Category Archives: Planning

Supermodel Tips from Molly Sims for Your Wedding Photos, Part 2: Planning Ahead

05 | 09 | 2013

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali

Molly’s Wedding Photo Tips:

1. Get one nice photograph with each bridesmaid.

Molly points out that it’s a lot to ask from your friends to be a bridesmaid. So taking a moment out of your wedding day to individually thank your girlfriends and tell them how much it means to you is really thoughtful. Then you can give each bridesmaid a print as a thank you gift after the wedding. As Molly’s photographer, I would like to note that this was such a great photo op, particularly for happy, emotion-filled candid photos. See one of these photos here.

2. Even if you don’t love posed shots (and who does?!), be realistic about needing some posed shots, too.

And the posed photos will take some time. If you don’t want to see each other before the ceremony, Molly says to be sure to get down the aisle on time! You’re only going to have about 45 minutes for photos with your family and friends and your spouse, so you need to hurry. It’s a drag to miss the cocktail hour, but the photos will last forever.

3. You’re not just limited to black and white and color photographs.

Molly notes that black and white and color is only the beginning. There are toy camera photos; different film stocks, lenses, and processing; Polaroids; digital; 4×5 film; and more. Molly and Scott, who have an incredible collection of photographs and art in their home, made time for a few Polaroid 55 portraits.

4. You want to be as comfortable as possible with your photographer.

Wedding photography is a collaboration. To that end, Molly says speak up to your photographer if you know you have a “good side.” And have your photographer photograph your rehearsal dinner. Not only is it great to have those photographs later, but it helps you, your beloved, and your bridal party and family become comfortable around your photographer.

Molly has wedding tips over on her blog, too! See posts here and here. Thanks, Molly!

photo: Gia Canali Photography

FacebookTwitterPinterest

Supermodel Tips from Molly Sims for Your Wedding Photos, Part 1: The Makeup

05 | 09 | 2013

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - Molly with her striking

Molly Sims has talked about both her wedding day (here and here) and about her wedding makeup over on her blog, and today she’s sharing her insights about getting great wedding photos with us!

Molly’s Tips on Wedding Makeup:

1. Put your makeup on an hour before photos.

Molly explains that this allows time for the makeup to mix with the natural oils of your skin, making it look, well, more natural.

2. Don’t overuse powder!

Molly has observed that brides tend to over-powder because they don’t want to be shiny (and I concur— I see both over-powdering and shininess all the time). Molly says the solution is to use less powder, but use it more often. You can have a bridesmaid or your photographer stash some in a bag for quick touch ups!

3. Get eyelash extensions.

Not only do they look nice in photos, but as Molly points out, they will save (precious!) time and hassle on your wedding day and the week of your wedding.

See more of Molly’s wedding:
Wedding Day Part One and Part Two; Polaroid 55; Rehearsal Dinner; and  Molly’s Photo Tips;

photo: Gia Canali

FacebookTwitterPinterest

Molly Sims & Scott Stuber’s Wedding: Wedding Day, Part 1

05 | 09 | 2013

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - the bride and groom kis

We’re so excited to be able to share Molly Sims & Scott Stuber’s wedding photos with our readers. You may have seen a few photos in People Magazine a while back, but here are lots more from the whole weekend celebration. I just adore Molly and Scott (and baby Brooks and the doggies!), and am so happy for them. Molly was the best bride! Even though she’s a supermodel and has cameras on her all the time, she has the perfect sense of balance between camera un-awareness and a readiness to get the few posed photos she and I wanted. She was easy, happy, and “in the moment.” We’ve talked about how fast it all goes by, so that’s really important!

Although I think her intangibles (like her super happy, super easy-going attitude!) are the most achievable (and most affordable!) ideas to steal for your own wedding, I think you’ll love Molly’s style. Her dress by Marchesa was perfect for her, as were the bridesmaids’ custom-designed Elizabeth Kennedy gowns. We love the whimsical signs, florals and decor (note the Moroccan wedding rug!), and the sweet vintage touches that celebrity wedding planners Stefanie Cove & Yifat Oren helped design and produce for Molly and Scott’s wedding at a private estate in Calistoga.

