Brisbane Wedding Photographer: Beautiful Backyard Wedding

A candid wedding photographer’s dream, this wedding was absolute proof that it’s not the venue that makes for great wedding photos, it’s the people. Gorgeous, vivacious bride Jess smiled every time she looked at the camera (she said that it was because I was smiling at her from behind the camera, but I’m sure that was because she was smiling at me!); she laughed and smiled the whole time, until she joined her equally lovely husband Steve at the top of the aisle, then she bawled. Then she went right back to smiling and laughing. Like I said, a wedding photographer’s dream.

But, I get ahead of myself. Jess and Steve had organised a surprise wedding to take place at their backyard engagement party. Having now met Jess, I am amazed that she was able to keep it a secret – the excitement must have been killing her.

We started the day at Jess’s mum and step-father’s house where Jess and her bridesmaids were having their hair and make up done. There was lots of chatter and excitement, and smiles and laughter of course. Then the girls got dressed in their engagement party clothes, we took a few snaps (with and without the dogs) and we headed over to Jess and Steve’s house for the party. They had done a lovely job with relatively simple styling that really worked. A backyard wedding done right.

As people arrived, it seemed that the secret couldn’t be kept any longer and soon everyone knew that the day would end with this beautiful couple not just engaged, but married. The joy and excitement in the faces of friends and family was a delight to photograph.

As Jess waited for her lovely lace wedding dress to be laced up, it was amazing to see the emotions come across that expressive face. I always encourage brides to get that little bit of extra coverage for their day to have this part captured. Not just because it’s one of my favourite parts of the day (though I admit that it is), but because it is so emotional. So many brides are just overwhelmed by the excitement and the love and the enormity of it all, and Jess was no exception. I can’t wait for Steve to see these emotions on his lovely wife’s face as they look through their wedding photos together.

The ceremony began with Jess bursting into tears, then laughter, and the look of adoration on Steve’s face as she did was everything that you would want to see. And as a note to any other brides planning a DIY wedding, the simply styled pallets that they used as a backdrop just photographed so well.

After a very short portrait session with the bridal party, then with the bride and groom, it was back to the party. At the end of our shooting day, Jess and Steve not only offered us a delicious meal, but made room for us at their table to eat it. To make their wedding photographers so welcome, to let us capture their raw emotion and love, how could we wish this gracious couple anything but the very best for their future?

Congratulations to Steve and Jess.

Are you looking for candid wedding photography by a relaxed, professional team? Have a look at our Wedding Photography Page.

Whether you’re having a backyard wedding or getting married in a cathedral, Lara Lane can offer a package to suit you. You can find all our packages clearly laid out with prices listed here.

Looking for a candid wedding photographer in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast or beyond? I’d love to hear about your plans for your wedding. Contact me to check availability for your date.



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Candid Wedding Photography: evening wedding in Brisbane

Alex and Lysiane were married in a quiet, emotional ceremony on a Friday evening at The Coach House in the inner suburbs of Brisbane.

This was our first visit to the Coach House, a quaint and beautifully styled space hidden behind The Little Red Providore in Red Hill. In the late afternoon, it offered beautiful contrast that allowed us to really play with light and shadow in the images.

The ceremony was an intimate affair, presided over by Christina Towler of Kiss and Go Weddings, attended by the groom’s brother Ben and his glowingly pregnant partner Brooke. As we arrived, Christina was setting up the space with some lovely, romantic touches. My own husband, wedding photographer extraordinaire, assistant and second photographer Benjamin, captured the brothers getting ready as I followed the sounds of giggling upstairs.

Lysiane enjoyed a glass of wine as her hair and make up artist transformed her into “Bride”. There was lots of laughter and excitement as well as some quiet contemplation. There is always a moment in that getting ready time when things really start to get real for the bride. I remember it well from my own wedding, and as a wedding photographer, it is something that I really enjoy being present for. I always think of the groom, how when they have returned from the honeymoon, the couple will sit down and look through the wedding photos together, and the groom will see that progression – from the giggling excitement, to the quietness as the time comes closer, and often a tear as the enormity of the event, the expression of true love and commitment, hits. Sure, it’s not always that way. But I love it when it is, and it was here.

I always say that it is an honour to photograph a wedding, and it truly is. To be present for those moments, to have someone let go and be emotional in front of you is a privilege. To share in those moments, even from behind the camera, is the beauty of being a wedding photographer.

