On a cold, but beautiful day last April, Stephanie and Dean gave us the honor of shooting their wedding (and djing as well). It is always fun to work with clients that have enthusiasm and excitement for their wedding. It makes our job so fun when we spend more of the day capturing moments instead of convincing people to smile and have fun. We often find the best smiles and moments happen when people forget that we are there. They let their guard down and enjoy the person they are choosing to spend the rest of their life with in marriage. So as their one year anniversary approaches, we want to send a warm congratulations again to Stephanie and Dean. May you have many years of happy marriage!

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We have found that most of our brides haven’t been through the process of planning a wedding and are overwhelmed by how much information is out there. The suggestions we give you apply to photography, but will also help with the rest of the day. Let’s dig in…

Many venues (especially churches) will have restrictions on ceremony times but if you have freedom to choose, here are the main pros and cons to ceremony start times. These are mainly for weddings May-September, but the concepts apply for other seasons as well:

Early Afternoon (12-3pm)

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before the hottest time of day, time to take pictures after ceremony


sun directly overhead causes “flat” pictures with harsh shadows, difficulty for guests to arrive on time/ attend

Mid Afternoon (4-6pm)

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provides the most flexibility for photographs and timeline


hottest part of the day

Evening (7-8pm)

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dramatic photographs, easy for guests to travel (especially on a Friday after work)


most pictures must be taken before the ceremony, could miss sunset
All of these starting times will work it just depends what is most appealing to you and what your vision is for the type of feel that you are trying to achieve.

Other factors to consider are budget and desired reception activities. If you are on a tight budget and will not be offering alcohol and/or a full meal, you may be better off having a wedding earlier in the day so that it doesn’t cross over a common meal time like dinner. Most people attending a wedding assume that they will be fed a full meal. If people don’t have food available they are less likely to stay around for a long reception. Conversely, if you are hoping to have a lot of dancing and partying into the late hours of the night, then consider starting your ceremony later in the day. Guests will generally stay at a wedding for about five hours at the most and then will need to leave to relieve the babysitter, get some rest or break away from the excitement.

There is no specific time for a ceremony that will ensure a perfect wedding day. You need to decide what is most important to you during the reception and schedule the ceremony time accordingly.

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It is hard to remember what life was like before Stella arrived, because well, we haven’t slept in 10 months so it is hard to remember anything. But getting to look back on how different things were just one year ago is amazing. I don’t know who looks more different, Kailee or me! Kailee has grown so much but I was HUGE, and I felt every little bit of it. I am one of those ladies that gains a ton of weight when pregnant and people would say things like, “You must be due any day” and I would casually reply, “Nope, 3 months to go” then go home and eat a container of gelato. But I knew this would likely be my last child, so as much as I hate having my picture taken (I would much prefer to take pictures of others obviously) I called Robert and put the date on the calendar. I get asked often, who takes your pictures? That is where the wonderful Robert comes in. He has been with us for years and gets our style in a way no one else has been able to capture. We were so happy with the pictures and couldn’t thank him enough

Also, we want to point out that these were taken in early April so if you like the look of the flowers and trees, now would be a great time to do your engagement pictures or family portraits!

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While helping our couples prepare for their wedding pictures we hear a lot of criticism about their face, body, smile, etc. While we always encourage them to be kind to themselves and love who they are, we know that insecurities are a part of daily life for most. Fortunately, there are some tricks you can employ to embrace your looks and have great wedding pictures.


1 Arms away from your side

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It doesn’t matter if you are a size 0 or size 16, anyone will have the dreaded arm fat if you press your arms to your sides. It creates a squished look that even we will admit is unflattering. But you don’t need to go so far as to do what celebrities do on the red carpet by putting a hand on your waist in every shot. Honestly, that is one way to make everything look stiff and posed. Instead, we suggest taking an more subtle approach by turning your elbow a couple inches away from your body. This simple adjustment allows you to stand in almost any position while losing the weird looking armpit area.


2 Avoid dangling hands

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We all remember watching Talladega Nights as the newly famous Ricky Bobby gives an interview and can’t figure out what to do with his hands. Funny enough, this same phenomenon happens at weddings as well, mostly to men. Women are lucky because they have flowers to occupy their hands but these men aren’t used to wearing tuxedos or suits feel uncomfortable so they face the dilemma of what to do with their hands. The answers is, as long as they aren’t dangling like zombie hands, you are probably good to go. Put them in your pockets, around the waist of another person, or folded in front of you. We do not suggest holding behind your back, like you are standing at attention, because it pulls on the jacket in an unflattering manner. By occupying your hands, you instantly look more pulled together.


3 Chin up

Since we were children we were told not to stare at our feet. While teaching acting students, in my former life, I would always say “The next line isn’t on the floor” to get them to look up. The same is true on the wedding day. When we look down, additional chins magically appear that weren’t there a moment ago. It can also create some very unbecoming angles that just look awkward (more on that in #4). As much as you can remember to do it, keep that chin up. It conveys confidence in a way that little else can.


4 Angles

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Fashion magazines constantly tell women to “know their angles”, but what happens if you don’t know your angles? Never fear, there are some quick and easy rules to make sure that you are creating a visually interesting, flattering image without having to do much work. In fact, there is basically one rule: don’t stand straight on with the camera. When facing directly into the camera you are giving the widest version of yourself and the light will hit you straight on. By angling yourself slightly and turning at the hips or facing off the side of the camera and bringing just your eyes back, you create a more interesting subject for the camera to capture.


5 Accentuate your strengths (use images from that gig harbor wedding that Robert shot in 7/2016 and the up close image of a bride behind her bouquet to highlight eyes)

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Stop worrying about what you don’t like about your body and focus on what you do like. This advice will probably fit well when dress shopping too. If you don’t like your arms, then find a way to highlight your legs, or smile, or whatever feature you like most. If you have something you are very insecure about, talk to your photographer. Let them know that you would like to avoid that part of you being highlighted and talk about ways you can highlight that parts that make you feel good.


6 Smile (and actually mean it)

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We say this all the time, but it doesn’t matter what you look like, it is how you behave that will dictate what your pictures will look like. If you are a big ball of stress and freaking out every couple minutes, then it is going to show in your pictures, even if you are smiling. At some point you will need to accept things for what they are on the day of the wedding and focus on enjoying yourself. No one is going to notice if they flowers were white or off white or that it was penne pasta instead of rigatoni. What they will notice is if you aren’t having a good time. So try to truly enjoy yourself and that alone is the best way to get your pictures to look great.


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When I  was a kid I used to go to Carlton Farms in Lake Stevens with my mom all the time to buy corn and other locally grown vegetables. When I heard they were going to turn it into a venue I knew immediately it would be amazing. Enter Kayla and Chad. Their wedding was a fun and wild ride from the get go. It was our first opportunity to shoot at Carlton Farms and the weather could not have worked out more perfectly. Although it wasn’t hot, it sure was warm for an early spring day. The clear skies and good spirits were infectious to their guests and our staff. We had the pleasure of being their photographer, videographer and disc jockey. Below is a snipet of the album we designed for them!


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