WEDDINGS

ENGAGEMENTS

for brides

editorial

PORTRAITS

I'm Elizabeth Gelineau, a photographer, dreamer, and accidental entrepreneur. Based in my hometown of Mobile, Ala., I photograph portraits, weddings and events on both sides of Mobile Bay. Grab a cup of coffee (or other beverage of your choice) and enjoy browsing around. I'm so glad you stopped by!

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth.

Read More

browse by category

Stay In Touch!

sign up for the newsletter

Open Post

What You Didn’t See Before Wedding days can fly by in a blur. Sometimes, right after the couple makes their grand exit from the reception, I find myself wondering how the day went by so quickly. I can only imagine how my brides and grooms feel! Thankfully, we have the photos to remind us of […]

December 28, 2018

What You Didn’t See Before

Wedding days can fly by in a blur. Sometimes, right after the couple makes their grand exit from the reception, I find myself wondering how the day went by so quickly. I can only imagine how my brides and grooms feel! Thankfully, we have the photos to remind us of all those fleeting moments and tiny details. When I sort through all the photos taken on a wedding day, I have a folder that I label “Behind the Scenes” for those special shots that won’t make it into my clients’ final galleries, but will make it into this year-end wrap up blog post.

I am usually horrified by the photos I see of myself in “wedding day mode” because for some reason I often look mad. My cheeks hurt from smiling a lot at the end of every wedding, but that smile never seems to be showing in the behind-the-scenes snaps. I also notice that my camera bag causes me to have terrible posture. Definitely something to work on for next year! Despite my horror at looking at photos of myself, these behind-the-scenes shots remind me of how blessed I am to work with such amazing people on wedding days. They help me do my job well and they also help make the days fun. Enjoy this look at our year from a different perspective than you’ve seen before!

I begin almost every wedding day by photographing details in the bridal suite. This is the portion of the day that takes more time than everyone thinks. Styling details is time consuming and requires concentration. I usually focus on those shots while my second photographer takes candids of the bride finishing up her hair and makeup. The dress is usually the first detail I photograph. Finding a place to hang it can be tricky sometimes!

My assistant (and cousin!), Allyson, mans my phone on wedding days. It helps keep me in touch with the wedding planner and my second photographer if we’re all at different locations.

Sometimes she’s an impromptu babysitter. Her two nephews have given her a lot of practice!

We spend the day taking photos, but we also spend a lot of time helping our brides with their dresses.

I have exactly four dresses that I wear to work a wedding…two for spring/summer and two for fall/winter. So if it weren’t for the brides and grooms looking different, you’d think from these photos that I only worked two weddings this year. Allyson has a much more diverse wedding day wardrobe. Maybe I need to have her be my personal shopper as well…

We do a lot of light testing…because nice even lighting is essential for First Looks and portrait time!

My second photographers and assistants also help me get those romantic veil shots that we all love!

And they help me stay on time and remember any important photo requests!

I love all aspects of a wedding day, but the ceremony is ultimately the reason we are there in the first place. My favorite moments on wedding days usually occur during the ceremony. You just can’t beat the joy of those moments!

Did I mention that we think about cake…all day long?

We’ll even help you cut it if you ask! 😉

Side note, sometimes I look REALLY MAD when I look at the back of my camera. I promise that I’m perfectly happy. I just don’t seem to smile when I’m thinking about my camera settings.

Even when I’m frowning at my camera, I’m still like this on the inside!

When it comes to receptions, we don’t fear the dance floor.

And we LOVE Second Lines and grand exits!

Jacob has worked more weddings with me this year than any other second photographer. After a couple years of working together, he practically reads my mind by this point, which is both scary and amazing! He’s usually the one to take individual bridal party portraits, while I focus on the group shots. He’s also a frequent light tester.

Debby was one of my 2018 brides and one of my second photographers this year! She is also my dear friend. I know she’s been secretly waiting for me to share this photo all year long! 😉

We take our jobs very seriously, but we also like to have fun! One time, Jacob couldn’t find me and Allyson in the bridal suite because we were hidden by a wall of dresses! In addition to Jacob and Debby, I also got to work with two other second photographers this year! Anna Filly and Alyx Gardner helped me out during the spring busy season. It was such a treat to work with new friends!

Jacob’s sweet wife, Aubrey, even joined me for a wedding as an assistant!

It was so fun working with both of the Bennetts!

Jacob and Allyson were by my side for the majority of my wedding days. I am so thankful to work with both of them!!! They both have hearts for service and help me take such good care of my clients. They also understand my addiction to Perrier and peanut butter sandwiches. No bride wants a photographer who is thirsty and hangry.