Alex’s amazing, emotional reaction to seeing Lysiane for the first time as his bride was something that they will both remember forever, I am sure. There wasn’t a person present without a tear in their eye at witnessing that overwhelming love.

After the ceremony, a drink was had in celebration and the bride and groom shared a first dance out on the deck. Their preference was for candid wedding photography, and they certainly provided plenty of candid fodder for our cameras with their laughter and kisses and loving looks.

Alex and Lysiane continued their quiet celebration at the London Club in Teneriffe, where we captured a few final candid wedding images before leaving them to it.

Congratulations to Alex and Lysiane. We wish you all the very best for a long and loving future together.


Lysiane’s beautiful flowers were arranged by her very own self. She and her mother are the creative minds behind freelance floral service The Posy Posse –

Celebrant – Christina Towler –

Make-up by Andria Malouf Artistry –

Hair by Jody Callan Hair –

Are you looking for candid wedding photography by a relaxed, professional team? Have a look at our Wedding Photography Page.

From an elopement to the biggest wedding, Lara Lane can offer a package to suit you. You can find all our packages clearly laid out with prices listed here.

Looking for a candid wedding photographer in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast or beyond? I’d love to hear about your plans for your wedding. Contact me to check availability for your date.




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Brisbane Wedding Photographer: Intimate Wedding in Ferny Hills, North Brisbane

Nick and Iveta wed yesterday at a very intimate Kiss & Go Wedding Ceremony. Held at celebrant Christina Towler’s home in leafy Ferny Hills, prettily styled with candles and white linen, the ceremony was shared by the groom’s immediate family. Sadly, distance prevented Iveta’s Czech family from attending the ceremony.

So many people now elope or hold very small, intimate weddings. What I notice as a wedding photographer is that whether I am photographing a wedding with 150 guests or it’s just the couple, the celebrant, and the wedding photographer (me!), it makes no difference to the couple as they are married. The reactions are the same – nervousness, adoration, joy. Those present will laugh and cry. Big wedding or small, what it’s really about is the joining of two people.

When I arrived at Christina’s home, Nick and Iveta were drinking tea, spending a quiet moment together before the excitement of the arrival of their guests. Iveta wore a long, white dress with a pretty tied back, while Nick kept things clean and casual in jeans and white linen shirt.

Nick’s grandparents, parents and sisters arrived, and once the forgotten rings were retrieved from the car, Christina started the ceremony. As part of the nuptials, the bride and groom lit a candle for Iveta’s mum, and exchanged vows in Czech.

Afterwards, we headed to a nearby field to photograph the family formal portraits and the bride and groom portraits. We were blessed in the last ten minutes of the wedding photography when the sun came out from behind the clouds.

Simple doesn’t mean it’s not special.

Are you thinking of a simple, fuss-free wedding? Kiss & Go Wedding Ceremonies may be just what you’re looking for. Check out Christina’s website here.

To see more wedding photography from Lara Lane, have a look at my Wedding Photography Page.

From an elopement to the biggest wedding, Lara Lane can offer a package to suit you. You can find all my packages clearly laid out with prices listed here.

Looking for a wedding photographer in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast or beyond? I’d love to hear about your plans for your wedding. Contact me to check availability for your date.

A black and white image of the bride with arms crossed, nervously waiting for the guests to arrive and the ceremony to begin

Iveta waits for the ceremony to start

A composite image of the bride and groom cuddling; and drinking their tea. Moments caught by candid wedding photographer Lara Lane Wedding Photography

Iveta and Nick wait nervously for one o’clock

The bride is cleverly caught in the reflection of the mirror, inhaling the perfume of her bouquet

The bride gazes at her bouquet as she waits for the guests to arrive


The bride waits with her sister-in-law to be; they examine the horse shoe that the bride has been given for luck.

Iveta looks up at Nick as she prepares to ascend the stairs and walk down the aisle with her betrothed. Composite of three images.

Iveta looks up at Nick as she prepares to ascend the stairs and walk down the aisle with her betrothed.

Signing the register

A muslin arch adorns the wooden slats of the deck; candles and gold ornaments make for beautiful, current wedding styling

Styling on celebrant Christina Towler’s desk

Wedding photography family photo, with the groom's mother bending over to remove prickles from the bride's dress, while the groom slaps his forehead in frustration and the bride smiles cheekily at the camera.

One of my favourite wedding family formal images of all time, with the groom’s mother removing prickles from the bride’s dress, the groom looking thoroughly unimpressed, and the bride looking just as cute as can be.

