The Hudson Valley Wedding Blog

Wedding Planning

Tips from 5 Hudson Valley Wedding Photographers

We have no doubt that our brides want the photos of their Hudson Valley weddings to be drop dead gorgeous and absolutely perfect, so we reached out to the exact people who make that kind of magic happen for advice — Hudson Valley wedding photographers. Below five talented photography professionals share their best tips and tricks for hiring the right person to capture your day, making sure that your photos looks exactly how you've always envisioned, sticking to the wedding day timeline, and the pros and cons of planning a first look for your day! Read closely, ladies, these are those little gems that you'll want to tuck away in your mind and save!

Thoughts About Hiring Hudson Valley Wedding Photographers

There are many, many photographers in the world, and there are tons of fabulous wedding photographers in Hudson Valley to choose from for your day, but how to make the best choice when there are so many options? The people behind the lens offer their inside knowledge on what to ask and think about when you make your photographer selection. The key to having perfect, natural looking photos in your hands after you wedding day is making sure you have a great connection with your photographer and that you feel comfortable in their presence.

"Be carful not to choose your vendor on price alone. The saying is true: you get what you pay for. Determine your budget and what’s important to you and be sure to relay that to your potential vendors. They may be able to work with you."Myles Studio Photography

"Ask for a list of references. Speaking with a bride that worked with a photographer from beginning to end can be a huge asset in making your decision." — Kevin of Kevin Ferguson Weddings

"Do not skimp on photography. It's the one tangible thing you will have left from your wedding (besides your spouse. Oh, and a stale piece of cake). Even if you are not that interested in photography, your kids and grandkids will be so happy to have them."Cappy Hotchkiss Photography

"Ask to see multiple albums during the consultation. (I always show numerous albums, not only to show different albums at different price points, but also to show weddings from start to finish. Every wedding is different, and the images in the albums should show those differences.)"Kevin Ferguson Weddings

"Meet and get to know your photographer. Plan on having at least one meeting and an engagement session. You will be spending the day together even getting ready, and being comfortable with your photographer really helps get relaxed for beautiful pictures. Even the most candid photographs are still camera aware, but getting to know your photographer personally will really help you feel more at ease and relaxed during your day." — Elena Wolfe of Snap Couture Photography

Thoughts On Beauty

Your look on the day of the wedding is especially important, so the amazing Catherine Hotchkiss of Cappy Hotchkiss Photography shares her tricks for making sure you look both your absolute best in your Hudson Valley wedding photos below.

"Try to get a hair and make up trial before so you don't have any surprises and don't let anyone talk you into thinking you need tons of make up if you don't normally do that. You want to be yourself, but a slightly enhanced version of yourself."

"Guys — Don't get your hair cut the day or two before the ceremony. Also, I cannot recommend a well-fitting, tailored suit enough. What a difference it makes. So handsome."

"Girls — Have back up comfy shoes and have heel protectors for heels if you are going to be outside. Better yet, wedges. It's really hard to walk in grass with heels because they get stuck and come flying off your foot. Quelle horreur! If you don't like your arms, you do not HAVE to have a strapless gowns. There are some gorgeous options with little lacy sleeves or little cover ups. There are no rules these days. No rules. Want to wear a color? Wear a color. Don't want the bridesmaids to match? They don't need to match. If you want them to be cohesive you can tell them a color to get and there are great designers who make dresses that come in different styles in the same color. Don't like to wear your hair up? Wear it down, darnnit! Oh, and I hear excellent "shape wear" is key."

Thoughts About How To Achieve Perfect Photo Composition & Style

We are sure that you have lots of fabulous, Pinterest-inspired wedding photo ideas swirling around in your mind at any given moment of the day, but turning that vision into reality all depends on open communication with your Hudson Valley wedding photographers and trusting in the experience and talent of the person you have chosen to document your day. To make sure that your photos return to you as stunning as you might expect, take heed of the awesome advice below!

"I absolutely love looking a peoples' Pinterest boards to get an idea of their style but remember those people are not you. If you are pinning photos of people romping on the beach at sunset and you are getting married inside in the winter, keep that in mind. Try to let the fantasy of Pinterest and blogs go. Use them to inspire you and get you exited but remember, you are you and you are special and your wedding day belongs to the two of you, not social media."Cappy Hotchkiss Photography

"If you're put in a position of having to choose a hotel that has more of a cookie-cutter feel, rather than crowding all your bridesmaids and groomsmen into small rooms, ask if you can reserve a ballroom or conference room or a portion of the hotel with lots of windows for natural lighting. If that's not possible, a nice black and white or sepia tone look to the photographs can give what would normally be a cookie-cutter hotel room a classic and romantic feel." — Danielle & David Schneider of Dideo Films Photography

"When you plan your getting ready remember the details! Have your details ready when your photographer arrives so they can photograph everything. Don't forget any notes and gifts, invitations and most importantly your wedding shoes! All of the little touches will be photographed to document your story."Snap Couture Photography

"Lighting — in a dark room, hire a lighting person. However, I suggest staying away from colored red and blue lights because the color of the lights will cast a weird color over everything and especially the wedding dress, since it is white. This is not a sweet sixteen party. Also tons and tons of candles are fantastic for photos."Cappy Hotchkiss Photography

