Tag Archives: collaborating with your photographer

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

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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

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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.

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~ ♥ ~

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

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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

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Getting Great Wedding Photos, Tip #21: Seek Out A Quiet Moment

12 | 06 | 2012

As the year draws to an end and I’m looking back on this year’s images, I keep finding myself drawn to the really quiet images.  Or images of really quiet moments.  These moments don’t usually just happen at a wedding.  You have to seek them out.  It’s true that these moments generally make for good photographs, but I bring them up because they are essential in totaling the hugeness of what’s happening in and all around you.

photo: Gia Canali

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A Handmade Wedding Gift

08 | 04 | 2011

One of the things we did with Jess’s bridal portraits was make a gift for TJ.  Jess chose a photograph and, in the weeks before the wedding, I printed it in one of my favorite styles.  My friend Jennifer, of Tiny Pine Press, stitched the photograph to fabric, along with a few blank pieces of paper so Jess could write TJ a note to accompany the photograph.  Jennifer also handmade a beautiful paper folder, with a tiny twig clasp.

{click any image for a closer view}

photographs: Gia Canali; handmade folder and stitchin’, Tiny Pine Press

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Jess’s Fine Art Bridal Portrait Session

08 | 03 | 2011

The great thing about bridal portrait sessions, as opposed to weddings, is that you have the real luxury of having time to make portraits, slowly.  I mean: I love the challenge and the rush of making portraits happen in the swirl of the events and obligations of a wedding day (what wedding photographer doesn’t?!).  And Jess’s session was slower than most because we intentionally sought to make images on our slowest, most deliberate cameras.

Bridal sessions are about the bride and certainly also about her exquisite refinery.  Jess’s dress was designed and lovingly crafted by Suzanne Hanley of Atelier des Modistes.  Sue is a genius designer and I feel lucky to count her among my friends.   I particularly love the lace chevrons (though, seriously, I can’t fathom how much time it took her and her team to make those) and the bustle, which reminds me so much of the wild, wild west.  Jess’s bridal session is also featured {here} on 100 Layer Cake today, with an interview from Jess about the custom dressmaking process.

Neither one of us could have known that Jess’s wedding day would bring rain (or rainbows) and mud or that the slow moments in the day could be counted on the fingers of two hands, so I am extra grateful we made time early in the summer before her wedding to make these portraits.

Jess found other value in making these images.  This is what she wrote:

“I thought it was really helpful to do the portrait session before, because it was an excellent introduction to you and Matt, and how you like to work. It was also great for me to hear some tips from you on posture, how to stand, how to act, etc., before the “main event,” so to speak. It was certainly a little more challenging to take photos alone, as opposed to how much more natural and easy it felt when I was with TJ.  But I think for people who haven’t been photographed much before [their weddings], it’s a great introduction. Plus seeing these initial proofs, I could then say to myself—well, I like it when I smile like this or that, and I love how my hair and makeup looks in these photos, and so onso it was a great dry run overall.”

photographs: Gia Canali

gown: Sue Hanley, Atelier des Modistes, whose little shop in San Francisco I featured awhile back; hair and makeup: Sharon Tabb.

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J + TJ’s Rustic Handmade Colorado Ranch Wedding (With Rainbows and a Rodeo Arena Reception)!

08 | 03 | 2011

Now, finally on to Jess and TJ’s actual wedding day!  By the morning of the wedding, it really did feel—as Jess and TJ had so hoped and schemed—like everyone there was one big family.   We woke before dawn to take in the “jingle” with some of TJ’s cousins.  Then, everybody else began readying themselves for the day.  I’m not sure what I could really say to do this wedding justice, so I’m keeping my notes uncharacteristically brief.

Jess and TJ saw each other for the first time in a wide open field, a couple of hours before the ceremony was scheduled to start.  We had planned to make a bunch of portraits during that time … but it started to rain just as they finished with that first quiet moment, so we retreated to stay dry.  Wedding party and immediate family portraits were made in the little sliver of shelter under the eaves of the barn.

Jess’s grandfather was quite the photographer in his day, and he even used to make carbro prints (the vintage photographic process on which I have the second biggest crush).  So when he asked me to make a portrait of him (with his bow tie!), I obliged using one of my favorite vintage cameras.

Jess and TJ’s wedding ceremony was perhaps my favorite part of the whole weekend.  It took place atop a cliff overlooking an incredible valley.  We loved how they made the ceremony so, so personal … and got everybody involved!  One friend officiated, others did readings, or sang songs.  Their dog, Midas, was the ring bearer (bearing the real rings). And Jess and TJ’s guests had sent them pieces of fabric with their reply cards to make a quilt that was incorporated into the ceremony.  Here’s what Jess says:

“I wrote the ceremony (which I would also recommend since it made it sooo personal for us) and as part of that, we did a “community blessing” where everyone in the audience held hands and connected all the way to us—as we were wrapped in the quilt with pieces of them all around us. It was one of my favorite moments of the ceremony, and maybe one of my favorite pics from the entire wedding (maybe also because this was when it started to pour rain!). We then used the quilt as a backdrop for our photo booth which was fun because people got to go up and pick out where their piece was on the quilt. TJ and I now have the quilt on our bed and it’s an awesome reminder of that amazing moment.”

I did my best to hide under an umbrella while the rain pour downed and keep my cameras (more or less) dryish while I was shooting (although I was more conspicuous than I would have wanted to be for sure).  But I love the photos from the recessional, with light reflecting through raindrops on my lens glass.  By then, I think I’d dashed out from under the umbrella!

Guests moved to the indoor rodeo arena for dinner, dancing, and bull-riding.  Despite the enormity of the space or the fact that it was really (really!) just a barn, Jess and TJ made it feel cozy, welcoming and even (kind of, but not too) fancy.  The warm happy color palette seemed especially appropriate after a day that had gone from clear and beautiful, to dark and stormy, to rainbows …

Below: Jess and TJ’s first dance and the beginnings of a long, happy night of dancing.

The photo booth was so fun!  You might recognize the quilt, re-purposed …

Maybe the best thing, though, was the mechanical bull!  I loved seeing everybody’s best wild west moves!  Jess made the operator buck her off (although she really, really didn’t want to buck the bride).  It was so funny!

The wedding is featured {here} today on 100 Layer Cake (hooray!).  Be sure to stop back tomorrow and Friday for photographs from Jess’s bridal session and Jess and TJ’s post-wedding love shoot, plus a peek at some of their paper goods …

photographs: Gia Canali

wedding planning: Stacy McCain; wedding design, Duet Events (the bride and her friend’s design company); florals, Sweet Pea Flowers, Denver; lighting & other magic tricks, Pink Monkey Solutions; dj: DJ Smiles Davis; dessert buffet, Tee and Cakes; venue and catering: C Lazy U Ranch

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