Drew & Cassie’s Engagement Photos

A ranch in the Texas Hill Country on a breezy summer’s day, is what photographer dreams are made of. Drew and Cassie are such a sweet couple. We spent the afternoon exploring Drew’s family ranch. Here are my many, many favorites from their session.

Michelle’s Bridal Portraits {San Antonio Bridal Photographer}

Now that the gorgeous Michelle is married, I can share her bridal portraits with you! Texas is HOT in the summer and this day was no exception. Michelle was a trooper and I love the bright summer sun in these images. Here are my favorites from her session.

{Our 2 Cents} Getting the Most out of Your Wedding Photos

It’s the #1 question brides ask: What can I do to get the most amazing photos on my wedding day? As the studio manager here at BTL (and having been through the ins and outs of countless weddings), I have lots of tips to share! It’s my job to help with your pre-wedding-day planning (and to be sure your wedding photos are 100% awesome). :-) So let’s get right to it… here are 12 ways to get most amazing-rockin-fantastical photos possible!

Tip #1 – Plan a good timeline

If ever a bride asks “What is the ONE thing I can do to get the best wedding photos possible?”… “Plan a good wedding day timeline” is my answer. It is THE most important tip I can offer. “What makes a good wedding timeline”, you ask? Plan MORE time than you think you’ll need for everything. Weddings are unpredictable. Plan a timeline with wiggle room for dress bustling, makeup retouching, groomsmen running late, finding Uncle Leo for formal family photos, etc! Avoid having to cut your photo time short in order to make up for time lost somewhere else. If your hair/makeup person says she needs an hour, plan an hour and 15 minutes. If it typically takes 15 minutes to get from your hotel to your ceremony site, plan for 25 instead. Call me. Email me. That’s what I’m here for! I will help you plan a custom timeline that will save you lots of stress! :-)

Tip #2 – Be on time (and lie a little!)

So you’ve planned your wedding day timeline and have vowed to stay on track all day… great! The tricky part will be getting everyone ELSE (bridesmaids, groomsmen, vendors, parents, etc!) to arrive on time. Tell everyone to be there 15-30 minutes earlier than what you’ve planned. That way, everyone will be there when you need them to be there. And don’t worry, your secret’s safe with us. ;-)

Tip #3 – See each other before the ceremony

Seeing each other before the ceremony isn’t for everyone. With that said, this post is about getting the BEST photos possible on your wedding day. Doing a first look is huge because we have more light and more time, which leads to more creativity and (ultimately) more amazing photos. For more info about doing a first look, click here.

Tip #4 – Have professional lighting at your reception

When it comes to getting great reception photos, professional lighting is THE most important thing you can do. Lighting creates a mood and makes everything — including your centerpieces, cake, tables, etc. — look better. Professional lighting is not as expensive as you may think and in our humble opinion it is worth every penny. For more info about having professional lighting at your ceremony or reception, click here.

Tip #5 – Plan a cocktail hour

You’ve spent countless hours planning your wedding details, so we want to be sure and take photos of all of your hard work! Planning a cocktail hour (in a different room/location from your reception area) is the best way to ensure we’ll be able to take photos of your place settings, center pieces, etc. before your reception area is full of guests.  A cocktail “hour” isn’t necessarily an hour long – sometimes it needs to be longer (sometimes shorter) depending on how far your ceremony site is from your reception site, how many family photos we’re taking after the ceremony, etc. I’ll help you plan a custom timeline that will allow plenty of time for photos of your reception details!

Tip #6 – Do a practice run!

Engagement sessions are super important! We include a complimentary engagement session in all of our wedding packages because they are fun, low-pressure situations where we can get to know and become comfortable working with each other. Our photography style is candid, relaxed, and unposed — which always requires some time for our subjects to “get comfortable” in front of the lens and learn our shooting style. Brides/grooms who shoot with us PRIOR to their wedding are more relaxed in front of the camera because we’ve tackled that awkward, get-comfortable stage ahead of time! The other benefit is that you’ll get to see images of yourselves long before the wedding, so you can tell us what angles you like and what shots you don’t care for.

Tip #7 – Don’t stress the dress!

