Wedding Tips and Suggestions - Part 4

 This is the 4th article in a series of Tips and Suggestions for Brides to help you prepare for your Big Day.  To read more, click


In over 25 years of photographing Weddings, I've met a variety of different Brides. 


Some are very Sanguine, effervescent, and exude an "Energizer Bunny" level of non-stop energy.  Others are more reserved, with a quiter spirit. 


Still others who are very "left-brained" and approach their big day with a meticulous precission, orchestrating and finessing the finest nuanced details in order to create the "perfect" day.  If you find yourself identifying with this third group of Brides, read-on:  This instalment is for you!


If you relish overseeing every aspect of your Wedding Day, because you want to make sure every "t" is crossed and every "i" is dotted, you are in a special class of Brides.  You've probably discussed ad infinitum every possiblity and contingency which may arise - and have back-up plans for your back-up plans.  You've also probably arrived at your first Wedding Photography consultation with a fully tabulated notebook, replete with questions, lists, and pictures you've cut out from your favorite wedding magazines.


If any of this sounds familiar, let me give you a piece of advice which will make your Wedding Day everything you dreamed it would be:  Wedding Tips and Suggestions #14:  On your Wedding Day, Delegate the oversight of the details to a trusted friend.


Why?  On your Wedding Day, you need to "change hats" from that of "Wedding Planner" to that of "Bride".  


Sure, by the end of the day you may have a check mark next to every single item on the Wedding Day Checklist that you've created.  And sure, you may ultimately arrive at the end of the day, with a well-deserved smile of satisfaction, knowing you "pulled-off" the biggest, most complicated day you've ever planned without a hitch.  But, if you do, you will not have enjoyed the day as a Bride! 


Here are few suggestions in bullet point:

  • Hire only Vendors and trusted Professionals to be on your Wedding Day "team"
  • -  Because they are Professionals, loosen the reigns - and allow them to surpass your expectations!
  • -  Delegate - to a trusted friend - the responsibility of making sure everything on your Final Check List will be taken care of
  • -  Find a friend or relative who will be willing to act as "go-for" on your Wedding Day - to run errands when needed, etc
  • -  And here's the most important suggestion of all:  On the morning of  your Wedding Day, shift gears from "Wedding Planner"  to "Bride", knowing that you've done a great  job planning your Wedding!
  • -  Then enjoy - truly enjoy - you Wedding Day! 



                 You've done all the planning ...                               now enjoy your Wedding Day!


We've been helping to plan weddings for over 25 years.  Give us a call!  We're here to help.

Studio:  517-394-2192      or    Direct to Cell:  517-285-3688

Until next time!






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Robert Charles Photography - Grand Ledge Opera House


This is the 2nd in a two part series of memorable weddings from 2011.


When Kori, her Mother Patti, and younger sister Katie, stopped by the Studio for a consultation late last year, they mentioned that having the best Wedding Photography was of paramount importance. 


This isn't always the case.  When photographing weddings for another studio years ago, I recall one Groom intimating to me, "I don't know what they told you at the studio, but we just want to get the reception and open a keg!!"  Needless to say, creating great wedding memories was not foremost in their minds.


As we discussed her Wedding plans, Kori told me that her older sister had gotten married the year before, and they weren't at all pleased with the results.  I was told how her sister's photographer had approached the family just after the Toasts were given, saying, "My battery died.  I guess I'm going home."  And the photographer left!  No cake cutting pictures.  No First Dance pictures.  No Bouquet and Garter Pictures - or other festivity-pictures spanning the next 4 hours of Reception.


I shook my head in disbelief.


I felt bad for their experience, knowing that in today's digital world, there are a great many undertrained photo "enthusiasts" offering their services who all too frequently offer disappointing results.  I reassured her that, having photographed Weddings since 1978 - including "top tier" weddings in the Detroit area for over 12 years - I looked forward to the opportunity of being on her team and creating some absolutely beautiful wedding images for her!