To all of the lovely people who have been following my work for the last year, or years, thank you! I so appreciate you following along! To all of my sweet clients, thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives in this special way! It is truly an honor and a joy to get to serve you! Thank you for making 2018 the best year yet for my photography business! Happy New Year!

Category:

Behind the Scenes | 2018

2018

Open Post

Tips for Your Bridal Session I have written about my love of the bridal session before. It is one of our great Southern bride traditions that I adore. I remember being a little girl and going with my Aunt Diane to one of her wedding gown fittings. It must have been close to the wedding […]

September 13, 2018

Tips for Your Bridal Session

I have written about my love of the bridal session before. It is one of our great Southern bride traditions that I adore. I remember being a little girl and going with my Aunt Diane to one of her wedding gown fittings. It must have been close to the wedding day because her dress looked perfect! My grandmother hung that bridal portrait in her living room. It remained in the same spot until my grandparents passed away. That’s because the bridal portrait is a timeless treasure.

Brides who choose to embrace the bridal portrait tradition are sure to have a few questions ahead of their session. This is a big moment! They want to get it right. It will likely be the first time they put on their full wedding day ensemble, from the dress and veil, to the shoes and the jewelry. During my time as a wedding photographer there are several questions I get repeatedly. How to prepare for the bridal portrait session is one of those frequently asked questions. I love when my brides ask questions because it allows me an opportunity to help them avoid things that might cause stress. I have developed many tips for a successful bridal session and today I’m sharing those with y’all! Read on for my go-to tips!

 

When to Schedule Your Bridal Session

The scheduling of your bridal portrait session is going to revolve around the final fitting for your wedding dress. We can’t do the session until the dress is ready, so I tell all my brides who are doing bridal sessions to contact me as soon as they get their final fitting date. Once we know when the dress should be ready, we can get a date on my calendar for the bridal session. If we’re doing the session outdoors, scheduling for a month, or two, ahead of wedding day is ideal in case we have to reschedule due to inclement weather. If we are doing the bridal session indoors, weather will not affect our plans, which is a bonus when we’re less than 30 days ahead of wedding day.

How to Pick a Location

There are so many options when it comes to the location for your bridal session. Some brides choose to have their bridal portraits taken at the venue where they will be married, or are having their reception. This will allow their bridal portraits to flow easily into their wedding album, along with the photos from wedding day. Other brides choose to select a location that they love, but aren’t using for their wedding day. Some of my favorites in the Alabama Gulf Coast area include The Pillars, The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, The History Museum of Mobile, The Mobile Botanical Gardens, Bellingrath Gardens, and The Grand Hotel.

Most locations,  including those mentioned here, will charge a session fee in order to shoot on the property unless you’re also having your wedding at the venue. It is worth it to pay these fees for these great locations because you’re usually given access to a dressing area and the venues are somewhat private, meaning there won’t be a lot of other sessions going on at the same time as yours.

What to Bring

Before your bridal session, think through everything you’ll be wearing on wedding day. The checklist might seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget one or two elements if you don’t make a checklist. So take a few minutes to think through the process of getting dressed to ensure you don’t forget something: dress (and any special undergarments), shoes, veil, hair pieces, belt/sash and jewelry. It’s also a good idea to bring a white sheet and some towels in case the ground is moist. We want to protect the dress and shoes from getting dirty! In Mobile we get a lot of rain, so sometimes a white shower curtain is a helpful item to bring along since it will put a waterproof barrier between the dress and the ground. If you’re doing your bridal session outside in a warm month, be sure to bring some bottles of water.

The bridal bouquet is also a great addition to your bridal session! Many florists will have the option to add on a smaller version of your wedding day bouquet for your bridal portraits. Be sure to ask about this option when you’re discussing your bouquet with your florist. I love having the bouquet at the bridal session because it gives you something to do with your hands. It also brings your wedding color palette into your bridal portraits!

Who to Bring

Bridal sessions are always fun when you share the experience with someone who is close to you. Bring your mom, sister or maid-of-honor along to help with moving around in the dress. I always love when the mother of the bride is able to come along. It really makes the experience extra special for the bride and I love having mom’s help for things like veil tosses and fluffing the dress. Be careful of bringing too many people though! One to two helpers is a good number. Inviting your entire bridal party might be a bit overwhelming! Debby really wanted a veil toss picture at her bridal session and Momma Sandy did a great job of helping me out with that shot!