Brides, this one will be challenging… but try not to worry about getting your dress dirty. The good news is, no one will see that little bit of dirt on the bottom trim (we promise!). We will never ask you to do something you’re not comfortable doing, so decide ahead of time that a little bit of dirt is ok. Breathe easy and think about the amazing photos you’ll have when we ask you to walk into an open field or next to a river, for example. :-)

Tip #8 – Tell the fam to stick around

We take formal family photos immediately after the ceremony. Be sure your family knows this ahead of time! Rounding everyone back up can be time consuming, and we want you to get to your reception as quickly as possible.

Tip #9 – Trust us!

Trusting your photographer is such an important part of getting amazing wedding photos. It is crucial that you feel at ease and trust our ability to capture your big day. It happens all the time… a bride (after seeing her wedding photos) says to us “I had no idea WHAT you were thinking when you took that photo… but now I get it and I LOVE that shot!” If we put you in front of an unusual background or pose you in a way that seems strange at the time, trust our vision!

Tip #10 – Show our photos to your bridal party ahead of time

We’re modern/fun photographers – our shooting style may be different than what your bridal party is expecting. Be sure they’ve seen our work ahead of time so they know it’s ok to relax and have fun in front of the camera.

Tip #11 – Have fun!

Photos are better when a couple is genuinely having a good time. So be playful with each other – hug, kiss, talk, dance… forget about the camera as much as possible!

Tip #12 – Do you!

Don’t wear too much makeup or do something with your hair that is not “you.” Don’t let anyone tell you that you need lots of makeup for photos! You should look like yourself, only slightly enhanced. On the same note, self tanner is NOT your friend! You’ll thank me later for that tip, I promise. ;-)

…there you have it! Twelve easy ways to get the most out of your wedding photos! For more {our 2 cents} tips, click here!

Jenn - Great tips! Inspirational photos! Keep up the amazing work!

Jenni - Great advice!! And it so made me laugh that my picture makes such a great example of a panicky, freaking out bride!!! LOL!!!!

Laura - GREAT post!!!!

Monica - Those are some really good tips girls!!!!

Cammy + Jeremiah’s Flush Mount Wedding Album!

YAY! Cammy & Jeremiah’s album is here! We heart this album cover (The main leather is called “Dulce de Leche” and the white accent leather is called “Optimism”). At their wedding, Cammy wore white (obviously!) and Jeremiah wore khaki (which we LOVED!). When choosing the leathers for their album, they decided to mix the two… and we’re diggin’ how it turned out. :-)

Our FAVORITE thing about the album-design process is customizing each album to match each wedding. The options are endless… there are over 40 leather options, and if you aren’t able to choose just one, you can do what Art and Sareh did… mix-and-match leathers to create a one-of-a-kind cover (see other leather combos here).

PS – For more info about our flushmount albums, click here!


Kelly + Cody {Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa Wedding Ceremony and Reception, San Antonio TX}

This spring has been an awesome (and busy!) season for us. We’ve had the opportunity to work with SO MANY incredible brides and grooms (best clients on the planet!!) Since the first official day of summer was last week, Kelly and Cody’s wedding was technically our last wedding of the spring…and what a way to end the season! Gosh, we loved working with these two. Annnd we love these images. Oh, and we love their wedding venue too! (The oh-so-gorgeous Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa…awww yeah!!) Here are our favorite shots from their big day! Enjoy! :-D

We are often asked if we take traditional/formal family photos at each wedding. Why yes, we do! We like to keep our brides happy AND our mothers-of-the-brides happy. ;-) To read about how we infuse the modern and classic photography styles, check out this post. :-)

We LOVE the hill country ballroom at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort! Such a pretty place for a wedding reception!

Kelly & Cody, congrats on being the new Mr. & Mrs. McShan!! We were so glad to capture these moments for you guys!!

See more weddings at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas here: http://tinyurl.com/BTLhyatt


Wedding Coordinator: Nicole Garza, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, San Antonio TX

Wedding Ceremony Venue: Golf Course, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, San Antonio TX

Wedding Reception: Hill Country Ballroom, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, San Antonio TX

Bride’s Hair/Makeup: Wild Oaks Spa, San Antonio TX

Bride’s Dress: Paloma Blanca, Brick House Bridal, The Woodlands TX

Bridesmaid Dresses: Donna Morgan, Nordstrom

Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Al’s Formal Wear

Wedding Band: The Grooves

Wedding Catering: Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, San Antonio TX

Wedding Cake: Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, San Antonio TX