Love is in the air!! Check out this beautiful Valentine’s Day Engagement in Thailand. Congratulations Kennika & Chris!!! 

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“I found someone who stole my heart and gave theirs to me” Congratulations David & Jaidus, a beautiful proposal in the heart of the safari! Love is a beautiful thing! @kvngdavidsworld @jaidus 

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With you, every day feels like Valentine’s Day. ❤️🌹 Congratulations Kelli & Monica!! 

Preferred BGW Vendors 
📸Photography: @dsw_photography 
Planner: @nolaeventplanner

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Ask A Photographer: Before, During & After…Must-Have Images

By Jodi Washington, Owner/CEO
Wed Life Media/ Washington Ave.
LGBTQBizList Vendor

A wedding day can be a blur, not only for the happy couple but also for the photography team. However, as creatives, it’s important for us to tell the entire wedding day story, and to tell it well, we must start at the beginning. 

When looked at, each image must tell its own sub-story that supports the main love story being told that day. For instance, a handkerchief from a grandmother who is no longer with us rests in the hands of a bride’s mother. A brooch from a bride’s aunt whose sister perfectly places it onto the bride’s reception outfit for that “something blue.” A veil from a bride’s mother’s wedding as she puts it on her baby girl to wear when walking down the aisle. It could also be a WW2 pin a groom may wear inside his jacket to represent the man who was so influential in his life. We want to capture these little details and document the day as it unfolds. So, while the details are JUST as important as the ceremony and reception, here are my “must-have wedding shots” on any given wedding day, provided that the timeline allows for them.

Establishing Shot

We always need to include a photo of  where the wedding takes place. We want whoever is viewing the gallery to know where this wedding was held. By capturing the establishing shot, you set the scene for the rest of the gallery. The couple chose this place for a reason, so shoot the location AND any details or decor. 

Details

As mentioned above, we want the couple’s details to be shot intentionally because they START the story. So lay them out, and make them as pretty as possible. This includes what the brides are wearing, as well as grooms suits, ties, shoes, cologne/perfume, jewelry, and anything else they may be wearing. Decor in any ceremony space, floral, and more should be captured deliberately and beautifully. We must remember that if a couple spends money on it, they want it captured in the best way possible, no matter the detail. 

Wedding Party/Family Shots

Pre-wedding photos are great because they capture the ambiance “before” the ceremony. We want to see those smiles and tears as the couple interacts with family and friends. Your “First Looks” and personal interactions with your wedding party, your parents, and your grandparents, are all unforgettable moments to be cherished forever.

Ceremony

The ceremony may be the most important photos of the day to some. That’s why we’re all here, right? However, as a photographer, I honestly enjoy getting the reactions from parents and family just as much. There’s something about your mother shedding happy tears as you walk down the aisle that just does it for me. My head is constantly on a swivel looking for those emotional moments. And definitely, on both of your faces when you see each other for the first time on your wedding day. 

Family Photos

We must have those family photos after the ceremony if we aren’t able to get them earlier in the day. These are often posed formal shots of the family (and friends in some cases) that are just your standard typical poses documenting that Aunt Sally showed up. It’s pretty typical to do this before cocktail hour. 

Speaking of cocktail hour, we try to capture some of that too. You’d be surprised how many times people ask for cocktail hour coverage. 

Wedding Party

After family, we move to wedding party shots. Some of these are standard; other times, we honor the requests to get a little fun and crazy. That part is up to the couple. We also try to make sure we take a photo of each bridal party member with you individually. 

Couple Formals

This is where most of the magic happens and the whole reason you hired a photographer. You definitely have to get some shots that flatter you both, ones you feel confident and attractive in and that you are proud to show off on social media once they are delivered. Unless a special timeline allows us several hours, we typically only have under an hour to do family, wedding parties, and the two of you. But we got this! It’s a photo-shoot!

Reception

All elements of the reception, the party, and the turn up are essential in closing out the story of your wedding day. If you are a traditionalist, there will be cake, and we need to capture every decadent layer of that! The dances with your partner, your parents, the wedding party turn up, and more will all show the world how amazing your day was. 

Remember, this is supposed to be one of the most incredible days of your life, and it’s a photographer’s job to tell your story through images you will love, share and keep for generations. 

Broughton Media Group, LLC (BMG), DBA Black Gay Weddings, is a media company with a mission to share and protect the love stories of LGBTQIA+ couples of color. Through BGW Elevate, we empower our community to share amazing love stories and to connect with the wedding professionals who make them happen.