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Top tips for WOW beach wedding photos by Vincent from Pixan Photography






This guide has been written to help couples planning a beach wedding to realize their dreams and preserve memories of these moments for a lifetime or more.


Since arriving in Mexico little over 6 years ago, I have learned a lot about destination weddings, especially beach resort weddings in Mexico. In that time the various photography businesses under my direction have captured over 8,000 destination weddings. As a company director with a great passion and enthusiasm for photography, I have personally photographed over 150 weddings and continue to love to do so with much gumption. I feel truly blessed to have become friends and acquaintances with so many wonderful young couples and their families during this time. It’s an absolute pleasure to have played my part in their wedding day.







Think about this…... Besides your fiancé you will probably spend more time with the photographer and / or videographer on your wedding day then you will with anyone else, so you better make sure that you get on, connect and trust them.


The wonderful thing about event photography is that if you were to ask 2 photographers to cover the same event, they will always come back with different pictures. No 2 photographers are the same. They come in all shapes and sizes + photography styles, techniques, equipment and service can differ enormously.


Here is a list of some of the different styles of wedding photography:



Wedding Photography with a fashion sense

Wedding photo journalism

WOW posed pictures

Tradition formal posed and group photos

Lifestyle wedding photos

Adventure Wedding Photos

Party and event photography


There are a lot of great photographers out there who are specialists in one or two of the above styles, but only few who can do it all. So be mindful of this. For example a wedding photojournalist photographer maybe able to WOW you with a portfolio of images that are packed full of emotion, but is he/she able or willing to direct a large group to capture a group photo or that family portrait your grand mother will so dearly appreciate ? Likewize a trendy superstar photographer with a great fashion sense maybe able to shoot some WOW photos of you and your fiancé, but do you really want to take a lot of time away from your guests on your wedding day to go on a location photo shoot and pose like a model? And is that same photographer happy to shoot event and party photos at your table or on the dance floor later on in the evening ?


In my opinion different photography styles and skill sets are required throughout the wedding day. A good photographer must have the ability to deliver in each moment. So find a photographer who can perform well at the moments of your wedding that are most important to you.


Here are some suggestions of skills a good photographer should have the ability to perform at different moments during a wedding day


Getting ready:





Couples or immediate wedding party photo shoot:

Fashion, WOW, people control, fun. lifestyle posing, motion assisted posing, documentary











Hire a photographer who is based in the destination or past experience shooting in your chosen destination.



  • All photographers who enter Mexico or other countries should have a legal work permit.
  • They are used to weather conditions.
  • They speak the language.
  • They are likely to be familiar with the hotel wedding co-ordinations and operations staff.
  • You are not short of talent. Some of the best photographers in the world live in the most popular wedding destinations

Look at photographers portfolios on the web, recommendations for friends or other wedding professionals and see which style of photos you like the most. If you can’t make a final selection at this point select your favorite 3.


Contact all 3 photographers, find out their rates and try to get a telephone or Skype consultation.



  1. Hire a quality photographer that is local to the destination and /or has past experience shooting there.
  2. Look at the portfolios for photographers on the internet or who have been referred to you by friends or other wedding professionals. Make a list of 3 potential options.
  3. Reach out to them to request a free telephone, Skype or better still, an onsite consultation.
  4. Ask the photographer questions to make sure that they can deliver the style of photography that you like for each part of your wedding day.
  5. Listen to hear what the photographer has to say. Does he or she ask you questions to try to get to know you better, do they make an effort to find out who you are and what you are looking for? Do they sound genuinely interested in you?
  6. Make a Pintrest board with all your favorite wedding photos that you can find online and share it with the photographer.
  7. Hire the photographer who you connect with the most, who’s portfolio you like the best, who seemed most willing to collaborate with you and was most enthusiastic about learning more about you, your ideas and your wedding plans.
  8. Create a must-have shot list and confirm it with your photographer and / or videographer.
  9. If you desire professionals to capture both stills and motion pictures during your wedding its a good idea to hire one company that provides both services or at least 2 vendors who have experience working together and enjoyed the experience. At the very least it's a good idea to insist that the photographer and videographer talk to each other before the event
  10. Have your photographer and videographer provide you with a detailed service contract with clear expectations and dates for delivery of images and/or video.


  1. Hire a photographer that you have not had any contact with whatsoever before your wedding day
  2. Hire a photographer who attempts to desuade you from using a videographer or visa versa.
  3. Hire a photographer who has never shot or at least visited your wedding destination.
  4. Take a friend or family member with a DSLR up on their offer to shoot your wedding photos and video.


  1. At Pixan photography we offer free consultation because we believe that the best wedding photos are captured when we get to know my clients, the people we photograph and then bring that out in their images over a very short period of time. We want to connect so that your joy to becomes our joy, that way we see the details, the important things, we notice life, emotions, passions, feelings and the personal connections that make you and your loved ones so special. This is what makes really great photographs - and our jobs - so special. Learning about what makes you who you are, the people you love and the story you have to share. That's our favorite part of being a photographer.
  2. Pixan lead photographers are experienced photographers who can shoot in a variety of styles.
  3. Pixan assistant photographers are all specialist in at least 2 styles of photography.
  4. We love to listen to our clients and collaborate with their ideas as it helps us to define and ultimately exceed expectations.
  5. Pixan photography and video staff work together and actively assist each other throughout events.
  6. Pixan contracts present clearly stated expectations and dates for delivery.


Work with your wedding planner, hotel coordinator, photographer and videographer to define a wedding day time line. Consider enough time to complete the shot list that you have defined with your photographer.


