Hi there! We're Luke and Cat, and we're so happy you're here. We hope you'll stay a while! We’re a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Houston, Texas. Ranchers-turned-photographers, our world looks like this: a Craftsman-style farmhouse; our newborn, Knox, in our arms; coffee in the kitchen; Edison lights on the back porch; and a pair of English bulldogs at the foot of our bed. Read more...

Search for “wedding day timeline” returned 2 posts | View all recent posts


Five Ways to Keep Your Balance

Nov 7, 2017 / Business

As a wedding photographer, you might like believing that certain things are beyond your control.  Sure, you can meticulously charge every back-up battery and lay out your wedding outfit the night before.

But, what happens when you enter the groomsmen’s suite, with just minutes to capture the shots you need, and all nine of the groomsmen have not yet pinned on their boutonnieres? Forget the shot of the groom tugging on his collar, looking coyly nervous—you’re the one who’s nervous now, because you have just fallen off the timeline tightrope.

But, hey—there’s nothing you can do….

Or is there?

In many ways, a wedding can feel like a circus where you are walking the tightrope watching everyone below and trying to stay on course. Here are a few of our tried and true timeline tips for not falling into the pit of the time suck.

As our business coach, Davina Fear, once told us, “Everything you like in your business you created; everything you hate in your business you created.”  In other words, you have more power than you think when it comes to controlling the wedding day timeline. 

Just by changing the way we communicate timeline expectations with our couples, we created a new paradigm where we now walk a tightrope better than Phillipe Petit.  (And if you don’t know who he is, add this nail-biting documentary to your Netflix queue à tout de suite.)

The Takeaways:

1. Pick Up the Peanut Shells: Consistently, when we arrived to shoot ‘getting ready’ areas, we found a mess of clutter that needed to be picked up before taking photos. We found that by adding one sentence (Please tidy up the ‘getting ready room’ before we arrive.), we no longer had to worry about this snag.

2. Banish Search Party Bingo: We used to spend the first 30 minutes hunting down the bride’s shoes, jewelry, bouquet and wedding rings. Now that we list them on the timeline, those items are ready and waiting when we arrive to shoot. It’s a mutually beneficial suggestion that keeps us and rest of the wedding party from becoming a search party.

3. Step (and Suit) Right Up: Trust us, there is no fast way for one person to pin on nine boutonnieres. So now, we specify in our timeline that they should be pinned by the time we arrive.

4. Know When to End the Show: In our early days, we were always staying past our contracted time for last minute ‘must-have’ photos. Our timeline now clearly states that if it’s an event the couple wants photograph (cake-cutting, special dance, etc.) it must be completed before our coverage ends. Likewise, if the couple wants exit photos, we specify that guests need to line up fifteen minutes before the coverage end time.

5. Be a Skilled Juggler: Even with all the planning that goes into preparing for the big day, there is no way to foresee every surprise. View the wedding day timeline as a rough outline of the day and add in some wiggle room and safety net, if possible. Finally, be prepared to juggle things around and renegotiate your balance in real time.

Step right up, Ladies & Gentlemen! If you would like to download our sample timelines, you can do so for FREE at this link.  We like to think of it as a 1-page survival guide. Plus our clients appreciate it just as much as we do; they are happy to do things that will lead to the best pictures of their special day.

Clown control & Lion Taming
(skills that come in handy when managing a wedding timeline),

Luke & Cat

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The Best Times for Makin' Whoopee and Takin' Photos

Jul 15, 2015 / Shooting

We talk a lot about cattle around here, but that’s Texas for you.  Our cattle are Brahman cows – soft grey coat, droopy ears, and that funny hump on their back, the breed was developed here in the United States from Indian cattle. They’re tropical cows at heart, making them extremely popular in many countries.  In fact, this year, our ranch has already sold cattle to Central America, South America, Australia, Asia and Africa where they will thrive in the warm, steamy climates of these parts of the world.

But when it comes to romance with the Brahmans, it’s less warm and steamy and more cold and clinical.  You see, everything about raising prized Brahman cows has to be timed. The little baby calves aren’t ready to survive even a Texan winter, so their mating season is carefully controlled by cattle ranchers. Baby Brahman calves are born, ideally, right at the beginning of spring, giving them the warm months of summer and fall to grow and become a bit hardier. Left to their own devices, cows and bulls, being cows and bulls, wouldn’t listen to the ranchers who know these things.  So, it’s up to us ranchers to take the proverbial bulls by the horns and help them time the mating process.  It may not be romantic, but it sets up both the cattle and the ranchers for the best possible outcomes. 

With wedding photography, timing matters too.  Some couples might feel that a carefully scheduled timeline removes the possibility of authentic romance and spontaneity from their wedding day, therefore, resisting the most essential tool that we photographers rely upon.  To that we reply…

“Even spontaneity has its time and its place.”
Arthur F. Burns

As you know, our style hinges on golden hour photos, warm and dripping in natural light. We can’t move the sun, and we can’t change the sky, but we can manage the timing.  For successful photos, we need to reserve that hour early on - before the pastor, the caterer, and the wedding party have made their schedules and demands. And for that to happen, we need to work with couples who are willing to make photography a scheduling priority.

While the bride’s in charge of a lot, it’s important to remember that she’s doing this once, and we’re doing it all the time. Like good ranchers, we insist on playing a hand in the timing of events—it’s not worth betting the farm that the cattle (or in our case, the couple we photograph) will instinctively know when they need to do what they need to do for optimal results.


The Takeaways: 

  1. Establish and Insist Upon Trust:   Repeat after us: they’re doing this once (hopefully) and you do it dozens of times per year. You’re the expert on wedding timelines — you know what works, and you’ve seen couples make the same mistakes again and again.  Work with couples who are willing to learn from the pros and appreciate your advice. Be clear from the first inquiry that partnering with a couple on the timeline is an essential part of your service.  To emphasize this point, when we’re meeting with a new couple, we include a suggested wedding day timeline, based on their specific wedding day sunset time.  This customized touch not only shows that we’re paying close attention to the couple, it also shows that we know what we’re doing!

  2. Saddle Up and Come Prepared:  Couples will be more willing to trust and hand over the reins if they can see what you mean. For us, it’s the Bride Guide — a 72-page booklet that shows potential clients that we’ve done the work, and literally written the book, on how this is done. Our guide sets a tone, answers questions and explains our approach, making the timeline conversation much easier when it does come up.

  3. Communicate the Cost:  Help couples understand that they won’t get their wedding day back.  Full documentation by an experienced, responsible, skilled professional is the only way to ensure priceless images that will be cherished for generations. Sure, you could ask your Uncle Bob to snap some pictures, but will he be able to guarantee quality shots of those most important firsts?

  4. Practice Practical Romance:  Tell your clients what your shot list includes (it’s what we do) or insist that your clients create one (give them an outline to make it easier).  Request a full list of vendors and communicate with the pros to be sure everyone is on the same page.  By making every effort to control the timeline, you’ll set yourself - and your couple - up for success.  And that sounds pretty romantic to us!

Looking Out For Our Clients & Communicating Along The Way,

Luke & Cat

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