After Your Session

The bridal session is a great trial run! Make note of anything that needs to be different on wedding day. Carefully inspect your dress before you store it away for the next few weeks. If there are bits of grass, pine straw or leaves attached to the hem, make sure to remove them so they won’t stain the dress. If you need to steam out wrinkles do that before wedding week arrives. That is one task that you don’t want to leave to last minute. If you decide you want to wear a different necklace, or make a change with your hair and makeup, you have time to do so! Some brides even choose to do a completely different makeup and hair style for their bridals just for fun. It’s really up to you and how you want to embrace your bridal session!

Want more tips like these? Subscribe to my newsletter and download my e-book for brides!

Have questions about bridal portrait sessions? Let me know in the comments.

Now booking 2019 Weddings! Spring dates are filling up fast!

Contact me for availability!

 

 

Category:

Bridal Portraits

Weddings

Open Post

Sacred Heart Catholic Church Album Tropical Storm Gordon altered my week quite a bit. I intended to publish my weekly blog post on my usual day of Wednesday. But Mother Nature had other plans. What was a pretty mild tropical system ended up leaving me without power for 18 hours. It was a mild inconvenience […]

September 6, 2018

Sacred Heart Catholic Church Album

Tropical Storm Gordon altered my week quite a bit. I intended to publish my weekly blog post on my usual day of Wednesday. But Mother Nature had other plans. What was a pretty mild tropical system ended up leaving me without power for 18 hours. It was a mild inconvenience considering our Alabama Gulf Coast has experienced far worse from storms in the past. After eating up my monthly data on my phone, I decided that I was going to embrace the break that was being forced on me. I also said some prayers of thanksgiving for the cloud cover that kept things tolerable indoors without air conditioning.

I typically deliver wedding albums within four to six months of the wedding date. My clients have the opportunity to provide input on the album design. The process usually takes a few weeks to complete. After my clients approve the design, I order the album. Getting that shipment with the wedding album is one of the most rewarding aspects of the whole process. It’s like the “The End” at the end of a classic movie, or the “Epilogue” at the end of a good book. I hold my breath as I flip through the pages for the first time, hoping my clients relish the moment just as much as I do.

I photograph the albums before I ship them to my clients for two reasons. First, I love being able to show samples of the designs to my other clients when they are trying to decide on cover material and personalization options. Second, I want to remember how the album turned out! If I could order a sample album of every wedding, I totally would. But that’s just not realistic. Thankfully, the photographs help me remember how the album looked!

Photographing my clients’ albums is also a creative project for me! I love styling a shot or two for these posts on the albums. For this album, I chose to incorporate hints of light pink because it reminded me of the pink accents on Maggie and Ross’s wedding invitations! Take a look at how their album turned out below!

This is one of my favorite spreads!!! All the beautiful details were brought together by the amazing team at Jenna Laine Weddings.

My album designer, Andrea, knows that I love an all black and white spread! This is one of my favorites she’s done for me!

Why should you order your album from your wedding photographer? For one, one of the most common things I hear people who are married say in relation to wedding photos is, “I wish I’d ordered the album from my photographer.” With digital photos making it easy to go the DIY route, many have good intentions to make their own album post wedding. But they get overwhelmed. How will they ever decide on their favorites. Then life gets busy. After a while, the months turn into years and you still haven’t printed those photos! I tell all of my brides that my goal is always to tell the story of their wedding day and to preserve their memories for future generations. Part of preserving those memories comes in the form of a wedding album that can be enjoyed for many years to come!


Check out Maggie & Ross’s wedding post!

Album Design by Andrea at Align Album Design

Now booking 2019 dates! Contact me for availability!

Category:

Maggie + Ross | Album Love

Weddings

Open Post

Tips for Printing Your Favorite Photographs Did you know that printing is an art? Consumer print labs are in such abundance today that it’s easy to forget that printing is an art form. My very first job was at a photography studio. I worked in the office (I had no idea I’d one day be a […]

July 27, 2018

Tips for Printing Your Favorite Photographs

Did you know that printing is an art? Consumer print labs are in such abundance today that it’s easy to forget that printing is an art form. My very first job was at a photography studio. I worked in the office (I had no idea I’d one day be a photographer). I remember hearing the lab technician at the studio talk about printing and the difference between consumer and professional print labs. This was back in the day when film was still the main medium used by professional photographers.

I didn’t understand what she meant by the difference. She would mention things about ink and printer quality, but it all went over my head. One day I decided to have a roll of film developed from a trip I’d taken to France. I wanted to frame some of my favorite shots in a collage. So I took my film into work and had some 4x6s printed. When I got those prints home and compared them to the ones in my photo album that were printed at Walmart, I was AMAZED at the difference. The colors were SO MUCH BETTER in the prints from the pro-lab at the studio where I worked. I went back to work the next day and asked why the pro-lab prints were so much better. That was what opened my eyes to the differences between professional print labs and labs that offer free prints by the hundreds.

