Hope you all are having a great week as we begin t...

Hope you all are having a great week as we begin the slow process of warming up.

Currently the infamous 7-7-07 date is being held for a wedding. So neat!

I wanted to put a little different spin on today's post as we are rapidly approaching my favorite season: weddings. A very talented friend and acquaintance of mine, Shalista, is from South Dakota and captures some amazing images there.

Last summer she wrote a bit of advice for her couples set to wed. I really appreciated her tact and ideas, so I thought I would share. You can see the whole post and more of her GREAT work at her blog.

1. Show off your dress. Your dress, still in plastic, isn’t that attractive. Show that puppy off. Take it out of the bags, hang it somewhere nice, a mirror, a window, a doorway, a bedpost. Then I can get the details of it. And it’s looks pretty.

2. Getting dressed. For the girls… if you want me to leave I will, but I generally see several half dressed to naked women a weekend. You have nothing I haven’t seen. Trust me. I won’t take anything inappropriate, and if I do, no one will see it but me, and it’s deleted with the outtakes during processing and gone forever. But, if you aren’t shy, we can also take a moment to do a special photo for your new husband, *wink*wink*

3. Name Names. When I ask for your list of family groups, give them to me with names. People react to their name. If I said “Bride, Groom, Mom, Dad, Brother, Brother and Sister-in-law and nephew” I might as well recite the Gettysburg Address. If I can call out, (names are changed to protect identities) Mary, John, Patty, Andy, Craig, Jill, and Jordan, it moves it a little faster.

4. Clickity click. Our contract states that I am the exclusive photographer. However, I don’t mind family taking pictures during our formals. I just ask that they stand off to the sides and behind the lights and wait till I am done to shoot. If Grandma Betty is snapping a photo the same time I am, and brother Jim is looking at her, and not at me… well, that’s bad. If I ask them to stop until I am finished, I look like the cranky mean photographer. If you ask, they’ll listen. I don’t mind asking, or telling rather, but it helps me out a lot if you educate your guests beforehand. Saves time too.

5. Time management. Speaking of guests with cameras. No one really likes the formals session, and I really strive to keep it to a minimum. This is time away from our fun stuff later, and/or time away from your reception and celebration.

6. The Bride and Groom session. Really it should be just me and you two. If we have an entourage of 15 people, it’s kind of hard to be romantic and intimate. Just saying…

7. Cheese. Really. Please, give me mercy, don’t tell the little kids to say cheese. And PLEASE tell the *really* helpful aunt not to stand directly behind me yelling cheese in my ear to get little Susy to look at me. I take TONS of kids pictures. I can handle it. The word Cheese is actually outlawed in my studio. Now go look in the mirror and say cheese. Do you want your smile to look like that? And really, trying to make kids do anything, is a sure fire recipe for making them do exactly the opposite. I have three of my own. I know from experience.

9. Special events. If you are surprising your bride or groom, please share it with me. I’d hate to be up in the balcony when you start singing the song you wrote for her. I can keep a secret, and I would be crushed to miss something you planned special. Just give me a bitty clue, ok? Thanks.

10. Staging is Everything. This goes hand and hand with #1. The cake in the corner? What about putting it in front of a pretty window, or with a nice curtain behind it? Or in the center of the room where we can see it from all sides. You painstakingly picked the style and flavors, show it off.

A couple weeks ago at Kendra and Kenny’s reception, they sat at a round table in the middle of the room surrounded by their guests. Don’t feeel the need to do the long, high head table. You don’t HAVE to do it that way. Just because all your cousins and sisters did. It’s so nice to get the bride and groom surrounded by all those who love them, and not the taupe walls of the room. Beautiful! however, whatever you choose is beautiful. I did the same long table at the front of the room when I got married. I wish I’d thought of some of this stuff back then.

If you have a choice, take note of lighting, like chandeliers, windows, and other architectural elements. Use them to create a dramatic scene for your wedding and maximize your photo & video opportunities.

11. Food. I always bring snacks, but if you are kind enough to feed me, try to reserve me a spot near your head table and allow my service the same time as yours. It doesn’t have to be *right* next to you, but in the vicinity. My camera never leaves me (not even in the buffet line). I will do shots of the food, but I have never met anyone who liked their photo taken with a mouth full of food. If I take a break when you do, I will be ready when you are ready to go again, and I’ll be sure not to miss any spontaneous moments either.

12. Feel Good. This should seem obvious, you should feel GREAT and rested on your wedding day. it goes fast. I highly discourage bachelor and bachelorette parties the night before and while this seems in jest, it makes a huge difference to people’s well being on their big day. If you are feeling ill or have a throbbing headache, it’s hard to really get into the day, and enjoy yourself. While I am not the ruler of your day, but if you are hungover, it can, and probably will, show in your photos.

13. Reflect. Take some time through the day to stand back and just look and think about what is going on around you. All the people there that love you, all your friends who support you. The beautiful surroundings, your gorgeous wife, your dashing groom. The day slips so fast. Allow others to do things for you, they want to help you. Make this day yours, enjoy yourself, and have a momentous time.

14. Enjoy it and make the most of it. This is your day. Your one, glorious day to have all this fun, be pampered, be a rock star, a super model. You will probably be wearing the most expensive thing you’ll ever own, you will have your makeup done, your hair professionally styled, just for that one day. Most of us get one chance. Don’t waste it. If your bride asks you to do just a few more shots out on the balcony, or dance out in the sunset, just do it. It’s your one chance. Make the most of it. It’s not silly, you aren’t too cool for it. Seize every second of the day and fill it to the fullest.

Again, you can see the full post here.
Have a great day!

Elizabeth Sharrett