Amy Bennett Photography
VT Wedding First Look with Tears of Joy

Vermont Wedding Portraits


While your portrait session is by far the most formal part of your wedding photos, with the right planning and approach it can be a lot of fun. I love shooting portraits because I have a lot of control over things like lighting and angles and when we've all done our homework things flow pretty effortlessly.

Timing.
We'll schedule your portrait session either right before or right after the wedding ceremony. Plan for between 30 and 45 minutes depending on the number of photos you desire. Since we'll have a limited amount of time, one of the best things you can do is to create a detailed shot list that we can discuss in advance. Also be sure to talk with your family and wedding party to give them a heads up about the timing and place for your portraits. And then remind them. And tell them again. No one wants to track down your sister or your father-in-law when we're all ready to get rolling.

Group Photos.
Designate someone who knows all of the players to be in charge of your shot list. This will ensure that we stay on track. I'll start with the most extensive groups and work down to your immediate family and grandparents. Each photo takes approximately two minutes. Of course, there are some variables, especially when alcohol is involved (which it invariably is). I do not recommend taking any group photos that leave out either the bride or groom. This is your WEDDING day after all.

Location.

You may have picked the most breathtaking spot for your wedding, but your portraits are all about your and your wedding party's beauty. Your location should have spectacular lighting. Yep. I said lighting. Not landscapes or vistas or jaw-dropping scenery. Lighting is the one thing that can make or break your portraits. And by spectacular, I mean even, soft and natural. We want to avoid shadows as much as we do squinting. This can sometimes pose a challenge for outdoor weddings, but I always have a few useful tricks up my sleeve. The idea is to find a location with a clean, simple background and soft, natural light.

Time to Celebrate!
After the ceremony, I like to give my bride and groom a few minutes to celebrate with their family and wedding party. This provides a chance for me to get those awesome photojournalistic couples photos. You just need to stick together! Hold hands and stay close until the congratulations are finished.
Other Tips from Amy…

…On dogs…
I love dogs. I love when the dogs are there. If ever the dog is there, it makes a great photo opportunity, especially for the getting ready shots.

…On kids…
I like one or two kids for the photos before the wedding - not a lot of kids because it can be too much and cause a distraction. There are moments when these little girls are looking at the brides, and you'll get a lot of precious pictures. At these moments, the little girls need to be in their flower girl dresses.


…On makeup…
No glitter makeup - nothing that shines, and nothing that can reflect light. Wear only matte makeup. Reflective makeup can burn pixels, so it doesn't register data.

Also, be careful with dark eye makeup. In my photographs, I am trying to make the eyes pop and make it less shadowy. It is okay to add more makeup when the sun goes down if you want a dark smokey look - it is more appropriate for the reception and the dinner, but not suitable for the beach.

Make sure you match the cover-up or foundation on your face, to the tone of your chest.

...On tanning…

No tanning. You do not want tan lines in your wedding pictures, so stay out of the sun before your big day. Make sure that all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen keep this in mind also. This includes sunglasses, before or during the wedding, for the bridesmaids and groomsmen. WE CANNOT RETOUCH TANLINES. Red only gets redder in the pictures.

Putting on the Bride's Dress

Make sure the bride is not holding her boobs when the dress goes on. This is a common and natural thing for the bride to do but doesn't make for nice pictures documenting this special moment.

…On gum chewing…

Please try to refrain from chewing gum during the portrait session.

Tips and tricks:
MIA photo participants.
Remember to inform your bridal party and family ahead of time about the portrait session. Having everyone in one place.

Sunglasses

Please put the sunnies away in advance of the formal portrait photos.
Drinks.

Alcohol has an essential place at weddings, but the portrait session is not one of them. Purses, tissues, and other random objects should also be jettisoned before the photos.

Guest Photographers
The formal portrait session is the only time during the wedding where I need the sole focus. Having additional cameras creates confusion. This is your royal family moment. What would Princess Kate do? She would politely ask everyone to ignore the guest photographers until the portrait session is over.

Enough said

Kids
As a mother of three, I understand the difficulty and stress of getting kids to smile and look at the camera. I recommend having a favorite family member stand next to me and dance and act like a crazy person. This gets kids laughing and looking in my general direction. Just remember that it's MY job to get the kids' attention. Many times it's the parents who unintentionally ruin the photo because they are pointing at the camera, screaming at their kids to "SAY CHEESE!" Just focus on your beautiful selves, and I will take care of the rest.