Do I print all my personal photos at a professional lab? No. But when it’s something special that I’m going to hang on my wall, or place in a tabletop frame, I definitely think it’s worth it to go the pro-lab route. Digital images are included with all of my packages, so I want my clients to feel free to print photos on their own, but there are definitely some tips for getting good results. Today I’m sharing some of those tips with y’all! I’m calling this post Printing 101!

 

It starts with where you print

Where you print your photos matters. Big box stores offer low prices and if you’ve just gotten back from your honeymoon, or that Disney World vacation and have hundreds of photos to print, that might be the best route to go. Don’t let those photos just live on your phone. However, if you’re gifting some photos from your latest portrait session to grandma and grandpa for Christmas, you probably want to be a bit more selective about where you print.

Mpix.com has long been my favorite online source for consumer prints. This is the best online consumer lab that I’ve been able to find and I personally use them to print all my personal prints that I want to put in photo albums just as documentation. They’re the option in between big box stores and professional labs. Their quality has always been consistent for me and the best results I’ve gotten outside of printing from my pro-lab. Locally, we have Calagaz Photo, which is my favorite place to get my personal photos printed when I need them ASAP. Prints size 8×10 or smaller are usually ready within one hour. Larger sizes may take a few days. If you’re local to Mobile, Alabama and need prints quickly, this is the place to go. You can even order them online so you only have to go to the store for pickup.

 

Why is there a price difference?

It comes down to printer, ink and paper quality. Professional labs are going to have the best. Inks and paper from a pro-lab will retain their quality over a longer period of time. The pro-lab I use for all of my client print orders estimates their prints will still look as good in 100 years as they do today, provided that they are not exposed to excessive sunlight, water damage, etc. I have prints from Shutterfly that are barely 10 years old that have already started to fade quite a bit (and that’s even the ones that have been in acid free photo albums). Big box stores can offer lower prices and lots of free prints because they are printing on lower quality paper with lower quality ink. This is why you’ll often see less vibrance in big box store prints when compared to pro-lab prints.

 

Color Correction & Your Prints

Many consumer labs apply color correction to photographs when printing. This is because the average person’s photos need a little correction to brightness, contrast and color. When printing professionally edited photographs, applying further color correction when printing will often cause the final print to appear too red, too blue or too green. They can also over saturate, or desaturate, the colors, completely altering the final look of the photo. If you’ve invested in a portrait session with a photographer whose style you love, then you want your prints to come out the way they edited them, not the way the mass-production consumer lab altered them to appear. When ordering from consumer labs, look for an option to “Print Files Without Color Correction” for a more accurate result. Mpix.com has an option in the shopping cart to turn off color correction. When I order from Calagaz, I simply write in the notes section on the order form to “Print Files As Is Without Color Correction.”

 

Prints vs. Photo Books vs. Specialty Products

Many online consumer labs have various tiers of print quality. I’ve noticed that standard 4×6 prints from many online labs are often darker, duller and more green tinted than photos I print from my professional lab. However, I have many clients that use online consumer labs to make photo books and these seem to use higher quality papers and inks. Consider what you’re printing when making a decision about where to print. For photo books, I personally love Blurb and Apple photo books. Both have easy to use design software and the print quality is consistent and very close to my pro-lab product prints.

 

How Ratios Affect Printing

Have you ever ordered that 8×10 photo only to discover that it trimmed off some of the people in the shot? This happens because the 8×10 ratio is a different ratio than the camera’s native ratio. This is why I often shoot group shots with lots of breathing room around the edges. If it’s something I think a client will want at size 8×10, 11×14 or 16×20, I know those ratios are going to cut into my shot quite a bit. Keep ratios in mind when ordering prints and be sure to adjust your “crop” in the shopping cart. By default, online shopping carts will center the trim lines, but this isn’t always the best option depending on the photo. Be sure to double check all the trimming before hitting that “Place Order” button. When my clients order from their online galleries, I always double check the trimming for this very reason.

Below is an example of adjusting the crop in the shopping cart. With this portrait, Katie and Patrick aren’t terribly off center in the frame, so the center crop is still decent. However, if they were further off center in the original composition, the center crop would not work.

For this particular portrait, I prefer the crop adjusted so that Katie and Patrick are centered in the frame.

Don’t forget to hit “Save” after adjusting your crop!

