As a Photographer, we get to travel extensively in and around Orlando and come to know of some amazingly beautiful locations for photography. We are always keeping our eyes open for natural backdrops as we go about our days. I wanted to take a minute to share some of my favorite outdoor locations that makes for some interesting and unique photographs AND a fun foundation for an adventurous day. These locations are great for Family Portraits, Engagement Photo shoots and Formal photos.
Winter Park is a charming neighborhood nestled in the heart of the Orlando. It’s buzzing streets are filled with mom and pop shops, boutiques and fine dinning. Amidst this neighborhood is a avenue called Park Avenue which is lined with colorful doors, and hidden corridors with European architecture. I Love this neighborhood for Engagement Photo shoots. Across from Park Avenue is a beautiful Rose garden that is romantic and appropriate.
Home to a majestic fountain and graceful swan boats, Lake Eola Park is a bit of serenity and Old Florida in the heart of Orlando. Lake Eola is decorated by large Oak trees, bridges and a variety of exotic birds. This place is a hot spot for photograph and a fun place to leave off after a photo shoot.
3) Baldwin Park-
Located just 3 miles from downtown Orlando, Baldwin Park is a community based neighborhood. With two big lakes, more than 50 miles of paths and trails, and over 20 parks, this place is a great spot for Family Portraits. Bring a picnic basket and blanket for a sunset Photo shoot!
This beautiful park is shaded by enormous cypress trees that add to the old Florida charm of the 13-acre property. There is a beautiful Exedra close to Lake Maitland and is ideal for those sunset photo shoots. This 5.22-acre public garden is located on the shore of Lake Maitland and is open all year from 8 a.m. until dusk. Lakefront, secluded and unique, Kraft Azalea is Winter Park’s secret garden!
The above mentioned places are my favorite spots for photography. Below are some additional locations that I enjoy photographing in as well-
What to expect on your Wedding Day | Lotus Eyes Photography
Welcome fellow photographers and brides alike. I have been using this guide in our welcome package for some time and find it to be extremely informative information for all of my brides.
This is a rundown of a typical wedding day from a photography standpoint. You will find tips that will not only help you get everything you want covered, but inform you of things you can do to make it much easier for your photographer to get the shots you want. This is a rundown for the most common wedding day happenings.
Deciding on how many hours you’ll need your photographer for
There are many different types of weddings involving a huge range of traditions or sometimes none at all. Whatever special events you have planned, traditional or unique, this information is sure to be very helpful. A note about how much time to book: When you’re making arrangements for the time your photographer arrives and departs there is a natural tendency to tell your photographer when the wedding will begin and end and to assume that is the length of time you want them to be there. You may think that if you have a 7 hour wedding, that’s how long you need the photographer. However when locking down the amount of time you want to book, remember that even if you decide not to have the photographer there for any pre-ceremony shots, they will need at least a half hour prior to your ceremony to check the location and to discuss any last minute requests and get set up and in place for when you enter. Remember that your photographer’s time starts from when they arrive, not when the ceremony begins so be sure to book enough time to cover everything you want/need. If you are unsure as to how much time to book your photographer, don’t fret. The rest of the information you’ll find here will give you the framework you need to make the decision that’s right for you.
Description and Options: These are the shots of the bridal party and family members before the ceremony. You can have your photographer arrive at any point during this process. As early as just getting started on hair and makeup or as late as just putting on the finishing touches. Some brides also choose to do the formals and/or bride and groom photos during the pre-ceremony portion of the day.
Most brides choose to have the photographer there for at least part of the hair and makeup as well as slipping into the dress etc.
Photography in the dressing room: This is a touchy subject, especially if your wedding photographer is male. Luckily for you, we are a husband and wife photographer team, and we divide and concur at this time. Ladies with ladies and males with males. If you are self conscious or modest, you may ask your photographer to leave the room whenever you wish. However some of the best images from the entire wedding happen in the dressing room, especially when the dress is going over the bride’s head while all the bridesmaids are helping to get it on. Remember, with photography, it’s easy to delete things later, but it’s impossible to turn back time and do it again. Under professional photography ethics, a wedding photographer would never take or show inappropriate photos in his/her portfolio, or on the web. Of course, every bride is different and your photographer will respect whatever you decide.
Decorating the Bride’s dressing room
This step is easy to overlook during the planning and decorating phase. First start by picking a room with enough space; one with lots of natural light. And if possible use light gauzy fabrics over the windows instead of thick
curtains or shutters that obstruct illumination. Don’t keep it too neat! Natural is the way to achieve the
documentary style look. Decorate appropriately. Cover up any un-presentable objects with curtains or drape cloth. Messes are ok if they are wedding messes. Empty boxes and bags should be placed somewhere outside the dressing room. It looks wonderful to have all the dresses hanging and shoes lying around on the floor, but these fun photo ops can turn out drab if things are still in the boxes or if they have piles of plastic wrappers and cardboard boxes lying next to them. Flowers also look better in a vase instead of the cardboard boxes the florist packed them in.
