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Kauai Photography: Best Times of Day and How Much Time You Need

Kauai Photography: Best Times of Day and How Much Time You Need


The more guests you have, the more time you will need. A good rule of thumb is 3 minutes per picture setup.

Kauai photography

for the most part is an outdoor activity, due to the warm tropical Hawaiian temperatures year-round, as well as the spectacular natural beauty you can use as a backdrop for your photos. However, if you’re new to Kauai or the Hawaiian islands, there are some things you need to know first, if you’re about to have your photos taken, whether they be wedding photos or family photos. Below are some basics are Kauai photography timing we have learned from our experience as a professional photography company.

Kauai Photography Timing: Best Times of Day

In Hawaii, the best time of day for photos is sunset, but we suggest starting your Kauai photography shoot around 90 minutes before the sun actually sets, depending on the season. At the height of summer (Summer Solstice) the sun sets around 7.30pm here. Obviously, you need to allow more time if you are having a Kauai wedding reception. It’s definitely preferable to use natural light if possible. Natural light is superior to a photographer using a flash, which makes skin look too white or artificial.

Kauai Photography Timing: How Much Time You Need

The amount of time you need depends on how many guests you have, but a good rule of thumb is 3 minutes per picture setup. This doesn’t necessarily mean 3 minutes per guest, because you have have a guest in several pictures or combinations, e.g. a photo of you and your mother, a photo of you, your mother and your father, a photo of you, your mother and your aunt, etc. By the way, the wedding ceremony itself normally takes around 15-20 minutes, and when you add in signing the wedding license and people’s congratulations, it’s around 30 minutes.

Life’s Too Short to Get your Wedding Day Wrong!

Photography is our passion. Please contact us or call Timory McDonald Photography on 888-939-3885 for a free consultation. Remember, we are wedding coordinators too! We are happy to provide wedding planning tips also.

Why Choose Timory McDonald Photography?

Why Choose Timory McDonald Photography?


Why choose Timory McDonald Photography? We pride ourselves on giving you exceptional wedding photos, like this one above on a Kauai, Hawaii cliff.

Why choose Timory McDonald Photography?

Photography is our passion. We love taking wedding photos! With years of experience on the sand, on the grass, by the waterfalls and in the jungles of Kauai, taking shots at outdoor weddings, we have developed our Kauai wedding photography into a high-quality service. Timory McDonald Photography is about excellence, inspiration and classy photography you’ll remember forever.

Capture the Inspiration

Timory McDonald Photography aims to capture the inspiration and excitement of a wedding, which is all about new beginnings. The story of your lives together is still yours to write, no matter how many years you’ve been together. There’s something idealistic and magical about that. Our Kauai wedding photography is not just pictures of a day, a moment or a glance; it’s a snapshot of unrealized potential. It’s the creation of a story out of a collection of images that not only show the first moments of your marriage, but also the very first moments of the rest of your lives together.

Kauai Wedding Photography – The Way You Want It

We’re here to document your wedding day the way you want it. We can be up close, doing whatever it takes to reveal the wonder of Who You Are as a couple. We can be unobtrusive and stand back from afar. Or we can be both – whichever way you prefer. Our photography is not only taking and editing photos, but also capturing your essence as individuals and together as a couple.

Timory McDonald Photography: Affordable Quality

We are committed to giving you quality wedding photos at an affordable price. We deliver top value at any budget, and we attend to every detail. We offer a large quantity of photos – with both of our wedding photography packages, you receive every photo we shoot. With us, the entire process is easy, and only a small deposit is needed to reserve your date.

Lastly, we make the whole experience personable and fun, because after all, happy people create better photos!

Life’s Too Short to Get your Wedding Day Wrong!

Photography is our passion. Please contact us or call Timory McDonald Photography on 888-939-3885 for a free consultation. Remember, we are wedding coordinators too! We are happy to provide wedding planning during your shoot.

The Why and How of Getting Ready and Wreck-the-Dress Photos

The Why and How of Getting Ready and Wreck-the-Dress Photos


Both wreck-the-dress photos and getting ready shots can be fun!

Getting ready photos, and wreck-the-dress photos,

can be a whole lot of fun. When you look at a couple or more hundred photos after your wedding, it’s really important to have diversity in them. Getting ready photos, as well as wreck-the-dress photos, are two possibilities to create a more well rounded series of photos to document your special day. Besides, it’s nice to look back on the whole day and remember it, even those nervous moments getting dressed up beforehand!

Getting Ready Photos

What are getting ready photos, and why have them?

