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Wedding Photography Tips from The Bahamas

While we were in The Bahamas for the WPIC FAM trip, we had the opportunity to meet some wonderful local vendors. One person that really stood out to us, was Nassau-based Photographer, Dominic Duncombe from Dominic Duncombe Photography.  What a knowledgeable and dynamic person to send your clients to.
Stop Motion Productions
Here, Dominic Duncombe
 shares some great tips about Photography:
“Weddings are a great way to create photos that people will treasure. I learn at least two things every time I shoot a wedding and have a great time doing so.”

Brides & Groom’s1.  Practicing putting on rings in the following manner:

  • Hold from underneath
  • Reach underneath your lover’s hand and hold their wrist with your free hand
  • Slide the ring onto their finger
  • Hold their fingers together under the ring
  • Doing this will save you some “How do I do this?” anxiety, make your hands look great and give the photographer lots of time to get photos

2. Look at your smile in the mirror

  • A small smirk works better than a grin, especially when you are hot and tired and trying to get through the tenth group photo still looking like the world’s most fabulous couple. Seeing the difference helps so use the mirror.

Bride’s  Checklist

  1. Hold your bouquet at or below your bellybutton. The temptation is to hold it too high. 
  2. Removing a veil may affect your hairstyle 
  3. Anything that can wave can block your face. Leaving your hair down or having a veil on a windy day will mean that some photos are unusable. 
  4. Blonde hair dye + Chlorine-filled pool water = GREEN HAIR
  5. Consider how your tan lines will look in your wedding dress

Groom’s Checklist
Relax and have a great time. The tension of the big day and being on camera is a lot to handle. Fun is not the word that comes to mind. Still, here are two things that go a long way to making it fun:

  • Think of the photos as an investment. A few minutes and a good attitude can turn into a photo that stays in your wallet for years.
  • Concentrate on her. Think about the reasons you fell in love with her.  Remember your favourite date (or how it ended). It will show on your face and you won’t have to fake a smile.

The key to easy Group Photos

  1. Make a list of the number of group photos you want before hand and who will be in each
  2. Share the list with the photographer and discuss the best time and location for your group photos
  3. Remember to consider guests with health or mobility issues 
  4. Work from the largest group to the smallest and insist that people who are not going to be in any more photos leave. They usually slow down the process and make the people being photographed uncomfortable. 
  5. Some tips for easy, timeless group photos
  • Consider the timing and location carefully. The best time is probably right after the ceremony outside the church or outside the reception site. That way you are already moving everyone around. The timing should ensure that everyone still looks their best. 
  • Make a list, give it to the photographer and stick to it. Yes weddings are a great time to get shots of the relatives that never visit but save some of your energy for the portraits. 


Information and items to give to your photographer

1. Give the photographer a clear idea of what is important to you, especially in the following areas:

  • Decor
  • Your cake
  • Your locations
  • Sentimental items (A chair reserved for someone who could not be there)
  • If possible email photos or examples to the photographer.

2. Send the photographer and itinerary with the following info

  • Locations and what time of day (or at least order) you expect to be in those locations
  • Special events (fire dancer, a song from a guest)
  • Items for the photographer
  • Invitations and other stationery (mail ahead of time if possible)
  • Toys, keepsakes, gifts (Set aside one of each for photos. Afterwards then can be used as intended)

 

Consultant’s checklist

  1. Establish a safe zone and keep unwanted people out of the photo zones. 
  2. Ask guests not to stand during the ceremony to take photos
  3. Keep the photographer informed
  4. Before cutting the cake, first dances

Consider all other checklists in this list

Wedding Photography in The Bahamas

There are two things to remember about Bahamian weather:

  1. It’s hotter than you think
  2. It’s hotter than that

If it is not overcast or windy it will be hot as the sun never goes away.  The heat is difficult for guests, especially if they are sitting in the sun, waiting on a bride. This is worse for people with age or health considerations. To address this, try to have an area where guests and vendors can wait in the shade before the ceremony starts. You may also want to provide fans or bottled water.

Photographs in the heat

  1. Sand + heat = exhaustion
  2. Multiply by a tuxedo and a wedding dress and you get aggression or at least impatience
  3. Make sure you can find shade, either in a location or carry an umbrella
  4. Shoot groups separately while the bride and groom cool off, fix make-up
  5. Bring the couple in to do their photos last
  6. Know what group shots there are or, more likely, have a time limit

Time of day
1. Check the sunset time
a. It becomes too dark to shoot about 30-40 minutes before the actual
listed time

Rain

  1. The Bahamas can have sudden, heavy showers that last a minute, just long enough to soak every inch of preparation
  2. Less often, we have more steady rain, often the case as the temperature changes from hot to cold or vice versa.
  3. It is wetter in the summer than in the winter. Read more here:  BBC chart of average Bahamas weather
  4. In my experience, if the bride is willing to stay in it, my equipment is safe. There have been a few close calls but not many. Once there is somewhere dry where vendors may retreat then usually rain is doable, if challenging.

Why megapixels are only half the story
Pixels per inch (ppi) or Dots per inch (dpi) of final images matter more than knowing the megapixel number. Images should be at least 200dpi and are often higher, depending on if and how much the image was cropped.

Stop Motion productions
Dominic started shooting professionally in 1996 at The Tribune Newspaper, a daily newspaper in The Bahamas. After earning an Associate’s Degree in Photography from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale he worked as a freelance writer and photographer.  He served as head photographer and a senior reporter at The Tribune from 2002-2004. He has been photographing weddings since 2004.

View more of Dominic’s work at Dominic Duncombe Photography

Comments

  1. Julia Pringle says:

    great tips!

  2. These are great tips, especially since shooting some where hot is different than what we are used to. I like the tip about chlorine and bleached hair – something not everyone would think about!!

  3. Wedding Maven says:

    Great tips! I hope to get to work with you soon!

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