Making the Most of Your Outdoor Wedding Photos

Posted by Azure on March 20th, 2009
Special Feature by Jamie Striplin of Crystaline Photography and Multimedia, LLC.

The first thing to consider is the time of day you are getting married. If you are planning an outdoor ceremony or outdoor portraits, try to stay away from high noon! This is the time of the day when the sun is directly overhead, it is usually the brightest and hottest time of day, and you’ll have to deal with the most shadows unless the day is overcast. Not every wedding can accommodate missing this time of day due to time and budget restraints, and if it cannot be avoided your photographer should bring the right tools to compensate: a flash to fill in shadows, a lens hood to prevent accidental lens flare, and scrims and flags. He or she should also be looking to take some of the photos in shade to help with squinting and all those shadows.

The best time of day to have your photos taken is what photographers call “Magic Hour,” which really doesn’t last an hour, but is the absolute best time to take photographs. You get a nice, warm glow to all of your pictures. It is usually right before sunset or sunrise. Keep in mind that when the sun goes behind the horizon it will get dark quickly, and so will your photographs. If I ever have any worries about the time of day we are planning to do outdoor photos, I consult the Farmer’s Almanac ahead of time to find out what time the sun is supposed to set. I have often found that the couple had planned on doing their outdoor photographs after the sun was already supposed to be down and we were able to make changes.

Here are some more quick tips:

Have a small make-up and hair touch-up kit with you for photos right after the ceremony; ask one of your bridesmaids to be in charge of it. Pick out some of your favorite spots and either do a walk-through with your photographer beforehand or let him or her know where they are so he or she can be sure to take photos there first!

Finally, even brides who have told me that they are just not the outdoor type found that their outdoor photos ended up being their favorite and most prominent ones in their album. So even if you are not the type of girl who loves the great outdoors, you may still want to consider having just a few taken outside with beautiful scenery!

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