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Fast 5: Unique Couples Photography at Any Location

ShootDotEdit’s Fast Five — 5 useful quick tips you can apply to your photography business right now!

As a wedding photographer, you’ve probably Googled ‘best photo locations near me’ many times when looking for unique shooting locations for your couples. It can be a challenge — finding the perfect spot. It’s also a challenge finding the perfect spots you haven’t already used for other clients…

You don’t want to fill your portfolio with different couples all in the same poses at the same locations. Plus, your clients often want locations and shots that are unique to them and their love. So how do you find those new and amazing photo locations (or use familiar locations in new and exciting ways)?

Find out in this week’s Fast 5! 

Let’s get to it!

Capture Unique Photos in Any Location You Find


1. Make It Personal

Clients don’t often realize what makes them unique or what resources they have available to them. You can ask them the place of their first meeting or engagement place through questionnaires when they book you. It can be an indoor cooking class or an outdoor park.

You can ask them about places special to them as a couple, they might have fond memories of some locations, and this will give you a cue for a good location. It can range from a nightclub to a university or maybe even a museum!

2. Prioritize Light Over Background

If you find a great background for a portrait, but the sun is directly in your clients’ eyes, they have sun and shade spots on them, or they’re in the shade with a bright background — your photo won’t be stellar. But if you have a simple or nondescript background with fabulous lighting, you will likely end up with a high-impact image. Great lighting is far more important than the background. So stop looking for great backgrounds and start looking for amazing light!


3. Compositional Elements

Shadows aren’t objects per-se but they can function as such. Lines can help to lead your eye to the subject, as well as frame your subject. You can find so many reflective surfaces at your photography locations. You just have to be on the lookout for them if you want to incorporate them into your images. You can also use shallow depth of field and foreground elements. Another compositional element you can be on the lookout for when choosing locations is the opportunity to change your shooting perspective.

4. Change It Up at Familiar Spots

There are places you are so used to shooting at. They are great and familiar. Clients keep choosing them because they are popular, but it can become monotonous for you to photograph your couples there. So what can you do when you get another client request for the same location? Just walk around the place and choose a different spot — maybe a different landscape if the location offers that diversity. You can capture these locations in new and exciting ways by playing with light and shadows a little differently than the last time.


5. No More Excuses

Though this post is about finding locations to photograph your clients, we would say maybe we all need to stop relying so heavily on great locations in order to make great images. Because, it’s you who makes amazing images — not locations. So no more excuses! You can make a great image ANYWHERE.

To get more tips and learn in detail about finding photography locations near you, you can read our blog — SIMPLE TIPS FOR FINDING PLACES TO TAKE PICTURES NEAR YOU.

At ShootDotEdit, our goal is to take the “heavy lifting” of photo editing off your plate — giving you more time to run your business, spend time with your family, or even just have a weekend again!

Click here to learn more about what ShootDotEdit can do for you!

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The Rave June 2020 | A Monthly Customer Celebration

And we’re back with our Monthly Customer Celebration — The Rave for June 2020!

We’re so excited to feature these images from June with you. These are the 8 most-loved images you voted for last month.

How do you vote, you ask? Just head over to the ShootDotEdit Instagram and follow us. Then, when you see an image you absolutely LOVE, simply double-tap to like the image. At the end of the month, we’ll total up all the likes and narrow it down to 8 photos to feature on next month’s Rave.

Now let’s get to this month’s customer features!

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How to Build Trust with Wedding Vendors

And How They Benefit Your Photography Business

When two people fall in love and decide to tie the knot, often they don’t realize how much work takes place behind the scenes on the big day. You have wedding planners, wedding coordinators, wedding photographers, caterers, viedeographers — the list goes on and on. 

After all, this can be one of the biggest days in a couple’s life! And the professionals that work behind the scenes to make it all possible must execute their jobs with absolute precision.

These professionals are the wedding vendors. Each vendor has a role of their own and once a couple hires them, they immediately get to work. Everything they do plays a part in creating a smooth wedding day for the couple as well as their guests.

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Fast 5: Capture the Perfect Wedding Detail Shots

ShootDotEdit’s Fast Five — 5 useful quick tips you can apply to your photography business right now!

