Vanessa and Nate’s Maritime Parc wedding offered plenty of opportunities for great photos. From her father’s first look at her dress to the final cake cutting, Vanessa and Nate’s schedule was chock full of photo ops. One option their wedding also included was a separate portrait session at sunset. Find out how we scheduled a hassle-free sunset photo session on today’s blog post.
For most of my couples – both those who decide to have a ‘first look’ and get all photos out of the way before the ceremony as well as more traditional clients who wait to take all the photos during the cocktail hour – once photo time is over…it’s over. I think most couples want to enjoy their wedding as much as possible, and really, who can blame them? The idea of being pulled away from the fun on the dance floor is not appealing, especially after a few glasses of bubbly with friends.
I get it, and this is how I normally schedule any wedding I photograph. I spend 10% of my time on focused portraits – normally before the ceremony or at a designated time at the start of the cocktail hour – and the rest of my time is spent photographing candids. My goal is always to get my couples to the party on time so that they can enjoy themselves. It is their wedding, after all.
If you can drag yourself away from the reception, however, why not slip in a few extra minutes for a quick photo session? In the case of Vanessa and Nate at their Maritime Parc wedding, Vanessa was already planning to slip away from the reception. Knowing how heavy her dress was, Vanessa had already made plans to change into a stunning (and much more dance floor-ready) gown. She also used the time to have her mother bestow upon her several gold bracelets in keeping with her family’s Chinese tradition.
The timing of the mini portrait session could not have been better, and the sunset proved to be a beautiful backdrop. All of the photos you see here were taken in the space of fifteen minutes off the back terrace of the bridal suite. I took a few quick images as the sun went down, we moved to the other terrace for a view of the NYC skyline, and then Vanessa and Nate were back on the dance floor.
The trick to getting great sunset photos is to first plan ahead. Know where you are going to set up the portrait session, and make sure that the background is ready to go and that you don’t have a crowd in your way. Nothing takes more time than when the couple has to meet and greet guests on their way to be photographed. The back terrace we used for the photos was free of guests, and easily accessed without anyone knowing the couple were missing from the party.
Finally, keep the portrait session short. Fifteen minutes tops. This should be an easy, breezy session with minimum posing or set up. The beauty of the sunset – or moonlight – should be enough.
Ceremony and reception venue – Maritime Parc
Bride’s dress – Rent the Runway
If you would like to see more photos from Vanessa and Nate’s Maritime Parc wedding, then please visit this blog post.
If you would like to see more images from my wedding photojournalism portfolio, then please visit my website – www.KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com