The wedding trends report is created by the International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning. It is put together by professionals from all over the world to help planners, brides and industry experts for future wedding planning. Some of the biggest names around the world in the wedding industry contribute to this report. The information is extremely valuable to those planning a wedding. Mike B was honored to contribute and to be featured in the International Wedding Trends report for the third year in a row. To access the full 2018 report, click here.
Everyone wants their family photography session to go as smoothly as possible—including your family photographers. Because we want your day to go well, we’ve come up with a list of our top four best tips for making your family session successful.
Family Photography Tip 1: Shoot During the Golden Hour
The “golden hour” is the hour after sunrise or the hour just before sunset. These two times of day create warm, perfect light that will illuminate you in the photos we take throughout your portrait session. This warm light, along with the rims of light that outline the subjects of the photo can create stunning images when your portrait session takes place in an open field or wooded area.
Family Photography Tip 2: Be Comfortable and Confident
When picking out your clothes for the session, err on the side of comfort. You want to be confident in your clothing styles, but choose something flattering and timeless that will make you want to keep that family portrait up for years to come. Try to avoid trendy patterns and styles that might be outdated in a year. After all, you don’t want to run to the mantle to hide those family portraits taken when shoulder pads and yellow stripes were in vogue when friends come to visit five years down the road.
Family Photography Tip 3: Listen to Your Photographers
This is especially true for families with small children. Often, photographers have methods of calming children and getting them to participate in the family shoot without a fight. These tried and true methods have been honed by plenty of years of experience. After all, Grandma might think little John’s crying portrait is adorable, but you might not want it framed. Trust your family photographer to get the perfect portrait of your little one for your wallet.
Family Photography Tip 4: Choose Your Location Carefully
When choosing a location for your family session, you may want to go with a place that fits your family style perfectly or has a significant story behind it. That’s a good idea, because it will make you more comfortable on the day of the shoot. With that said, it’s important to be flexible to changes. Many unforeseen circumstances can make a beautiful location less than ideal for pictures. Whether it’s the wind blowing your hair, or the sun shining in the wrong direction, it’s important to trust your photographer. We will work closely on the day of the session to find the best spot for your portraits. After all, our job is to deliver the best possible pictures to you. We might even surprise you and find a location better than the one you had in mind.
Family portraits can sometimes be stressful things as you plan and herd your family—but we want you to be as relaxed and happy as possible. Tips like these can save you time and stress down the line!
When you’re planning your engagement session, location is key. The two of you are going to look stunning no matter what, especially with how in love you are. But it’s important to find that perfect place to provide a background for your romance and show off your individual style. Engagement pictures are often used in wedding invitations, wedding websites and announcements, so you want your engagement session to reflect who you are as a couple. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of our top five favorite places around Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia to shoot engagement sessions.
Location 1: Downtown Annapolis, Maryland
Not many people know this, but Annapolis was recently voted the top “under the radar” destination wedding location in the United States—and for good reason. Downtown Annapolis is an ideal location not only for local Navy couples, but for eclectic couples who are drawn to its vibrant hues of green, blue, and pink lining the streets. With quaint coffee shops and boutiques on every corner, the downtown area is simply perfect for couples who want a little personality.
One of our favorite images from our many engagement sessions was taken right in downtown Annapolis. The couple, Tess and Brady, didn’t shy away from standing in the middle of the street, illuminated by cars and street lights, to get that unique shot with the beautiful St. Anne’s Church sitting at the top of the hill in the background. Their love radiated through every image and was only enhanced by the gorgeous background
Location 2: Our Farm
This farm is perfect for the more rustic engagements, especially if you want a beautiful fall location. You can find backdrops for any style around the farm; from the barns to the flower fields to the steps outside of the mansion. That variety is one of the many reasons we’ve included the farm on our list.
Location 3: The Washington Monuments
The Washington Monuments are the perfect locations for a metropolitan couple looking for chic engagement photos. That hint of American history in the background adds not only personality but a sense of importance to any session. The reflecting pool and the Potomac also provide a stunning backdrop to photographs, especially when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.
Location 4: Baltimore: Fells Point, National Harbor
This historic district, with its beautiful brick homes, complete with vibrant shutters, provides some of our favorite backdrops for a variety of couples. Every corner of this city has something to offer, from the homes to the Inner Harbor. There are so many unique places that can show off your individual style.
Location 5: Alexandria, Virginia
Old town Alexandria is another one of our favorites for its alleyways and street character. This is especially good for autumn sessions, as the fall leaves look beautiful with the cobblestone streets and historic brick buildings.
