A Photographer’s Guide to Gorgeous Invitation Shots

Shooting details is the very first thing on my schedule when I show up to a wedding day. I ask all my couples to make me a “Lucy box” that I can grab that has everything you want photographed – your invitation suite (invitation, RSVP card, details card, envelope, etc), any other matching paper, shoes, jewelry, veil, heirloom pieces that may have special significance to you, the bouquet, boutonnieres, and some loose florals to play with. Aside from wanting to document all these items that you spent months and alotofmoney curating, having a solid number of details (not just for flatlays, but throughout all your decor) is an essential part of having your wedding featured if that’s something you’re into.

Your invitation suite is a BIG part of these detail shots. It sets the tone for your event – it gives guests and Facebook viewers alike the first glimpse into the vibe of your wedding. Here’s a quick breakdown of some different styles of invitation suites, and what types of invites photograph the most beautifully:

1. Photographic invitations. To be honest, this is (in my opinion) the type of invitation that is the hardest to photograph. I shoot film and part of the beauty of film is the unique color tones. Thus, when taking a photo of a photo, the color shifts have a tendency to misrepresent the way the photo on the invitation looks. Don’t let this discourage you from having a colorful invitation! Color looks GREAT on film – but like I said, sometimes taking a photo of a photo doesn’t turn out super great and can look a little unnatural.

2. Text/printed invitations. This is what I get the most often, and there’s some truly beautiful options out there for this that I love! Within this category, the options for customization is endless – you can add foil, you can buy a thicker paper and do letterpress, you can add graphics to your design or keep it simple with just the text. You can go elegant, fun, whimsical, fancy, casual, romantic – modern, minimal, colorful, anything, honestly!



 

3. Calligraphy/handwritten invitations. These types of suites are what I LIVE for. If you want your details to look truly fine art – to have that personal touch and that old world feeling, this is the choice for you. Want to take it all the way to the top? Have it done on torn-edge cotton paper like the photo below, and seal your envelopes with a custom wax seal. You’ll make your guests feel special from day 1 by giving them an experience just by sending them something in the mail.

Obviously, these categories are fluid. You can do a printed invite with calligraphed envelopes. You can have a calligrapher digitize their work and combine it with printed text. You can print text on cotton paper, or use a wax seal with a photographic invite. Speaking of which, you should definitely check out my two favorite calligraphers right here in San Antonio, CalliRosa and Isidore Augustine. CalliRosa’s style is beautiful, easy to read, and the fits the southern, romantic, fun vibe of the majority of my Texas weddings! Nicolette’s (I+A) style leans more vintage and European, filled with thin brush strokes and perfectly spaced accent typography.

I hope that helps break down what your invitation choices are from a photography perspective!

 

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