Family formal portraits

The bride and groom embrace for their formal wedding portraits.

Bride and groom portraits

Bride and groom portraits - the bride and groom laugh together

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Brisbane Wedding Photographer: Elopement photography at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens

Simone and Joe, just minutes after tying the knot.


There’s just something so romantic about an elopement. There’s no doubt that these two people are here for each other. No pomp. No production. Just two people who want to declare their undying love and commitment.

Simone and Joe’s ceremony, officiated by celebrant Kylie Starr, was simple and sincere, witnessed only by wedding planner and stylist Sweet Petite Wedding and Elopements’ Caroline Foster and their favourite Brisbane wedding photographer, me ?.

Simone requested fun and romantic, but simple styling and Sweet Petite Weddings and Elopements certainly delivered, with white and blush elements popping against the dark green backdrop of the trees.

Simone’s pastel bouquet , a creation of Floraccasions, was the perfect accompaniment to her blush, sequined dress. Understated with a touch of glamour – it was the perfect elopement dress.

Simone and Joe were nervous about their bride and groom portraits, but when we got to it, they did wonderfully. Any newlywed couple will make a beautiful portrait just by being in that special moment together. Afterwards, Simone wrote to thank me for the photos and mentioned, “We were so nervous and you made us feel comfortable!”. I was so glad to read that! It’s so important to feel comfortable with your wedding photographer. Not just because you need it to make great images, but more importantly, because you want to enjoy every part of your day, including the portraits. This is true whether you are eloping or having the wedding of the decade. (She also said, of her wedding photography “definitely beyond happy!! Thank you”.

To see more wedding photography from Lara Lane, have a look at my Wedding Photography Page:

From an elopement to the biggest wedding, Lara Lane can offer a package to suit you. You can find all my packages clearly laid out with prices listed here:



Simone and Joe eloped next to the Brisbane River at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens

Planning and Styling: Sweet Petite Weddings and Elopements

Celebrant: Kylie Starr

Florist: Floraccasions

Photography: Lara Lane Photography

This fun, romantic set up by Sweet Petite Weddings and Events

The ceremony, presided over by Brisbane Celebrant Kylie Starr

Gorgeous bouquet by Floraccasions

Looking for a wedding photographer in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast or beyond? I’d love to hear about your plans for your wedding. Contact me to check availability for your date.

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Brisbane Lifestyle Family Photography: Alyssa’s first birthday

I always love to photograph little kids – it’s super challenging but also hard to walk away without some great shots. Kids are just cute.

But, this particular shoot was extra special for me. Nearly three years ago, I did the hen’s party photography for this beautiful mum’s hen’s bash on the Gold Coast. Again, hard to go wrong when the hen’s party consisted of thirteen absolutely stunning Russian women. I didn’t understand a word that anyone said, but it’s impossible not to feel the joy and excitement of sisterhood on the brink of a young woman’s wedding.

So naturally I was absolutely thrilled when the bride from that party, Anastasia, contacted me. She requested I undertake some lifestyle family photography for her daughter’s first birthday at their beautiful home on the Gold Coast. Although people don’t necessarily notice me so much at events, by the time I have spent two hours photographing your hen’s party and then many more hours looking at your face while I edit the photos, I really feel like I know you. The prospect of seeing how Anastasia had grown and matured, and meeting her husband and daughter was very pleasing, and pleased I was. Anastasia was still, of course, beautiful. Her little girl Alyssa was absolutely perfect. Husband and home both lovely.

To top it off, two of the other young women from the hens party were also there with their adorable little girls. It really was a lovely family photography session. Yes, you need patience to photograph little kids. Especially three of them. But the results are worth it.

If you’re looking for a Brisbane Lifestyle Family Photographer, or family photography on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, contact me. I’d love to hear from you.

One-year old Alyssa captured on her first birthday by lifestyle family photographer Larissa, of Lara Lane Photography

Gorgeous Alyssa on her first birthday


Toddler Milana posing for the camera

Adorable Milana, helping Alyssa celebrate her birthday

Toddler Marcia contemplates the photographer

Beautiful, thoughtful Marcia

Toddler Milana appeals to her mum, crying, as friend Alyssa steals her toy.

Lifestyle family photography isn’t only about the smiles…

Mum Anastasialooks lovingly at her one-year old daughter Alyssa

Alyssa with her stunning mama, Anastasia, whose hens party I photographed a few years ago

The mums hold their little girls

The other little girls with their mamas

Toddler Alyssa chews her colourful ball toys.