On her June 25th Wedding Day, Kori looked resplendent!  Out of the hundreds captured, some of her photos include:


                             Kori - at the Opera House Gazebo - with the first images of the day!



                     With her Bridesmaids ...                                               and new husband Nathan



                                      After a long day, Kori and Nathan had one last dance


What I remembered most from Kori's wedding was her sister Katie's gratitude at the end of the day.  After being asked to use her "point and shoot" pocket camera to finish covering her sister's Reception the year before, sister Katie was so relieved that Kori had been in good hands during the 14 hours of her Wedding Day.


Kori's Mother was gracious in later writing, 

                   "My Daughter was Married this June and Robert Charles was amazing to work with!  He is truly a Professional - the creativity in his photography is wonderful!  Robert also makes everyone @ ease on a very busy and special day.  I highly encourage everyone to use Robert for any event - especially a Wedding."  


What could be more rewarding?

Until next time.


To see a quick 30 second video of Kori, follow this link:

To see more of Rob's work, click on  and see his Galleries!


Categorized In: lansing michigan wedding photographer | michigan wedding photographer | outdoor wedding photography | wedding photography lansing michigan

Grand Ledge Opera House & Robert Charles Photography


This is the 1st in a 2 part series on memorable weddings in 2011.


When Catrice and Jonathan scheduled their wedding for August 14th, they had no idea what they were in store for.  Their Wedding and Reception were held at the Grand Ledge Opera House, a site with unique charm - and one of my favoirite locations.


When I suggested to Catrice that we work together to create some incredible Wedding Images, she was 100% on board.  That is not always the case.  Too often, wedding photography today has devolved into a collection of haphazard snapshots collected throughout the day, resembling something similar to a family gettogether  or backyard BBQ.  I've always believed that you, the Bride and Groom, have a lot to contribute by working together to create awe-inspiring images which will be remembered for a lifetime.


OK, by now you've probably realized I'm a romantic at heart.  I admit it.  (And I also watch "chick flicks" - just don't tell anyone!) 


Prior to their wedding, I had the opportunity to get to know Catrice and Jonathan by way of an Engagement Session from February. Here is one of their images:



     Now, on to their Wedding:

Despite some foreboding skies and a threatening weather report, I was anxious to create some incredible images. We started with Catrice outdoors, under heavily clouded skies.


To see more pictures of Catrice:


My Wedding Philosophy is simple:  If a Bride has spent $800-1200 - or substantially more - on a Dress which will be used for a single event, her pictures should show an amount of Refinement and Craftsmanship which will stand the test of time.  Sure, there will be opportunities throughout the day to collect images as the day unfolds, but I encourage Brides not to shortchange themselves by settling for "snapshots".  My suggestion:  Make sure your Photographer plans on setting aside time to Create some incredible images!  Fewer and fewer do today.


Although these images are memorable, it was what happened during the Ceremony which I will never forget! 


After a number of breif "rain delays", Catrice and Jonathan agreed to forge ahead with their outdoor Ceremony.  The rain briefly abated and Catrice descended the huge staircase to the outdoor patio, making her way to the end of the aisle.  At this point, the skies opened up with a downpour not seen since Noah built his ark!  


     Rain speckles the camera lens ...         but Catrice and Jonathan, much to their credit, decide to soldier-on.


                   Umbrellas in full array,                               Catrice and Jonathan share a First Kiss


What I remembered most about this Wedding:  Sometimes a "perfect wedding day" is remembered more for the feelings and emotions exchanged between two people than the weather conditions!


Until next time,



To see more of Rob's work, just follow this link and click on Galleries:  




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Planning Your Wedding - More Tips and Suggestions


Planning a Wedding is a big undertaking!  With numerous decisions, both big and small, staying on top of things can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming.  We understand!

