Places in Portland Maine for Wedding Photos

Portland Maine Wedding Photos

I have photographed quite a few weddings in the Portland Maine area and I've determined that it's a great place to hold a wedding for many reasons. 1. There are many awesome wedding venues and vendors 2. It's a city right on the water so you can get two totally different vibes (downtown and nautical). 3. There are SO MANY beautiful spots to take photos. In my years as a wedding photographer I've developed a love for shooting in Portland Maine and I've got my top choices for wedding photo spots in the area narrowed down.

1. The Cobblestones 

Wedding Photographers in Portland Maine

I mean, come on. The old city feel...the reflected light...sigh...  There are few things I wouldn't do to get to photograph on these little stones again. Luckily I wont' have to wait long (only three weeks until wedding season starts!!! ;) ). This and the first photo in this post were taken on Wharf Street in the Old Port and are from Elise and Kevin's wedding last October

2. Spring point ledge

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

Spring Point Ledge lighthouse is in Southern Maine right next to Southern Maine Community College (practically attached). I LOVE photographing here, because it has a lot going on in one spot. There is no driving in between necessary to get to all of them. All within easy walking distance you'll find a lighthouse, the SMCC campus, a rocky beach area, a sandy beach area, and grassy trails. For Olivia's senior portraits (here) we used all of the spots and I couldn't have been happier with how the session turned out. 

2. Deering Oaks Park

Wedding photos Portland Maine

Deering Oaks Park is Portland's own little Central Park! A big old forest right in the middle of a city. Adding it to your photo stop list is great way to get a more natural/woodsy feel. The park has an awesome bridge (in back of above photo), a pond with plenty of ducks, and gorgeous tall greenery. 

3. Portland City Hall

Portland Maine City Hall

Isn't there just something so sweet about a freshly married couple walking away from a city hall? It makes me giddy. Portland's city hall isn't to shabby either. The dramatic staircase, the arches, iron gates, the interesting corners of architecture, and the gold lettering all make for a really neat place for photos. 

4. Bug Light Park 

Places for photos Portland Maine

Bug Light is the sweetest victorian style lighthouse you'll ever see. It has a long narrow stone getty going out to it, really pretty detail along the trim, and it's just so stinkin' cute! I've photographed there a couple of times including Gina and Harry's engagement session last July. 

5.Fort Williams park

Fort Williams Maine Wedding Pictures   

While not EXACTLY in Portland, Fort Williams Park is right over the bridge in Cape Elizabeth. It has a few different elements that make it a hot spot for photos. There is a beach area, rocky cliffs, a grass lawn with an old rustic stone building, and oh yeah... the most photographed lighthouse in Maine, the Portland Head Light. I loved getting to photograph in this park last year for Katelyn and Mike's wedding

If you are getting married in Portland Maine be sure to consider some of these spots for your photos!

Tips for a First Look

wedding day first look

What is a first look?

A first look is a relatively new wedding trend. Traditionally a couple doesn't see each other until the wedding ceremony, but the concept of seeing each other beforehand has become pretty popular pretty quickly. I personally love both scenarios. Whether a couple is seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony or before, the moment is always wonderful.

Why do couples decide to do a first look?

I think a lot of couples decide to do a first look for timeline purposes. If you see each other before the ceremony you can do a lot of pictures with your family and bridal party before hand, as opposed to trying to fit it all into the one cocktail hour. I also think some feel that there will be less pressure on the moment if you see each other with less people around. Either way it takes a little bit of planning to do it in a way that gets the best pictures. Here are some tips and 'how to's on how to do a first look.

bride and groom first look

Put it in your timeline

A first look takes time and accounting for that time before hand will make the day of go more smoothly. I would say 20 to 30 minutes should be set aside for the first look. That way you can take in the moment and do a few pictures with just the two of you after. 

First look at Bug Lighthouse

Pick a location

Take some time to consider where you'd like to do your first look. I recommend picking some place that isn't too crowded, is easy to get to, and that means something to the two of you. Katelyn and Mike chose to do theirs at Fort Williams park in Cape Elizabeth Maine and it worked out so well! 

wedding first look tips

How it works

On the day of I will set one of you up facing the right direction. I will then communicate to the other person that we are ready! I recommend walking up behind the other person, tapping them on the shoulder to cue them to turn around and then let them turn. I will be all set up to photograph the two of you. 

Ogunquit Maine Wedding Photographer

Take in the moment! 

After you two see each other make sure to take a few minutes to take in the moment. I say this so that you both don't immediately look at me right after and so that I have ample opportunity to get some great shots. 

ALso-First looks aren't just for couples! 

Some of the sweetest moments I've witnessed as a photographer are first looks between a bride and her bridesmaids, parents, and other family and friends. While I still suggest you put it in your timeline, they definitely don't take as much time but can add a lot to the wedding photography portfolio.

bridesmaids seeing bride first time

So! If you and your partner decide that a first look is for you make sure to let your wedding photographer know and work it into your timeline! Happy wedding planning!

If you are considering hiring me for your wedding please contact me here. 2017 dates are almost all taken and 2018 has begun to book up! 

Tips: Great Getting Ready Photos

As many of my 2016 couples are in the process of planning out their weddings I thought I'd create a few blog posts with tips on how to prepare to get the most out of their wedding photography. I will break these tips down by the part of the day they apply to. The first part of the day I'd like to talk about is the 'Getting ready' portion. I love to photograph this part of the wedding day. Seeing you with your closest friends and family primping and prepping is so fun! The room is filled with great excitement and anticipation. Here are some easy things you can do to get the most out of your wedding photography during the preparation.

Consider your 'Getting Ready' space: A bright, naturally lit space makes for great photos! Big windows, open areas, and light walls will help make your lighting situation ideal. 