These locations have made it to this list because of their ability to fit any couple, whether you’re a fast-paced metropolitan couple or a small-town country couple. From Baltimore to Alexandria and the spots in between, these are all beautiful locations to shoot your engagement session in any season.
When it comes to planning a wedding, it’s all about the details. Like never before, today's couples can find so many sources of inspiration for their wedding day, from Pinterest to Instagram, so many options exist for them to gather ideas. Wedding details can range from unique floral designs, custom invitations and paper goods, to custom jewelry, handmade signage, unique menu items, and guest welcome bags to name a few. These details give today's couples so many unique ways to express their individuality.
Small Details, Big Impact:
Once the big details like the venue and wedding date are set, the little details are where a couple’s personality can shine through.
Table décor can be a way to incorporate the wedding colors, and is a subtle way to add a touch of personality. Tables don’t necessarily need to be decorated with only florals. Consider a collection of beautiful candleholders clustered together, a pop of color with ribbon, or something made lovingly by hand. Even the way the table number is displayed can have a touch of personality. With these do-it-yourself elements, couples can point them out years later and say, “I made that!”
Make it Personal:
Cocktail hour can be enhanced with cigars, signature cocktails, and snacks with personal relevance. If there is a unique menu for cocktail hour or dinner, having it artfully displayed brings a pop of flavor to the table. Some couples have a lot of fun thinking of catchy ways to draw attention to drinks or appetizers.
When it comes to wedding finery, there are even more opportunities to add personal significance. Little touches like a mother’s veil or a grandfather’s handkerchief bring an emotional weight to even the smallest moments. As brides consider their “old, new, borrowed and blue,” incorporating personal items can create a precious memory. A heart cut out of dad’s blue chambray work shirt, or an antique locket with a treasured picture intertwined into the bridal bouquet are just two ways that small details can have big impacts.
As photographers, we feel it is our job to capture all of these expressions of individuality throughout the day. After all, it is such a big part of the wedding planning process and is a reflection of the couple’s tastes.
Here are a few suggestions we make to our couples to ensure we capture their details:
- Bring a complete set of your stationery, including “save the date” cards and invitations, for us to photograph.
- Make sure that we have the wedding rings as well as the engagement ring to photograph all three as a set.
- Set aside jewelry, shoes, dresses, and any other accessories they might wear so we can photograph those for wedding day preparation photos.
When it comes to weddings, the difference is in the details. We want to do our best to make sure when you get your photographs back, you can see yourself in every bit.
From cigar bars to personalized cuff links, here are a few of our favorite wedding details we have captured over the last year.
What makes a great candid photo? For me it's capturing real emotion at exactly the right moment in time. For my clients, a great candid photo is one that will impact them emotionally when they see it again many years from now. Having been a full-time photographer for over ten years now, and having photographed hundreds of weddings all over the world, as well as fast paced professional sports events, and special occasions of all types, you would think that capturing a great candid would be easy for me. Truthfully, it is easier now than it used to be, but there are many things that go into capturing a great candid photo. Over the next few blog posts, I want to share with you some of the things I’ve learned over time to help you improve your skill in candid photography. Simply having a camera and being at the right place doesn't always mean you'll capture the moment as I feel it should be captured.
My approach as a wedding photographer is to look for the little moments that I call “Emotional transactions”, that are occurring all around me, throughout the wedding day. I have always felt that it’s the photos of these intimate moments that often have the greatest impact, and truly convey the emotion and feel of the wedding day. From my perspective, as soon as your subject knows that he or she has a camera pointed at them, they change their behavior, and the opportunity to capture that candid moment is gone.
One of the most important things that I try to ingrain in all of my interns and associate photographers is to always be alert and anticipate when a great candid moment may happen. Some moments like the groom’s expression when he sees his fiancé in her dress for the first time are obvious, but what about the little private smiles, their hands nervously clasped while they are on the alter, or their reactions after the ceremony as they exit the church, and are alone for the first time as a married couple. All of these moments can make for great candid photos, but you have to be looking for them constantly.
Your choice of equipment will also have a big impact on your ability to capture great candid photos. One of the most valuable pieces of advice I can give to photographers who are trying to improve their candid photography skill, is to learn your equipment like the back of your hand. Knowing your equipment well allows you to react instinctively to moments as they happen without having to worry about your camera settings. Teach yourself how to adjust anything on your camera without having to look at it and keep things simple. If you’re carrying three camera bodies with you all of the time, there is no way you’ll have the time, or energy, to react quickly when a moment presents itself.