So to help you with your planning, we've compiled a list of Tips and Suggestions (a.k.a. "10 Common Pitfalls to Avoid") into a Handout which each Bride receives at our Studio.  These are now available on line:


To these 10, we'd like to add numbers 11-13.  We hope they are helpful as you plan your Big Day!

11.  Hi-Res DVD   If you are planning on obtaining a Hi-Res DVD of your Wedding Images, know what you will be receiving - or you may be in for a surprise!  This information is so critical, that we've written a comprehensive blog post for you:

12.  Hot Summer Days and Fresh Flowers   If you're planning your wedding for the warm Summer months of June, July or August and plan on using fresh flowers, then take steps to keep them looking fresh and crisp throughout the day!  Bring along a large cooler and empty a bag of ice into the bottom.  Then place a couple newspaper sections on top of the ice.  Bingo!  You've got a portable "refrigerator" which will pay huge dividends in having your Bouquet look great all day long.


13.   Wedding Dress - Delivery Date   Even though you've ordered your dress well in advance of your Wedding Day, it is common for dress retailers to set a delivery date just prior to the date of your Ceremony.  To avoid unnecessary worries over its timely arrival, sizing concerns, and possible alterations which may still need to be made as you come down the "home stretch", set a delivery date at least one month prior to your Ceremony date.   You are going to have a lot of last minute concerns; a great looking/great fitting dress doesn't need to be one of them!



 We're here to help you put it all together!  If you have any questions, we can help.  Call us - we're here for you  517-394-2192.

Until next time,



 See more images by following this link and click on Galleries!  

Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photographers | lansing michigan wedding photographer | michigan wedding photographer | outdoor wedding photography | wedding photography lansing michigan

Wedding Reception Entertainment - Part 1


Your Wedding Reception is the culmination of a day filled with emotion and festivity.  The Entertainment you choose is meant to enhance a day that will live on in your memories for years to come.  So you ask, "How do I choose the band or DJ which will leave my guests talking about 'the great time we had' for days and weeks to come?" 

As a Wedding Photographer, wedding receptions provide me with the opportunity to sample a large number of Bands and DJ's from the area.  Some, it is obvious, are polished and have honed their craft to provide the finest in musical entertainment.  Others seem to be navigating in uncharted waters, apparently capable of doing little more than feeding an unending supply of CD's into awaiting computer drives and otherwise providing little in the way of real entertainment.

First, decide if you'd like to have a live Band, or recorded music.  Live bands come in all varieties and ranges across the musical spectrum.  Some are highly professional in presentation and conduct; others see a wedding reception as a way to "make a couple of bucks" on their way to becoming "stars".  Below is a quick list of considerations, if you are thinking of booking a band for your reception.  Look for a band that:

  1. Has Longevity.     Many bands come and go, with few lasting for more than a year.  Find a Band which has been around for a while - perhaps 3 or 4 years - which shows a strong sense of stability
  2. Specialize in Weddings.  A recent wedding this past summer featured a "Thrash" Band.  Although entertaining in a concert setting, it was just painful to watch the "Father-Daughter Dance".
  3. Is Professional.  How will they dress?  Will one of the band members act as Master of Cerimony and give announcements and help give assistance in coordinating the events of the reception?
  4. Has some business sense.  Do they use contracts, spelling out important considerations including:
  • Start time
  • Ending time
  • Length of breaks
  • Number of breaks
  • Music provided during breaks
  • Lighting equipment that will be provided
  • Sound equipment which will be used
  • Wireless/additional mics provided for use during toasts
  • Learning of requested songs
  • Providing food for band members
  • Deposits required
  • Full payment to be paid at what time 

In the mid-Michigan area, we highly recommend - without reservation - the "Life Support" band.  With over 100 years of professional experience, Life Support provides a slick, highly professional, seemless presentation which will leave your guests reminiscing about your wedding reception for weeks to come.  For more information, just click on this link    Talented Keyboardist Ricky Nalett is also available to provide dinner music


As a general rule, bands tend to be a bit more expensive, but the feel of live entertainment by a select group of accomplished musicians may be the capstone of a perfect day!