Just chillin’. One-year-old style.

Toddler Alyssa, with princess attitude.

Like one year-old royalty

A balloon partially obscures both Marcia's and her mama's face

I love love love this image, with both toddler Marcia’s and her mama’s face obscured by the balloon.

A selection of images from Anastasia's hens party photography, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

A couple of highlights from Anastasia’s hens party photography, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

Lara Lane Photography

Lifestyle family photography: beautiful images worthy of the memory of your kids.


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Wedding Photography at Crystal Waters, Maleny

Laura and Luke get Married

13 May 2017

Maleny Wedding Photography at Crystal Waters Eco Village

The day dawned rainy last Saturday, as we got our gear ready to photograph the rustic wedding of Laura and Luke in Maleny. It’s true that it’s possible to capture beautiful wedding portraits in the rain, but it’s rarely the bride and groom’s preference when they have planned an outdoor wedding!

Rustic wedding decorations

Laura and Luke’s rustic wedding at Maleny

It rained heavily on out trip up the mountain from Brisbane (though I admit we got quite excited about the wedding portrait possibilities that the heavy fog offered) but by the time we arrived, the rain had stopped, the skies were cloudy but light, and the guests were arriving.

Candid wedding photographer captures guests embracing at rustic Maleny wedding

Guests arrive at Crystal Waters Eco Village

We haven’t been to Crystal Waters before, but I was thrilled with the photographic possibilities offered by beautiful overhanging trees, open field and green surrounds. Maleny never fails to deliver for a wedding photographer, and this happy occasion was no exception.

Candid wedding photographs of wedding ceremony in Maleny

A beautiful wedding ceremony

Surprisingly for a wedding with one hundred and fifty guests, the nuptials felt very serene and intimate. Bride Laura’s father Steve was the officiant, with that truly personal relationship imbuing the ceremony with so much meaning. Her sister Melissa was also by her side as bridesmaid. Some wedding photographers sort of skim over the images of the ceremony, concentrating instead on the portraits. Not me. Even though these may not be the images that will end up on the wall, this is the important bit. For the bride and groom, this is the exciting bit. And you can see it on their faces, always. And I live to capture that. I am primarily a candid wedding photographer, after all. Give me emotion and I am happy creating beautiful wedding photography!

Afterwards, the guests mingled and enjoyed a magnificent-looking afternoon tea. There was croquet and other games (including mini-croquet!) to keep the younger guests entertained, but the older guests were happy to just spend time together. More opportunities for candid wedding photography.

Wedding photographer captures candid images of lawn games at Maleny wedding

A game of croquet; and preparing for a game of volleyball

The joy that the joining of two people brings is amplified by the joining together of families and friends who may only see each other on special occasions. I know from my own wedding that seeing these images of my guests, remembering their presence and seeing their happiness on our special day, is something that I will treasure for a long time to come.

Candid wedding photographer captures images of wedding guests enjoying the ceremony and surrounds at Crystal Waters Eco Village

Guests enjoy the beautiful surrounds at Crystal Waters

We moved to a nearby field to capture some photos of the wedding party. I know that many people dread this portion of the day, but I was so gratified to hear a groomsman say (surprised!) that he had actually enjoyed it. My style as a wedding photographer is very relaxed and I do try to make sure that this bit of time with the bride and groom’s closest friends is fun and playful. Fun and playful makes for great wedding photos, too!

Candid wedding photography - the bridal party

Candid images of the wedding party

The bride and groom wedding portraits were taken on a pathway strewn with trees on both sides. This provided not only a beautiful backdrop for the images, but also soft, directional light – my favourite.

Posed bride and groom portraits captured by Brisbane wedding photographer in Maleny

Bride and Groom portraits

Laura and Luke were so lovely, and so eager to start their journey together. It was, as always, an honour to capture their wedding day and provide them with the images that they and their children will enjoy into that bright future.

Candid image of the bride and groom

Congratulations Luke and Laura!

Looking for a wedding photographer who specialises in candid wedding photography to photograph your wedding in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast or beyond?

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The Colemans at home: a lifestyle family photography sitting

It’s true what they say – babies change and grow so quickly!