People tend to forget about allotting some of their photo time for getting ready shots. Remember, the wedding photos are supposed to be telling a story of your day … which is a whole lot more than just the 15 minute ceremony! Getting ready photos display the bride and the things/people that are important to her. Getting ready photos set the stage for anticipation and how important it was to the bride to be, at her best, for the love of her life. If she’s lucky enough to have friends or family there in the room to help her get ready, it’s also a chance to visually tell a story of how important that friendship/person helping her get ready is to her. Some of the best father/daughter, mother/daughter or best friend shots we’ve seen have been taken before the bride even got to the ceremony.

What is the timing for getting ready shots?

Getting ready shots can mean anything from Timory getting there for an hour before your wedding (or more) to just arriving in your room 10 min before you walk out the door to your ceremony and doing (or just reenacting if you’re trying to cut costs on photography time) a few of the more key getting ready shots. There are a lot of examples on my site of getting ready shots here:



A good example of a wreck-the-dress photo where the bride only goes in the water a little.

Wreck-the-Dress Photos

What do you have to do, and why bother with wreck-the-dress photos?

As you can see from the link below, wreck-the-dress photos also add a depth of diversity to the entire photo shoot. They can be as simple as you walking at the water’s edge of a pool or the ocean. You don’t need to get more than the bottom of your legs wet. They can also be more adventurous, going half way in or further. They are the shots that show you as a fun couple (remember, we are showing through images who you are as a couple together) being relaxed, spontaneous, adventurous or playful. Trust us, people stuck in the box never do these … so they set you apart from the rest as adventurous!

What is the timing for wreck-the-dress photos?

The timing for wreck-the-dress photos can be very short, or longer if you prefer. They can be as simple as 5 minutes at the end of the wedding photo shoot getting only your legs wet, or longer playing in the water and getting fairly wet. You do NOT need to go all the way in to get great shots. Going up to your waist is about as far as most people go in. You can forget about your photographer; these are mostly candid shots. Just look at each other, play around for a few minutes, and before you know it you’re done (these are normally the guy’s favorite part of the shoot!). Then, you just go change your clothes and go off to eat (or whatever you have planned next) … and your dress will dry and be cleaned perfectly fine. Your hair/makeup does not need to be touched and it does not stain the dress nor need extra clean up beyond changing your clothes.


Changing Locations

When making plans for either getting ready shots or a change of background shots, people often want to know how the timing works for changing locations in terms of what they are paying for. Generally speaking, the getting ready photos are done next to or closet to their wedding location. If this is the case, then we do not charge for a change of fee location. As long as the change of location is not too lengthy, Timory is very generous with her time and is happy to stop the “photography clock” to help make these very special shots work better for people’s budget. If the change of locations is further away, just give us a ring and check … we are very fair, and we will make it work for you.

Final Wedding Photo Tips

Finally, here are a few final tips to help your photos turn out amazingly.

Many brides are concerned about looking good on their wedding day. Some are worried about looking heavier than they’d like to in their wedding photos. There, we said it! Although Timory has no special trick to take 20 pounds off of you when editing the photos, she does have some tricks up her sleeve. She knows some good slimming poses as well as how to hide things that bug us about ourselves. Just let Caitlin or Timory know what your sensitivities are, and she can help you out with how she takes the photos, what she crops out, hides or accentuates. Timory can really help if you give her a heads up on what you want, or don’t want. As a woman, she understands well that us women have a tendency to be overly critical of our bodies, and Timory is great at working with this to make sure that the photos don’t just look great to other people, but that you look great to you!

Consider whether you want to have your guests holding phones/cameras during the ceremony. It’s fine with us what you choose, but do be aware that small crowd of people taking photos of your special moment is not necessary (you’ll have all the photos you need from us!) and also looks distracting in an otherwise romantic and beautiful photo. Consider asking your guests to wait until after they are in the photographs too to take out their cameras and assure them that you can share your photos with them later.

How Much Time Do I Need for My Wedding Photography?

How Much Time Do I Need for My Wedding Photography?

Kauai wedding photography time – how much do you need?

Do not assume that the package you picked out has the appropriate amount of photo time for your needs. Many people come to Kauai and get married with no guests. Some packages do not always allow enough time for the number of guests you have. The amount of time you’ll need for your wedding photos depends mostly on 4 things:

  1. How many guests are in the photo shoot?
  2. Are there any young kids in the photo shoot?
  3. How many types of photos do you want from the photo shoot?
  4. Do you have a videographer?