 

Enlargements

Size maters. If printing a professionally taken portrait at a size larger than size 8×10, it’s probably best to order that print directly from your photographer so that they can prepare the file for printing at that specific size. Sometimes little details stand out so much more on an enlargement than they do on sizes 8×10 or smaller. I include a fine tune retouch for all prints that my clients order above size 8×10. You also want those enlargements to have the best possible color quality and sharpness since they’re likely to be on display for many years to come. I love the gallery wall that I have in my office. I am always rotating out some of my favorite prints. These are all size 11×14. This also helps me keep a check on my monitor calibration to make sure I’m seeing accurate color when I edit!

 

Don’t Forget to Print

Yes, our phones make it super easy for us to have quick access to all our photos, but there is something wonderfully nostalgic about printing your photos and framing them, or creating printed photo books. Don’t forget to print those photos that you paid to have taken, or those favorite cell phone shots that you’ve made your profile picture on Facebook. I love to make photo books from vacations, or special milestones. Every year I make calendars for my immediate family that double as an “album of the year” and contain several of my favorite photos. I mix in iPhone shots right along with my professional photos.

If you take a lot of photos on your phone (as most of us do), then check out Chatbooks. It’s a great way to document everyday life. My dear friend Laura has an amazing collection and says that her daughters love nothing more than flipping through them. Check out her display in the photo below! I loved capturing her Chatbooks collection when I did a “Day in the Life” portrait session for her family!

chatbooks stacked on library cabinet

 

That’s it for Printing 101! I hope this post inspires you to print some of your favorite photos.

If you have questions, please drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them! Happy Printing!

 

Looking for an Alabama Portrait and Wedding Photographer? Contact me for packages and availability!

Category:

Print Your Photos

Tutorials

Open Post

A Grand Hotel Wedding Album The wedding album is the perfect way to preserve the story of your wedding day. While it can’t hold all the photos that are delivered in your online gallery, it can highlight all the important moments. It truly tells the story of the wedding day from beginning to end. When […]

June 20, 2018

A Grand Hotel Wedding Album

The wedding album is the perfect way to preserve the story of your wedding day. While it can’t hold all the photos that are delivered in your online gallery, it can highlight all the important moments. It truly tells the story of the wedding day from beginning to end. When the albums arrive from the printer, I photograph them. I know that I’ll likely never see the printed book again once I ship it to my clients, so photographing it allows me to remember how the final design turned out.

I bring a sample album to all my bridal consultations. It is my favorite way to walk through a wedding day with a bride-to-be. I’m a visual person, so I think it’s helpful to see what the day can look like via the album. It’s always fun for me to pull that album out of the box. I’m only sad that I can’t have a sample of every album! Now that would be such a dream!

The day that Katie and Trent’s album arrived, I was like a kid getting a birthday present! I could not wait to unwrap it and flip through the pages. I knew I was going to photograph the album, but a recent rediscovery of my middle-school stamp collection (who knew that they would one day end up so useful!) led to me doing some styled flatlays featuring this gorgeous linen album. I loved the color Katie chose for the cover. It went so perfectly with their wedding day colors! I also loved that it just so happened to match my brand colors!

I was particularly excited about the custom cover embossing, a new feature for my 2018 albums! Plus, I am obsessed with this script font! Check out this beautiful album, designed by Andrea with Align Album Design.

One of my favorite spreads in this album!

I absolutely LOVE an all black and white spread!

The most gorgeous details all in one spread! Jenna Laine Weddings did such an amazing job on this wedding!

The gold embossing combined with the light grey linen cover was such a beautiful selection!

I photograph the albums primarily for documentation purposes, but it was fun to do a few styled shots too! When I was in middle school I collected stamps. My grandmother and all her friends would save stamps for me. I never imagined they’d do more than sit in a binder. Now I’m glad that I saved them because they are perfect for styling flatlays!

Check out Katie and Trent’s wedding post here!

Looking for Mobile Alabama wedding photographers? I’m now booking for 2019 wedding dates!

Contact me for details on packages and availability!

Category:

Katie + Trent | Album Love

Weddings

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth.

Read More

I'm Elizabeth Gelineau, a photographer, dreamer, and accidental entrepreneur. Based in my hometown of Mobile, Ala., I photograph portraits, weddings and events on both sides of Mobile Bay. Grab a cup of coffee (or other beverage of your choice) and enjoy browsing around. I'm so glad you stopped by!

Stay In Touch!

sign up for the newsletter

timeless - authentic - heartfelt

Join our newsletter community

for exclusive content delivered to your Inbox!