A couple of months ago we started an Expert Advice series on our blog so we could provide our readers with insider tips on how to make their wedding day the best it could be. Our series began with bridal attire expert Judy Ferrara, owner of The Dressing Room in St. Petersburg. She offered our brides sage advice on how to choose the right dress for their big day.
Today, we wanted to provide you with tips on how to best capture that dress and all of the other details that make your wedding day yours. We are honored that the wonderfully talented KT Merry of KT Merry Photography agreed to share her photo knowledge with us. We hope you find it as useful and we did.
LUCIA|PAUL DESIGN (LPD): Tell us a little about yourself and why you entered into the field of wedding photography.
KT MERRY: I have had an interest in the arts since I was very young. I started with drawing and painting before I developed an interest in photography in high school. Through a national competition I won scholarship to photo school and I chose to attend the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Massachusetts. After photography school I began working for fashion photographers as a freelance photo assistant. I spent almost 5 years traveling and learning from some of the best photographers in the fashion industry before I decided to embark on my own with wedding photography. Five years later, I couldn't love what I do more!
LPD: What do you think couples should look for in their prospective wedding photographer?
KT MERRY: I think it is very important to look at magazines and blogs to see what style wedding and wedding photography you are drawn to. Look at the types of weddings and images that a photographer captures and wait for the photography that moves you.
Next I would start a dialogue with your prospective photographer to make sure you are a good fit for one another. Keep in mind your photographer will be spending most of your wedding day with you.
LPD: What advice would you give couples to help their pictures turn out the best they can be?
KT MERRY: When you begin planning your wedding and start looking at venues and locations keep in mind how things will photograph. Visit the locations during the same time of day and year that you will be getting married and look at the light and scenery. This also applies to the location that you will be getting ready in. Ideally, you are looking for a space/room full of light, not too busy with decor and a similar style and feel to the rest of your wedding as this is also where your details (dress, shoes, invite, rings, etc.) will be shot.
Next... scheduling!! It's imperative to speak with your photographer about the timeline for your wedding day. I like to help my brides set times for key events such as the ceremony and portraits to ensure proper light for these important events. I also make sure that there is enough time scheduled for portraits of the bride and groom, bridal party, and family formals. Depending on the logistics of your wedding day this often means seeing each other prior to the ceremony. It is crucial to speak with all of your vendors to ensure everyone is on time to prevent any delays that might cost you photos.
Lastly... details. Have all of your wedding details ready to be photographed when your photographer arrives to your getting ready location. This includes: dress, rings, bouquets, invitation, welcome bag (if applicable), shoes, jewelry, favor, etc.) You may want to consider adding certain details to your wedding that will enhance your images, such as a 'just married' sign on a getaway car, a calligraphy sign for you to pose with or other props that will make for cute photos.
LPD: Where are your favorite locations to shoot a wedding and why?
KT MERRY: I absolutely love natural light so I prefer outdoor weddings and locations. If you have a beautiful outdoor setting and pair it with some soft light at the end of the day I am very happy!!
Once the sun goes down I love when the bride and groom add lighting elements. If the event is outside consider cafe string lights and candles, inside uplighting for a ballroom or reception room, plenty of candles, and even a spot for the dance floor will enhance your reception images.
LPD: What are five moments you always capture at a wedding/reception and why?
KT MERRY: I love to capture the bride getting in her dress. Seeing her slip into her gown is a must, she feels beautiful and it shows in the photos.
-If the bride and groom are doing photos prior to the ceremony (which most of my couples do), we arrange for a 'first look' for them to see each other for the first time. I like to keep this moment just the two of them (with us shooting discretely).
-The bride walking down the aisle with her dad. You'll never see a father look more proud and the bride simply beams as she locks eyes with her groom.
-Both sets of parents watching the ceremony. They are often holding hands and full of emotion. Most brides and grooms have their backs to their parents and don't get a chance to notice their reactions so it's nice for them to have the photos later.
-The bride and groom walking back up the aisle after the ceremony. Right after the first kiss the bride and groom turn around to see all their guests cheering and walk hand and hand down the aisle. I think this is when they look the happiest and completely forget about the camera and live in the moment.
-Lastly, if there are any grandparents at the wedding I love to get a nice portrait of them at some point. I have a great photo of my grandmother from our wedding and it means so much to me that she was there and brings back wonderful memories of her every time I see it.
For more information about KT Merry Photography, please visit her website at www.ktmerry.com. You can also call (305.788.3049 ) or e-mail her, as well as visit her blog, Facebook page or Twitter account. :)
The LUCIA|PAUL DESIGN Team