So how much Kauai wedding photography time do you need? Here are the bare bones: the ceremony normally takes around 15 minutes (unless you have a lot of extras or your own minister). That means you need about 25+ minutes of your photo time to go towards the ceremony, congratulations and signing of the official documents. Then, each couple will need a good 30 minutes alone with their photographer to really capture their love and the best shots of the day. That only leaves about 5 minutes extra if you are considering having your photos done in an hour. If you have no guests, kids or videographer, this is enough time; but if so, you’ll need more time – read below.

1. How many guests are in the photo shoot?

Obviously, the more people you have at your wedding, the more photography time you need. If there are less than 4-5 people, and it’s a simple straightforward photo shoot with no multiple purposes for the photos nor clothing changes, then 75 minutes is often enough. If there are 5 or more people, we highly recommend considering the 90+ minute option.

A good rule of thumb is to count on it taking 3 minutes per pose, assuming there are no kids.

Here’s an example of how long the “bare bones/no fluff” photos take with only 2 guests and no kids: let’s say you are a small group of 4 people total (bride and groom plus 1 couple), and you don’t think you need much of any photos with your guests. Then let’s say you want at least 2 poses of the whole group. This would mean 2 poses x 3 minutes, which equals 6 minutes. Then let’s say you want a photo with each of your 2 guests with the bride/groom, that would mean 2 poses x 3 minutes, or an additional 6 minutes. That would still be a total of 12 minutes of photos.

You can imagine if you have more than 2 guests, that the combinations of what photos you want would add up fairly quickly. We recommend making a list of what photos you might want, multiplying that list by 3, and you’ll have a good estimate of how many minutes you’ll need for guest photos.

General estimates if you don’t want to do the math:

  • No guests       60 min photo time
  • 2-5 guests      75 min photo time
  • 6-10 guests    90 min photo time
  • 10+ guests      more than 90 min photo time

2. Are there any young kids in the photo shoot?

Obviously, the younger the kids are, or the more kids there are, the more time you need. Kids do not do well being rushed! Kids will likely become cranky if they feel they have to perform under pressure – we know from personal experience! (That is, unless you are lucky enough to have a photo loving little girl who just loves to smile for the camera every time!)

3. How many types of photos do you want from the photo shoot?

People often say they only need a few photos, and that’s totally fine. However, before you throw away a chance to get a lot of bang for just a little extra buck, consider this: the most expensive part of hiring a professional photographer is the first 30 minutes. After that it’s fairly inexpensive to add on more time. Since most people do not have professional photo shoots very often, we recommend doing everything you can in a few minutes at the end if there is time. The most important aim of the photo shoot is normally to get some GREAT couple shots and a couple of good group shots too if there are guests. However, once that is achieved, in the same photo shoot for little or no additional cost Timory would also like to help you get Individual Shots, Couple Shots and the same group/individual/couple shots with a Different Background nearby (often just a few feet away facing a different direction) with no lei on so the photos have a unique feel to them.

4. Do you have a videographer?

If you have a videographer, you will simply need an additional 15-30 minutes of still photography time. The reason is simple: if you have 2 people trying to take the same shot of you and your love, you need to do most of the same things twice, once looking at the still camera, then again looking at the video camera. The little bit of extra time is WELL worth the priceless value of having a video to cherish and watch together each year on your anniversary!

Why First Class Wedding Photography Is So Important

Why First Class Wedding Photography Is So Important

First class wedding photography is a very important aspect

to pay attention to when planning your wedding. It will make a huge difference when you look back on your special day. First class wedding photography will help preserve your memories and bring back a smile. As you age, that is priceless. At your wedding, any of your guests could take hundreds of candid shots of the ceremony and the bride and groom, but how many of those types of pictures would you blow up to an 8 x 10 and put on your wall, table or mantel? How many of those would you keep for decades to share with your grandkids as the picture that encapsulated your wedding day?

When you choose Timory McDonald Wedding Photography, you’re choosing someone who is going to take that “shot of the year” that you send out to all your friends and family as the picture that captured your love – the love that is so deep that it prompted you to take the long journey out to the Hawaiian islands and have a Kauai beach wedding. That is a deep love and a long expensive journey, and it’s not something so easily captured by an amateur photographer.

Amateur Photography vs. Professional Photography

Let’s just say that you do have a friend or relative who has a semi professional camera (and who can take some good shots). What about post production? What about digital image editing? To really have that sensational photo on your mantel, you’ll need a professional who can touch the photo up in a variety of ways, e.g. enhancing the colors, removing or adding something, etc. It makes the difference between a “nice” photo included in an album of many nice photos, and that “must get enlarged and keep for posterity” photo that become the photo of your wedding.

What Makes a Photo Great?