This one is completely up to you depending on what you want the photographer there for. Just remember to allow at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony time for your photographer to prepare for the ceremony.
Description and Options: These are the photojournalist style shots of your wedding ceremony. Here the
photographer will capture shots to the degree permitted. Many churches have restrictions on photography (i.e. no flash etc.) so it’s vital for you to find out what those are before the big day arrives and convey them to your
photographer. It’s best to ask to the actual person who will be performing the ceremony.
Typically the photographer will move around from side to side and the back of the middle isle. Some photographers will stay in one spot the entire time and some may move around and get a lot closer as well. This also varies depending on what is allowed at your venue.
Walking Down the Isle: There are some very important tips here that help you photographer immensely in getting some great (rather than run of the mill) shots.
A. Make sure that your wedding party walks at a slow enough pace, with enough distance between each couple for the photographer to discreetly step into the isle in between and get a shot of each person. The distance between each person (or couple) is the most important factor in the photographer’s ability
to get the shot.
B. When you and your bridal party step into the isle, pause for a brief moment so the photographer can get a good shot of you/them. This is a normal and natural thing to do because you are (hopefully) waiting for the person/couple ahead of you to get far enough down the isle for you to start walking. You can decide if you want to be looking at the camera, looking straight ahead or otherwise. Just make sure that everyone walking down the isle knows this plan. It would be a shame to miss a few shots because part of the group walked to closely together or didn’t pause long enough to grab a shot.
The Best Way to Put on the Rings
This is one of the most difficult shots to get for a wedding photographer. Most couples are not aware of the fact that they are blocking it either with their hand positions or with their bodies. To turn this moment into a great photo opportunity, all you need to remember is that as you are putting the ring on, position your fingers on the top and bottom instead of on the sides of the ring. One more tip is to avoid extending your free hand out to grab your partner’s wrist so that you can push that ring on there better. If you feel it is necessary to do this, try putting your hand UNDER your partner’s hand and grabbing on from below. This approach prevents your wrist from blocking the shot. Practice this couple of times, and you will see that it is possible to put the rings on while keeping your ring visible to your guests and your photographer.
Sometimes, during longer ceremonies, the Bride and Groom will be seated in chairs for a portion of the time. If you are planning to do this, there are a couple of ways you can avoid the chairs blocking many of the shots. We have seen the couple place one chair on either side of the isle right next (almost like an
extension of) the front pew. This makes it so you can you sit during a portion of the ceremony and then when you stand up, centered in front of your guests the chairs won’t be blocking the view. Another option is actually just setting the chairs aside when you’re ready to stand. You could have your best man and maid of honor (or any two designated people) just step in when it’s time and quickly move them behind the bridal party line up so there is nothing obstructing the view of your guests or your
From a photography standpoint having your officiant stand in between you and your guests is very limiting. It doesn’t happen very often but we have seen it enough times to mention it. If your officiant doesn’t stand behind you, he will be blocking the view of your guests and you photographer’s camera for all the important shots. Discuss this with your officiant if you are unsure what their plans are. It can be worked around but you should know that it will limit the shots your photographer will be able to get.
This varies greatly from wedding to wedding. We have done ceremonies that last 10 minutes and ceremonies that last up to an hour.
Description and Options: These are the posed, “traditional” shots of family and bridal party. You have several options here from just taking one shot with everyone in it, to a shot of just family and just bridal party, to shots with every combination you can think of. These photos usually take place immediately following the ceremony but often, couples opt to get these out of the way before the ceremony so they can go straight to the reception afterward.
It’s typical to at least do one shot with the couple and all family members in attendance as well as shot with the couple and the entire bridal party. It’s also very common to do just the bride with the bridesmaids and just the groom with his groomsmen. Other common shots include: bride and groom with their parents separately, parents and grandparents with the couple all in one picture, the whole bride’s side of the family, the whole groom’s side, siblings, bride/maid of honor, groom/best man etc. It’s totally up to you how many or how few of these posed shots you do, keeping in mind that you will have several shots of these loved ones throughout the day from the pre-ceremony through the reception.
