Archive for July, 2012

Top 3 Reasons You Should Splurge on your Wedding Photographer

Your Wedding Photographer and Price … versus Value

And that fateful moment has arrived. It is time to book the photographer for your wedding…your very special, irreplaceable day. You have two things in front of you. An old crumpled magazine clipping you cut out of a wedding magazine when you were sixteen (the shot still makes you tear up), and that lovely wedding budget, which also manages to be a source of tears these days. So, what do you do? Craigslist is calling you…there’s tons of new photographers out there that you could book for like nothing and maybe help them build their portfolio in the process. You’d be doing them a favor as well as your pocketbook for sure, right? I have been asked the question so many times, “Why should I spend so much on a professional photographer when I could pick some novice on Craigslist and save myself a lot of money?” Here is my answer. Below are my Top 3 Reasons You Should Splurge on your Wedding Photographer.

1) A novice has not invested enough time yet to define their own photography style or develop their photographer’s eye. When you are interviewing photographers, one of the things you want to look for in their portfolio is how the photographer see’s the world. Pay attention to what and how they see images in a scene. Do their albums tell a story? Can you feel what you see in the photograph? Is there creativity? Do people look comfortable and relaxed? As a novice (yes, I was there once) you are unsure of how you see the world yet. You are copying other photographer’s styles that you seem to like in order to develop your own eye. Trust me, your wedding is not the place to discover that the photographer you chose didn’t capture the moment as you wanted to remember it. Your wedding photographs will tell your story for years and years to come. You have to ask yourself, do you just want wedding pictures, or do you want to capture the day…the moments…and that unforgettable feeling. A photo is just an empty image if the photographer is too unskilled to “bring it to life.”

2) A novice does not know how to utilize all the equipment available to them yet or use them quickly enough to capture the moment! This is SO important. When shooting professionally, there are always many things going on in the photographer’s world that the client is completely unaware of; or at least they should be. There are lens changes, battery swaps, light arrangement (we watch the sun like it’s a two-year old next to a swimming pool), aspect rations…the list goes on and on…not to mention photo editing. This takes time to learn! Especially in wedding photography. I say that italicized because it needs to be. There is a reason people charge more for a wedding. Because it is a completely unique form of photography that requires a lot more work than your standard scheduled photo shoot. No one wants to be that photographer that misses the moment for a lens change or dead battery. A professional wedding photographer knows what to expect, when to expect it and how to be prepared for every moment.

3) A professional wedding photographer knows a wedding almost as well as a wedding coordinator. A photographer must learn the flow of a wedding in order to tell a story. Over time, usually as an apprentice, a photographer learns what works, what doesn’t, how much time to spend on each shot, a collection of mentally stored poses at your disposal, the ability to make people feel comfortable with you very quickly, can think on the move, knows what to look for and when and sometimes very important…how to make a not so pretty scene absolutely stunning. As an amateur or novice photographer, you miss a lot merely because you don’t know what to expect.

Lastly, remember this. Your wedding pictures are one of the only things that will outlast your wedding itself! The cake and decorations are gone, your dress is vacuum sealed and stored away, the tuxedos were returned to the rental place and you are now left with what? The small top cake you are supposed to freeze and eat as a couple a year later? That’s it? Thousands of dollars out of pocket and nothing more than a future freezer burnt cake to chew like piece of jerky on your first anniversary? Oh wait, that’s right…the photos! I know I sound cheesy, but let’s face it. Like buying a house, you get what you pay for in wedding photography. You might spend more than you wanted, but isn’t it worth treasuring something as important as your photos for years to come instead of growling with regret every time you look at them?

3 Things Your Wedding Photographer Wishes You Knew

When preparing for your wedding, you are thinking about a million things. The dress, the venue, the guest list, the food, the flowers, the theme… The list goes on and on. But all of the details will be hazy and eventually forgotten if your photographer doesn’t get necessary time to capture all those important moments. It is the photography that gives you a beautiful visual record of your special day, a record you can enjoy for a lifetime.

As a professional wedding photographer, there are things I wish all my brides and grooms knew. While the list could be really long, I think these three points are the most important and will help you help me really give you the best pictures possible.

  1. Make sure you allot enough time for your pictures. I can’t emphasize this enough! Too many couples only provide a short time between the ceremony and the reception to capture all those important family portrait shots. Making sure I have enough time to get in all the shots you want so you can remember your big day and cherish these images forever. If you don’t know how much time is enough, ask me! I’m glad to explain the process and work with you to get the time-line right.
  2. Just like in real estate, photography is often about location, location, location. Having a great location for your portrait shots with the right lighting makes all the difference! Scout out your venue before the wedding day to find great locations for your portrait shots. If you don’t want a stray dumpster in the background of your only portrait with great-grandma or be pestered by swarms of small insects while you smile and pose for 45 minutes, make sure you find a few great spots ahead of time!
  3. Wedding professionals from photographers to officiants love wedding coordinators! They know what needs to be done. It is their job to organize your wedding day, allotting enough time for everything to get done while making sure it’s beautiful and everyone has a good time. If you can’t afford to hire a coordinator (which, honestly, wedding professionals wonder how you can afford NOT to hire one), make sure you talk to me and your other vendors. We’re happy to explain how much time is needed to give you our best. It can help you draft a realistic schedule or time-line of the day. Then, designate a trusted friend or family member (preferably someone who can be punctual and direct but pleasant) to ensure everyone knows their place and stays on schedule.