How to Take Quality Wedding Photos

A wedding is a very special day and it is gone before you even realize it. Some people planning a wedding try to exercise a modicum of frugality by trying to do as much of the work as possible and that is certainly a good idea in some cases. In order to determine if skipping a wedding photographer and going the do-it-yourself route is a good idea or not, consider the following:

  • To take good photos, you need the right equipment – Taking the best photos requires an investment in the right equipment. For pre-planned shots it may require portable lighting, reflective panels that make the best use of ambient light, a quality entry level or better DSLR camera, and a handful of lenses. Candid shots take even more equipment. The good news is that many parents already have the more expensive items such as the cameras, but a small investment in lenses and lighting will probably be highly advisable.
  • You also need the right training – Taking the best possible photographs requires understanding what elements make a photograph good or bad. There is a lot of optical physics to understand, but the good news is that there are books on the subject and classes taught at almost every single private college in the country. Some photographers and artists offer independent classes and even tutoring may be possible, but if you do not know a focal length from depth of field, or have no idea what stopping up or down means, then it is time to hit the books.
  • Experience is also required – Book learning is great for some people, but others will learn better by doing. Even those that have book learning will often need a lot of time taking pictures and a relatively thick skin to tolerate the input of other photographers regarding the technical faults in photographs. Do not despair, all budding photographers go through a phase where their pictures get picked apart by more experienced photographers as they learn what works and what does not work. Practice makes perfect and you do not want to be caught practicing at a weeding! This is the big leagues.
  • Timing is everything – Do you always seem to find yourself at the right place at the right time? If so, it is probably not just luck. Instead, it might be a combination of intuition, experience, and social intelligence. Whatever you want to call it, being at the right place at the right time is what candid wedding photography is all about.

If you lack any of these key elements and cannot obtain them in time, then you should seriously reconsider hiring a professional wedding photographer. Professional wedding photography is an art as much as it is a science and not everyone can do it properly. You can still take pictures, but make sure the newlyweds’ home has proper pictures to last a lifetime instead of photos that get hidden in scrapbooks and serve as a source of embarrassment for years to come.

Wine Country Weddings On the California Central Coast

A wine country wedding conjures up images of colorful vineyards, earthy scents and romantically lit wine cellars. You need little in the way of decoration, as the setting is so naturally scenic. While most vineyards look similar, depending on the season and age of the vines, the winery buildings themselves can vary widely. Decide if you prefer the style of a country farmhouse, a French chateau or a simple stone building.

Another consideration is the winery’s proximity to an airport and/or accommodations for out of area guests. Many wineries offer outdoor receptions overlooking the vineyard, perhaps with hors d’hoevres passed in an elegant tasting room. Some have wine cellars and barrel rooms that can be set up with candles in medieval style for the wedding dinner. A combination or variation of these can be incorporated, making the most use of the winery’s natural attributes.

Another great thing about having a wine country wedding is that you really don’t need much in the way of extra decorating costs. Plus, the gorgeous setting will enhance your wedding photos.

Popular wine tasting areas on the California Central Coast include Paso Robles, the Edna Valley near San Luis Obispo and the Santa Maria and Arroyo Grande areas. Not every winery offers wedding services, but the following places do. Call and inquire about their offerings, and then take a tour with your fiancé of the ones you are interested in. Be sure to taste their wines as well!

In the Paso Robles area, Jan Kris Winery is located in Templeton. They have a rose garden and gazebo as well as a banquet room with views of the vineyard. They can accommodate up to 200 people and will allow you to bring in an outside caterer. Call 805-434-039 or see

Meridian Winery in Paso Robles can accommodate up to 150 guests in their Barrel Chai Room. Their outdoor herb garden can hold up to 200, while larger weddings can be held out on the lawn overlooking the vineyard. Call 805-226-7135 for more information.

Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles has a wedding coordinator included. Their setting is on a hilltop overlooking the vineyards. Call 805-239-1616 or see

Other wineries in the Paso Robles area, which offer wedding facilities, include EOS Estate Winery, 805-239-2563, Justin Vineyards, 805-781-7303, and Zenaida Cellars, 805-227-0382.

In the San Luis Obispo and Edna Valley areas, Edna Valley Vineyard has indoor and outdoor facilities and includes a wedding coordinator. They have a patio, garden, lawn, a banquet room and cask room and can accommodate up to 250 people. You can bring any caterer you wish. Call 805-544-5855 or see

Further south in the Arroyo Grande area, Laetitia Winery offers wedding services. Call them at 805-481-1772.

Select the Perfect Wedding Venues to Create Unique Wedding Photos

The choice of your wedding ceremony venues can have a tremendous impact on your wedding photos. The choice of wedding venues can affect everything, right from the choice of backdrop for group photos to the style of pictures.

Given below are few tips which can help your wedding venues get the most stunning wedding photos.

· It will be nice if you can get a wedding photographer who has worked at the same venue before. Thus, these photographers will have experience and prior knowledge of the set up of the venue. They will also have a good idea about where the light comes from and which locations are perfect for group photos.

The experienced photographers will also have a good idea about the kind of equipments which they need to carry. You can also check the kind of photos which they have previously taken in the venue.

· You can discuss with your photographer about the venue which you have selected for your wedding. Also, discuss about the style of the photographs which would complement the venue. If your wedding venue is a romantic country house, then the setting will be perfect for dreamy sepia shots. But if the venue is a chic hotel, then paparazzi style photos will add glamour to it.

· When you visit your wedding venue, look for possible photo shoot locations and make a note of them. You can also get some advice from your venue co-ordinator. You, however, do not be afraid to be different. You may find that most group photos are near the entrance. But you can very well have it by the fireplace if you want to do so.

· Find out if the venue has some unexplored and unusual location for the background of your group photos. If you feel that the staircase of the venue is elegant, then you can have the guests seated alongside the banister. There could also be a balcony or a high window at the venue. Your photographer can use it to get a bird’s eye view of all your guests standing together. You could also get your guests to the balcony throwing confetti at the couple below.

There may be wedding grounds outdoors for your wedding photos. But to tackle bad weather you should always have a backup plan indoors. Even if it rains, do not rule out outdoor photos completely. In fact, you can get a classic photo for your wedding album with the guests standing with umbrellas and the bride and the groom in their gum boots.

· If the venue for the wedding is especially attractive and is designed complimenting the wedding theme, then make sure that you ask your photographer to get exclusive photos of the wedding venue with no guests around. They can take photos of the special features like exclusively decorated doors and windows or tables at the venue.

To ensure that everything is perfect and according to your plan, find out beforehand if there is any restriction on the venue being photographed.