What to Expect From Here…
First things first, make sure you go follow me on Instagram @TheoMiloPhoto to stay up to date on everything I am up to!
If you are working with an experienced planner, the following information will be pretty well taken care of. I work closely with wedding planners to make sure you have the best experience possible! I am happy to take direction from them, or happy to take the lead on some of the timing. Each planner works a little differently so this is more of a template. The timing notes below will work well as is, or can be adjusted based on your specific needs. Just remember, this isn’t our first rodeo, so although a template, there are some tried and true practices in here! The rest of the information will give you some insight into how it all comes together.
Timing Isn’t Everything…Or Is It?
If you have visited the blog or website (I’m sure you have being that you are reading this!), you have noticed that the majority of shots are taken in natural light to achieve a vibrant and colorful look that translates so well in images. If you want similar images to these, you should plan your day with the sunset in mind. The best time of day for great light is approximately 1 hour before sunset.When setting up your wedding day timeline, make sure that you will have enough time at some point in the day to take advantage of this beautiful light.This means that ideally, your ceremony would end at least 1 to 1.5 hours before sunset. Or you plan to set aside some time just before the sun goes down to make sure I can catch this beautiful light with the both of you. If you will be doing a “First Sight” before the wedding ceremony starts, that gives you more flexibility in scheduling the ceremony later and getting to your guests sooner. If you have your heart set on an evening wedding, schedule some time before the ceremony to catch natural light. If its dark when we take formal photos or Bride and Groom shots, we’ll still get great images of your special day, but will be required to use camera flash, video lights, etc. This is just a different look then what you see all over the website. If you have questions about scheduling and how it will affect the photography, please contact me and I would be happy to explain further!
Some Other Time Related Guidelines To Consider…
Lets talk getting ready… You probably want some coverage of the beginning of the day. This is more then hair and makeup shots, this time is crucial for setting the tone(as far as the final collection of images you will receive) for the day. Scenic shots, details of the dress, jewelry, your something borrowed, stationary..ect. I can come early and still get candid’s while working on capturing all the lovely little details during the getting ready process. Be sure to choose an aesthetically pleasing getting ready location. Don’t cut corners here, upgrade to the suite, rent the best house with the most natural light, whatever your plans, just keep in mind where you choose to get ready with the bridal party will effect the final product.
As far as the guys go… If you are getting ready near each other then it’s fairly easy for me (or a 2ndphotographer) to pop over and get some images of the groom with the guys pre ceremony. Generally speaking, I ask the guys to arrive at the ceremony location a tad earlyso I can photograph them there instead. This usually works better then meeting them at a hotel or some other location, as guys often don’t have much of a “getting ready” process like the ladies. If the guys do have something special, or you foresee something counter to what I have said, just let me know, I am happy to accommodate where possible!
What does all this mean for timing? I would like to have 1hr for details/candid’s and 1hr with the ladies (hair and makeup complete) before the ceremony. So schedule hair and makeup to have everyone ready at least 2hrs before the ceremony, even earlier if there is any travel required to the ceremony location. This will allow some wiggle room, I don’t need an hour to photography you and your girls, but having an hour scheduled works well. You don’t want to be running around stressed about timing on your wedding day. For Bride and Groom shots, I recommend blocking out a minimumof 20mins. This will allow ample time whether before (“First Sight”) or after the ceremony so I can focus on getting images of just the two of you. If you wish to do a little of both (before and after the ceremony) that’s fine too. I can shoot the bridesmaids together with the Bride separately from the Groom and the groomsmen pre ceremony. That will save time after the ceremony. Don’t forget to allow another 15mins or so for the whole bridal party together with you and your spouse after the ceremony, if you want.
If you want family formal group shots, I recommend blocking out about 15 minutes for these shots, typically 4-5 groupings on each side is favorable, starting with larger groups and paring it down as we go. Any larger extended family photos that are not as important to you can be taken back at the reception. You will receive a questionnaire, “Wedding Day Details”, that you can fill out online. It will contain a section asking what groupings you would like. Be intentional here and list names, this will help the family formals run much more smoothly. And what about all the beautiful detail shots? Cocktail hour is a perfect time for these. After your ceremony and post ceremony photos, take a load off and have a drink or a bite to eat. Hang with your wedding party or even join cocktail hour for a bit before formal introductions. Spending some time before dinner with your guests or wedding party will give you both a chance to take a breather before mealtime and the rest of the evenings happenings. It also gives me time to get some great candid moments and cover detail shots of the décor, tables, bars, cake, ect. that you and the planner put so much work into. Allow about 15 minutes minimum for reception room details and keep the dining room closed off from the cocktail hour until intros if at all possible. Alternatively, I can photograph many of the details earlier in the day if they are set up in time. Talk with your planner and come up with a game plan for these images. You will be glad you did, especially if you would like to see your wedding featured in print or online through a national publication, like Style Me Pretty or The Knot or Martha Stewart Weddings for example. Many couples don’t even get a chance to see all of the details come together on the wedding day, so lets make sure that doesn’t happen to you!
