IT’S ALL IN THE DE­TAILS 180

Inside Weddings - - Features - GENYA O’NEALL FOR VUE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Learn how to make sure your pho­tog­ra­pher cap­tures even the small­est el­e­ments of your big day.

there are so many facets to a wed­ding day and how the story un­folds. It’s the job of the pho­tog­ra­pher to doc­u­ment the whole tale with each act play­ing out like a Hol­ly­wood film. Though the bride and groom are the fo­cus, the “sup­port­ing char­ac­ters” are also strong pieces of the nar­ra­tive – not just the brides­maids and grooms­men, but the de­tails: some­thing bor­rowed and blue, shoes that carry the bride through one of the most mem­o­rable mo­ments of her life, the dress, the in­vi­ta­tion suite, a hand-drawn monogram, and more. Most of these el­e­ments have been well-thought-out and con­sid­ered for months – even years – be­fore say­ing “I do.”

In cap­tur­ing the cel­e­bra­tion, these tiny snip­pets add rich­ness and depth to the sto­ry­line. If you are a cou­ple who val­ues these de­tails, then there are sev­eral things you can do to en­sure that your sup­port­ing cast gets a mo­ment in the spot­light.

Learn ways to help your pho­tog­ra­pher cap­ture the small el­e­ments that mean the most to you.

Share Your Thoughts

As much as we all wish we had the power to read minds, it’s sim­ply not pos­si­ble. Like any good re­la­tion­ship, com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key. Be sure to con­vey your thoughts and ex­pec­ta­tions re­gard­ing what you’d like your pho­tog­ra­pher to cover. Set the scene, re­lay a run­down of what el­e­ments you’ve in­cor­po­rated, tell the sto­ries be­hind the pieces, and share any ideas you may have. If there are facets that might not seem in­cred­i­bly vis­ually ap­peal­ing – such as a patch in­side your dress or a brooch on a bou­quet – but are mean­ing­ful none­the­less, this is your chance to make it known.

Time Is of the Essence

Time­lines can be tricky and you’ll need to plan ac­cord­ingly in or­der for you to take cen­ter stage. Set aside time in the sched­ule just for the de­tail shots. For in­stance, you can add 20 min­utes prior to doc­u­ment­ing hair and makeup to con­cen­trate solely on these good­ies. Be­fore your pho­tog­ra­phy team ar­rives, set all the items, such as pa­per goods, rings, shoes, etc., in one spot.

That way, as soon as they ar­rive, they can dive in and cross each item off the list. This will en­sure that your pho­tog­ra­pher can fo­cus on faces and events for the rest of the day, and the de­tails won’t be for­got­ten!

Lo­ca­tion Mat­ters

Some­times the scene is too crowded. With a ho­tel room spilling over with brides­maids and stylists, gowns hang­ing, and Cham­pagne flow­ing, it can be tough to gain the nec­es­sary space. Lo­ca­tion scout­ing can be a bril­liant move. If you’re run­ning on sched­ule and can re­lease con­trol, set your pho­tog­ra­pher free. Let them know it’s per­fectly ac­cept­able if they want to take the pre­cious items to a new lo­ca­tion to shoot. When given the chance, it can re­sult in phe­nom­e­nal work and spark a cre­ative cord within your pho­tog­ra­pher. Once, while in New Or­leans, I found a chan­de­lier shop across the street from the ho­tel. I was thrilled when the bou­tique agreed to let me hang the dress there and the bride al­lowed me free reign. It’s ex­cit­ing to be able to work out­side of the box and re­ally do what cou­ples hire me to do – cap­ture last­ing, art­ful im­ages of their cel­e­bra­tions.

An­other op­tion is to have your wed­ding plan­ner pass off a set of pa­per goods, a wel­come box, etc. on the night of the re­hearsal. If your pho­tog­ra­phy team is up for it, they can shoot them at any point they want prior to the big day. It’s not a bad op­tion if you can plan ahead and have ex­tras you don’t mind let­ting go of for a bit.

A wed­ding day passes so quickly. In the blink of an eye, the band will be an­nounc­ing the last song and you’ll be hap­pily run­ning through a tun­nel of sparkling fire­works. Fol­low­ing the nup­tials, pho­to­graphs will be all that re­main. To en­sure the story is well-doc­u­mented and the sup­port­ing char­ac­ters get their mo­ments of fame, plan ahead. With a lit­tle com­mu­ni­ca­tion, time, and free­dom, your de­tails will be cap­tured with­out steal­ing your spot­light.

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