I was once at a wedding where the bride fainted because of the heat. It was a british couple getting married in Cancun. They decided to get married at 12 noon because they wanted their wedding day to last all day. DO NOT GET MARRIED AT 12 NOON on a beach in the caribbean or anywhere in Mexico, it’s simply too hot and humid. It is best to choose a time in the late afternoon or evening. If you have a big shot list for your photo and video team to get through before the sun goes down, it might be an idea to organize a bride and groom’s "1st look” a couple of hours before the ceremony and get some of those photos done then. This also means that you will spend less time away from your family and friends during the event. I highly recommend it.




  1. Create a “Must Have Shot List" with your photographer and videographer team
  2. Define the length of time you will need to take your non-documentary or photo journalist photos.
  3. Plan your wedding day timeline with your photographer and videographer to ensure that you allow sufficient time to capture the images you have requested on your shot list.


  1. Get married outside on the beach under the mid day sun.
  2. Set your photographer up for failure by failing to plan the day with sufficient time to capture the photos that you requested.



Every couple is unique, each wedding is different. During our pre-wedding consultation with our clients we work together to formulate a wedding day timeline or review an existing timeline to ensure that there is enough time to capture all the requested images.










For the bride:

Don't wear shoes with high heels. They don't work well on the sand.

Wear a wedding gown that is suitable for the beach and is not designed to be worn with high heals.


For the Bridesmaids and flower girls:

Light summer dresses.

No heavy garments or high heals.


For the groom and grooms men.

Light summer wear, do not rent heavily traditional hat top and tails from your local suit rental shop. It's simply way too hot for that on a beach in Mexico or the Caribbean. I’ve seen grooms faint during the ceremony due to being overdressed and thus overheating.


Color design.

Make sure colors don't clash!



I find the easiest way of working out color is to look at a color wheel and remembering this simple rule:


Colors next to each others are best friends and go well together. Colors directly opposite are “In Love” as they are in complete contrast with each other.






While the sea breeze on a beach is both relaxing and refreshing, it can also seriously mess with your hair.

The sun, heat, humidity and salt can easily combine to dramatically change your hairstyle in minutes.

I've photographed many a ceremony where the bride had chosen to have her hair styled with a fringe or "bangs" as you say in America and the sea breeze just kept on blowing hair over the brides eyes and across her face, so she spent the whole ceremony pushing her hair out of her face with her fingers. The surefire best plan is to have your hair tied back and out of your face.


Make up:


​I'm not a hair and makeup expert but experience has shown me that if you can afford it, hire a good makeup artists. Airbrush spray gun makeup is truly the secret weapon and the only style of makeup that is likely to last all night in hot humid conditions. So if you want to look amazing for your reception's party, airbrush spray gun makeup is the way to go. It certainly helps us photographers out. Check out these before and after photos from makeup artist Mildred Trevino Rodrigues email: mildredtrevino@gmail.com Tel: 0052 14765711









  1. Wear cloths that you will feel comfortable in.
  2. Make sure that the colors that you decide work together, as well as with the colors of the natural environment.
  3. Hire a good makeup artist that used airbrush spray gun makeup.
  4. Style your hair so that it looks great in the sea breeze.


  1. Get married in the mid day sun
  2. Wear high healed shoes
  3. Buy a wedding dress that requires you to wear high healed shoes.
  4. Wear thick, heavy gowns or suits.
  5. Rent top hat and tales from your local suit rental company.
  6. Wear makeup that is not waterproof.
  7. Style you hair with a fringe, "Bangs" or in your face. The sea breeze is likely to ruin it.








Most weddings last just one day, but your pictures should last for a lifetime or more. Make sure that you talk to your photographer about the final product. Be sure to find out when, where and how you will receive your images. In todays hi-tech, connected world, your photos should be safely secured in the cloud, on a disc and in print form. The latest printing and album making techniques promise better print quality then every before with high quality materials that should last 100 years or more.



  1. Ask your photographer for information about how your proof photos or digital negatives will be delivered and safely stored.
  2. View samples of photo books and albums. Check the quality.
  3. Inquire about the album design process. How does the process work?
  4. View print and canvas samples, check the quality.
  5. Ask for a copyright release form. Some photo labs in the US and Canada will not print professional photos without one.


  1. Forget to ask about delivery of your images
  2. Accept Low resolution images
  3. Accept low quality prints or albums from any professional photographer



At Pixan Photography we own our very own professional photography lab which crafts arguable the finest photo books / albums and fine art prints in Mexico.





With every wedding coverage we include a mini-website, photo slideshow and online gallery which provides you with the ability to share, socialize, collaborate and safely archive your wedding images in the cloud.




To learn more about Pixan Photography or to view our full range of final products, please click on the images +links below to launch digital versions of our latest wedding photography magazine and full 2014 print product brochure.


Pixan-Photography-Wedding-Magazine-April-2014.jpg Pixan-Photography-Print-Product-Brochure-2014-Cover2.jpg


Pixan April 2014 Wedding Magazine Pixan Print 2014 Print Product Brochure






As a photographer, I find that the best wedding photos are captured when I get involved and connect with the event, when I truly get to know my clients, the people I photograph and then bring that out in their images over a very short period of time. This is what makes really great photographs - and my job - so special. Learning about what makes you who you are, the people you love and the story you have to share. That's my favorite part of being a photographer.



If you'd like to see more from Pixan Photography, please be sure to click on the various portfolio and welcome guide links in my signature below.


Thank you very much for taking the time to read this post. If you have any questions regarding your wedding planning that you think I maybe able to help you with please feel free to ask. I'm here to help.


Happy Planning






Facebook.pngGoogle+.pngPinterest.pngVincent van den Berg | www.pixanphoto.com | vincent@pixanphoto.com

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