Plan Ahead and Communicate. There is no tip more important when it comes to these shots than to plan ahead and communicate that plan to every single person that is going to be in these photos. This point cannot be stressed enough. I can’t tell you how many weddings end up having to cut these photos short (as well as the bride and groom photos that follow) because of a lack of planning ahead and needing to get over to the reception. Start here. While you’re thinking about photos you want – make a list of who is in each shot. Tell all your relatives (in advance) that they should be there at this certain time. (i.e. immediately following the ceremony.) Create a wedding day shooting schedule sheet, email it to your party days in advance, and pass it out again at your reception. Leave contingency reserve for potential late comers (yes, you know who they are). Usually the flow goes something like this. The bride and groom exit the isle (trailed by the photographer) followed by the wedding party. The wedding guests are then dismissed and file out. Most of the time the bridal party goes to a private room and waits for the guests to exit. Sometimes there is a receiving line as guests leave. If you’re planning to do the formals at the same location as the ceremony, when the guests are mostly dispersed, everyone that is supposed to be in the formals heads over to where the formals are being taken. It’s during this time that a lot of couples run into problems. People have run to the car or the bathroom or to make a phone call and the clock is ticking on your allotted time for pictures. This is why it’s so important to make sure that each and every person knows that pictures are at X time on the dot or immediately following the ceremony etc. and that they shouldn’t wander off.
Allow Enough Time:
Plan enough time for your formals. Even if your wedding photographer is amazing they won’t be able to give you wonderful photos in just five minutes. Like I said above we have seen many brides and grooms have to cut this portion of the day (and their “bride and groom” photos following the formals) short because they didn’t schedule enough time to get to them all done and get to the reception. If you are planning to travel to another location to take the formals make sure you plan in the extra time it will take for every one to get over there and then get to the reception.
Focus On The Big Picture
Try not to make photography of groups the main focus of your wedding day. A few group photos are great to record the friends and relatives at the wedding. But at the end of the day, a wedding album full of group photos probably isn’t something you’re going to cherish for years to come.
The actual snapping of pictures doesn’t take much time at all but gathering and posing a large group of people does. The time for this portion of the day will vary depending on how many formal shots you
want and how big your group is. A small, quick moving group with just a few pictures could take just 15 minutes. A larger group with a lot of shots could take up to an hour.
4. Bride and Groom Portraits
Description and Options: This is the fun part! This is where the bride and groom go off on their own (with the photographer) and get some photographs of the newlyweds on their special day. These are often the most cherished photos from your wedding day for years to come. These can be posed and formal, fun and silly, artistic and modern or a mixture of whatever you want. It’s your wedding day! What’s
Typically these photos are done right after the formals (either before the ceremony or after). Once the group shots are done, everyone else can take off, leaving the bride and groom to do their photos.
Bride and Groom Portrait Tips:
Be Yourself: The best pictures happen when the bride and groom are just being themselves and interacting with each other. Laughing, kissing, hugging etc. While a good photographer will give you some direction when/if you want/need it, feel free to just have fun with it!
During the bridal couple shots, it’s essential to take some alone time with your photographer. The really lovely, affectionate photos only tend to happen when you don’t have a large group of people looking on.
Don’t Worry About Your Guests:
During your formals and your bride and groom portraits don’t worry about your guests waiting for you. Most – and probably all – of them have been to at least one other wedding and they’ll know to expect that you’ll be busy with your photos for a while before joining them. As long as they have appetizers and beverages, they’ll be perfectly fine! ☺
This can be as quick or as long as you want. It just depends how many shots you want. Roughly plan on 20 minutes up to an hour depending on how many shots you want.
5. Ride Over to Reception (Or a Few Shots in the Get Away Vehicle)
Description and Options: This is a totally optional but fun idea. You can have your photographer ride over with you to reception in the car/limo and get some fun shots of the couple and/or the wedding party. If you don’t opt to do this, you could have the photographer at least get a few shots of you in the car before you head over.
Description and Options: The gathering following the ceremony and pictures. Key moments you may want the photographer to be there for are, the introduction of the wedding party, the first dances, the toasts, the cake cutting, the bouquet/garter tosses and perhaps the departure. And, of course, some photos of your guests having fun, eating and dancing etc. You, of course, don’t have to have the photographer there for everything (or anything for that matter). It’s totally up to you!
It’s typical for the photographer to just keep their eyes open during the reception and capture anything special going on. How long you have your photographer stay at the reception probably depends most upon your budget.
Making Your Time Count: Like I mentioned before, the most important things you want your photographer to capture are “the introduction of the wedding party, the first dances, the toasts, the cake cutting, the
bouquet/garter tosses and perhaps the departure. And, of course, some photos of your guests having fun, eating and dancing etc.” If you plan ahead, you can probably accomplish these things in two to three hours. If you can’t afford to have your photographer stay until the end of the reception you can shorten the time span by scheduling these events more closely together toward the beginning of the wedding reception. You don’t want to slight your family and friends or make yourself frantic by running from place to place to check off the events but a certain amount of organization will make things go smoothly and flow more quickly. Coordinate The Evening’s Layout with Your DJ and make sure that we are aware of this schedule as well.