Bride getting ready
Bride getting ready

Tidy up: Do a quick sweep of the room before I get there to pick up any stray trash, or garments that you don't want tossed aside in the background of your photos. 

Have your details ready to photograph: The details that I will be photographing the morning of your wedding include your jewelry, shoes, bouquet, invitation suit, hair embellishments, dress, bridesmaid's dresses, pocket squares, tie clips, boutineers, and any other special memento that is important to you.

Wedding flowers

Speaking of mementos...

Let me know about personal mementoes: Make sure I know about the small personal elements that are a part of your details. This could be a blue heart sewn into the inside of your dress, the inside of a locket, an embroidered handkerchief, anything that has special meaning to you! Of course I will get the obvious things, but if there is something personal you have that you want photographed let me know so we get that shot.

Mail me an invitation!: Add me to your invitation list so that I get a copy ahead of time to bring on the day of to photograph. Like all of your details, it helps tie things together and tell the story of your day. 

Wedding Invitations
Wedding Invitation

Have your make up done last: If schedule permits it, having your bridesmaid's hair and make up done before yours is ideal. This way when I get reaction shots of them seeing you in your dress, they won't have curlers in their hair ;) 

Mother of the bride
Bridesmaids and Bride

Consider first looks: This doesn't have to be between you and your partner. One of my favorite moments from my last season was the first look we did with Sam and her father. If you want to do a first look we need to work it into your timeline to ensure it doesn't get skipped over. 

Bride and Father

Timeline wise, I like to be there an hour before the bride starts her makeup. This gives me enough time to photograph the details, wedding party relaxing together, and then the bride while she is getting the finishing touches of her make up done. 

It's very easy to make this part of the day photogenic. These are just some tidbits that might make it even more. With all your pretty details, and the joyful expressions on all of your faces, the amount of great photo opportunities are plenty. Happy planning! 


When to schedule your engagement session

One of the many benefits of being a wedding photographer in Maine are the natural backdrops our state has throughout the whole year. The four seasons make such a strong appearance in our climate and I look forward to photographing in all of them. If you're looking for a bright fresh spring session, a summer beach session, a colorful fall one, or a cozy winter one, Maine provides all of those beautiful scenes. I have a few 2016 and 2017 couples who are deciding on when to have their engagement sessions done, so I decided to compile some seasonal shots for some inspiration. 

Spring engagement sessions in Maine

Once it's here, spring in Maine is gorgeous. It's even sweeter because we wait forever and a day for it. I love photographing engagement sessions in spring because of the fresh blooms and the excitement that comes with all the things the season represents.

Engagement Photographer Bangor Maine
Rockport Maine Engagement Photography
Orono Maine Engagement Photography


Summer engagement sessions in Maine

Nothing beats a Maine summer. The beaches, the parks, the cute coastal downtowns... It's what gets me through the dry frozen months of the year. It also makes for a great scene to set your pictures against. 

Kettle Cove Engagement
Engagement Photographers in Orono Maine
Engagement Photographers near Cape Elizabeth

Fall Engagement Sessions in Maine

Apple orchards! Pumpkin picking! Hayrides! Foliage! oh the FOLIAGE! There are so many amazing aspects to fall. With all the fall related activities its pretty easy to think up places to go and things to do while I photograph the two of you.

Photographers in Maine
Maine Engagements
Bangor Maine Photographer

Winter Engagement Sessions in Maine

All the festivities and the snow are what make winter fun to shoot in. The festivities and decor that come with it, create many fun engagement session spots. The snow provides an awesome natural reflector that helps light my subjects. In the past I've photographed couples in christmas tree farms, during christmas festivals in cute Maine towns, and in a few woodsy snow fallen areas.  

Winter Engagement Photography
Kennebunkport Maine Photographers
Winter Engagement Photography

It's safe to say, no matter when you choose to have your engagement pictures that Maine will provide a lovely natural backdrop for you. 

Tips for great Engagement photos

Engagement sessions are one of my favorite things to photograph. To make the most of our time together I organized some tips that address the most frequent questions I am asked before an engagement session. I hope they help and if you have any others let me know!

1. Tips on what to wear:

  • Don't necessarily match, but don't clash either. Choose colors or patterns that compliment one another. I recommend not matching because it isn't really a good representation of the two of you. You don't live life in matching white sweaters so to get an accurate photo of the two of you as you are now, I suggest complimenting each other instead of matching. 
  •  Stir clear of writing on clothing. Writing or  large logos on clothing can be distracting. 
  •  Wear what you feel good in! 
  • Consider bringing an outfit change. Bringing along a second outfit is an option and can help diversify the engagement session portfolio. It also gives you a chance to try two different looks or themes!
  • If you're having trouble picking what to wear... let me know! I can definitely help when it comes to deciding what colors or styles look the most photogenic together.

2. Choose a location. I think it makes the session and photos more personal if the couple picks where to have them done. It could be where you met, where your first date was, where one of you grew up, or a place you both just really like. I'm always up for brainstorming ideas if you'd like some guidance of course!

3. TIME-WISE: Let's plan to begin our session 2 hours before sunset. I'm a natural light photographer and working with the given daylight is what I enjoy most. The most flattering light occurs in the 2 hours before sunset when the sun is at it's lowest point in the sky. 

4. Props aren't necessary at all, but could be fun and are an option. Let me know if you have any ideas! I've done blankets, banners, playing cards, tea sets, candles, all sorts of stuff! Like I said, they aren't necessary, but sometimes I find couples feel more comfortable in front of the camera if they have something to be working with. Let me know if you are considering them and we can brainstorm some ideas!

5. Have fun! Don't worry it will be easy! I like to think I'm a good time ;).