Wedding Photography Planning | Wedding Day Timeline & Guide

With an internet full of wedding photographers in Pittsburgh, its important to hire a professional wedding photographer you can trust in providing you with a style of imagery that fits what you envision for your wedding day. To get a comprehensive scope of a photographer’s style, I feel it’s not only important to view their website portfolio, but also their client testimonials as well as their individual wedding day blog posts. This approach will give you a thorough idea of how your wedding day will potentially be captured as well as what it will be like to interact & work with that photographer. When I initially meet with a couple, I always like to ensure that my style and approach to photography is what they envision for their Pittsburgh wedding day. When it comes to working together, I like to take as much stress as I can off of a couples’ shoulders throughout the picture taking aspects of the day. I approach wedding days with a very patient and easy-going attitude, and I strive to make the day fun & stress-free as if I’m a friend taking your photos.

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Planning Photography Around The Timing Of Your Wedding Day

Events during your day can move at lightning speed and before you know it you’ll pause during your reception and ask “where did all the time go!?!”. Time is of the essence, so it’s always important to make a schedule that includes how long the different picture-taking aspects of your day will take. Time management is a specialty of mine so don’t hesitate to ask for suggestions about how to efficiently streamline the flow of your day.

Below are a few examples of how much time to set aside for these picture-taking aspects of your day:
Receiving line after the ceremony – 30 mins
Family Portraits after the ceremony – 20-30mins
Mid Day Portraits – 45-60 mins (plus additional travel time)

Sticking to a basic schedule with regards to photography will eliminate stress and maximize the coverage time you have with me in getting all the important shots necessary to tell a vivid story of your special day.

Its All About Light

Natural light for creating photographs is one topic couples tend not to consider, and it’s a topic that I always like to address when meeting with couples. Lighting can change throughout the day as well as throughout the year (ex. Summer vs. late Fall) and the results can play a factor in creating different styles of photographs. For example, if you’re planning a late November wedding then keep in mind that it gets dark around 4 pm. Due to this I may recommend moving your ceremony start time up earlier, to accommodate enough “good light time” for mid-day portraits afterward. However, if you’re planning a summertime wedding day, then you’ll have the flexibility to take some of your mid-day portraits later into the evening as “good lighting” doesn’t fade until 8 pm. I feel it’s important for couples to have this discussion early into their planning process so that there are no surprises on their wedding day.

In terms of my approach to creating wedding photographs, I always try to utilize available natural light first, as I feel it provides a perfect blend of depth and vibrancy to my images. However, If there isn’t any available light though (ex: a dark church or ballroom) then I rely on camera flash to creatively compose images.

Finding The Perfect Spot for Mid-Day Portraits

If you don’t already have a location in mind, I recommend starting your search through google maps to pick a couple favorite spots. Then set up a Sunday drive to visit those places so that you can get an up close in-person view of the lay of the land. Two general things I tell couples to look for are flat open areas for group shots (ex. fields or courtyards) and shaded areas for up close portraits (ex. tree line or cluster of buildings). I also suggest making note of any nearby landmarks that may add a nice stylized touch to your shots (ex. city monument or barn tractor). I’ve shot at various spots of all styles and settings throughout the greater Pittsburgh area so don’t hesitate to ask me if you’d like some recommendations in a particular area.

Trust Your Photographer

There’s a ton of wedding planning blogs out there that will list all of the necessary “wedding day shots” that couples should ask for the entire day. When it comes to Pinterest photo inspiration, family group photo lists & special requests shots, I’m always more than happy to accommodate with including those requests in my day of picture taking. In terms of a full wedding day shot list, I’d like to mention that those can turn out to be more of a hindrance than a help. It’s mainly because events of a wedding day are moving at such a fast pace that my focus would be more on the list itself, rather than on the events unfolding in real time (ex. natural candids, people’s expressions, and unpredictable actions). Throughout the years of crafting my style, I feel that I do my best work when I’m free to flow with the events as they unfold. This approach allows me to be the most creative and will give you true photojournalistic coverage of your wedding day.

I encourage you to connect with me as you narrow down your google search for Wedding photographers Pittsburgh. If you have any general or specific questions about how my style of photography can fit into your day I’d be eager to start the conversation with you!