                                  Guitar Player and Singer from the "Grupo Aldaco" band


Remember your Wedding Day with exquisite photography from Robert Charles Photography!

see more of our photography at


Categorized In: bands lansing michigan | grupo aldaco lansing michigan | live bands lansing michigan | michigan wedding photographer | wedding photography lansing michigan

Hi-Res DVDs


If you've read earlier RCP posts, you may have read some of our Tips and Suggestions if you are planning an upcoming wedding.

Today I wanted to mention a subject which has been largely ignored, but which may be of great importance to you as you survey the myriad of options available today in Wedding Photography.

Frequently we hear future Brides ask if a High Resolution (Hi-Res) DVD comes with a Package.  A Hi-Res DVD grants the Bride and Groom the right to print as many images as they desire.  On its face, this sounds like a great idea; however, if you look a little deeper, you can avoid "Pitfall #11".

With the advent of Digital Capture, Brides are often deluged with a proliferation of images taken on their Wedding Day.  Almost invariably, little - if anything - is done to adjust, enhance and retouch them.  To do so would require 15-18 hours of studio time per wedding - and that is NOT going to happen with a large Studio which may photograph as many as 4-8 weddings in a given week.  Most Studios will choose perhaps a dozen images - out of the hundreds and hundreds captured - and use those as representative samples from your wedding.

Bridal "guides" have not yet picked up on the fact that if you obtain a Hi-Res DVD of your images you will undoubtedly be receiving a "rough draft" version of your images which are not (yet) fit to be printed!

One Studio has solved this problem by placing an asterisk next to the offer for a Hi-Res DVD.  When traced to the bottom of the pamphlet, the reader finds:  "Studio does not warrant or guarantee the quality of images printed from this DVD".

 The bottom line?  Know what you are going to be receiving if you intend to print your own prints from a Hi-Res DVD!

At RCP, we take the time to adjust, enhance and retouch every image before you see them to make them "Lab-Ready".  Hi-Res DVD's from RCP are manicured to bring them to the state of beauty which you expect to find in finer Wedding Photography.  Here are a couple of examples from a wedding just a two weeks ago:


                    Here is the image our Bride received




                       This is the original - before enhancing and retouching.


Let me ask you:  Which one do you prefer? 


On a wedding day, our Brides go to great lengths to find the perfect dress, have their hair done, and pay close attention to countless nuances to make sure they look their best.  Shouldn't your Wedding Images show you in the best possible light also?

Here are a couple more side-by-side images:


                     "Lab-Ready" image                              Image without enhancing and retouching   


Here is the bottom line:  If you are interested in obtaining a Hi-Res DVD, be sure you know what you will be receiving! 

Here are some suggestions:

  • If you are intent on obtaining a Hi-Res DVD, avoid Photographers who "shoot and burn" or "shoot and post".  These images will be in "rough draft" form and not suitable for printing
  • Ask your Photographer if ALL images from your Wedding Day will be adjusted, enhanced, and retouched
  • Be sure that all your Wedding Day images are "Lab-Ready" 


 If you have further questions regarding Hi-Res DVD's, feel free to email Robert Charles Photography at .   We're here to help!






Categorized In: hi res dvd | lansing michigan wedding photographers | lansing michigan wedding photography | michigan wedding photographer | outdoor wedding photography

Something Brand New: High Tech Video!!

Robert Charles Photography is now offering something brand new:  Animated Images!  This is something you have to see to believe!  Your Wedding Images presented in a way you'll never forget!

Just click on the link below to see the new Animated Images from Robert Charles Photography.  It's HOT!

 (Kevin & Tina's  August 15 Wedding - a  wedding to remember!)


You have to see it, to believe it!

Until next time,



Categorized In: lansing michigan wedding photographer | michigan wedding photographer | wedding photographer lansing michigan