At a wedding, every detail is planned. From the guest list to the attire to the fold of the napkins. The planning that goes into most weddings is the culmination of countless decisions and immeasurable effort. So capturing the most important detail shots and moments are essential to your success. 

As the wedding photographer, you get to be the one to document the day as it all comes together. And it’s your job to help encapsulate all the tiny little nuances.

So here, we’ll cover the FIVE basic rules you should follow to capture the perfect wedding detail shots.

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Being a wedding photographer often means being a VIP to the bride and the groom. They rely on you to get their beautiful and intimate moments captured on their wedding day.

But being the center of attention, your couples may get lost in the details of the wedding venue, the ceremony, their emotions and the guests who love them. They trust you to capture all this on your camera and show them the whole story once it’s done.

You feel responsible and are doing your best to fulfill the expectations. But there is one more person who is doing her/his best to make this wedding a dream wedding for the bride and the groom. That person is the WEDDING COORDINATOR.

Who is a Wedding Coordinator?

A wedding coordinator is the one who manages the whole wedding on the final day. Not to be confused with the wedding planner, the coordinator helps in keeping timelines perfect and vendors managed.

They usually begin helping a month before the wedding and function as the point person on the wedding day. They confirm vendor contracts and create a day-of timeline, as well as make sure things like payments and guest counts are in order.

Reasons Brides & Grooms Hire a Wedding Coordinator

Hiring a wedding coordinator has proven to be helpful to the to-be married couples and has also become a trend. And there are some solid reasons why couples hire a wedding coordinator these days.

1. Couples Want Someone to Oversee Their Wedding Day

The coordinator instructs the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, parents, and officiant on how to stage the ceremony and make entrances at the beginning of the reception. This often involves working with the musicians or DJ to ensure attendants enter and exit at the correct time.

The coordinator also instructs the best man and maid of honor when to give their speech during dinner. The coordinator takes care of all timelines and manages vendors. If any attendants have issues or questions on the day of the wedding, they direct them to the coordinator instead of the bride, groom, or parents.

2. When Couples Don’t Have the Budget to Hire a Wedding Planner

According to planners, full-service wedding production and design runs approximately 15 to 20 percent of the total wedding cost. This depends on their experience, what region of the U.S. they’re based in, and how much time a wedding demands. A wedding coordinator generally will cost at least 25 percent of what a full-service planner would charge.

3. Couples Don’t Know How to Create a Timeline and Want a Smooth Wedding Day

When the bride and the groom have no idea about creating an accurate, wedding-specific timeline — they hire a wedding coordinator. Wedding day timelines are an art form in and of themselves, and they’re best left for professional coordinators.

4. The Couple Wants To Relax on Their Wedding Day

You don’t want to be the one organizing vendor setup and tear-down on your wedding day. It’s just not a job you want to stick any of your wedding party or family members with, as it leaves them no time to actually enjoy the celebration.

Why Photographers Need To Establish Great Relationships With Wedding Coordinators

With an upward trend in hiring coordinators, it is quite likely for you to find one at a wedding you photograph. Since you will get a chance to meet with the wedding coordinator before and during the wedding, why not establish a good relationship with them early on. It will benefit your greatly when the wedding day arrives.


1. Wedding Coordinators Help Photographers With Timeline

Wedding coordinators help in creating the timeline for the wedding day and this directly affects photographers. You are working and shooting according to the schedule and time slots created by the planner. Having a good relationship with a wedding coordinator can potentially allow for a killer timeline for you to work by.

2. Bright Future Prospects

Having trust in each other’s line of work will allow you the ability to provide the best service to the couple with ease. Having that continued mutual respect and trust in one another will only strengthen your business relationship. This way, whenever you both cover a wedding, there will be so much understanding for each other’s work making it easy for you to function and get what you want.

3. Referrals

Photographers often receive inquiries based off of referrals. Another way to receive word-of-mouth inquiries other than past clients is by vendors you’ve worked with. Wedding coordinators are a great source of referrals for you.

When couples are ready to begin wedding planning, they typically look to hire a photographer. If the couple hires the coordinator first, there is a high chance of you getting a great referral!


Whether you are a newcomer in the industry or highly established, these tips will help you build and strengthen your relationship with wedding coordinators. They will also help you carry out your work with much ease. Let’s begin!

