Looking your Best on your Wedding Day

... You've done a masterful job planning your Wedding Day - from the style of Boutineers for the Groomsmen to the imprinting on the color-coordinated napkins at the Reception.  You've got every detail covered.  Maybe.


As a Wedding Photographer with over 30 years experience, I've found that the most overlooked detail of the Bride's Wedding Day may also be the most important:  The finished look of a Bride's makeup.


Since her early teen years, many young women have routinely started their day by reaching for the same collection of cosmetics and applied them habitually in the same manner.  But on a day as big as your Wedding Day, you may want to give your "finishing touches" a second thought.  For the Bride who wants to have "all her bases covered", we've enlisted the help of a number of Experts for you to look your best.  In the first of two instalments, make-up artist Steve Moore of the Moore Agency in Atlanta, and Deanna Rene of Scottsdale, Arizona lend their expertise in a Top 10 list of Tips and Suggestions for the discerning Bride who wants to look her best.  We hope you find them helpful.


  1. If you have the option, always Use a Professional Makeup Artist on a big day such as your Wedding.  Professionals are trained to see things you routinely overlook.  And they have the inside track on the latest styles and techniques to make you look your best!
  2. If you opt for doing your own make-up, the most important tip to remember is to blend, blend, blend your make-up.  Want to add a little blush?  Blend it seamlessly.  Under eye cover?  Blend it.  War Paint is out.  Natural is in.
  3. Use less makeup for a day wedding and be a little more dramatic for the evening. 
  4. For the under eye, use a moisturized concealer.  You may want to blend it with a skin cream if you need additional moisturizing. 
  5. If you make any changes from your day-to-day look, make sure you Do a Trial Run to make sure your updated "look" works.  The morning of your Wedding Day will be more stress free if you are confident in your preparation.


We have a few more Tips and Suggestions to add in our segment.  But remember, your Photographer is in your corner - even after your Wedding Day - helping to make your Wedding Pictures look their best!   Ask your Photographer for advice.  We're here to help!

          Shawna - Senior session (before)      


                                                           Shawna - with complete Retouching   


Make sure your Photograper will be providing Retouching on all your images.  You'll look great!


Until next time!



Categorized In: | helpful wedding tips | wedding make | wedding makeup tips | wedding retouching | wedding tips and suggestions

Bridal Wedding Albums - and More!

So, you're getting married....  You need a Photographer, and are pretty sure what style of Wedding Photography you're looking for.  The next question is ... what form will those Memories take?  What will you have in your hands when all is said and done? 


It wasn't long ago that the typical Bride was given but two choices for their Wedding images:  Have them placed in a fully finished Traditional Wedding Album or have loose Enlargements printed.


The Traditional Album, with Enlargements ranging in size from 4x5's to 8x10's, typically contained pockets into which the Enlargements were placed.  Although supremely constructed and considered "top of the line" at the time, their unimaginative format "failed to stir one's soul", as I like to say.  Because of this, many Brides opted instead for loose Enlargements, ingloriously stuffing their memories into an envelope or box, and rarely being seen by friends or family. 


All this has changed with the digital age.  (Background cheers sounding in the distance....)  Today's Bride has some new and exciting options:

Flush Mount Albums are now all the rage in displaying and sharing your Wedding Images with friends and family.  Incorporating the best in Graphic Arts design, the Flush Mount Album has caught the fancy of Brides across the spectum - and from across the country.  Why are they different?


First, each Spread Page (both the left and right sides of an open Album) is thematically unique.  You may have, for example, a Spread Page of the "Bride Alone":


Or a page with "Cake Cutting":



These images are either fused together, overlaped, merged, collaged, or otherwise graphically placed in a way which never fails to elicite "ooows" and "aaahs" as the viewer is pictorally transported back to the time of your Wedding Celebration.  Instead of being shelved in a box, Flush Mount Albums find themselves on coffee tables awaiting the next guest or relative who may drop by and muses, "I heard you got married this past year".


At RCP, we don't "farm out" the Album creating process.  Owner Rob Annis personally takes the time to design each Flush Mount Album (FMA) himself, creating unforgetable pages of your memories.  All FMA's are constructed from the finest Leather and include up to two lines of imprinting on the cover.  Classy.  Definitely worth showing to your friends.