"Don’t just tell your photographer what you want, show him with photos from wedding websites, like Borrowed & Blue, photographer websites, and magazines. Once your photographer sees your vision, they can help recreate your vision."Myles Pinkney of Myles Studio Photography

"Trust the photographer you choose! And then try to go with the flow, don't micromanage. The photographer has reasons for what she/he is doing so try to not get involved. Go with it. If you hire a documentary style photographer let them do their thing and don't get too pose-y. However, I do recommend a couple of family shots if that is going to keep everyone happy. And I do love a great shot of the wedding party and just the bride and groom."Cappy Hotchkiss Photography

"Keep your locations to a minimum and as close as possible. The less locations you go to the better. This allows us to be more creative with the locations that we have rather than spending the time shuttling back and forth. It will also give you more time to have fun celebrating with your friends and family."Dideo Films Photography

Thoughts About Wedding Timelines, Staying On Schedule, & Being Prepared

Hudson valley wedding photographers definitely know a thing or two about working within the constraints of a day-of timeline, so to make sure your wedding day isn't too rushed and that all those perfect moments are captured, check out some of these wise tips for planning out the timeline of your day.

"One of the first things that I will always suggest is plan your wedding timeline. I mean really think about your schedule starting with getting ready. I always suggest that my brides plan for at least an hour and forty-five minutes for getting ready. There are so many things that can go incredibly right such as exchanging gifts with your family and bridesmaids to terribly wrong like a zipper malfunction. I usually carry a sewing kit and safety pins in my camera bag, but be prepared, things happen and these things always take time!"Snap Couture Photography

"Most weddings run behind schedule. To make sure yours doesn't, when planning, operate as if your wedding is already one hour behind schedule. This will allow everybody to be more relaxed and give your photographer time to add some extra creative touches to your prep and photo shoot coverage."Dideo Films Photography

"Be prepared. Many wedding websites offer a checklist of items you will need to have handy on your wedding day. For example: a cell phone, safety pin, needle and thread, band aid, to name a few. Other items include a comfortable pair of shoes, deodorant, mints, and chap stick. Designate someone, the maid of honor, your mother or mother –in-law, to keep track of these items."Myles Studio Photography

"There are many talented hair and makeup artists, but not all of them are efficient. A slow makeup artist or hairstylist can put a wedding hours behind schedule, which will shorten the amount of time we have with your portraits. If you have a large bridal party you should have more than one makeup artist and hairstylist. The bride's hair and makeup should be priority and done ahead of everyone else. This allows the bride to make adjustments if needed."Dideo Films Photography

Thoughts About The Pros & Cons Of A First Look

The decision to do or not to do a first look is a much debated topic among couples and photographers and other Hudson valley wedding vendors. So needless to say, there are pros and cons either way. See what Hudson valley weddings photographers have to say about the first look before you make your final call on this very personal photography choice.

"Plan for a first look! It really makes your day go so much smoother. Make sure your bridal party is waiting nearby! This is a great photo opportunity for candid reactions and this is also a great time to do bride and groom portraits before the ceremony begins. By scheduling this before your ceremony, this will lets you enjoy your time with your guests during cocktail hour. After all, the day is about you having fun!"Snap Couture Photography

"Not every couple wants to see each other before their ceremony but whenever possible we always encourage a 'First Look.' The prep portion of a wedding day can often be fueled with butterflies and anticipation. When couples have a 'First Look,' we find that is has a calming effect on the couple and sets the tone for the rest of the day. It also gives us an opportunity to get some great romantic shots of the couple in the moment. When we are doing cinematography as well as photography, it also gives our filmmakers a chance to recompose the shot and get some beautiful slow motion and movie style elements. Having a "First Look" also allows a couple to spend more time at their cocktail hour instead of being off at their photo shoot."Dideo Films Photography

"Allow time for your portraits. We recommend at least an hour, not including travel time. Decide if you want your 'formal' photos before the wedding, or during the wedding. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The advantage of choosing photos before the wedding is that it does allows of extra time to enjoy the ceremony and reception. You can do a 'first look' before the ceremony, where your photographer can capture the Grooms reaction, seeing his bride for the first time. The disadvantage is that often you’re nervous so pictures can add more stress. You also will not have your wedding bands on yet. You may also be too concerned with what’s coming up and not enjoying your pictures. The advantage of photos after the wedding, taken before the reception if possible, is that you’re usually more relaxed. The hard part (your vows) is over. You can hug, kiss, and snuggle and not worry so much about you’re make-up. The disadvantage is that you may miss your cocktail hour, or part of the reception. Of course traditions plays a part. But remember, it’s your wedding, so have it the way you want."Myles Studio Photography

With professional advice like this to refer to, we feel confident that your Hudson Valley wedding photos will be as gorgeous as you've always imagined. The key is to be open about your ideas, work with a photographer who inspires you and makes you feel at ease, and to plan your timeline in a way that works for you and allows time for all the images you want taken throughout your day. And remember, as Catherine Hotchkiss shares, "Have fun, take a few minutes to stop and take in everything and everyone. Breathe, look around at all the smiling happy faces who are there for just you two!"

Many thanks to Cappy Hotchkiss Photography, Dideo Films Photography, Kevin Ferguson Weddings, Myles Studio Photography, & Snap Couture Photography for their wisdom and willingness to share their expert tips! Be sure to check out their gorgeous Hudson Valley weddings on Borrowed & Blue!

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