However you choose to schedule the photos for your big day remember to have fun and relax! It’s your day and I am here for you!
**Make sure to be on the look out for an email containing a link to the online “Wedding Day Details” questionnaireas we get about 30 days before the Wedding**
Important Dinner Info
You may be asking yourself, “Do I include the photographer(s) in my head count for dinner”? I hope so! It is on the contract to provide us with a similar meal as the guests. If this is an issue for some reason, just let me know! All we really need is at least a hot meal. If your dinner is buffet style, we usually just have a plate from that, either by going through the line after family and wedding party or having someone make us a plate. However you feel comfortable feeding us please, please notify your caterer. **MOST IMPORTANT** allowing us time to eat towards the first half of dinner or when YOU eat. This way we don’t miss out on candid photo opportunities (greeting the guests, little ones on the dance floor at the end of dinner, toasts, ect). We don’t need to eat first but the planner or caterer are focused on their jobs at that time and don’t think about the photographers until after all the guests have been served. If that happens then we don’t get to eat at all because the night has moved on to the toasts or cake cutting and the rest of the reception. Please allow us 20-30 or so minutes to take a break for food (often times the only one we will get all day). Logistically, the best place for this time is when you are eating (or at least shortly after). Unless you plan on leaving some time after all the guests have been served before the next scheduled event of the night. That can work too. I’m here to talk about it further if you have and questions or concerns about any of this! Ultimately its up to you
Sharing is Caring
There are a ton of details that will go into your wedding day and I want to be well aware of all them (custom cufflinks for the groom and groomsmen, your Christian Louboutins, custom detail added to your dress…) so please share this information with me! You will have a chance on your Wedding Day Details questionnaire. Please remember to provide me with a copy of the final timeline at least ONE WEEK PRIOR TO YOUR WEDDING DAY. As well as a rough draft once it is available. If you are working with a wedding planner, I will be sure to get this information from them. I would like to have a final consultation with you (the bride), usually over the phone is fine, before the wedding day. Be on the lookout for an email of phone call from me about scheduling this. If your planner will be handling this, that is fine. But, I will have specific questions for you so please plan for us to speak even if you are not handling many of the timing logistics.
I edit EVERY image you will see for color, exposure, cropping and small distractions, BUT believe in natural, realistic, candid and honest photography. Small distracting blemishes are removed where possible and this is included. When it comes to Photoshop I will not shave your hips and waist, change your hair color, or airbrush your face/body so that you like someone on a highly edited magazine cover. You will be beautiful without all that stuff anyway! My shooting style is very complementary to skin tones and blemishes. You can see this throughout my website. I believe that natural is beautiful and my photography style reflects this. Please keep this in mind. I can, however, provide special retouches upon request. You are able to make special requests for deeper editing but I do bill this out at $55 an hour. Don’t worry, I rarely get requests like this from our couples, or their requests only end up being a prorated charge of 10-15 minutes (its rare for an edit to take an hour) and some can even be fixed without a charge. You may also add “Extended Rtouching” to your collection where I will perform a deeper edit to the hair and skin of the B&G photos as well as wedding party and family portraits.
As mentioned, I do edit every image that you view online and receive! On your wedding day I will shoot a lot of images, once the images are processed I will cut any images not suitable for viewing. Think of it like quality control. For example: if crazy uncle Bob pops up in front of one of our cameras and the back of his head makes it into a photo taking up all of the image, it will not be included in any galleries or on the final product (image collection) you receive. I want you to have as many images as possible from your big day, so if there are any images in question, like if one person had their eyes closed but the rest of the people in the photo are all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, it will be included anyway. Generally you can expect between 60-75 great images per hour of coverage telling the “story” of your wedding day!
Wait, Film Photography Is Still Around?
You bet it is! Its probably part of the reason you or your planner contacted me. If you like my style and how the images look, a big part of the reason is film. If you have spent anytime looking at images or better yet, holding images, captured on film then you know the difference! Not everyone can master this incredible art. Shooting film is a more expensive and delicate medium for capturing all the beauty surrounding your wedding day. Have question about how I can incorporate film into your wedding? Just ask, I suggest you do!