I have to admit that I was nervous going in to this family photography session! Mum Leigh contacted me having been given my name by a family photographer friend of mine, the lovely Lan Shepherd. Lan photographed Leigh’s daughter Willow as an infant and Leigh was looking for family photos with the latest addition to her family, Flynn, now nine months. Lan’s images are so different in style to my lifestyle family photography I was definitely worried! Leigh assured me that she had looked at my website and loved my style so we booked the date.

Lifestyle family photography - infant in his cot

I love to capture people in their own environment – in this case, in the cot!

Once I arrived at the Coleman house, my nervousness all disappeared. The family was lovely, and to be welcomed into a client’s home is always a privilege.

I love the juxtaposition in demeanor of brother and sister in this image.

For both lifestyle family photography and portrait family photography, I love to do at least part of the sitting in the home. People’s homes are an extension of who they are, so that really helps personalities to shine through. People are also more comfortable and relaxed, and given that most of us don’t love being in front of the camera (me included!), being in your own environment really helps.  A part of me thinks “especially children” but really, it’s probably more “especially adults”.

Lifestyle family photography - a kiss for mummy

An image that this mum will treasure.

Willow and Flynn both were wonderful in front of the camera.  Willow was so expressive and her personality just shone through. Flynn is surely the only nine-month-old I’ve ever photographed who consistently looked at the camera when I said his name. A photographer’s dream!

Lifestyle family photography - little girl

Can’t go past those beautiful eyes.

We split the session between different rooms in the house and finished up with some images outside in the afternoon sun. The differences in lighting conditions in the different rooms, the backyard and then a natural wooded area nearby allowed me to get lots of variety in the shots. This not only makes my job as a family photographer really fun, it also allowed me to deliver lots of different shots to the family.

I love that peek of daddy’s hand in this image – there’s something so steadying and reassuring in that

Family resemblance…

*I wanted to share with you some of the feedback from Leigh from this shoot. “Love, love, love! They are all amazing Larissa! You are making my job very hard to choose which one to print and frame for the wall. Thanks again for all your work, you have done a fantastic job and I would highly recommend you to others.”

Thanks, Leigh! Artists need (crave?) positive feedback and I feel touched that my clients take the time to thank me. All I ever wanted was happy clients!


A Daddy’s love

For more images from this family photography sitting and other family lifestyle photography sessions, have a look at my portfolio.

To book your own family portrait or lifestyle photography sitting, head over to my contact page.

Willow in the garden

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Creating Your Wedding Photography Timeline: a Guide for Brides

Many wedding photographers will ask you to provide them with a wedding photography timeline for your wedding day. If you have a wedding planner, you almost certainly have a timeline, or run sheet, for your day. But if you don’t have a wedding planner, how do you go about creating the timeline?

The problem with getting married is that most people only do it once, so you simply don’t have the experience to know what to do; how things will unfold; how long things will take. In many ways, you are the least qualified person to write your wedding photography timeline! But then, you are also the only ones who know what is really important to you personally to have documented on your wedding day. With both of these things in mind, I have written this guide with the aim of letting you know about how long things will take, and some things that you might want to consider when thinking about what you want your wedding photography gallery to feature.

What is a Wedding Photography Timeline for Anyway?

A wedding photography timeline will help make sure you can fit it all in.

The purpose of your wedding photography timeline is to ensure that everything that you want to be photographed, is. You don’t want to be looking back in twenty years (or the week after your wedding) thinking, I wish I had photos of that. I wish I had photos of my flowers, or my sisters or my husband and I posed on the top of a hill. Your wedding photographer can only fit so much in, so creating a timeline will ensure that firstly, she knows what is important to you, and secondly, that she has time to photograph it. Not every bride will want the same things for her day, so make sure when you are creating your wedding photography timeline that you think carefully about what is important to you on your wedding day.

Managing your Wedding Photography Timeline

 Make sure your photographer has time to capture the candid moments.

If you are not lucky enough to have a wedding planner to assist in this, you may want to nominate a bridesmaid or family member to make sure that things are happening in accordance with your timeline. You shouldn’t need to direct your photography in what she should be doing, but you may need to ensure that, for example, your dad is arriving when he should be, or your bridesmaids are where they need to be. You are going to be busy and excited and you want to enjoy every minute of it, so leave it to somebody else to make sure that things are ticking along on schedule.

Groom Getting Ready

It’s so exciting for the bride to see the images of the groom getting ready once their wedding photography gallery is ready. It’s the one bit that she wasn’t there for.

Not everybody makes time in their wedding photography timeline for images of the groom getting ready. Whether you want this captured will probably depend on how long you have your photographer for, and whether the groom is getting ready in the same location, or a nearby location.

