Orlando Wedding Photography Blog

Archive for the ‘Wedding Tips’ Category

Have you considered doing your engagement photos with your dog? I am always excited when couples bring their dog along for the engagement session. Pets are such an integral part of our lives, and quite frankly, they make such cute subjects for photos!

I’m very much a dog person, having two of my own and I realize how important they are. So, here’s a couple tips for taking photos with your dog.

Engagement Photos with Your Dog

Tips for Doing Photos With Your Dog


1. Bring along rewards and distractions.

Pets don’t work for free! If you can bring along some of their extra favorite treats or a favorite toy to get their attention, they’ll have a much better time.

There is nothing that a dog loves more than the most annoying squeaky ball you own.
Dog Engagement Photography

2. Bring a leash

Your dog may always be by your side. However, when we start to take engagement photos with your dog, there could be some distractions…SQUIRREL!! So, it’s always a good practice to keep your dog on leash at all times. We can always hide the leash, or even Photoshop it out after the fact if it’s distracting.
Celebration Florida engagement photos with a dog

3. Bring a friend that the dog knows.

As much as we all love our pets, they can’t be the star of every photo. So, I ask every couple to bring along a friend who the dog feels comfortable with. That way, that person is taking care of the dog while I’m taking photos of you.

If I bring along an assistant, they are there to help me with the photos and aren’t responsible for the dog. The car in Florida is not a place to leave the dog either, no matter what time of year.

4. Take the dog for a long walk beforehand.

A tired dog always makes for better pictures. There is always that excitement and anticipation when a dog goes for a car ride. There are so many smells to check out when they get out of the car. The last thing the dog is going to want to do is lay down for photos.

I usually recommend to do the photos with the couple first, while your friend takes the dog for a long, long walk. After he’s had a chance to check out everything, we can do the engagement photos with your dog.
Orlando Engagement Photography with a Dog

5. Enjoy the photo session.

Most of all have fun. Don’t worry if your dog isn’t “smiling”. It takes a little bit of patience, but we will definitely get their personality to come through.

Dogs are always reading their masters and if they know you are having fun, they’ll settle in and have fun too!

Wedding Photos with your Dog

Many of the same suggestions also apply when it comes to having your dog as part of your wedding. Just make sure that there is someone who can watch your dog all day. It’s fun to have them at some point during your wedding. However, I’d suggest that there is also a place that they can go to escape the hustle and bustle of the day.

Also, make sure that your dogs were recently groomed, so that their nails are filed. The last thing you want is your dog tearing your dress with their sharp nails.

Wedding Photographs with a Dog

Kelly’s miniature pinscher came to the reception for a few fun photos.

Rock the Dress Photos with your Dog

Rock the Dress Wedding Photography - Winter Garden Florida - Chapin Park - Dog Photographer
If you really want to do a lot of fun wedding photos with your dog, I suggest you set up a rock the dress session for a later day. Their dog stayed home during the wedding, but Miranda and Jeff were able to bring their dog along to the rock the dress photo session.
Rock the Dress Photos with a Dog

Congratulations on your engagement! Now you are searching for wedding photography only to find that wedding photographers often use a whole bunch of confusing phrases.

I am guilty of it myself — I catch myself discussing leather-bound, flush mount, seamless albums to someone who has only been engaged for a short time.

I figured it would be good to put together a list of terms that we wedding photographers frequently use. If you ever have any questions, please ask.

Album Spread

When you open your wedding album, you will see a series of two page spreads with your photos on them. Some photographers will describe an album as pages (or sides), others will describe the album in terms of spreads.

Canvas Wrap

A canvas wrap is a gorgeous way to print your photos. Your image is printed on to canvas that is then mounted to wood and ready for framing.

Wedding Photography - An example of a Canvas Wrap.

An example of a Canvas Wrap.


As a bride, you spent countless hours picking out all of the special details of the day — your shoes, your rings, your flowers, your dress, the centerpieces etc.

We like to capture photos of these details as they help tell the story of the day and show how beautiful your wedding was.

Wedding Photography -  Wedding rings are a frequently photographed detail

Wedding rings are a frequently photographed detail

Digital Negatives

Digital Negatives are just another way of saying digital versions of your wedding photos. These photos are generally in a .JPG format and can be viewed on your computer, television, phone, etc. In addition, if you have a print release, you will be able print these photos.

