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The Blog and the Bride

When it comes time to choose wedding day photo locations, we work with couples to pick a spot that will work beautifully!

But how do we know what to choose?  

We often let our couples choose a general location, then we choose the exact spots in that location that we use for portraits. On your wedding day, it’s more about YOU, the bride and groom, and the people who love you than it is about the backgrounds you choose.

So here’s what we brainstorm with our couples:  

We ask them to help us think about locations that…

  • Match their personalities and style, as well as the style of their wedding
  • Have enough space for everyone in the wedding party to fit and move around
  • Are outdoors with an abundance of clean, natural light (without too many color casts)


And here’s what we (as photographers) look for in those locations when we’re choosing the actual spot for portraits on a wedding day:  

  • Even light | If we take only ONE thing into consideration for photo locations, it is this one! Having even light on our subjects helps us capture stunning images that tell their story in a beautiful, soft, flattering way.
  • Minimal color casts | When we position couples or large groups on a wedding day, we try to choose areas that will not cast color shadows or colored light on the faces of the subjects.
  • Bright, reflective surfaces | We love having neutral colored surfaces (especially the ground) that bounce light. Usually the sun is high when we take wedding photos mid-day, so having light, neutral surfaces to cast light helps create soft, even light.

Example: Standing on a marble terrace creates better reflections than standing in the grass, which casts green reflections.

And for large family group shots, we love having a wide, outdoor staircase whenever possible! That way we can use multiple levels to pose your loved ones.

Now you know how we choose locations for wedding day photos.  Click on the links below to find out how to choose the best engagement session locations AND getting ready locations!  

Choosing an Engagement Session Location

Choosing a Getting Ready Location

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Becky Dean

I'm a co-founder and lead photographer at Pen and Lens.

Wedding photography is my heartbeat. I love capturing the interactions between the bride and her tribe as they get ready together, the look on a groom’s face when he FINALLY sees his bride for the first time, and the way a dad wraps his arms around his baby girl on her wedding day. Bride and groom portraits make my heart jump and I cry on almost every wedding day.

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