This portion of the photography generally involves photographing the groom putting on the finishing touches – the tie, jacket and cufflinks. Most photographers will also then get some posed images of the groom alone, and with his groomsmen. There may also be some detail shots that you want the photographer to capture – cufflinks, shoes, whatever is special to you or to the groom, or to you, or to the pair of you as a couple. You should allow around thirty to forty minutes for your photographer to photograph the groom getting ready.

Detail images

Remember forever those details you invested so much time in choosing.

I know that I spent an enormous amount of time choosing my wedding ring, and my flowers and my veil. I spent an inordinate amount of time searching for shoes, and I am yet to even start on my jewellery (and I am fast running out of time!). Our invitations are representative of our (or probably, my) taste, and were the first official announcement of our wedding. All of these little things (many of which, I will be honest, I didn’t even think of in the initial planning/budgeting stages, but all of which have become strangely, crucially, important) are the result of thought and planning, and in the case of my shoes, much agonising. Many brides now also spend hours with their bridesmaids making bouquets and other special items. Because of this, and I am quite sure, in part at least thanks to Pinterest, many of us want these things to be immortalised in pictures. They are a part of our day that we want to remember. If you too are one of these brides, you must make time in your wedding photography timeline for that to happen.

To save your photographer time, it helps to have these things all gathered together. Some things that you may want to have photographed are:

  • Rings – engagement as well as both your and the groom’s wedding rings;
  • Dress
  • Veil
  • Shoes
  • Jewellery
  • Invitation
  • Garter

Make sure that you tell your wedding photographer if there is an item that has particularly special meaning to you, such as an item that has been passed down from your grandma, or handmade by your mum (my mum is making my garter!) or your bridesmaids.

Just note, your wedding photographer may want to move your dress somewhere more picturesque to photograph it. Most wedding photographers will ask first, but just in case, if you don’t want it moved you should let her know.

In my own work, I generally ask for twenty to thirty minutes for this, depending on how many things you want photographed. Keep in mind that more time means that your wedding photographer has the opportunity to look around and be more creative with her shots (this is true of every part of your wedding day!).

Bride Getting Ready

              The finishing touches of the make up is often when the excitement really sets in.

Hair and make up is usually the start of the organised events for the day. If you have had trials, both you and your artist/s will have a good idea of how long this will take, but if not, be sure to ask. Then, add an extra half an hour. Hair and make up often takes longer than expected, and this can throw out the whole rest of your timeline. Because the thing that generally happens between hair and make up and the ceremony is the taking of pictures, this is what you will miss out on. So, best to leave plenty of time. Additionally, you don’t want your hair and make up artist/s to be rushed. You want them to spend all the time they need to do the best possible job. And you don’t want to start the day out stressed about running late.

Bridesmaids and the mother of the bride will frequently also have their hair and make up done by the same person or team. Let them go first – this way, your hair and make up will be fresher, and they will be all ready when your wedding photographer arrives.

You will generally want your wedding photographer to photograph the final twenty minutes or so of your make up artist applying your make up. Most brides want to have their make up mostly in place by the time the wedding photographer starts photographing her, but applying the final touches of lipstick and blush make for lovely images, because it is often the time when the excitement really starts kicking in for the bride. Suddenly, the whole thing feels very real! If these images are important to you, have your wedding photographer arrive at least half an hour before your hair and make up is due to be finished.

Getting ready is a good time for your wedding photographer to capture some beautiful portrait images.

Your wedding photographer will also want to photograph you putting on your dress, your veil, your shoes and jewellery. Once you are ready, this is a great time to get some portraits of you both by yourself and with your bridesmaids. How long you want to spend on this is entirely up to you. Some things to think about are the combinations that you want photographed – for example, you may have seven bridesmaids and you would like to have photographs with each of them individually. You may want to have some photographs taken in a different location, or outside. All of this will take extra time. Also remember that most wedding photographers will ensure that they have the “safe” images first – if you want your wedding photographer to give you something really creative, that will take some extra time.

Also in this time, if your father is giving you away, it is nice to empty the room of bridesmaids and others (except maybe your mum) for your dad to come in and see you for the first time. You are his baby girl, and is first sight of you in your wedding gown can be an emotional moment. Your dad is more likely to be able to express this emotion if the room is not full of people.

Keeping in mind the points mentioned above, you may want to leave around an hour and a half for this section (from make up to the arrival of your dad to walk you down the aisle). This will also give you a little bit of wiggle room if your hair and make up runs late.

