Below are some helpful tips for those planning a Bahamas Destination Wedding.
I generally advise brides to do preparation photos. It could be full coverage of the preparations i.e. from putting on make up to getting dressed. Or partial coverage i.e. a few nice portraits of the bride after she’s is already dressed. This is recommend because you never know what the weather will be like on any particular day. And you look your best just before you leave the room. It always helps to have all details (jewelry, shoes, dress etc) handy to be photographed as soon as I arrive. It’s also great to consider how many people you want in the preparation room. The amount of people greatly affect the atmosphere, mood and kind of photos produced.
For an uncovered outdoor ceremonies the main consideration is time of day. Generally the best time from a comfort and lighting stand point is about 2 hours before sunset. For an elopement 1 hour before sunset is good.
I generally photograph formals (group shots) directly after the ceremony. I usually shot larger groups first then wine down until it’s just the bride and groom. Having a basic idea which group shots you want greatly helps the formal photo process along. A shot list can help provided it’s not so long it makes the process less efficient. A group photo of all guests (depending on size), immediate family then parents are common group photos in addition to the bridal party. Smaller groupings can always be photographed at the reception. The main consideration especially for late afternoon beach weddings is having good sunlight available for photos of the bride and groom.
By the time the reception rolls around. Everyone tends to be relaxed and festive. I find receptions great opportunities for awesome candid photos. I’m always on the look out for something good. From a coverage standpoint it’s helpful to consider which elements you want photographed. For example dances, speeches and cake cutting. Often times these can be arranged within the program so that you don’t have to have the photographer there for several hour to get that ‘one’ photo. From a lighting stand point any additional venue lights are great. Covered locations tend to work a bit better for lighting than open air locations.
The main things to consider for outdoor portraits in the Bahamas are lighting and time. I can shoot at any time of day. However the best lighting for portraits happens in a 2 hour window before sunset and after sunrise. The sun is much less intense during these times so it’s much easier to work with. So I always think in terms of best available light first when shooting a couple. Another important factor in the creation of great images is time. I need enough time to create great portraits. Ideally 30 to 40 minutes of time with just the couple. It very import that I have each time to work. If the scheduled doesn’t allow an adequate amount of time a Bridal Shoot following the wedding is a great option. The last thing to remember is to relax and enjoy the moment. I’ll do my best to make the process fun.