Bacara Wedding in Santa Barbara| Ryan and Tiffany

We had the pleasure of photographing Ryan and Tiffany’s wedding at the beautiful Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara. The Bacara is the epitome of luxury and a photographers (and brides) dream wedding location. The first thing I noticed as we pulled into the large circular driveway was the beautiful fountain. I knew I wanted a picture of these guys in front of it at night. We met Alex, the event coordinator, who was awesome to work with and she graciously gave us a quick tour of the property before we began shooting.

As I was walking around Bacara I just kept getting inspired for picture ideas and I was looking for the right place to stage the “Reveal”. The Reveal , or First Look, has really become a popular addition to the wedding day and we love it when a couple decides to add this moment. It allows us to have more time with our clients for creative picture taking and we are able to photograph the majority of family pictures before the ceremony. This is great for both the couple and their families who wish to enjoy some of their cocktail hour with their guests.

I began taking pictures of Tiffany and her bridesmaids who were getting ready in the suite. They were such a fun group and it’s always funny to see the difference in 8 girls rushing to get ready vs. 8 guys getting ready. I sent Andrea over to take pictures of the guys and she found Ryan enjoying his gift of a fine bottle of Johnny Walker Green Label 15 year old scotch with his boys.

Next came the moment of them seeing one another for the first time that day and it was staged perfectly. That set the tone for the day as we enjoyed the ceremony on the bluff overlooking the ocean and the beautifully decorated reception that followed. Great tunes by DJ Matt Gudis kept the crowd dancing in a separate candlelit lounge room after dinner. This area was so cool with a dance floor, sofas to lounge in, and even an outdoor fire pit. I loved that setup.

Thanks Ryan and Tiffany. We had a blast!

Below are some of our favorite wedding pictures from the day

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The gorgeous bride

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The Cool Groomsmen

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The Hot Bridemaids

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Fun Wedding Party!

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Bacara wedding ceremony location

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Contact Me

BACARA RESORT & SPA
8301 Hollister Avenue

Santa Barbara, California 93117

weddings@bacararesort.com877.422.4245

  • Stephanie

    I’ve been viewing several wedding photographer blogs in search of a good one for my own wedding next year in Santa Barbara and I really enjoy your photos! The angles, lighting, everything-just perfect. This wedding must have been a beautiful one to shoot, gorgeous bride and groom! The Bacara as well seems like a great place to hold a wedding (expensive much?). I can’t wait to start diving into the major details of my own wedding that will hopefully take place in Santa Barbara. I have a lot of family coming in from out of town and I’m looking for places to put them up in. I recently discovered a great hotel-the South Coast Inn (www.goleta-hotel.com). Elegant as well as inexpensive! Loved it.

Malibu Rocky Oaks Wedding featured on modwedding.com

We’re thrilled to see the beautiful Malibu wedding we photographed of Cybel and Sebastian has been featured on Modwedding.com. This was our first time at Malibu Rocky Oaks and what a place to get married! It sits high atop the mountain between Westlake and Malibu. This Tuscan/Mediterranean style villa has 360º views of the Santa Monica Mountains making it perhaps the most beautiful wedding venue in Southern California.

To get more info about our wedding photography services, please contact us at info@chrisschmittphotography.com

 

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Styles of Wedding Photography

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When researching wedding photography, you may hear the word “style” come up and not know exactly what that means. Isn’t wedding photography just wedding photography? The answer is a ‘polite’ no. What is the difference in “styles” of wedding photography and what does this even mean? Simply put, the style in which a photographer shoots refers to the look, feel, posing techniques, lighting and even the types of photos they will be focused on taking during the wedding day. We feel that today’s wedding photographer should be versatile and knowledgeable in all styles of wedding photography, and perhaps specialize in a few styles that really set them apart from the rest.

For instance, when you look at our images, you will see a blend of styles.We always start with a Photojournalistic approach (capturing natural candids of friends and family, decor and details). If there is a first look involved, we will introduce our illustrative technique below and choose a beautiful location to let our couples enjoy the moment of seeing each other privately for the first time. All those pretty scenic shots on our website are shot with our illustrative style. Our background in photography comes from working on set with some of the most famous fashion photographers in the world and we love to incorporate some of this influence into our contemporary wedding portraiture. Who doesn’t want to look amazing on their wedding day and perhaps strike a fun pose? This is also a fun technique and a lot of fun to set up with wedding parties to look like they just came out of Vanity Fair or Vogue magazine.

Wedding Photojournalism: Originally favored by the news media, this informal, reality based approach is the current rage in wedding photography. Rather than posing your pictures, the photographer follows you and your guests throughout the wedding day, capturing events as they unfold in order to tell the story of your wedding. The photographer has to be able to fade into the background and become “invisible” to the crowd in order to get these candid or unposed shots. Since the photojournalist does not give direction, he’ll need a keen eye and a willingness to “do what it takes to get the shot.” We find that most of our couples prefer a blend of styles with this being the foundation.

Traditional, Classic: The main idea behind this timeless style is to produce posed photographs for display in a portrait album. The photographer works from a “shot list,” ensuring he or she covers all the elements the bride and groom have requested. To make sure every detail of the shots is perfect, the photographer and her assistants not only adjust their equipment, but also the background, the subject’s body alignment, and even the attire. This style is most common for the family portraits.

Natural Light: Rather than using a camera flash, photographers use the natural light found in a setting, usually daylight. The look is warm and, well, natural—yet the photographer must be skilled to deal with shadows and other lighting challenges. The thing to watch out for are the photographers who express that they are strictly a “natural light photographer”. This is great if you like this style…but what happens when the sun goes down? We’ve found many of these photographers struggle and have very little experience when it comes to using flash correctly at the reception and knowing the correct camera settings.