First Look

A first look can give you the privacy to express your emotions.

A first look is an arranged meeting of bride and groom prior to the wedding ceremony itself. Some people are completely against this idea and prefer the traditional walk down the aisle to be the first meeting of the bride and groom on their wedding day. It is a completely personal decision. For my own wedding, I have definitely played with the idea of a first look, but have (I think! there’s still time to change my mind..) decided against it. I just want to do the traditional thing…

There are, however, a couple of advantages to the first look. Firstly, you get to see each other for that first time in a more private and personal setting. This is generally a moment that is shared only between the bride and groom, and their wedding photographer. Some people do choose to have their families or bridal parties present and again, that is a decision that is entirely up to you.

Another advantage of the first look is that it is generally followed by the bride and groom formal wedding photos. This is really the number one reason why people do a first look: getting the portraits done at this stage of the day frees you up to enjoy the company and congratulations of your friends and families after the ceremony. You needn’t miss out on cocktail hour!

You should allow 15 minutes for the first look. For information on timing of bride and groom and wedding party portraits, have a look at that section below.



The most important bit? The kiss.

I like to arrive at the ceremony at least fifteen minutes prior to the bride’s arrival. This gives me time to photograph the venue, the arrival of the guests, and the groom waiting at the altar. The length of the ceremony is something that you will discuss with your officiant. There is definitely a trend, outside of church weddings, for very short wedding ceremonies. Even if you are not providing your wedding photographer with a wedding photography timeline, make sure you tell her how long you expect your ceremony to be. You don’t want her to be standing in the wrong place when it comes time for the kiss!


One of my favourite parts of the day.

A lot of wedding photographers will whisk their bride and groom off for posed images or family formals immediately after the ceremony. I think that this means missing out on one of the most special and joyous and enjoyable parts of the day. After the wedding ceremony is a wonderful time for your families and friends to express all of the emotion that was welling up during the ceremony. At what other time in your life will you have everybody who is closest and most special to you lining up to hug you and congratulate you and shed a little tear of happiness over your happiness? You don’t want to have your wedding photographer over your shoulder worrying that they are going to miss out on “their” time (the bride and groom portraits).

Make sure that you build at least twenty to thirty minutes (depending on the number of guests) into your wedding photography timeline to bask in this joy.

Family Formals

A wedding is the perfect opportunity to capture families together.

In order to make sure things run smoothly and nobody is missed, it is a good idea to have a list of groups who you would like photographed already in place before the wedding day. It is also usual to allocate somebody to get these groups together ready to be photographed when it is time. Your wedding photographer isn’t very good at this, as she doesn’t know who these people are! It also saves a lot of time if the wedding photographer can photograph one group while somebody gets the next group together. Even though many wedding photographers find this to be the “boring” part of the day, in fact it can be one of the most important. In today’s society, people are so widely spread, and so busy, that it may not be often that a whole family has the chance to be together. These family wedding photographs often become some of the most precious. This is not just the case in the event of a death, but also as you are looking through the images with future generations. My children love to see images of their extended family, many of whom they have never had the chance to meet (though they will soon enough, at our own wedding!).

Depending on the number of groups to be photographed, allow around twenty to thirty minutes in your wedding photography timeline for the family formal photographs.

Bride, Groom and Wedding Party Portraits

A portrait of the two of you on your wedding day will hang on your mum's wall forever.

A portrait of the two of you on your wedding day to hang on mum’s wall.

This one is a huge variable and there are a number of things that you will want to consider when you are allocating time in your wedding photography timeline to this portion of your day. Do you want your wedding photographs taken in more than one location? How much of your celebration are you willing to sacrifice to have the photos taken? You will need to think about the images that you have seen in your photographer’s portfolio that attracted you to that wedding photographer. Did she have some beautiful, creative posed images with each couple in multiple locations? That takes time. Is it the candid images of the couple with their guests that really attracted you to your wedding photographer? You can probably keep your portrait time a little shorter.

Just remember that most professional wedding photographers will take the “safe” images first – the images of the two of you together, looking straight at the camera that your parents and grandparents expect to see in your album. Creative images will come after that, so make sure that you leave enough time for your wedding photographer to explore the possibilities if that’s what you are after.

Make sure that you discuss the kind of portrait images that you want with your wedding photographer, and be guided by her with regard to how much time you should set aside on your day. Remember to also take into account travel time if you would like wedding portraits in different locations. This will likely range from half an hour to two hours.


