Welcome! I’m so excited to work with you!
I know you’re handling a thousand details right now, and I’m here to make this easy for you.
So first things first: take a deep breath and relax. We’re going to get great photos no matter what. It’s what I do! I’ve been a wedding photographer for 8 years and the best compliments I get from clients are still about how calm, comfortable, and natural they feel in front of my camera – and how simple and straight-forward it is to work with me.
I’m here for you from day 1.
Starting here through to the inevitable surprises that will pop up on your wedding day, know you can trust me to capture the moments that make your celebration unique to the two of you, your story, and your family and friends. I’m your resource along the way. Reach out anytime to talk through your photography’s timeline, details, and any questions or concerns you may have. I’ll check in with you, too – so you can relax and know I’ve got it all covered.
Questions? Let’s talk! 607-232-0670
Here’s how we can coordinate to make everything go as smoothly as possible:
General Timing: How Much Time Do We Need for Photos?
1.5 Hours Are Ideal!
1.5 hours is a comfortable amount of time with the following breakdown on timing for formal portraits: 20 minutes with family; 20 minutes with bridal party; 50 minutes with bride and groom.
1 hour is do-able if you’re able to pare down the portraits you’d like. For example, if family photos are kept to a minimum, if your intimate wedding doesn’t include a bridal party, etc.
Add More Time If:
You need to account for travel time. Traveling between locations after the ceremony takes time, especially if you need to transport everybody to/from those locations on a bus or shuttle. Add in an appropriate amount of time for ensuring everyone arrives at the photo location.
You want a first look or want to capture all the girls’ or guys’ photos before the ceremony. It’s common to schedule these portraits before the ceremony, but it can be tricky if anything else is running late, impeding on the time for these. Do plan lots of extra time for these portraits!
You want your day to go super smoothly! Always assume that things are going to run late, especially hair and makeup. When planning your day’s timeline, please add a time buffer into each section.
Keep in Mind
More time is always better! You’ll be happy you allowed a little extra time when everyone is able to transition from one activity to the next enjoying each moment, rather than feeling rushed, stressed, and behind schedule.
We can make a specific plan together that works for your day. Especially if you have lots of particular poses or locations in mind, a large family, or want a range of nontraditional portraits, let me know so we can plan ahead.
Time of Day: When is Best?
Early morning and late afternoon are ideal times of day to capture the best light and for everyone to be most comfortable.
Avoid taking photos between 10am and 3/4pm, when the sun is very harsh. This light will not result in that soft, golden, dreamy light you see on Pinterest! It can also be hard to manage large groups in hot, mid-day conditions.
If we can’t avoid mid-day photos, we will need to think about your location and get creative. For example, we can choose locations that have lots of shade – provided by big trees or buildings – so that no one is squinting or sweating in your photos! Let’s talk in advance so we are able to do the best with what we have.
From October on, timing is more flexible because it’s getting darker sooner and fall light is not as harsh even in the afternoon as it is during the summer. However, we’ll still want to plan ahead for the best daylight hours – and temperatures! – for that time of year.
If you are having an off-season wedding let’s chat in detail about how to best manage your timeline.
Think About: First Looks
This can be a very personal choice for some and I’m happy to do whatever feels right to you. If you are still deciding on a first look, consider some of the ways it can make your day flow smoothly:
Benefits of a First Look
Share a private, peaceful moment with your partner. Some people feel more relaxed knowing they will see their partner beforehand, and value this private time to connect before the day’s festivities are shared with friends and family.
Get all your photos done in advance. That way, after the ceremony, you can just relax and join your party or cocktail hour.
You’re looking your best! You’re fresh out of hair and makeup and you haven’t sweated during the ceremony. (laughing emoji might be fun here!)
Snag daylight hours. If your ceremony is later in the evening, we can run into issues of it getting dark during portrait time. First looks are a great way around that.
Adds bonus time for portraits overall. If we don’t get through all your portraits in the first look, we can use a little of the cocktail hour to ensure we get all the photos you wanted.
Planning Your Timeline for a First Look & Following Portraits
Start at least 1.5 hours before your ceremony, plus appropriate buffers for gathering family and portions of the day running late. I like to aim to be done no later than 30 minutes before your ceremony, so everyone has time to freshen up and relax for a few minutes.
Begin with 15 minutes with just the bride and groom. This moment is for the two of you – and you’ll hardly know I’m there too!
20 minutes with family next. Once family is done, they can go, get ready for the ceremony, mingle with guests, etc.
Then 20 minutes with the bridal party.
