day. When choosing your venue and time of day, keep lighting in mind. If your wedding is outdoors, the best light happens 1-2 hours before sunset or at about 8:30 or 9 AM in the morning. Sunset time will give you the hopefully nice sunset colors in your photos. Morning time gives you the blue water and blue sky in your photos. If you hold your wedding too late in the morning or in the early afternoon, there is a good chance you will get photos of you a little squinty and sweaty. If your wedding is indoors, which is uncommon in Maui, try to avoid buildings with high dark ceilings and few windows.
#12 – The Kiss. This is the moment of all moments at a wedding. Many couples talk about what kind of kiss they will do for their “First Kiss”. Many couples agree that it should be classic and clean. With that in mind, they usually cut it short, making it very hard for the photographer to capture the quick kiss. Most photographers prepare for this moment in the right position, but sometimes a guest might stand up right in front of them to get their own shot, or the couple might turn to a weird angle suddenly. To help your photographer capture this shot no matter what, try to linger for at least a few seconds. Make it long enough to make sure you’ve got a great romantic image for your kids to see in the future.
#13 – Photo List. If you will be having more than 20 guests, it is a good idea to make a general list of who you want photos with, and designate a bridal party member to be the group photo organizer. Your photographer will be ushering people to take photos with you two, but if you’d like photos with certain friends and family it is a good idea to have someone who knows all your guests telling people it is their turn. Since your photographer does not know who is who, they cannot easily do this. It is very easy to forget an important guest photo in the excitement of this time. I suggest making a basic list of variations you’d like and designating the duty to a groomsman or bridesmaid who knows everyone. It goes much smoother if someone other than the bride and groom can take charge so you two don’t have to worry about it.
#14 – Leis. Watch out for your leis!! Sometimes they will stain your dress or your grooms shirt if you put pressure on them (like when you give tight hugs). You never know if they will or not, but I have seen it before.
#15 – West Side Weddings. Kapalua, Ironwoods, DT Flemming and Napili Beach are very pretty but they are in the rain belt. You can definitely have your wedding there, but be aware that afternoon and evening showers are quite common there, especially in winter and spring. There is no public covered area and no immediate back up plan for rain unless you pre-plan with a venue.
#16 – Getting ready photos. If we are doing getting ready photos together, there are many things that will make these images better.
– Make sure your hotel room or condo is tidy. Clutter drastically distracts from your photos.
– Have your dress hanging in the window on a pretty hanger (not a wire or plastic hanger).
– Have your invitation ready.
– Have both the rings for your groom and you there for photos.
– Have your bridesmaids ready well before you are so they can help you get ready.
– Don’t wear a tight dress or bra while you are getting ready that creates ridges in your skin that can be seen during your ceremony.
#17 – Photoshopping. During the post wedding editing process, sometimes I cannot tell what is a mole/birthmark or a blemish. Before we start shooting or after the wedding, please let me know if you’d like a certain something removed or Photoshopped away. I will try to take off noticeable blemishes but I definitely don’t want to take away your natural characteristics. It is better if we talk about what you’d like done. I need to know this information before I begin to edit the images.
#18 – Maui is very hot. If the groom will only be wearing a white shirt, I recommend buying an extra and bringing it to the wedding location. Quite often, the groom will perspire and the spots can be seen on the shirt. Bring a fresh one, just in case!
#19 – Your Wedding Website. Send me a link to your wedding website so I can learn more about you and your fiance!
#20 – Veil. If you will be wearing a veil over your face for the ceremony, talk to the officiant beforehand about when your groom is supposed to lift it. I’ve done weddings where the bride’s face is covered the whole ceremony until the kiss and I didn’t get any emotion images of her because of lack of planning. Also, if you wear a veil, there will most likely be a lei exchange during the ceremony and the veil is an obstacle to this. Just practice with a long necklace beforehand so you know how it will go. Having said all that, I love veils and think they are super fun for photos!
#21 – Vendors. I have a lot of recommendations for wonderful wedding vendors on Maui. Let me know if you are looking and I will send you a list. Also, let me know if you will have a videographer. The flow of photos changes when you have both a videographer and photographer, so let me know in advance so I can plan and coordinate with the videographer.
#22 – Woohoo! Enjoy your day and have a wonderful time!!