Your Photographer will take a 20 minute break to eat their dinner as well. Photographers don’t normally shoot constantly during mealtime, but they do have the camera close at hand in case anything interesting happens. If you have assigned seating be sure to assign a spot for your photographer and their assistant near the back of the room where they can easily get up and down as needed if there is something interesting to shoot. If you have anything planned while your guests are finishing dinner, make sure to warn your photographer in advance so they can plan to eat toward the beginning of the dinner service and be finished around the same time you are.
Don’t rush through this part… take a minute to play with your crowd. This gives your photographer time to get a shot of you holding the flowers and looking back over your shoulder at all the gang getting lined up. Before you throw, try chasing off all the little kids because they often beat your bridesmaids and friends to the flowers. Now look up and make sure you don’t have anything low like lights and ceiling fans that are going to intercept your flowers before they get to the crowd. When you throw, be ready to call for a do-over if it doesn’t go as planned.
This depends completely on your budget, how much you want the photographer to cover and how early on you do the key moments.
Other General Tips:
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Suggestions. If you have a great idea for a shot suggest it. These are your wedding photos and your photographer can’t read your mind. Speak up if there’s something in particular you’d like to do. Be Yourself…But Your Smiling Self. Of course you want natural looking photographs. You don’t want to look fake but at the same time you don’t want an album full of photos where you’re making silly faces because you weren’t aware of the camera being there. One of the benefits of the photojournalistic style that is very popular right now is that the photographer can kind of blend into the background and grab candid shots of you and your loved ones interacting. The drawback though, is that sometimes you forget that a camera is focused on you all day.
As far as albums go, you will be able to choose whether you do your own prints and albums, purchase them from your photographer or both. This is very convenient and you won’t have to pick and choose which pictures you get to keep based on what you can afford. You can also get the images printed yourself for much cheaper than you can through a professional lab but still with good quality. However, a word to the wise, the kind of albums that you see photographers offering are not available to the public. You must be a professional photographer to gain access to them. Especially if you’re looking for the popular more modern “flush mount” albums where the whole album is printed right on the page, magazine style. Professional photographer’s albums don’t come cheap (not even to the photographer) but think of them as your first family heirloom. Today’s high quality albums will last a lifetime and you will cherish them forever. Now that’s something worth investing.
We had the honor of Photographing the Launch of Bethanny Frankel’s new day-time talk show that will debut on September 9th.
From a natural foods chef to best-selling author, reality TV star to self-made businesswoman and mom, Bethanny Frankel shot to stardom after being featured on Bravo’s hit series “The Real Housewives of New York”. She is also known for her wide range of “Skinnygirl” Products which includes work out DVD’s, Books and her own natural sweeteners and snacks.
Bethenny Frankel is bringing her distinctive voice and candid point of view to daytime television this fall on “Bethenny,” the nationally syndicated new daytime talk program, hosted by Frankel and cleared in over 97% of the country, following a successful six-week summer test on select FOX-owned stations including New York and Los Angeles.
The show will be centered around topics relative to love and relationships, celebrities and pop culture, beauty and fitness.
Norell and Patrick’s Wedding at The Hilton Orlando | Lotus Eyes Photography
We were honored to be selected to photograph the Wedding of Norell and Patrick. The wonderful couple flew out from England to elope in a medium size wedding Ceremony held at the Hilton Orlando Hotel. In tow was a group of close friends and family members who joined them from all parts of the globe. Norell and Patrick are such sweet people and very easy to get along with. We knew right away that they would be what we categorize as our “Perfect Client”- Kind, down to earth, easy to be around and happy.
The couple meet many many years ago. In fact, it was 22 years ago that they first met and feel in love. After passing the test of time with flying colors, and two children later, they finally tied the knot at the upscale Hilton Orlando Hotel. The touching ceremony brought practically everyone to tears. It did not surprise me given the love that the guest showed for the special couple. It was a blast to hear how they first met (through mutual friends) and how they feel in love- 22 years ago. It is amazing to see people so happy together and perfectly compatible.. Norell and Patrick are best friends and bubble with love for one another. The Wedding was perfect as planned with the help of our friend and Planner Tracy Marini, who is the Owner of Eventfully Yours, and all of the other vendors who made the day special.
We want to congratulate Norell and Patrick on this journey and hope they have a blessed life together- as always!