As wedding photographers, it’s important for us to understand how to meet the needs of everyone involved on a wedding day: the bride, the groom, their moms and dads, and all the vendors involved – to ensure a successful wedding day for our couples. That’s why I love chatting with event planners to get behind the scenes and see how the magic of a wedding comes together. I recently met up with Renata of RDT Events + Beauty, a truly talented event planner, to pick her brain on some wedding photography tips.
Having originally started as a makeup artist, Renata discovered her passion for event planning as she was organizing her own bridal shower! You can see her passion in each and single one of weddings she plans. From the first consultation to the very last guest on your dance floor, she’s going to be there for you.
I’m very excited to share all of her awesome wedding photography tips with you. Below are also some images from The Fermenting Cellar wedding we worked on together, recently published in the Weddingbells 2016 print issue.
Mango Studios (MS): How does photography factor into your wedding planning process?
Renata (RDT): After a handful of consultations, I really get to know my clients and who they are. When it comes to suggesting vendors I want to make sure they are a reflection of my couple’s style and vision. Photography is a huge element to any wedding/event planning process and after the venue, it is one of the first vendors I always suggest that my clients secure first!
Wedding photography is essentially the only tangible piece that is left after a very special occasion. I always urge my clients to meet with different photographers if they aren’t certain with whom to go with because, just like with your wedding planner, it is essential to have a connection with your photographer. It’s important to have a team whose company you are going to enjoy, and who makes you feel comfortable in front of their lens.
The key is to find a photographer who reflects you as a couple – whether you like more intense lighting or prefer a soft, natural light; if you are drawn to posed shots as opposed to more natural, candid poses. Different photographers have different styles and it is what makes them who they are! I can steer my couples in the right direction suggesting a photographer who best encompasses the qualities they are looking for.
MS: What are some wedding photography tips for photographers that will help the day run smoothly?
RDT: I communicate with a photographer beforehand to chat about timing and details – i.e. arrival at bride and groom location, where to take bridal party photos, family photos at venue and all events that are occurring during reception.
One of the major elements of a wedding planning is the day’s schedule. It is essential in making sure everything runs seamlessly and according to the plan. I always want to ensure there is a nice fluidity to the day where both guests and bridal party alike can tell there is a nice flow. I create a detailed timeline where no detail or occurrence is overlooked – it allows all vendors involved to be aware of what is happening and when, so there are no surprises.
MS: Do you have any feedback about photography timelines on a wedding day? How can this be improved?
I always remind clients that timing is a tricky thing and always tell them to add more, rather than less (i.e. be aware of travel time, bathroom & smoking breaks…) It is always better to be safe than sorry. It is so important to stick to your schedule and not add any surprises on the day of – I had a bride once want to stop on the way back from their bridal party photos to the venue to get some photos at the local McDonald’s where the couple had had their first date. Although it seems like it’ll just be a quick shot, managing a bridal party of 10+ takes more time than you’d think!
MS: What photos are you most excited to see post wedding day?
RDT: I absolutely love seeing the reactions of family members when they see the bride for the first time (especially dads!) or when the bride and groom first lay their eyes on each other. I also love ceremony photographs – there is so much emotion and joy, so those are definitely among my favorite photos!
After the wedding day is over, I really enjoy when my clients share their photos with me. I worked alongside them for quite some time leading up to the event so it’s very special to me. I like to re-live the emotions and moments that I may have missed. They also give me an opportunity to look for areas I can perfect; for example, if a napkin corner wasn’t folded right. I strive for perfection and excellence, so I always look for where I can improve.
MS: What are some photo worthy trends you’re seeing this year?
RDT: There are so many photo worthy trends I am seeing this year that I love! Below are my favorites:
a) The use of natural light and backlit photos. When natural light comes from behind the couple it creates a much softer and more romantic shot (and looks so magical peeking through).
b) Editorial Styling of group bridal party portraits (Think Solange’s bridal party photos.) Instead of the usual “line-up” I am seeing more and more photographers thinking outside the box to add more character and flair to the group shots. Each placement of a bridal party member is thought out, with deep expressions and tons of visual impact. They look as if they’re straight out of a magazine!
c) Father/Daughter First looks. I’ve found that more and more brides are having their photographers capture their dad’s first glimpse of them. It’s such a sweet moment! Wedding days can get super busy (and a bit hectic at times!) – it’s nice to see brides take the time to spend intimate moments with their family.
MS: What attracts you and your couples to Mango Studios?
RDT: What’s not to love?! What attracts both myself and my clients to MANGO is their overall photography style and incredible team of talent. They are very easy to work with, have a super friendly (and super organized!) team, and everyone is so talented at their craft!
What I really love is their organic, authentic way of capturing photos – it really makes you want to jump right in! They are masters of using and capturing light, too! It allows the beauty of the day to shine through with natural and simplistic editing and lighting.
Lastly, they have an amazing way of shooting people as well as still objects – the detail shots from MANGO are always impeccable! The angles, lighting, and ability to see beyond the lens really make for the perfect shots! You can tell that the signature MANGO style shines through in all their wedding photos, which is a perfect reflection of a cohesive team who really loves what they do.