The shoe game is a fun and popular feature of many wedding receptions.

If you would like your wedding photographer to photograph your wedding reception venue in all its glory, the best time to do this is prior to the arrival of your guests. It can be difficult to get nice clean shots of table settings, floral arrangements and centrepieces while guests are sitting at the tables. Your wedding photographer should also photograph your wedding cake in this time. You should allow your wedding photographer around twenty to thirty minutes for this prior to the arrival of your guests. The more time you give your photographer, the more creative she can be, and the more individual and beautiful your images will be.

You will decide the running order of your reception in conjunction with your venue, but it commonly will look something like: entrée; mains; cake cutting; speeches; dessert; father daughter dance; first dance; dance the night away! How long you would like your wedding photographer to stay will depend on which of these elements is important to you to capture, and, realistically, your budget. Some wedding photographers will also steal you away for ten minutes to capture a romantic night time shot or two.

One of my favourite images... a bride is shown some love by her daughter and a groomsman.

One of my favourite images… a bride is shown some love by her daughter and a groomsman.

I would suggest capturing the reception for three hours from the time your guests enter will be sufficient time to capture things up til the first dance. Add another hour or two if you want to capture the party as everyone starts to loosen up and have some fun.

Travel time

Time spent travelling between locations (such as from the place where the bride is getting ready to the church, the church to the reception, etc) comes out of the time for which you have hired your wedding photographer, so make sure you make some estimates in your wedding photography timeline. You might also want to keep this in mind as you are choosing your locations: keeping your locations close together means your wedding photographer is spending their time working at making great images, not driving around.

Do I Really Need a Wedding Photography Timeline?

Not everybody wants a wedding photography timeline. Some couples are happy to just go with the flow and see how things pan out. And that’s fine! That’s great! Although some will try, don’t let your wedding photographer insist that you provide one – it’s your day and any wedding photographer worth their salt can capture the day just as it unfolds. Just keep in mind that without a timeline, you may miss out on things that, in retrospect, were important to you. You can’t blame your wedding photographer for not capturing hundreds of amazing, creative posed images in eight different locations if she only ended up with fifteen minutes to do it in. And if you weren’t interested in a wedding photography timeline, you probably wouldn’t have read this far anyway.

So, that’s it! I hope that this guide helps you in creating your own wedding photography timeline. If you have questions about any of it, just comment below and I will do my best to answer your questions.


Lara Lane Wedding Photography ~ the wedding photographer of choice for the discerning bride. 

I am available to photograph your wedding in Brisbane,  Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond! I love destination wedding photography, too – just enquire. 

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The Importance of Good Wedding Photography


As a wedding photographer, I am surrounded by people (namely, my clients and other wedding photographers) who think the same way as I do about wedding photography: that it is really important! After all, wedding photographers take their craft very seriously. We feel that our clients have trusted us to with something very special, and we strive to reward that trust by doing our utmost to provide every couple with beautiful, thoughtful images.

This is why it was such a shock to me when my friend recently commented (on the subject of my own upcoming nuptials), Really? Isn’t the most important thing the dress? The hair? The make up?

I will admit that I was taken aback. This thinking is so foreign to me. For my own wedding, I have prioritised the things that will last beyond the day – the rings and the photography. My thoughts are, I am going to be looking at that ring every day for the rest of my life. And I am going to have those wedding photos on my wall; in an album on my coffee table; I am going to be showing these images to my children and my grandchildren.

And after enough time has passed, because it is the way of things, my memory of the day itself will fade, to be replaced by the images in those photos.

To my friend I said, Well, you can have a couture dress and a hair and make up artist to the stars. You can look incredible and beautiful amazing on your day, but an unskilled photographer can still make you look bad. Bad lighting, bad angles, cheesy poses and cliched images. But you can have a simple dress and minimal make up and a good photographer will show just how beautiful you look. Will show the joy in your face and the love in your touch. The tear in your mother’s eye as she puts on your veil and the pride in your father’s face as he walks you down the aisle. And these will be your memories and the thing that, along with your love, will last.

So maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s just my perspective as a wedding photographer, but I believe in the importance of what I do. And when I see bad wedding photography, it really does hurt my heart. Choose your photographer wisely, my friends.


I am available to photograph your wedding in Brisbane, in Australia or around the world. To discuss photography for your wedding, email me on, go to my contact page or phone 0403 767 686.

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