Fashion: Commercial photographers excel at creating striking photographs that dramatize the subject—and, of course, her clothes! Though not a style generally included in wedding photography, you may want to choose a photographer with high fashion experience if looking artsy and glamorous while showing off your dress is important to you. If you like the way the photos look in Vogue, Vanity Fair and Bridal Magazines, look for a photographer with a background in shooting Fashion.

Portraiture: Traditional photographers generally excel at the precision required in portraiture—formal, posed pictures that emphasize one or more people. Couples interested in a more edgy result may prefer Fine Art Portraiture, with its dramatic lighting, unique angles and European flavor.

Illustrative Photography: This style, which we often use for engagement photos and wedding day, is the perfect blend of traditional and photojournalistic, with an emphasis on posing, lighting and background. The photographer places subjects together in an interesting environment and encourages them to relax and interact and have fun. Illustrative captures some of the spontaneity of candids, while offering the technical control of posed shots.

So now that you’ve read about the various photography styles..how do you communicate to your photographer which style you like? Simply show them images from weddings that you love and they will get a sense of your style!

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To inquire about our wedding photography services please Email us or call us at 805-222-5064

The Best Wedding Day Timeline for Photography

An 8 hour photo timeline is the most common package we sell.  For us, this works best to ensure all the key moments of your wedding day are captured and no special moments are missed. Here is a rough draft and example of a wedding day timeline with the ceremony starting at 5:30PM.

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1:30 PM:  Photographers and / or Videographer arrive for getting ready photos.

Capturing the details of the entire day help to tell the complete story of your wedding. We tell our brides to be in the finishing stages of hair and makeup when we arrive, but not in the dress yet. While you and your bridal party are in the finishing stages of hair and makeup, your photographer or videographer should arrive to photograph the details of the wedding that you are going to want to remember. These details include your dress, shoes, jewelry, and bouquet.

2:30 PM: Bride Gets Dressed

An hour might not seem like a lot, but depending on your schedule you should be finishing getting ready around this time. Many brides request that we capture the moment of them getting into their dress while others ask us to come in after they are covered. Either way is fine with us as this is just a matter of personal taste.  If MOB is around, it’s nice to have them witness and even help you get into the gown along with your bridesmaids.

2:30 PM:  Groom and Groomsmen Final Preparation

On the groom’s side of things, the men should be finishing up getting dressed as well. We send over our 2nd photographer to take some fun shots of the guys getting ready. Guys have it easy…LOL!

3:00 PM:  First Look

This can be an emotional part of the day.  Once the location is set up, the groom will be placed in position and the bride will surprise him.  Usually this is just a moment between the bride and groom and the photographer or videographer on hand. See more here about why we love capturing  ‘The First Look’

3:30 PM:  Bride and Groom Portraits

During or after your first look, you will want to take some Bride and Groom portraits as well after your photographer or videographer captures the moments of the first look. We’ll pick out a special location with nice lighting and help direct you to ensure you look your best for these fun and romantic photos.

3:45 PM:  Family Photos and Wedding Party Photos

Once you have your  first look and bride and groom portrait session, the rest of the family can join in on the fun.  During this time, the rest of the wedding party will come in to take formal wedding photos with the bride and the groom.  Make sure that everyone in the wedding party is on hand about 30 minutes before 4:00 so that time is not wasted scrambling to get everyone together. Bridesmaids should have their bouquets and if there are children in the wedding party, they should be ready as well.

5:00 PM:  Preparing for the Ceremony

Ok now that the formals are out of the way, everyone has a few minutes to just relax, get a drink, and recompose themselves and get ready for the ceremony.  This is also usually when guests start entering the wedding venue and situating themselves.

5:30 PM:  Ceremony

Get ready to get married! Here comes the bride! All eyes are on you as you walk down the aisle. This is perhaps the most special moment of the big day and we cover it from multiple perspectives. It’s always nice to see your expression as you are walking down the aisle with all eyes on you…but let’s not forget about your groom! We make sure to capture his reaction as well and these are some of our favorite photos from a wedding day.

6:00 PM:  Family Photos and Cocktail Hour

Now that everyone is together, you can choose to take some extended family photos with other members of your family.  Depending on how big your family is, there could be a huge line of family members wanting to get their picture taken with the couple.

For the other guests, there is usually a cocktail hour where refreshments and Hors d’oeuvre are being served.  After the family photos are taken, the family can also get in on the cocktails and refreshments before going off to the reception venue.

We give the B&G a choice here to either venture out and take more fun couples shots in nice sunset light or if they wish to enjoy the last half of their cocktail hour, they can.

6:30 PM: Reception File In

Around this time guests should be arriving at their reception spots and should begin filing into the area.  There may be a sign-in sheet for guests to leave a note as well.

6:45 PM: Reception Begins

When the reception officially begins, some music may start being played and announcements or introductions of guests may begin.

7:00 PM: Grand Entrance

During this time, the wedding party will likely make their grand entrance, and the first dance will begin.

7:30 PM: Dinner is served

8:00 PM:  Speeches and Toasts

8:15 PM: Special Dances

During this time, whatever special dances you have planned for the night can ensue.  This may include Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, etc.

8:30 PM: Open Dancing

Party time!

9:00 PM: Cake Cutting

9:15 PM: Bouquet Toss and Garter Toss

9:30PM:  Photographers Exit. It’s rare for us to stay to the end of a reception unless there is a grand exit planned in which case more hours can always be added to the day.

• Of course not every wedding (or culture) can fit into this timeline and we certainly can customize a package to fit within your needs.

To inquire about our wedding photography services, please email us at info@chrisschmittphotography.com