Capturing the Special Day

A complete wedding photography guide with tips from award winning photographers.

This content is also available in: Vietnamese

Wedding photo by Tee Tran PhotographyEdited by: Therese Le & Vu Linh
Tee Tran Photography featuring Bao Han biography
Tee Tran and his wife, Bao Han.

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Tee Tran Photography

Tee Tran Photography featuring Bao Han is an award-winning wedding photography team based in Houston that travels all over the world to capture couples’ special days. Tee Tran photography believes that everyone is a star and helps its clients look and feel like one during the process. The team’s work has been selected among the Top 50 Best of the Best Engagement Photos of 2016 by Junebug Weddings and it has received numerous editor’s choice awards, including 2016 BEST of the YEAR from MyWed.

How to get the best results for pre-wedding photos:

Which locations are best? Consult with your photographer. The most important thing is to let your photographers know you on a personal level. The more they know about what you and your partner like and dislike, the better they will be able to recommend a concept to tell your story.

What about wardrobe? The wardrobe should complement the location. Choose bold colors and flying fabrics to contrast with the backdrop of the space in order to achieve a dramatic, glamorous and epic style. Bao Han sends clients several wardrobe combinations for both the groom and the bride through a Pinterest board and will even go shopping with you and have you try it on for a perfect fit.

How do we pose naturally? When it comes to posing, don’t sweat it. Make sure you are having fun, but also be confident in yourselves. A good photographer will be able to gauge your comfort level for each concept. He or she will suggest specific poses that use available or artificial light to highlight and flatter various body figures.

What good photos look like:

Light: This is the most important component. It sets the mood and tone for all of our photos. Even when you have to use artificial light such as flash, you want to make sure it stills looks natural.

Framing and composition: Composition decides what story you want to tell. You can work with the photographer to decide what needs to be included in the shot and what needs to be cut out.

Timing and relevance: Capturing and anticipating important moments is key to getting emotional and memorable photos.

Wow factor: This very subjective criteria is simply that: Wow! Be creative with your photo gallery and look for photos from your photographer that will make your guests’ jaws drop.

Toronto-based photographer Cafa Photo (Chenggang Liu)
Chenggang Liu, the man behind Cafa Photo.

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Cafa Photo

Cafa (Chenggang Liu) is a documentary wedding photographer based in Toronto who records marriage days from an artistic and dramatic “cafa” angle, to create lasting moments of love. He has won numerous awards from FEARLESS, ISPWP and PWPC in the first four years of his career. Rather than a story maker, Cafa is a story teller, portraying what the couple wishes to convey.

How to find the right wedding photographer:

Why a professional wedding photographer? Professional photographers know what to capture on your special day, so that you can relive your marriage years after. Leaving your wedding photos to a non-professional is risking your memories.

Book your venue or book your photographer first? This depends on which one is more important to you. It’s a clever idea to coordinate with your favourite wedding photographer’s calendar when choosing your wedding date.

Where do you find the best wedding photographers? Professional photography associations are a good place to start. These include FEARLESS (, ISPWP (, Wedding Photojournalist Association (, and Professional Wedding Photographers of Canada (

What mood should your photos be? Figure out what it is you really want. Most photographers are somewhere between traditional and photojournalistic. Try your best to narrow down this list: Posed or not posed, controlled or candid, primary color-toned color or light-dark, or dramatic versus natural.

Two reasons to be an early bird. Photographers always increase their charge every year. Planning and booking ahead of time can save you money. The right photographer will have a tight schedule.

How much should you spend? This is an investment for reliving your one-time memories in the future. A safe price point would be $3,000-$6,000. If you find a good photographer below this range, consider yourself very lucky.

One photographer or two working as a team? There are many reasons to go down this route – more photos, more angles, two photographers can shoot the bride and groom getting ready separately to tell the entire story. Not to mention, if something happens on your big day, at least one of the photographers will be there on time. Usually, the addition of the second photographer does not cost much.

Arrange a get-together. Meet with your photographer in advance to ensure the big day’s shooting session goes well.


Vietnam photographer Le Thien Vien bio photo.
Celebrity photographer Le Thien Vien.

Photos courtesy of Le Thien Vien

Le Thien Vien, who has been shooting since 2008, is one of the top photographers in Vietnam. His passion for photography began when he started taking photos for his friends. Eventually becoming a professional, he now has ties with most of the top notch celebrities in Vietnam including Ly Nha Ky, Miss Vietnam Thu Thao, Miss Vietnam Pham Huong, singer Thuy Tien and Ngoc Trinh. Le Thien Vien has contributed to many well-known magazines and shot ad campaigns for global brands such as Samsung, Audi and Rejoice.


Trends in Vietnam. In recent years wedding photos have had a tendency to be natural without much elaboration. Sometimes they capture a couple’s ordinary moments such as chilling out or traveling on vacation.

His style. The wedding photo style I like is also natural and not so fussy. But sometimes I’m fond of nostalgia and authenticity, in particular when shooting the áo dài.

Background, concepts and backdrops. Normally my clients and I select the background and concepts before going out to shoot. We have careful discussions on this issue. Each couple has their own personality and taste, so I just put my ego aside and go with my clients’ ideas and tastes. Seldom do I come up with a concept on my own.

What makes a great photo? A good wedding or fashion photo delivers the message it is meant to convey. It should be eye catching in composition, lighting, attitude, and emotion and portray the traits of the people featured.