Finally, 30 minutes of your remaining bride/groom portraits.
Keep in Mind
The lighting during first looks is not always ideal because it’s earlier in the day. If you want a first look, definitely plan for a small shoot during golden hour (see below).
This is your personal choice! Weigh what’s most important to you. Whether you decide to do a first look or not, we’ll create a timeline that works for your day.
Plan Ahead For: Family Portraits
Focus on immediate family only for formal portraits – then let’s do the bigger families or other large groups (like college friends) during the reception. Come find me, I’ll be floating around all night to photograph whatever you need!
Plan 2-3 minutes per grouping for your family formals.
Do family formals first, whether right after the first look or ceremony. Because these groups can be difficult to gather, it’s best we get them done ASAP before everyone disperses to enjoy your reception.
Tell your family beforehand that they will be in family formals and not to go anywhere!
Pick one location for all family formals. This is so much easier to coordinate and fit into your timeline, especially if there are any issues with mobility (grandparents, etc). Choose a nice spot near the first look area, or in/outside the church or around the ceremony location. The less we have to move, the less likely we are to lose anyone, and the faster we can get them done!
Assign a helper. It’s a huge help when we choose someone from each side of the family who knows everyone and can assist with wrangling the group (siblings are great for this)!
Plan Ahead For: Golden Hour Portraits
Why & How
I always like to take my couples out for just a few minutes to for these beautifully-lit portraits. I usually just grab you during dinner or open dancing for these, but if you want to include this in your day’s timeline, here’s how:
Golden hour is about 45 minutes before sunset.
Schedule golden hour portraits by: looking up the sunset time on your wedding date (try www.sunrisesunset.com) and subtract 45 minutes to an hour – this is when I’m going to grab you!
Plan Ahead For: Engagement Sessions
Choose a spot that’s meaningful. It’s awesome when couples have a personal connection to the location for their shoot – they’re often more comfortable there than a strange place, and it adds a layer of story to your engagement photos!
Have a park you like to take your dog to? Let’s go there and bring that doggo along!
Favorite coffee shop or wine tasting room? Sure!
Like to hike, let’s hit up a local waterfall.
Or maybe you met at Cornell and want to take your photos there?
Think about “activity” sessions like apple picking, kayaking on Lake Cayuga, Christmas tree picking, etc. These add a bit of extra fun and playfulness to your photos.
Consider your personal style: are you more into an urban look? Let’s go downtown. Nature more your thing? Let’s find a secluded spot in a local forest.
Engagement sessions are roughly 2 hours.
Choose just 1-2 locations. We’ll use your time most effectively this way, and these sessions flow best if we’re not moving in and out of the photographing mood with too many location changes.
Afternoon sessions are ideal! This is when the light is best. Ideally we’ll start 2 hours before sunset so that by the time we’re finishing – and you’re the most comfortable – we’ll also capture that gorgeous golden hour light.
What if the weather is bad? We can reschedule if the weather looks really, really bad and if your schedule will allow. If it’s not possible to reschedule, don’t worry; sometimes the “worst” weather makes for the most unique and surprisingly beautiful photos!
What to Wear
Most couples chose 2 outfits – a casual but nice outfit and a dressier outfit.
Be yourself! Wear something you feel comfortable in, not an outfit you would never wear otherwise!
When planning your outfits, do consider:
We’ll be walking, sitting, standing, twirling, etc. Make sure you can move!
If you are wearing heels, bring some flats along in case we have to trek.
Try to avoid clothes that have text, logos, or graphic tees.
Patterns can be okay but also busy and take attention off you in your photos. If you choose a pattern, keep it, or everything else, simple.
Match, but don’t get too matchy! Maybe your color is blue: he wears a blue sweater, she has a white dress and a blue scarf, belt, jewelry, or other accent. Complement each other with your colors!
What about props? This is up to you based on what sounds fun to you! A short shoot to just get a few images sound perfect? Great! A big shoot with lots of outfits and props? That’s great too!
A Final Word On: Comfort in Front of the Camera
Remember earlier I said to relax and take a deep breath? Take another big breath! You’re in good hands. It’s common to few jitters in front of the camera, and it’s part of my job to help put you at ease. I’ll guide you to interact naturally together – talking, laughing, and touching comfortably – so the focus is on each other and not the camera! We’re going to get great photos no matter what. It’s what I do!
If you’re a little extra nervous, definitely consider an engagement session before your wedding day. These are a great way to get comfortable in front of the camera – and get truly excited about the bold, breathtaking, and beautifully cinematic images we’re going to capture together!