A Chat with Daniel Lateulade

With so many of you switching from large-scale weddings to smaller, more intimate gatherings, we thought we’d introduce you to our amazing friend and photographer, Daniel Lateulade. Daniel is not only an incredible South Florida-based photographer but he also specializes in intimate weddings. His work has been featured everywhere from Martha Stewart Weddings to Brides to Modern Luxury Weddings and more. Read on to learn more about his own wedding story and just how to turn crisis lemons into wedding lemonade.

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.

I’m a South Florida based photographer who specializes in intimate weddings for intentional couples. I believe that every wedding day is a unique story, and stories don’t happen in predictable six or eight-hour chunks. Because of that, all of my weddings include full-day coverage with no hourly limits. My couples can relax and enjoy themselves rather than watching the clock because I’ll be there to tell their entire story.

We love that you focus on intimate weddings. What do you feel makes them so special?

My dad unexpectedly passed away from cancer the day before my wedding in 2008, and my (now) wife and I were married with just our parents and pastor in Room 6 of the ICU at Cleveland Clinic — no matter what, we wanted my dad to share in our big day. We held the huge wedding we’d been planning for months the following day (my mom convinced me that my dad would be upset if he knew we’d canceled it), and when I became a wedding photographer years later, I realized that our unintentionally intimate wedding was far more meaningful to me than the big affair that I hardly even remembered. I definitely don’t wish an experience like that on anyone else, but it showed me the beauty that results when we’re intentional about sharing such a significant day in our lives with those nearest and dearest to us, rather than allowing what’s most important to get lost in the noise.

What’s one thing you do to make couples feel comfortable in front of the camera?

I’m a big believer in stepping back and giving my couples the space to be themselves. It’s not enough to take beautiful photographs — my goal is to discover and capture the nuances that make my couples and their relationships unique, and the only way to do that is to get out of the way, allow them to express themselves naturally, and be ready to capture it when I see it. That means no cheesy poses, and no making myself the center of attention. From the outside, my approach probably seems boring — “I’d like you guys to stand over there and just talk to one another for a few moments” doesn’t sound sexy, but it results in photographs that aren’t only beautiful, but authentically capture who my couples are.

What’s your approach to getting to know your clients?

Many of my couples book me after trading a few emails or after a single phone call, and because most of my weddings are destinations, I don’t often get to meet my couples before their wedding day. In many ways, I prefer things that way — I love the feeling of walking into a wedding with no preconceived notions and ready for anything. I have a rule that I don’t shoot at the same venue more than twice in a season — a wedding day is a story, not a formula, and I want to keep myself open to possibilities.

What are some day-of details you love to photograph?

I love photographing sentimental items like gifts and family heirlooms — I love it when my couples sharing the stories of what makes those items personally significant with me, and being able to capture their wedding day in such a way that their photographs become items that their children and grandchildren share stories about one day is such an immense privilege.

What’s does your editing process look like?

I like to edit as soon after the wedding day as possible, while the memories of the day are still fresh in my mind. It’s important to me that my editing is consistent, repeatable, and authentic, and so I don’t experiment with my editing process — every wedding image I’ve taken since 2012 has been edited using exactly the same process. More than once, I’ve had someone say they saw an image of mine online and immediately knew it was mine because it just looked like one of my images, and that’s the highest praise I could ever receive.

What’s your favorite moment of a wedding?

I love the first moments of the wedding day that my couples share together. Sometimes it’s just after the first look, and sometimes it’s a few moments stolen together following the ceremony. I never photograph those moments — I’m very intentional about expressing to my couples that they need a few moments alone with no audience, no onlookers, and no cameras.

What’s one tip you’d give to nervous brides and grooms?

Don’t overthink things, and don’t allow yourselves to forget what’s truly important — your love for one another. Oh, and have a drink beforehand.

Bonus question: Any tips for corona brides?

While planning your wedding day, it’s easy to overthink things and get bogged down in details that just aren’t important — doubly so in these uncertain times. Rather than starting with a full plate based on a preconceived notion of what a wedding should be, start from scratch and ask what’s truly important to you and your beloved, and who the two of you most want to share those things with. And then do that thing, with those people, and nothing else. This almost always results in a far smaller guest list and a far shorter order of events — which means that you get to spend time celebrating with your loved ones.

Thanks so much for joining us, Daniel! For more on Daniel Lateulade Photography, check out his Instagram, website, or his listing on Smitten Co.

Smitten Co. is South Florida’s wedding planning subscription. Our Miami wedding planners will help you plan your perfect wedding all while pampering you with gifts along the way. Learn more here.

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