NEVA SULLIVAN

timeless | elegant | artful

Weddings

September 23, 2020

How To Get The BEST Wedding Day Portraits | Washington, DC | Michelle and Steve

Michelle and Steve are two lovely, elegant creatures. Let’s get that out of the way first, okay? I mean seriously. How beautiful and perfect should two people be allowed to be?! It’s not even fair!

Funny story… Michelle and Steve were actually married right here at the Carnegie Institute For Science a year ago, before they ever reached out to me! In all the hectic craziness of their wedding day, they realized they hardly had any photographs of just the two of them together! So they got all dressed up again just before their first anniversary and we recreated the magic and I can’t even get over how gorgeous their photos turned out. Can you all believe Michelle did her own hair and makeup?! I was SHOOK.

NSP Couples, this situation is unfortunately SO common and it’s entirely too easy to miss out on getting photographs of just the two of you in all the chaos of your wedding day. Fortunately it’s also super easy to avoid with just a bit of intentional planning between you and I beforehand! One of my biggest priorities as your wedding photographer is to make sure we have dedicated alone time to photograph your newlywed portraits and I make SURE to communicate this as we finalize your timeline. Just think about it… these are going to be the photos you frame when you receive your gallery!

Here are my TOP THREE tips to make sure you get the absolutely BEST wedding portraits on your day!

1. Be realistic about your timeline!

Remember that amazing photos take time, and be intentional about factoring it into your day! I always urge my couples to make sure we have at least 30 minutes (ideally 45!) blocked off for your newlywed photos. If you’re not having a first look, I usually recommend 30 minutes of family portraits just after the ceremony and then 30-45 minutes of dedicated time with just me and you two for your wedding portraits. Make sure to keep this in mind while planning!

2. Have a first look!

I know, I know! This one is controversial, but hear me out! I have never had ONE couple express regret about doing a first look and there are so many great reasons why. You get a private moment between just the two of you before the craziness of your wedding starts. We can knock out some MAGICAL portraits before the ceremony and family portraits which saves so much time later. AND, couples who do a first look get 30% more photos together than those who don’t. And isn’t your day about you two anyway? 

PS: He’ll still cry when you walk down the aisle. 

3. Be extremely detailed about family portrait groupings!

This one sounds a bit out of left field, right? Let me explain. I like to schedule family portraits right after the ceremony so family and friend have less time to run away before they need to be wrangled. If you are extremely detailed with me before hand about every single family portrait you would like, including names of those needed in photos, as well as order… the more time we’ll have left over for you and your new spouse for newlywed portraits before your reception!

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