Posting And Publishing Your Images
I may publish a limited selection of my favorite images from your wedding and/or engagement on the blog, website, Instagram or Facebook. If you dislike the idea of being on any of these, please notify me as soon as possible so I will know not to include you in any posts. And please, if you decide to post any images, I ask that you don’t re-edit them or use Instagram filters on the images. This can confuse others of the services/types of images I offer and become an issue for me down the road.
Proofing/Ordering Your Images
Once all images have been edited and are ready for proofing you will receive an email with instructions on how to view/share and order prints. You will have access to all sorts of goodies from the proofing gallery like downloads, prints, albums, canvas prints, and much more! The proofing gallery provides a great opportunity for you to share your images with friends and family who may want some themselves. You will be asked to invite guests to the proofing gallery when you receive the proofing information so please take advantage of this so guests can see your images! The proofing gallery will expire so be sure to note the expiration date contained in the email.
Please, please be patient. Editing hundreds of images takes time. Allow approximately 1-2 months from your wedding day until you start looking for the proofing email. If I am running ahead or behind schedule I will try let you know. If you have any questions during this time, feel free to contact me!
If you are getting prints made of anything of substantial size, trust me, you will want to order it through the proofing gallery. The details in an enlargement really stand out and thus need a little extra attention! If there is something that bothers you about a certain image you want to get printed (a stray hair or blemish for example) let me know before you order the image and I will see if I can fix it for you! I will mail the final collection of images out after the proofing gallery goes up. So be on the look out for an email or phone call as to when, usually about a week or so more!
What About Ordering Albums?
You will most likely want to order an album from your wedding day. I highly recommend you take advantage of what I have to offer! They are nothing like the cheapies you get through Costco or Shutterfly! Your memories deserve a safe place, displayed in an album made with care and individuality! Be sure to put in your order within 3-5 months from when your proofing gallery goes live, Album credits do expire! The Albums are easy to order and view! Links to your options can be found on my website. Visit the order page here. It can be accessed using password: “tmpalbums”. Once you know what kind of album you want, simply order online, from there you can pay via CC and will receive more instructions on how to select your images and other details! Pricing depends on what size and what type of upgrades you would like, expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $1700 depending on aforementioned details. If your collection includes an album credit, you will be given a code to use at check out later on.
Engagement And Bridal Sessions
Engagement sessions and bridal sessions are a wonderful way for us to work together before the wedding day and a great opportunity to add a little something special to this wonderful season in your life!
It will be up to you to get in touch with me when you are ready and let me know some potential dates to start the ball rolling on getting that scheduled. Remember, summer can be pretty hot and humid (mid June-September) so we may want to keep and eye on the forecast and avoid the worst of those months if possible.
As a general rule I do not shoot on Sundays. That is often the only day off for my family and rest! I recommend planning on taking a half-day or full day off of work for the session (Saturdays during busy season are usually pretty booked with weddings with few exceptions). We will want to aim to shoot at either sunrise or sunset, depending on the time of year, it may not conflict with work schedules. Sunsets are between 7:15-8:30pm mid March-early September.
If there is absolutely no other option but a Sunday, let me know and I will personally work with you to figure something out! I can also come to your hometown or do a “destination”engagement session (travel fee may apply). I love to travel to fun places! There may be more flexibility with this option as well.
Your engagement session will include an online gallery and hi-res images just like some of the wedding collections. If you would like to order an album from the engagement session, (maybe for a sign in book?) it will work just like if you were ordering a wedding album. We will work closely together to determine a location/theme and timeframe. Don’t be shy if you have any ideas! This session is meant to showcase your personalities!
The bridal session works much like the engagement session. You will be able to download the images hi-res from the proofing site. You can also share the gallery with family so they may purchase images should they want copies for themselves! Typically, the bridal session will be done the month or two before your wedding day or whenever you have your dress. I highly recommend scheduling trial hair and makeup for this session and getting your hands on a bouquet from your florist. I am happy to help if you have no idea where to start but to give you some direction… a lovely house with a beautiful yard, a ranch, or garden or large field…anything really! Let me know your ideas and we will put our heads together and come up with something perfect!
I am! I believe there are very few situations out there that share the same weight and wonderfully beautiful atmosphere as your wedding day! I am honored to come alongside you in making this day wonderful and to witness all the emotion and moments and save them forever so you can look back and enjoy over again and again! I am committed to acting in your best interests and making creative and professional decisions with you in mind. For me, it really and truly is all about you. My goal is not to put another wedding in the books and call it a day, I truly desire our friendship to continue on long after your wedding day. So sit back relax and know you are in good hands! I am looking forward to getting to know you (hence the Get To Know You ?’s!) as we mutually look forward to your wedding day. I consider it and blessing to have been chosen and trusted with the memories of one of the most significant days you will experience!
See you soon!