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5 Tips to Get The Best Wedding Photos

I’m so excited to share this post with you today! Because I know you want to get the best photos imaginable on your wedding day. My 5 Tips to Get The Best Wedding Photos is a guide to help you plan ahead for your wedding day, and ensure that you and your photographer can create the best […]

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I'm Janelle.

Intrepid Travel. Kindness. Love, in all its forms. This is what lights me up, and probably why you're here now. Let's have some open and honest conversations— relationships and weddings, self love, wellness, travel, and anything else that fuels a lifestyle of freedom!


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I’m so excited to share this post with you today! Because I know you want to get the best photos imaginable on your wedding day. My 5 Tips to Get The Best Wedding Photos is a guide to help you plan ahead for your wedding day, and ensure that you and your photographer can create the best documentation of your wedding possible! You want to be fully present in the real moments, and enjoy every second of it while your bad-ass photographer (me?!) captures it all for you.


It really only takes 5 things to create facilitate great photos! And years from now, you’ll be glad you found this guide I’ve written from my years of experience as an Oahu Hawaii and Destination wedding photographer.


These 5 tips to get the best wedding photos are meant to help you think and plan your wedding from the perspective of a photographer. They’ll cover everything from lighting tips, to things to think about for your getting ready location, photo times, and the low-down on film photography! But really, one of the most important things to think about it how to master your light, or at least offer a lot of it for your photos. If you only take away one thing, offering a LOT of natural light will make all the difference in getting you the BEST wedding photos.


These 5 tips will help you plan ahead to achieve the BEST wedding photos!


OK, OK, Let’s get started! I’m excited to share these game changing tips with you, so you can start thinking about your wedding from a photographer’s perspective and get the BEST photos.

Here are the 5 Tips to Get The Best Wedding Photos!

Keep scrolling down for a more on each of these**

  1. Consider your photo formats: Film photography vs. Digital.
  2. Always find and use natural light if possible!
  3. Big windows are the key to a success for an indoor wedding or getting ready photos.
  4. Schedule for your first look, and other photos, to be outside.
  5. Consider the light during different times of day and plan your photos accordingly.



1. Consider the format you want the photos taken. While digital photos are the norm right now, you may want to consider whether you want a hybrid or film photographer instead.

You’re probably thinking, “Wait, But Janelle, isn’t film dead?” I know. But hear me out, film images provide a a special kind of depth that I find absolutely stunning when paired with life’s most intimate or exciting moments. The process itself is one of a kind. From loading the film to manually adjusting the lenses to capture the best light, it is an artform and craft that is truly rare. What makes film photography so truly beautiful, creamy and bursting with life can be traced back to one vital element, how the film interacts with light. Light is what gives each photo a unique look and feeling. The more light, especially natural light, the more deep and creamy and glow.

As a film photographer myself, I may be partial to the format. But I think you’ll really love it as an option for your wedding.

Film destination wedding and bridal photography by adventurous wedding and elopement photographer, Janelle Rivera with J.J. Au'Clair


With this in mind, let’s start talking about how to get awesome light and give you the BEST wedding photos!



2. One of the most important elements for taking any stunning portrait or even landscape is having natural light. For the most part anyway. Of course you can take gorgeous photos in a studio setting, or in the evening/night, but it will have a completely different feel and look. So when you’re about to choose between artificial and natural light, choose natural. If you have a special shot in mind, of course just talk to your photographer and so they can plan accordingly. Not everyone does really well in every lighting situation either. But with 10+ years of experience, I really can say that I’ve worked in just about every setting and have a plan. For a majority of your wedding photos though, you’ll want lots of natural and soft light!

Gorgeous natural light for seville spain destination wedding bridal portraits.

Now let’s see how to get that gorgeous light for your best wedding photos!


3.  Ok, this is huge! If at all possible, look for venues or getting ready spaces that have large, unobstructed windows. Or that will be facing the sun during the time you plan on getting ready. Unless you can find a gorgeous outdoor garden (equipped with mirrors, baths, etc), you’ll probably want to find the next best thing.  You can opt to get ready somewhere with lots of light, clean bright spaces, and maybe even a view. This will ensure great candids, getting into the dress photos, and other details before the big day really gets into full swing.

Of course, if thats not in the cards for you, or if you want a moody and more glamorous feel, just make sure your photographer knows and can work to create amazing images for you in that setting:) If you want to chat more about this one, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’m always happy to help.

5 top tips to get the best wedding photos include using big windows to get gorgeous getting ready photos and bridal party photos by fine art film photographer, J.J. Au'Clair.



4. For most of you, this one is a given. We love the outdoors and the sun on our skin! But sometimes thats not always ideal. This tip makes a big enough difference though, that I really suggest it. Even if you’re having a summer wedding that is going to be SUPER hot, you should still take some photos outdoors. If you need to, just find the kinder shade from a tree to diffuse the harsh sun, or use time to your advantage.

soft fine art film photography bridal and could portraits by oahu and atlanta wedding photographer, J.J. Au'Clair

Gorgeous natural sunlight is the #1 key to getting the best wedding photos and couple’s portraits!



5. Finally, not all light is created equal! Kind of like your coffee.? I love coffee, but an expresso is super different from light roast. In this way, morning and late afternoon or evening sunlight offer a richer source of light than the cool and harsher light of the afternoon. Sunrise and sunset light is warmer, and gives a more golden tone. The position of the sun also helps in lengthening shadows, softer angles, and to accentuate texture. These “golden hours” really are perfect for your DREAMY couple’s portraits before or after the ceremony. Which is the WHOLE point of these 5 tips to get the best wedding photos!

Long shadows and a wedding couple laughing at sunrise wedding photos, by destination european wedding photographer, J.J. Au'Clair


I hope you loved these 5 tips to help you get the best wedding photos and now feel confident in what you’re looking for as you begin planning your day! My goal as your guide and Oahu wedding photographer is to empower you to be fearless and your best self! To show you how to achieve the best photos and cheer you on every step of the way.


I always end these posts with a little reminder; Please contact me if you have any questions about this post, or planning your wedding! I’ve got years of industry experience and am more than happy to help as a friend. Even if I’m not your wedding photographer, I’m still stoked to help you in any way I can. Drop me a line HERE.


While you’re here, I’ve got several more great resources you may be interested in! Check them out below.

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Also Pretty Rad—

I know, I know. I'm a photographer— but I'm also a certified yoga teacher,  SUPER into wellness + self love, and even hypnotherapy. I also travel a heck of a lot.
Why not have a place where I can share all of that with you too?

p.s. I'm here to be your resource! If you have any questions, always feel free to send me a message.

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I'm Janelle.

your new Deep Convos over Chai, photographer, and travel buddy.

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