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4 Steps To A Perfect Save The Date Photo

Vineyard engagement photos - How to take the perfect save the date photo by Toronto wedding photographer Lisa Mark

Are you one of the many couples who want to send out a save the date card to your potential wedding guests?  Save the date cards have become increasingly popular in the last several years. With a little help from your wedding photographer, you can end up with a gorgeous photograph to use on your save the date cards, and maybe even your wedding invitations! Read on for 4 helpful tips to get the most out of your save the date card photo!

STEP #1 – Hire a professional photographer

It’s simple really – if you invest in a professional photographer and do your research beforehand, you can do an engagement shoot and end up with gorgeous portraits to use not only for your save the date cards, but also at your wedding. Think of framing a few of your favourite shots on the welcome table, having a ‘signing mat’ around a larger print, or having a canvas wrap made. You can also order a signing guestbook via your photographer, or create a consumer-level signing book yourself using one of the many online consumer printers. It’s best to do your engagement shoot with your wedding photographer so you have a chance to get to know the photographer before the actual wedding day.

How to take the perfect save the date photo by Toronto wedding photographer Lisa Mark

STEP #2 – Plan your engagement shoot far enough in advance

Together with your photographer and your printer, you can plan to photograph your engagement portraits and send out your save the date cards in plenty of time before you tie the knot (ideally four to six months before the wedding date for a local wedding and one year in advance for a destination wedding to give your guests time to save up). Don’t forget, your photographer will need turn around time to edit your images, so ensure you ask them when you first book them how long they will need to deliver your finished images.  Another great perk of doing your engagement shoot a long time ahead of your wedding date is that you can generally pick your favourite season, and the best location that goes along with it. I recently compiled a list of the best photography locations in Toronto, and each location has its own unique look during every season. Below, you can see a photo from a lavender farm engagement shoot I did during a particular time in the summer when the lavender was in full bloom. This shoot simply wouldn’t have been possible in the spring or autumn.

Here’s a tip – many photographers sell save the date cards, so if you order via your photographer it should make the process even easier!

The printer you have chosen for your save the date cards also needs time to print & ship your cards to you, and then you need to mail them out to your guests. Short on time? Consider electronic save the date cards instead! It’s not only super eco-friendly (and wallet friendly!), but modern brides love how fast their save the date cards can be delivered via email vs. traditional mail.

Lavender field engagement photos - How to take the perfect save the date card photo by Toronto wedding photographer Lisa Mark

STEP #3 – Tell your photographer what design you like

Ideally, if you pick your save the date card design before your engagement session, your photographer can shoot a few frames with the card’s design in mind. For example, the image shown below would be perfect for a save the date card because there’s negative space where the text can go, above the happy couple.

Silhouette of couple - How to take the perfect save the date photo by Toronto wedding photographer Lisa Mark

STEP #4 – Ensure you get the high resolution files for the cards

While high resolution jpeg files aren’t necessarily required if you are doing an electronic save the date card or wedding invitation, high resolution jpeg files ARE super important when you are printing anything! Your printer will have specific requirements, and if you run into any issues, please check with your photographer to ensure you have a full resolution file to use, instead of a web-sized preview file. Even if your photographer has emailed you a high resolution file, be careful because email programs are notorious for down-sizing hi-res images to web-size preview images, and many people accidentally download these instead of the correct file.

There’s nothing worse from a photographer’s perspective than a client accidentally using a low resolution web-sized image file and it looking terrible and pixelated! This is one more reason to order your save the date cards via your wedding photographer.

So, there’s four steps to having an awesome photo for your save the date cards! Is there anything I missed? Please let me know by leaving a comment below!

Cheers,
Lisa

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