First Look

A first look is when you see your fiancé before the ceremony. It allows for an intimate moment that makes for fabulous photos.

Traditionally, couples chose to see each other for the first time as the bride walks down the aisle. However, first looks have become popular recently as a special moment of your day.

Example of a First Look

Example of a First Look

Engagement Session

Engagement sessions are generally a photo session with the recently engaged couple. The session takes anywhere from an hour to several days, based on the type of session you book.

Engagement sessions are a lot of fun and a great way to get to get some photos together as a couple. I find that couples that choose to do engagement sessions are much more comfortable in front of the camera come their wedding day.

You can do so many things with the photos. Traditionally, the photos were published as an announcement in the newspaper. Today, the photos are being used for so much more — engagement albums, save the date cards, sign in books, sharing on Facebook. Not to mention, it is great to have non-wedding photos of you as a couple.

Please feel free to browse our blog posts featuring engagement sessions.


These are the traditional portrait session with family and attendants. Formals are generally more posed and usually take place close to the ceremony location.

Wedidng Photography - Formal Wedding Photos at Cypress Grove Park in Orlando

Formal Wedding Photos at Cypress Grove Park in Orlando

Flush Mount Album

This isn’t your parent’s wedding album. Traditionally, photos were printed and then slid in to the pages of the album.

Today, pages that have the photos printed on them. The pages are then bound together to assemble the album.

Online Gallery

An online gallery is a collection of all of the photos from your wedding. It’s a great way to share the photos with all of your family and friends.

It also allows for you and your guests to purchase any prints of the photos. We also use the online gallery as a way for our clients to choose the photos that they want for their album.


Some photographers call their pricing, “Investment”. I call it Pricing. 🙂


Different photographers use different terminology. It’s a choice of different options, each bundled with various components. When you choose “option B”, you get all that is included with it.

I call it Packages. Please check out our package and pricing information.

Print Release

Without permission from the studio, you are unable to print professional photos. The print release is a document that you need to take to the store, in order for them to be able to print the photos.

If you purchase a DVD of the Images as part of your package, it comes with a print release.


Proofs are the collection of photos from your event. Proofs can be either digital or in print form. Proofs may not be the “Final Edit” of your photo. If you order a print of a one of the photos from your proofs, additional tweaks and edits may occur.

Rock the Dress/Trash the Dress

Rock the Dress portrait sessions are a chance to put on your wedding dress again and take some fun photos that you could not have done on your wedding day.

These photos usually take place in locations a little “untraditional” for a bride and groom. I’ve done these sessions in a bunch of places including in the ocean, on a fire truck, and in a park.

Sometimes Trash the Dress can mean the dress is “destroyed” as part of the process, which is why I prefer Rock the Dress. Worst-case scenario with a Rock the Dress – the dress may need a trip to the cleaner when it’s done.

Read this write-up by one of our clients, Denise, about her Rock the Dress session.

An example of a photo from a Rock the Dress Session.

An example of a photo from a Rock the Dress Session.

Save the Date Cards

Protocol for weddings is to send out the invitation a couple months prior to the wedding. However, that might not be enough notice, especially if guests are travelling from out of town. Couples will send Save the Date cards further in advance just letting people know to block this date on their calendar.

Quite often, guests will use photos from their engagement session for the save the date cards.

Seamless Album

A seamless album means that the album has no “gap” in the center where it folds. Although there is a small crease where it folds, it doesn’t take away from the layout.

Seamless albums allow us to be more creative in our album layouts, placing photos covering two pages.

An example of a seamless layout spread in a wedding album.

An example of a seamless layout spread in a wedding album.

Shot List

A shot list is a list of all of the key photos that should try to be captured on your wedding day. Although the shot-list usually refers to the formal session, it can be a lot more than that.

I usually work with a couple to determine the shot-list in advance, keying on which photos are important to the couple.

I hope that this list helped with some of the confusion when it comes to wedding photography. Are there any expressions you’ve heard that aren’t in the list? Please let me know in the comments.

There are many different great websites and magazines giving you advice on your wedding. While their advice is often great, bear in mind not everything you read applies to you. Planning a wedding in Florida is much different than planning a wedding in Chicago or New York.