I typically work with one camera body and 2 lenses during a wedding ceremony. That doesn’t mean I don’t have backup equipment within reach all the time, it simply means that during that one portion of the day I have one or two of my favorite lenses, and a camera body in my hands. I find that when I have too many equipment options available, I tend to get too caught up in technical decisions and my reaction times are slower. The KISS (keep it simple stupid) concept applies here! Some of my favorite lenses for capturing candid moments are telephoto lenses. Telephotos in the 100 to 300mm range allow me to keep a considerable distance between me and my subjects so that I don’t influence the moment. Trying to shoot a wedding with a wide angle lens means that you will have to be very close to your subjects and it can create an awkward invasion of private space which is exactly what you are trying to avoid. Choosing the right lens for the situation is critical to candid photography. Speaking of equipment, there is a new camera that I can’t wait to try out called the Light L16, which combines 16 lenses, of varying focal lengths into one compact body, which would seem to be a great fit for my purposes. If it works as advertised, I think one of these may find it’s way into my bag.
In the next post I’ll discuss how to anticipate and react to moments that create great candid photos. Stay tuned!
Thinking of ways to spice up the traditional wedding? Many couples are choosing to drop the traditional customs of a wedding and adding their own flare. Check out the article about switching up your conventional ring bearer for a special pup, a groomsmen or an elder family member. Make sure to check out our fun shot from Vanita and Joe's wedding of their ring bearer who was also a groomsmen! Take a look here!
Two of our couples were featured in an article by Story Mix Media on lighting and three great ways to grab your guests attention and create the perfect ambience for a romantic night. Madeline and Graham's gorgeous reception under a sunroom lit with bistro lights gave their reception the perfect golden hue and under the stars feel to the night! Brooke and Brian's image of their outdoors, waterfront and sunset lit reception accompanied by a beautiful fall night sky allowed for a backyard style rustic country evening. Take a look here!
Our bride Natalie and our images from her wedding to Trey were featured in Plan The Day! Natalie and expert wedding consultant Meghan Ely tell brides why you shouldn't neglect your bridesmaids when it comes to the wedding preperations! Having your girls by your side on the biggest day of your life is important but so are the words "Thank you". Don't forget to say them! Check out the article here!
Kylie and Grant's woodland, chic waterfront wedding was featured in Charm City Wed! From farm tables, table settings accented with a rosemary sprig to bistro lights. Kyle and Grant's wedding gave the perfect airy, polished and minimalistic feel to the reception, held at the family estate. Rain or shine the elements couldn't stop this Maryland waterfront wedding from happening. Check it out here !
Thinking of doing a destination wedding or just staying close to home for the big day? Take a look at this article on Huffington Post featuring facts about pricing, decor and celebrities who have also considered having destination weddings. Oh, and don't forget to check out our image! Take a gander here!
It's easy to get caught up in all the wedding planning in the months leading up to the big day. From vendors to favors to dress fittings its easy to lose sight of what the day is really about. Tips, tricks, and hacks help save you time, money and stress. In Forbes' article "33 Wedding Hacks That Save Money And Add Charm To Your Big Day" the best wedding hacks have been collected for you so you can have stress free wedding planning. You can check out the advice we gave to brides's about booking your photographer here!
It wasn't that long ago that I was a bored accountant in a job that wasn't exciting to me, and ultimately just wasn't the right fit for me. When I shot my first wedding eight years ago, I stumbled onto something I honestly never thought I would enjoy, I was just doing a favor for a friend. I always thought wedding photography was cheesy and boring based on my own experience at my wedding. That wedding however, was the start of my transition to a job that I love, and within 1 year, I made a change in careers that lead me, 250 weddings later, to where I am today. I was a total novice and constantly questioned my decision to change career paths, but I pushed through the tough times, learned everything I could about the industry (I'm still learning every day) and somehow made it to a point where I am being asked for advice on weddings by industry publications. That is one of the reasons it is so thrilling for me when the definitive annual industry resource, The 2016 International Wedding Trends Report included my input for this years report. It's a great ready for brides and industry professionals alike. Check it out here!
It's always exciting when one of your industry's leading publications features your advice on weddings, so were psyched to see some of our tips featured! If you're looking for ways to save money on your wedding without effecting the wedding day experience, check out these tips in the Bridal Guide!