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Tidbits: Unplugged Ceremonies

So there you are gazing into the eyes of your beloved, saying your vows surrounded by your closest friends and family (the people most important to you)… You turn to sneak a glance at those wedding guests… and boom…. you are greeted by a sea of faces staring at their LCD screens.

I love the way Offbeat Bride said it in a recent article, “Welcome to the era of the over-documented wedding, where, even though you’ve hired someone to take photos, every guest has a camera or an iPhone and is tweeting the whole event. They’re there with you, but are they really there?”

There is a new wedding trend arising to help solve this problem… and honestly I think it may be my favorite one yet.

Unplugged Ceremonies.

What is an Unplugged Ceremony? Basically, the couple simply asks that guests and family members turn off all their electrical devices so that they are truly “there” during the ceremony.

Here’s an example of what a bride and groom might say to their guests…

And from my side, as a professional photographer, when a couple adopts this new trend.. I want to scream, GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH!

Professional photos can be- and have been- ruined by guests standing in the way or having their camera flashes go off at inopportune times. Not to mention you worked hard to find your photographer and spent a pretty penny to assure that we will get you fabulous images. So trust us to get the job done.

As you can see here… I am quite surrounded…

And in this shot, all of the phones really take away from the bride and groom walking down the aisle and getting to make eye contact with their guests!

It is really becoming an issue for us when the bride first walks down the aisle as well. Everyone wants to grab that shot, but really all they get is everyone else in their shot trying to grab that shot. I feel like I am having to creep more and more in to the center of the aisle, just to get a clear view. And, I definitely don’t want to be blocking the groom from seeing his bride arrive.

So, what’s next? Just relay the message to your wedding guests. Lauren over at Every Last Detail has some ideas on how to present those requests here. As well as the Offbeat Bride here.

If you are still in the planning pages of your wedding… we really encourage you to take a look at their ideas and have an Unplugged Ceremony.

Stay tuned for the next Tidbits… Tips for Engagement Sessions including what to do, what to wear, and when to do them!

Conrad & Kristen- Ft Lauderdale, FL

Conrad and Kristen had the right idea. They chose to do their wedding reception at one of their favorite restaurants. Valentino’s is a place they had already made so many great memories. They love the environment, the wine, and of course the delicious food. So they continued the tradition and had the most important event of their life take place there as well.

I loved the whole thing. So fun. So intimate. So beautiful.

Here’s just a little peek back at their wedding.

Getting Ready: Pillars Hotel

Ceremony: St. Anthony Catholic Church

Reception Venue: Valentino Cucina Italiana

Florist: Floral Creations by Blanca

Wedding Coordinator: Your Special Day by Joni

Band: Will Bridges Band


Tidbits: Photographing Newborns

Newborns. They are so. stinking. adorable.

Little babies are one of my favorite things to photograph… but definitely one of the most challenging.

Today’s tidbits has just a few simple tips I have found to work (at least for me) when photographing newborns. Hope it helps you too!

Tip #1- Timing and Location

I recommend trying to schedule your newborn session in advance. It is important you have that shoot within two weeks of the due date (if the baby arrives early/late you may have to adjust a bit but, usually this timing works well). It is important to photograph newborns during those first two weeks because they are pretty sleepy (and deep sleepers too…) and they are still so tiny. Babies grow really fast. A month old baby already looks so much different than a one week old baby. I also try and schedule the session at the family’s home. One, it is more comfortable for mom and dad. They don’t have to pack up their things to try and get out of the house. And two, in my opinion, it is kind of fun to capture the family in an environment that is true to that stage of life. They spend a lot of time at home snuggling that newborn those first few weeks… that’s what I want them to remember in the images.



Tip #2- Photograph the family with the baby. 

Getting some great shots of the baby individually is important. But, it is also important to get photos of mom, dad, and even siblings with the new addition. The interaction between them is pretty priceless. Try to encourage your clients to love on baby and each other.


 Tip #3- Try and be calm and serene.

When you are calm, Mom will be calm and in turn our little subject will be as well. Have patience. I never try and rush a newborn session. Mom and Dad are still trying to figure this baby thing out most of the time. If I can see that the baby is too fussy, I will let Mom take over and do whatever it takes to soothe him/her. If  that means she needs to stop and feed the baby half way through the session, no worries. Then while Mom is cuddling the baby or tending to baby, I may take advantage of some good photo ops of the two of them together. Or I may use this time to photograph the nursery. A lot of thought goes in to the nursery… so I love to get some good shots of that for my clients.


Tip #4- Sleepy Photos

There is nothing quite like those photos of the newborns curled up in an adorable sleeping position. But, it takes patience and a few tries to get them that way. I usually try and pick a spot that is safe, comfy, and easy for the baby to naturally tuck their legs and sleep.

This would also a great time for your clients personalize their photos. While I am not a giant fan of using too many props or outfits, it is nice to have a personal prop or object in the photos. Maybe it means baby girl is wrapped up in a blanket great-grandma knitted or baby boy is laying on daddy’s army jacket, whatever it is, just remember to keep it simple. And if you can’t think of something specific… don’t feel like you have to copy something someone else has done (or something you saw on pinterest). I usually just suggest my clients use a basket or chair/couch that already matches their home decor. And honestly, the more simple the background, the more attention goes to the little one.





Tip #5- Get the little details.

Those little toes, hands, cheeks…. the newborn yumminess comes and goes in a blink. So don’t forget to grab shots of those little things that will change so quickly. It doesn’t have to be done with a studio backdrop either. You can do these kinds of shots anywhere. It could also be a shot to grab while the baby is using a paci or being soothed to sleep. If the shot is just of their toes… you will never know what was going on top 🙂




JackieApril 19, 2012 - 10:00 pm

So insightful!! Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.

CorinaApril 20, 2012 - 5:00 pm

Eeep! This is one of my favorite posts so far. I was just asked to do a newborn session, and I was kinda freaking out because I’ve not done one yet. So I’m pretty excited to put these tips to use! Thanks Jenny :]

Michael & Julia- Lake Pavilion West Palm Beach

She’s the first girl he truly loved. He’s the first one to win her heart. Michael and Julia have been together for over 12 years… and this past weekend they officially tied the knot!

They were married out on the docks in West Palm Beach and their reception was in the Lake Pavilion (one of our favorite spots).

Some of other fabulous vendors who helped put together their day….

Desiree Dawn Events

Four Seasons Palm Beach

Party Pros DJ

LaSimply Flowers

Mike & Julia- Thanks for choosing us to be a part of your day! We hope you love hits little preview!