You may be wondering: what makes a photo great? Is it just the editing? Editing helps, but no, there’s much more to it than that. Photography is both a science and an art. Every person will have a subjective idea of what makes a photo great, but there are some generalities. Sometimes it’s the classic big smile. Other times it’s the ability capture a typical look on someone’s face. We think that first class wedding photography captures a deep sentiment between people. Sometimes you can set that picture up, but often you can’t. It takes a keen eye, a lot of experience and a lot of intuition to catch that special moment when two people in love give each other the glance that lets you see into their souls.


First class wedding photography is so important. Anyone can take some shots, but only a professional knows how to capture a couple’s intimate love.

When you can look at someone’s eyes and see into how they feel, that’s great photography.

When you have a child or shy person let go of that fear and open up for just a moment, that’s great photography.

Remember, your wedding photos are not just some wedding detail. They are the keepsakes, the images which you will look at for many years to come to remember your Hawaiian wedding experience. They’re the photographs that someday your kids will view and comment upon.

Taking your wedding memories from good to great is why it’s essential to get first class wedding photography. We believe that photography is not only important now, but its value goes up as time goes by. It deserves to rate very highly on your list of wedding priorities.

One last benefit to using a professional photographer at your wedding is the service you receive (in addition to the photos). If you want something cropped differently, removed or in any way altered, there is a professional who will do this for you, usually at no extra cost. If something happens to your copy of the digital images, you can have an extra back up too.

Save Your Wedding Photo by Checking This Top 10 List

Save Your Wedding Photo by Checking This Top 10 List


Would you like to learn how to save your wedding photo? This list of 10 things ensures some little detail does not spoil an otherwise perfect wedding photo!

Save your wedding photo!

If you’re getting married on a Hawaiian beach, make sure your wedding photos come out just perfect by following these top 10 tips:

Save Your Wedding Photo Tip #1: Be Aware of Highly Visible or Misplaced Bras

Many bridal gowns are strapless. Some show the shoulder and fall down yet the bra often stays up visibly in place higher.

Save Your Wedding Photo Tip #2: Watch Out for Hair in the Wrong Place

Wedding photos on Kauai usually take place on the beach. It can be windy! Choose a wedding hairstyle that will both look good and stay in place easily.

Save Your Wedding Photo Tip #3: Look Out for Side Boobs

May sound funny, but side boobs are something to be aware of for women wearing certain dresses. It of course depends on the dress and whether your arms are up or down.

Save Your Wedding Photo Tip #4: Beware of Smeared Mascara

Since Kauai is a tropical location, watch out for smeared mascara or makeup, whether from crying or from the heat on those beautiful Hawaiian beaches.

Save Your Wedding Photo Tip #5: Watch Out for Lipstick which has Worn Off or is Smudged

This one is very common. Lipstick can come off, or can get smudged above and below the lips so that looks like a clown (especially after the first kiss!). There is a simple way to fix this: just bring more of it. Have someone in your wedding party grab your lipstick and mirror for you, so you can quickly re-apply it. Usually there is a lull after the ceremony during the signing of the marriage license documents – this is a good chance to do it.

Save Your Wedding Photo Tip #6: Be Aware of the Inner Part of the Wedding Gown Folding Out

Wedding gowns often have multiple layers – be sure to keep the inner ones tucked away and hidden under the outer ones.

Save Your Wedding Photo Tip #7: Look Out for Zipper or Buttons Pulling Apart

Watch out for undone zippers or buttons getting loose and falling off.

Save Your Wedding Photo Tip #8: Watch Out for Flower Hairpieces Falling Out or Turning Brown

Normally flowers are picked that day, if you have ordered wedding flowers on Kauai for your ceremony. It’s unlikely they would turn brown, but if you leave them out of the fridge in a hot car for a few hours they might. Also, ensure the flowers are clipped on tightly for the photo shoot.

Save Your Wedding Photo Tip #9: Look Out for Leis or Necklaces Falling Off Center

Leis are made with a ribbon on one part of the circle. This normally sits at the nape or back of the neck when the lie is worn. Look out for leis that start falling off center. The same goes for necklaces.

Save Your Wedding Photo Tip #10: Be Aware of Beads of Sweat on your Forehead

Lastly, remember that Kauai is a warm climate, and you may sweat under the hot sun during a wedding photo shoot. It’s much easier and better to fix this at the time of taking photos than trying to photoshop it out later. Have a tissue handy, take some pictures in the shade or rest for a minute.

Remember, it only takes one little thing to ruin an otherwise marvelous wedding photo. Pay attention to these 10 tips and read more here. Good luck creating some superb wedding photos to treasure forever!