1. Send a Welcome Email

Ask your client if they have a wedding coordinator at the initial consultation. Once the client books with you, email the coordinator to tell them you’re excited to work together. Take a look at their blog, and let them know what you love about it. This will make a great first impression. If you have worked together before, this will also strengthen your relationship.

2. Smile and Be Polite

This may seem simple, but always be as friendly, courteous, and professional as possible. You can also plan a phone meeting with them.

3. Copy Them on Important Info

Whether your client is adding an extra hour to the wedding day, or discussing the timeline, email a copy to the coordinator. You’ll save them a few steps, and they will appreciate your professionalism. Also, remember to respond to all communication quickly.

4. Group Shot List

Discuss the group shot list with the wedding coordinator before it’s actually given to the client to complete. Clients usually prefer to keep their group shot list short, and this may pose an issue when coordinators present their own list. It’s best to discuss this in advance, so you are on the same page.

5. Buffer Your Timeline

The timeline may change — even before our window of time for formal portraits begins, things might be running late. This is why it’s important to add a buffer for formal portraits. Discuss this with the coordinator and make sure you respect this timeline. You can’t have a good relationship with a coordinator who got late on things because of you.

6. Walk-Through of the Venue Before the Day of the Wedding

You can do a walk-through of the venue yourself and ask the coordinator if you have any questions about it. In fact, many coordinators do a walk-through with the client, so you might be able to go then. The bonus of doing this is that you can pre-visualize certain photos, and plan your off-camera lighting setup.

7. Review Their Timeline In-depth

Review the timeline from beginning to end, so you can communicate with the coordinator on any changes in advance.

8. Provide Them Photos

Always give the coordinator images as soon as you deliver them to the client. They are more likely to refer you to future clients, and your watermark will help promote you. A sweet thank you note is always a great touch too.


We hope our tips will help you calm any fears about working with a wedding coordinator. It’s an amazing opportunity for your business rather than something to feel burdened about.

Use our tips and build ever-lasting relationships with wedding coordinators you meet at work.

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FAST 5: How Long do You Spend Editing Wedding Photos?

ShootDotEdit’s Fast Five — 5 useful quick tips you can apply to your photography business right now!

Editing is one of the most time-consuming aspects of your post-wedding workflow. Every minute you spend editing is time not spent growing your photography business. It can be detrimental to your success and your workflow!

So let’s go over 5 ways outsourcing can help grow your business while saving you time and headaches.

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How I Got the Shot with Salt & Pine Photography

Darryl Ann and Joe are Seattle-based husband and wife wedding photographers that make up Salt & Pine.

These two talented photographers LOVE adventure, and find magical ways to capture it in their images. So when they agreed to tell us how they got some of our favorite shots they’ve taken, we were thrilled to share with you what they had to say!

Read on to learn how Salt & Pine got the shot!

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Crafting the Right Wedding Workflow for Photographers

After the engagement session, as the wedding date gets closer, there is still much to be done.

Sometimes the gap between engagements and weddings is a full year, so how do you often use that time? Do you relax and put off preparations until one week before the date? If so, you may already know how much stress this can create for you and your clients. 

So what should you be doing? Perhaps you could list everything you have learned about the couple so far — which poses suit them, what they expect from you and what gear would be best to bring for their big day.

These kinds of notes will help you a lot when planning your wedding workflow. But there are still so many ways to improve your workflow before, the day of and after the wedding.

Having a solid workflow foundation in place will benefit not only you, but your clients as well.

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ShootDotEdit’s Fast Five — 5 useful quick tips you can apply to your photography business right now!

As a wedding photographer, lighting is one of the most challenging aspects you face. Every shoot you encounter differs, and it requires you to have a vast knowledge of photography lighting techniques and how to properly use them. 

We reached out to wedding photographer Mark Condon from Shotkit to discover his secrets to photography lighting techniques you can use for your upcoming shoots!

Check them out in this week’s Fast 5!

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How I Got the Shot with Diane Nicole Photography

Hey! You made it! To the first How I Got the Shot with ShootDotEdit.  This week, we welcomed northern California-based wedding photographer Diane Clifford of Diane Nicole Photography.  

We love Diane’s work and are proud to call her a valued ShootDotEdit customer. So much so that we picked out a few of our favorite images she captured and asked her to explain a bit how she got such incredible shots!

So without further ado — Diane Clifford!

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