billy beach photography

Beach Weddings...Check the Tides

Beach Weddings...Check the Tides

     So you're getting married and opted for a beach wedding. Great! As I've stated many times before, beach weddings can be as simple or elegant as you want. From board shorts and Hawaiian shirts with a Ukulele player, to tuxedos and an orchestra in the background. But you have to check the tides. Tides in NC are semidiurnal. You have two high tides and two low tides within every 24 hours and fifty minutes. If you opt to have your beach wedding during high tide you might get something like this...

 

 

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Natural Light Photographers.

      I have to admit, I cringe every time I see a wedding or portrait photographer advertise that they are a "natural light photographer. " It's as if they have transcended every other photographer and they don't need to use artificial light, they are purer and more attuned to the natural world, but what I'm really thinking, is that they don't know how to use flash. I get it, if you're shooting natural light, you can lighten your kit, not having any big bulky speed-lights or mono-lights to contend with, no softboxes, no assistants, just you, a camera and a couple of lenses. But, are you really giving the client what they think they're paying for? C'mon you can do a lot with even an on-camera mounted flash. If the conditions are right...natural light, if not flash goes a long way to making an image pop.

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A Small Intimate Wedding on Wrightsville Beach, NC.

A Small Intimate Wedding on Wrightsville Beach, NC.

     Over the weekend I had a wonderful small wedding on Wrightsville Beach, NC. The plan was a good one, get married on the beach in February when the beach isn't crowded, might be a little cold, but at least they'd have the beach to themselves. Unfortunately, it didn't quite turn out that way.

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The Best Training for a Wedding Photographer

The Best Training for a Wedding Photographer

I frequently get asked how to become a wedding photographer. Most aspiring photographers who want to get into weddings think that trailing or (2nd shooting) a wedding is the way to learn. I guess that could be valuable but I never second shot a wedding... I got into shooting weddings by another route, sports! Wedding photography is multi-faceted. In a span of a couple of hours your shooting architectural, macro, candids, large groups, action, you can't have a bad day and you've got to be "up" and ready to perform.

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To veil or not to veil.

A super short post about veils. About 30% of the weddings I photograph brides opt to wear a veil. In a church...no problem, on the beach...not always good. Bridal veils come in different styles. According to my admittedly shallow research, veils started in ancient Greece and Rome as a way to guard against evil spirits. Also in arranged marriages it prevented the groom from seeing his bride before the ceremony. As religion started to enter weddings the veil became a symbol of modesty and eventually style.

As I market to the beach wedding brides I have some thoughts on veils. Although beach weddings are beautiful, most days at the beach are accompanied by a breeze. Long veils absolutely don't work except in the calmest of days but you might get away with a short veil. Veils are expensive and I've had countless brides remove the veil within 5 minutes of hitting the beach.

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Gusty Wind

Wind was blowing in the wrong direction. Shortly after this shot, the bride removed the veil. Ceremony was short, in hind site she should have switched places with the groom.

While I'm on the subject of the wind, hair is another consideration. Doing photos at the beach we're frequently at the mercy of the wind. When we take pictures we want the ocean and beach in the photos, not the trash cans or the condos in the background. Short hair, no problem, long hair...sometimes a problem. With long hair we have to go with the direction of the wind. When beach brides (and anyone who will be in the group pictures) have their hair long and it's moderately windy it can make it twice as long to get pictures and not always successfully. Normally I'll shoot with the background that's best and then have to turn the group to photograph with the direction of the wind regardless of background. Results are not always optimal. 

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Windy Day

Barely keeping the veil under control. Bride removed veil shortly after this shot. We got some nice dramatic images.

Quick Recap: If your getting married on the beach, please think about your veil and your hair. The beach can be quite breezy and the wrong veil can screw up all your other preparations. Nothing worse than reciting your vows and no one can see your face because a veil is blowing. After the ceremony we usually do some family/group photography. Nothing worse than 9 people in a group looking fantastic and one person has hair blowing in their face. The little details matter. If you ever have any questions give me a shout....Billy ;)