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - Molly's wedding gown by Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - Molly wears ezquisite L Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - the back of Molly's dreMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - the happy bride Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - Molly and her bridesmai Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - toy camera photo of MolMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - Molly with Tracy O'Conn Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - bridesmaid bouquet by T

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - Molly and her bridesmai

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - Molly and her bridesmai Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - chalkboard signMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - wooden welcome sign Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - hanging escort card disMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - welcome drink station w Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - welcome drink station w

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - the ceremony setup undeMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - hanging floral arrangem Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - hand lettered wedding s

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - Molly's Morroccan weddiMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - toy camera bridal portrMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - bridal portrait Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - ELEW played ceremony an Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - ELEW played ceremony anMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - Molly and her dad walkMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - the most beautiful weddMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - the most beautiful weddMolly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - the most beautiful wedd

~ ♥ ~

P.S. ELEW was the coolest! Molly met him at a DKNY show and knew right away that she wanted him to play at her wedding and told him as much (even though she didn’t even have the guy, yet!).

photos: Gia Canali Photography

event design & production: Stefanie Cove & Yifat Oren; florals, Kimm, The Velvet Garden; venue: private winery estate in Calistoga, California; vintage tabletop items: Vintage Table Co; ceremony & cocktail music: Elew; DJ, Michelle Pesce; video, Bliss Productions; lighting: Got Light; bridesmaid dresses: custom-designed Elizabeth Kennedy; Molly’s wedding gown: Marchesa; Scott’s attire, Tom Ford LA; bride’s hair, Davy Newkirk; bride’s makeup: Monika Prensena; invites, Mr. Boddington; day-of paper: Tiny Pine Press; bride’s jewelry: Lorraine Schwartz

FacebookTwitterPinterest

On Stacking The Deck in Your Favor

01 | 21 | 2013

When I started writing this blog, what I really wanted was to help folks get the best wedding photographs they could possibly get.  And really great wedding photographs—even documentary ones—don’t generally just happen.  So this blog has become all about stacking the deck in your favor.  A certain amount of intention goes into that.  You set the environment, the lighting, the mood, the schedule. Mostly, though, we want you to be joyous on your wedding day, because, well, you should be joyous, and because, ultimately, the photographs can only ever be as good as the memories you make.  So let’s make them (both) really good.

photo: Gia Canali

FacebookTwitterPinterest

Album Design Know-How: Get in The Folks You Love Without Posed Group Photos

05 | 01 | 2012

Most of us (brides, grooms, photographers) don’t exactly love posed group photos. I do think they are necessary, a few images in the larger body of wedding photographs, a part of family history, to be sure.  But as far as wanting to preserve the folks I love in a photo album, I like to take a different tack.

A couple of years ago, one of my clients asked if we could exclude group photos but include a photo that prominently featured each person who would’ve been in the immediate family and bridal party photos.  This design approach worked beautifully, giving the album such an authentic narrative perspective, and—best of all—each person was really flattered in the photos we chose.

If you have a really large family, as some of us do, then you’ll probably want to get a couple extended family photos in there, just to make sure you cover aunts, uncles, and cousins.  But I think the basic principle still applies to the rest of the album—just focus on the folks who are really in your inner circle (immediate family, best friends, etc.).

{click any image for a closer view}

all photos by: Gia Canali

FacebookTwitterPinterest

The Why of Weddings (& Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and Other Celebrations)

02 | 22 | 2012

for EG

I photographed a bat mitzvah a few weeks ago.  This is not something I get to do very often, but I always relish the chance.  Bar and bat mitzvahs are so fun, unabashedly celebratory, and I think that age 13 is just about the perfect time to remind a young adult that of the love and support of family and community.  The clients for this bat mitzvah were particularly wonderful and I could tell from the first moment I met them last summer how much they loved their daughter and wanted this bat mitzvah to be a really affirming expression of that love.

The party was exhilarating—a whirlwind, really—and at the end of the night, after all the guests had gone home and I had packed up most of the cameras, I went to say good night to the bat mitzvah girl and her parents.   Her father began to tell me how people had complained to him before the bat mitzvah, “it’s so much money to spend” and “it’s just a party” and  “you’ll never remember it.” He continued on to tell me how happy he was with how the party turned out,¹ detailing how meaningful it was that his people had come all over the world for this party and he concluded, “you know, I think we will remember it.”

And something clicked.