I hope these tips can help you with your planning for your wedding day in Florida!

Florida Wedding Photographer

1. June is not the most popular month to get married in Florida

Nationwide, June has notoriously been the most popular month to get married (17% of couples nationwide choose this month to get married). However, in Florida, the more popular months are often March and October, when the weather is almost perfect.

2. Traffic is unpredictable

As you know, driving in Central Florida can be very unpredictable, especially when it comes to some of the major roads such as I4 and the Florida Turnpike.

If you have a wedding where guests need to travel from the ceremony to reception, try to account for this. Especially with Friday weddings, avoid introducing your guests to rush hour traffic.

Another thing that can add delays is the tollbooth plazas. Although, you can zip through the sun pass lanes, not all of your guests will have that option.

A good rule of thumb is to drive the route and double that time as an estimate for how long it will take.

3. Weather is unpredictable

We are so fortunate to live in Florida where we can have weddings year round due to our warmer climate.

However, our wedding can be quite unpredictable. There has always been the adage about Florida — if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes. It is not uncommon to have a major lightning storm in one part of town, where just down the road, the sun is shining.

Account for this, especially rain, when you are meeting with your locations, as it is always good to have a backup plan.

4. Plan for heat

Even in early November, I’ve seen days where the temperature hit 90 degrees. If you are having an outdoor wedding, it’s a good idea to plan for ways to make your guests feel more comfortable.

Some good suggestions for this include – fans to cool themselves, cold water bottles to stay refreshed, and an air-conditioned option for guests to duck in to.

5. Pick the best time of day

The time of day for an outdoor wedding makes a big difference. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, check to see what time the sun will be setting, and more importantly where the sun will be facing.

Having a wedding an hour before sunset can be beautiful. But, if half the bridal party is staring directly in to the sun, it can be very uncomfortable.

Your wedding photographer is often the best person to talk to, to help make suggestions with scheduling key moments of the day.

6. Plan for humidity

Not only does Florida get quite warm, it can also be extremely humid throughout the year.

Consult with your hair and makeup artist to make sure you will be prepared to look beautiful throughout the day. A little extra hairspray can help keep your hair manageable. The makeup artist can also give you some “weapons” to prevent shiny skin.

7. Plan for out of town guests

Another great thing about a Florida wedding is that it’s not hard to convince out of town guests to come to this part of the country. We have so many fun things to offer your guests – great weather, theme parks, golf, beaches, etc. Many of your guests will make a vacation out of your wedding.

For your out of town guests, most hotels will offer a promotion if you book a block of rooms. It’s also key to try to book rooms near your reception site. If your reception is at a hotel, even better!

It’s fun to put together a “Welcome to Florida” basket for your guests with Florida citrus, waters, snacks etc. so that they feel more at home. Feel free to stick in some information about things to do while they are in town.

8. Check for other events

There’s always something going on in Tampa and Orlando. If you can, try to do some research beforehand to find out what will be going on around your wedding day.

Going back to traffic, if there is a major sports event going on at the Citrus Bowl, that could definitely affect traffic.

If you pick a park to go to for some photos after your wedding, make sure that other activities aren’t also going on at the same time.

9. Remember comfortable and appropriate shoes

There are so many gorgeous places to go to for photographs – the 18th hole of a country club, along the shoreline of the beach, through the streets of downtown, etc.

It’s very likely that the shoes that you wore to your wedding, may not be the most comfortable shoes to walk that little stretch to take those photos. If they aren’t, plan on bringing a spare pair of shoes to wear when going from Point A to Point B. You can always change back to your bridal shoes.

You may even want a third pair of shoes that you’ll be hitting the dance floor in at your reception.

10. Be upfront about a dress code

It’s Florida. It’s not uncommon to see guests in shorts and a tee shirt at our nicest of restaurants. The warm wind makes people think that a Tommy Bahama shirt and flip-flops are “fancy clothes”.

But, if you want your guests to be a little more dressed up, spell it out in the invitation. Otherwise, you’ll have some guests that look (and feel) out of sorts.

Along the same vein, if you are going for a casual “beachy feel”, tell your guests too. That way, your uncle won’t feel out of sorts in his three piece suit.