The Top Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You To Know

Butterfly Lane Estate wedding, private estate wedding in Montecito, wedding ceremony, white flower arch
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4 Tips From Wedding Photographers For The Best Photos Ever!

Here at Feathered Arrow, we love working with professional vendors to make your wedding day perfect and run smoothly! Working with skilled experts in their field is the best way to ensure that your day goes smoothly. And while every part of your wedding is important, one part I encourage my clients to truly seek out the best of the best, is their wedding photographer.  We asked two of our favorite photographers in the biz, Julie ShufordKelsea Holder, to share some of their top tips that a wedding photographer wants their couple to know. Check out what they have to say below! 

Think about the lighting

Sunset wedding photo, coastal beach wedding in Montecito
Photo by: Kelsea Holder

Now, don’t stress about every lighting detail for every moment during the day. That is your photographers job and we can always find the best light when we can control where we take our clients! However,  you want to set your photos up for success. For example, if your getting ready photos are important to you, don’t book a dark hotel room with, one small window and yellow fluorescent lights to get ready in. There is only so much magic we can work as photographers. Find somewhere with natural light, windows, and light colored walls! Ask your venue if you can get in early or use their facilities if they have a beautiful bridal room or getting ready suite. 

Make note of how the lighting is at your ceremony spot. If you can visit the venue during the time of year you are getting married, that is wonderful! Stand where you will looking into your partner’s eyes and saying your vows. Is the sun directly in your face?! Are you squinting like crazy?! That won’t be the most picturesque scenario. Some venues have multiple ceremony options which is helpful. Ask the venue manager or your coordinator how the lighting has been at past weddings. Look at blog posts from past weddings during the same time of year and notice how the light is in those photos.  I’ve had past clients change their ceremony locations due to poor lighting conditions, and the result is magical if you are aware and can plan ahead!” – Kelsea Holder

Leave Room In Your Timeline For Photos

Photo by: Elizabeth Burgi

Another way of enjoying more of your day is leaving multiple spaces in the day for photos. Over the years I’ve noticed that doing ALL of the photos during cocktail hour can be quite overwhelming for clients. You miss the time with your family and friends and things are always super rushed! Doing some photos before the ceremony, a few more at cocktail hour and about 10-15 minutes at sunset time is a great way to break up the day and still have a lot of beautiful photos!

Off-site photos are some of my favorite images on a wedding day, you just have to work it into the schedule! My clients in northern California worked 30 minutes into their timeline to take photos with me at this amazing rocky overlook and we had the most amazing time! It was so worth it and meant so much to them! But off-site photos don’t have to be a huge undertaking and could even be just a walk around the block or neighborhood of the venue. It also gives you two a few quiet moments together.” – Julie Shuford

First Looks Are Key

A romantic wedding at Ebell Long Beach, first look
Photo by: Swanky Fine Art Weddings

“You’ve heard it before but doing a first look is a great use of time on your wedding day and a great way to take the edge off the busy day. So many times I hear, “I was so nervous or stressed but as soon as I hugged my fiance it all went away.” It also allows time to get wedding party and family photos done before the ceremony! This all means more time enjoying your wedding day! As your photographer, the last thing we want is to keep you from your family and friends on your wedding day!” – Julie Shuford

Trust Your Photographer

Butterfly Lane Estate wedding, private estate wedding in Montecito, wedding ceremony, white flower arch
Photo by: Kelsea Holder

“Trust the professionals, seriously. Whenever you have a question, just simply ask! Communication with your photographer and wedding planner is key. And if you hire a professional, they have likely photographed hundreds of weddings and have experienced every type of scenario. When you are planning your wedding, EVERYONE, has an opinion all of a sudden and it can be overwhelming ;). Listen to the professionals you are hiring. You have chosen to invest in them for a reason, after all.” – Kelsea Holder

“The most important thing is to just have fun! Trust that your wedding planner, photographer and other vendors are all pros and want to leave you with the best experience possible!” – Julie Shuford

We hope this has helped you take one step closer to having the best wedding day photos ever! Huge thank you to Julie + Kelsea for sharing their tips and tricks! If you’d like to learn more about our experts, be sure to contact them below:

Kelsea Holder website and Instagram

Julie Shuford Photography website and Instagram

And if you’re ready to start planning your dream wedding day, click the contact button on my homepage here and let’s set some time to chat! 

Feathered Arrow Signature Kari Dirksen


Expert Party Planner, Podcaster, and Creative Entrepreneur.

I'm a creative entrepreneur at heart and have been running my business for over 10 years and have planned and executed over 150+ weddings. I'm an expert in this industry and care deeply about my clients and making sure they have the best experience. I just launched a podcast with my work wife, Gabby Pinkerton of Cause We Can Events, called Just Another Biz Podcast! Go check it out!

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