He had paid the money and thrown himself headlong into the planning of this event not just for the daughter he and his wife love so much, for her birthday party or to honor and welcome her into a tradition, not even for the guests to have an incredible experience (which they certainly did), but so that he and his wife could have the privilege of gathering their people. From all over the world.  Into one room.

What good sense.  What clarity.  No one has ever articulated the why of a celebration so well to me.  (Also maybe it’s harder to see with weddings, perhaps because we kind of hope it’s really about ourselves when we get married).  You gather your people.  You gather your people at these singular moments in your life for the joy of being together, all together, all at once.

So often my wedding clients talk about how incredible and humbling and overwhelming it is to see their people all together.   One of the keenest memories of my own wedding is turning around during the ceremony and seeing the faces of my loved ones all together.  I think I’ve talked about that here on the blog before. But we don’t always or easily anticipate that, plan for it in the planning of the wedding.

I’ve seen some pretty crummy comments around the web, even here on this blog, about how much money people spend on their weddings.  Although there are lots of reasons for not spending money on a wedding (or anything else), folks might be missing the point.  It’s not about a dollar amount.  It’s about why whatever money people choose to spend is worth it to them.

photo: Gia Canali

¹ Let me just interject that it was one for the books as far as these things go.
FacebookTwitterPinterest

Interviewing Photographers: Why “How” Doesn’t Matter in Choosing a Wedding Photographer

08 | 12 | 2011

I get asked pretty much the same questions by each new couple I meet.¹  One of those questions is being asked with increasing urgency and is about how I work (and by this I mean how I work mechanically—with my camera gear, not relationally—how I work with people).  People want to know if I shoot film or digital and what cameras and lenses I carry around with me and how and when I choose to shoot what I shoot.

I.  Beware the Marketing Plugs

The curiosity about how I work doesn’t bother me.  I’d be curious, too—and not just because all the camera-gadgets are so fascinating.  It’s that it sometimes is asked of me—and all my fellow professional photographers—with judgmental weight behind it.  There’s information swirling all over the web about what folks think is the “best” way to go at making photographs.  And not surprisingly, everybody says “hooray” for his or her own way of doing things. (Translation: beware the marketing plugs).  There are lots of best ways of doing things.

II. It’s The Artist Not The Medium That Matters

What worries me is that couples might discount working with a digital photographer whose images they really admire and whose style they really love because they think they’re supposed to like a film photographer better.  Or vice versa.  There are great photographers making great images with all sorts of cameras, regardless of brand or medium, with fancy-schmantzy lenses and with plastic toy lenses … or even with no lenses at all.  And that’s why I don’t talk about cameras or lenses or image capture very much around here on the blog, as much as I can help it.²  This is an exciting time to be a photographer, and we have more choices about how to make an image than ever before.

But—and this is important—we photographers make the images we make because of how—and what—we choose to see.  The camera is, and always will be, no matter how many bells and whistles it may tout in its limitless incarnations, a box with a hole in it.  Whatever medium we use (film, digital), it’s just a medium.  It’s the artist and his or her own very personal vision that matters.*

III. Go With What You LOVE

What you want to find is work that really connect with.  Keep in mind that WYSIWYG, for the most part. There are certainly limitations to an online portfolio site, but once you’ve seen enough of a photographer’s work, on- and off-line, to feel like you “get” it, you probably do.  And then: go with your gut.  Don’t get caught up in the trappings …

photo: Gia Canali

__

¹ When I first started this blog, I talked a little bit about interviewing photographers {here} and, in a way, also {here}.
² Except, of course, for the very occasional mournful salute to discontinued film stocks.  And sometimes I can’t keep my mouth shut when I’m excited about a new camera.  But I do try.
³ This is a good reminder for us photographers, too, who are kind of gear-junkies and always, always want at least one more new camera to play with.
*Of  course, “how” I work does in fact matter, in a “big picture” sort of way.  I believe in my process; I am constantly refining it.  I want to give folks the best art and the best products and the best service I possibly can.  But the way I do things most certainly isn’t the only “best” way to do things.  And I don’t think how I do things (how I make my images) actually matters in evaluating my portfolio or any other professional photographer’s either.  It’s how that work hits you in the heart that counts.
FacebookTwitterPinterest