In addition to the new FMA's, it is not unusual for Brides today to inquire about another possibility:  Receiving their images on a disk for archiving - and possibly printing Enlargements themselves.  At first blush, it would seem that being able to "print your own" is a no-brainer.  What drawbacks could there possibly be?  Answer:  Well over 99% of all wedding photographers are guilty of providing "rough draft" images to their Brides when they supply "Hi-Res" DVD's.  I personally find this to be crime, as most unsuspecting Brides are expecting their Wedding Images to have been completely Enhanced and Retouched (I call it "Lab-Ready") and fully believe they will be able to have beautiful finished pictures made.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  At least be aware of what you are bargaining for.  I have a blog article written on just this topic.


The bottom line:  Have in mind the end product you would like to have and show to your friends and family.  Whether it's a Flush Mount Album or Hi-Res DVD, you'll be way ahead of the game.






Until next time,








Categorized In: | bridal albums | bridal wedding albums | flush mount album | grand rapids wedding photography | hi-res dvd | lansing wedding albums | lansing wedding photography | wedding albums | wedding pictures

Creative Wedding Photography - Photographing a Wedding under less than ideal conditions

  • Published May 28th, 2012 by Robert Charles Photography
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We all hope for ideal weather when "the big Day" approaches, but sometimes Mother Nature has other plans.  However, less than ideal weather conditions should not be a reason for your Professional Photographer to provide you with less than stellar images that he/she has created for you of your Wedding Day!


Here in Michigan, our "Wedding Season" is usually limited to the months of mid-April through mid-November, and during these 7 months, we are never guaranteed sunny, blue skies on any given Saturday.  And as a Professional Wedding Photographer, I am charged with always capturing images which reflect the glory of a day which may have been planned for months in advance.


This was the case for Theresa and Tony's early March Wedding.  With temperatures in the low 50's and a strong NW wind blowing, Theresa opted for the confines of the church, rather than brave the inclimate out of doors.  Many "weekend warrior" photographers suffer substantial trepidations at the thought of having to photograph an entire wedding in doors. 


We did some creative problem solving and used only existing light to photograph all participants prior to the Ceremony.  Here are some of those images:



   Theresa with her Father



With our "Painter's Touch" FX  


                            Here is our finished Spread Page, created for Theresa's Album



            And her Family Spread Page


Not always will we be able to use the great outdoors as our natural Studio.  Sometimes using the existing light indoors - and molding it creatively - produces equally good results!


See our quick 30 second "Animated Images!" video of Theresa & Tony (below)!


Until next time!


Categorized In: | creative wedding photography | grand rapids wedding photography | indoor wedding photography | professional wedding photography | wedding photography

Banquet Photography


For the eighth year running, Robert Charles Photography has been privileged to provide photography for a local High School's Winter Homecoming Banquet.   This year's Banquet was held at The Kellogg Center, a part of Michigan State University. 


Every Location shoot brings with it a set of challenges which require adaptation in order to create the best possible images given the limitations of the environment.  This year, the room accommodations included a lower than optimum nine foot ceiling and very tight quarters for a full-length backdrop, large softboxes and, of course, yours truly.  Instead of using my usual set-up - including a hair light and gridded side kicker lights, we resigned ourselves to two large (6' x 4') softboxes.   


Photographer's note:  Why use softboxes which are so large?  With today's digital cameras, we've found that smaller light sources tend to be too "specular", producing unwanted hot spots, while the larger variety of softbox produces a gentle, softer, more forgiving quality of light.  Does it make a difference?  You decide.  Here are a couple of images from the banquet:



            Homecoming Queen and King                                       Lexie and Zach



One of the advantages of photographing a School Banquet where one's kids attend is being able to use the opportunity to create a great portrait of one's own children.  My two older offspring are to the left; all four kids on the right.  The portrait of all four children now hangs in our family living room.


Next week RCP will be photographing a prominent law firm in town for use on the back page of the Yellow Pages phone book.  We look forward to the opportunities and challenges of photographing on location!

Until next time,



Categorized In: | banquet photography | formal photography | location photography