Husband Errol Barnett sits on a dock with wife Ariana Tolbert in Jamaica during their post-wedding photoshoot by Virginia luxury wedding photographer Victoria Heer.

Post-Wedding Photoshoot: 5 Reasons to Do Them

November 17, 2020




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Husband and wife Errol Barnett and Ariana Tolbert hold hands as they walk on the dock near the water during their post-wedding photoshoot. Image by Victoria Heer, Washington DC wedding photographer.

The highlight of any wedding that I shoot, is always the couple’s portrait session. The stolen moment, when it is finally just the two of them. It is an exhalation on the wedding day – a moment to pause, take stock, be grateful. As a photographer, I know that it is a privilege to get to witness these little moments. For me, they are arguably my favorite part of any wedding shoot. But they are all too fleeting. Because of this, I’m starting to see a rising trend in couples opting for a post-wedding photoshoot, and, to me, this makes perfect sense! 

5 Reasons to Do a Post-Wedding Photoshoot

Here are 5 key reasons that couples are opting for a post-wedding photoshoot, and why you should consider one too! 

1. Freedom of Location 

No matter how dreamy your wedding venue, there are always going to be limitations on where to take your portrait photographs. When scouting for wedding venues it’s easy to get preoccupied with their capacity, their dining arrangements, their catering capabilities, their dance floor, while considering photo opportunities can unintentionally take a back seat. The reality is that many stunning venues don’t always lend themselves all that well to a photoshoot. 

When couples come to me for a post-wedding photoshoot, they typically have a stunning, adventurous, and out of the box location in mind! Whether summiting a mountain at golden hour, traversing a national park, catching the final waves of the day on a luxurious beach, or exploring city architecture – I’m always awed by the creativity and beauty of post-wedding photoshoots. 

Husband and wife Errol Barnett and Ariana Tolbert sit on a dock in Jamaica after their wedding admiring Ariana's wedding rings during their post-wedding photoshoot by fine art wedding photographer Victoria Heer.

My couples are truly free to dream up a wild and fabulous location that authentically represents them, and not have to accommodate 150 guests in the process! 

2. Adventures Can Get Dirty

When it comes to location, I believe that the more adventurous, the better. Picture a barefoot bride dancing in the sand, or a romantic moment deep in the woodland – it is an honor to get to capture people’s fairy tale romances in true fairy tale settings.

However, the reality is very few brides would like to find themselves summiting a mountain top on her wedding day. Not only is it a lot of work, but there are not many brides in the world who want to put their dress at risk of getting dirty mid-way through her wedding day, or have her dream hairstyle fall out due to a gust of wind – and I totally get it! 

Capturing these moments once the wedding day has happened, means that there is more freedom and flexibility to push the limits of possibility. It gives you time to hop in the car and adventure to a national park. Time to take to the coast and clamber the cliffside. Time to navigate the city and summit a stunning rooftop as the sun sets in the backdrop. It is totally worth it!

3. Timing is Everything

Photoshoots take time. Not every couple feels naturally comfortable in front of the camera. In my experience, time is the gift that allows my couples to relax, mellow, and lean in to enjoy the process of having their photos taken. Time allows you to experiment, be playful, and have fun. Time alleviates the pressure of capturing everything in one moment, and offers more room for silliness and spontaneity.

Planning a post-wedding photoshoot allows the bride and groom to dictate exactly when they want to shoot – and create a schedule that isn’t bound by the wedding planner’s run of the show! 

There is nothing more magical and romantic than a golden hour photoshoot. That moment when the light is gilded and your portraits are flooded with stunning golden hues, halo-ing the married couple. The reality is that oftentimes golden hour lies right in the middle of the wedding reception and speeches. It is the most anti-social moment to ask a bride and groom to leave their guests for some private portraits. A post-wedding photoshoot can be strategically tied around golden hour, ensuring the best light for the entire shoot!

4. The Right Emotional Place

While your wedding day will be the happiest day of your life, it might also be one of the most stressful. For many brides, the anxiety of the wedding day can be a lot to bear. Anxiety is no mindset to take photos in – however much you crack a smile, nervousness does tend to read on camera! 

Husband and wife Errol Barnett and Ariana Tolbert hold hands as they venture into the tropical woods in Jamaica during their post-wedding photoshoot by Virginia fine art wedding photographer Victoria Heer.

I’ve always found that a post-wedding photoshoot has a somewhat different tone. They are easier, slower-paced, with more authentic laughter and FAR less stress! Couple this with privacy (no nosey guests looming in the background) – and suddenly the pressure is totally off. I love seeing the spark and sweetness in a couple’s eyes when I know that they are truly relaxed and fully opting into the process of having their photos taken. It is such a gift to get to shoot these moments.

5. The Insurance of a Post-Wedding Photoshoot

One of the principal reasons that many couples opt for a post-wedding photoshoot is that it is an insurance piece. While all brides and grooms wish for their wedding day to be perfect, the reality is that in a busy day with lots of moving parts, there are several things which might go wrong!

Say, for instance, an unfortunate rain cloud is looming over your venue, or perhaps the bride has a break-out that even the best make up artist can’t cover. While, of course, we can hope with fingers crossed that these things don’t happen, if we’ve learned anything in 2020, it is that life can be a little unpredictable!

Having a secondary photoshoot lined up gives you a precautionary fall back. It helps to put your mind at ease and it frees the day-of photographer to focus on details and guest shots – and eliminates the pressure from capturing the perfect couple photographs in the moment.

Take Everything Into Consideration 

While I am a huge advocate for post-wedding photoshoots, they do come with some considerations. Not every bride wants to spend the cost of a second session with both a photographer and makeup artist, but in my biased opinion, it’s totally worth it!

Despite these factors, I’ve had the opportunity to capture some incredible and uniquely special moments through post-wedding shoots, that I would never have captured on the day itself. After all – your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I would encourage every newlywed couple to make the most of it by capturing as many memories as possible and having a post-wedding photoshoot is a great way to do this.



Husband and wife Errol Barnett and Ariana Tolbert lean in for a kiss. Photoshoot by Victoria Heer, fine art wedding photographer. Text overlays the image that reads, 5 reasons to do a post-wedding photoshoot
Husband Errol Barnett carries his wife Ariana Tolbert in his arms along a beach in Jamaica during their post-wedding photoshoot. Image by luxury wedding photographer Victoria Heer. Text overlays the image that reads, post-wedding photoshoot 5 reasons to do them.

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