Viewing entries tagged
wedding photography

Photographer Tips || Wedding Photography


Photographer Tips || Wedding Photography

We recently had the privilege to photograph a Hawaii destination wedding for a sweet couple. As great as the finished product may look, wedding photography is no easy task. It is always the perfect balance of how to make a wedding look nice with hurdles and obstacles being thrown your way. The lighting can be challenging, the better photo spots can be unavailable and you could be pressed for time. 

Think about your most challenging obstacles with Wedding Photography. What can stand in your way from producing quality work and delivering a positive experience for your client? Will it prohibit you from doing good work? Will you find ways to overcome it or will you fold under the pressure and deliver mediocre photography. You will overcome it! Because some of the unavoidable challenges that await wedding photographers such as time, lighting and location after reading this post you can be better prepared.

1. Time.

Wedding timeline! We can’t stress it enough. A wedding timeline will keep the day rolling smooth and easy. We always provide clients with a sample timeline letting them know the typical photo times of a wedding and how long each of them will take.

oahu photographer, hawaii photographer, family portraits, portrait photographer

2. Lighting. 

Lighting is one of those factors you can't control. Ceremony sites can be half in the sun and half in the shade. The shade can give your images a flat look or create a blue tint, lighting at a reception can be dim which means you need to use a flash, and the list goes on.

Knowing how to overcome these setbacks will make you a better wedding photographer. For example: if your getting ready space is cluttered learn how to crop and use the mirrors available in the room.

3. Location. 

Lucky for us, Pacific Dream Photography has a multitude of beautiful beachfront Wedding venues which we highly recommend to all future bride and grooms. Choosing a beautiful venue for your big day is key.

-written by Brent S. (Pacific Dream Photography at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel)


A Laguna Beach Bridal Session || Having some fun before the wedding


A Laguna Beach Bridal Session || Having some fun before the wedding

I had the pleasure of meeting Mimi and Emir back in April. They were in the middle of a pre-wedding travel trek through California before heading to Maui to officially become husband and wife. They contacted me and wanted to take some pictures of the two of them in their wedding-day attire here in Laguna Beach, California before the wedding.

It isn’t often that a bride is able to wear her wedding dress before the wedding, but I think I’m starting to see the magic in it. There’s a certain sense of satisfaction that comes with breaking all of the rules and it was a real treat to capture that.

More than anything, I could literally feel the excitement from both Mimi and Emir; looking deeply into each others’ eyes as they imagine their upcoming wedding in Hawaii: the same dress, same tux, but an entirely different location, surrounded by their loved ones. It was a truly beautiful moment.

Written by James H. (Pacific Dream Photography at Montage Laguna Beach)


Tips for Photographers || Posing


Tips for Photographers || Posing

I’ve been a wedding and engagement photographer now for over 8 years and the one question I get from many photographers is how do I pose my subjects? It’s simple, you don’t. Ok, well kind you kind of do. Let me explain.

I have a few “poses” I default to. Holding hands, getting comfortable in each others arms, looking back, walking, etc. I try not to get too hung up on the technical of posing. If your subjects are uncomfortable, it’s going show. So what’s the key to getting those natural candid/relaxed looking photos?

If you follow these 5 steps, you will be on your way to delivering comfortable natural poses and photographs for your clients.

Step 1. Exposure

Believe it or not, the first and most important step to getting couples and families comfortable in front of your camera is knowing how to operate a Dslr timely. Know it like the back of your hand. Exposures, ISO, Fstops, shutter speeds, shooting fully manual or shooting aperture priority. Know what you’re doing! Clients always feel confident when you’re confident behind a camera. You need to get to the point where it’s not a challenge to operate your camera. This gives your attention to the clients and makes them feel they are with a pro!

Step 2. Before you even shoot

Getting comfortable and acquainted with your client before you even pull the shutter. Be outgoing, genuine and interested in their lives. Ask where they are from, what brings them to wherever you’re shooting. Connect with them. I always try to connect with sports. You’d be surprised how many women love it when their husband/fiancé is involved in the shoot because to be honest, usually the wife has to drag the whole family to get their photos taken. When they see their husbands at easy (probably easier for me cause I’m a guy) it makes them think “cool, we’re all having a good time.”

If you’re not a guy, or can’t connect with the husband, try connecting with the kiddos or the wife/bride. Get personal without prying of course and let them get their minds off of the photo session for a bit. It’s always intimidating having a lens stare you down!

Step 3. Get them Comfortable

Have 3-5 poses you know down pat, but don’t let the pose rule over comfort.

For different scenes and settings I have a few different poses I default to, but my aim is getting couples comfortable in front of the camera. When couples or families are comfortable, it always provides better photos. I already know my cameras settings, so that doesn’t get in the way of anything. I’m having fun, cracking jokes, shooting and working fast! It’s a rush and I love it. I’m in the drivers seat and my client trusts me. They already feel good and know their images are turning out great. The laughs and smiles are real and genuine, not forced or unnatural.

Step 4. The experience

People will always forget what you said but will remember how you made them feel. This is probably more important than the photos themselves. I’ve never been one to get so technical I lose the subjects. Keeping the flow of the shoot is key. I hate downtime. If I have to figure out a shot, look for a location, guessing, or not sure. This always gets in the way of delivering a positive experience.

I have a few jokes on hand if I need folks to crack a smile. Most of all have fun and include the client. They love that!

Step 5. Find your groove

Posing like a lot of things is preference. Hands are something that can really bother me. If the hands look claw-like or stiff it throws the whole photo off (for me). That’s my pet peeve. For someone it might be posture or something else.

My rule of thumb (pun intended) is if the hands and fingers (and thumbs, kidding) look good, and we’re having fun we’re good to go!

Find your grove, practice, practice, practice then practice some more! The key is to avoid those awkward moments “what now” kind of feelings in a shoot!


- Written by Brent S. (Pacific Dream Photography at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel)