Sunday, January 26, 2014

Crouching Tiger Hidden Photog

I've been wanting to do some wedding posts for awhile now and I think it's finally time...

When planning our wedding my first priority was to find the perfect photographer. I've heard of so many horror stories from friends and family about unprofessional photographer mishaps. I knew from the get go that this was something I wanted to invest in. It's what I would be showing my children and grandchildren. Unfortunately our memories do fade, but photography is what can bring us back in time.


I will preface this by saying I’m no expert on finding a wedding photographer, but as a recent bride here are some things I’ve learned throughout the whole process…

My search began by browsing through the interwebs to find photographers in and around my area. It seems everyone has a website so searching through google was simple and easy. There are also TONS of wedding websites with suggestions of local photographers so finding someone usually isn't the issue. Before sending out a zillion emails to get prices from everyone I wanted to decide whose work I liked the best. My advice is not to get hung up on the details. On most websites you will see images sampled from a lifetime of work, their best photos carefully selected to catch your eye. My advice – go straight to their company blog.  I wanted to gage their work from a collection of photos vs. their winning needle in a haystack of photos. Photography blogs are awesome for this because they are updated with real couples wedding and engagement photos, rather than a randomized reel of “I dos”

Narrowing down a list of bookmarked websites can be challenging. There were certain things I was looking for in a photographer and certain things I realized were important after the fact - let me break it down for you...

What I wanted in a wedding photographer...

Beauty | I think this is self-explanatory. I wanted beautiful, quality photos to capture the day how I remembered it.

Passion | I wanted someone who loves photography and has a commitment to their passion. For me that meant finding someone who chose photography as their profession and career. Not to say that 'weekend warriors' can't provide you with some beautiful images, but I find that most brides who were unhappy with their photos or photog experience used a friend, relative, hobbyist, or second income shooter. I just think there is a lot of value and security in investing in a professional wedding photographer.

Variety | There are so many things that happen during a wedding so I felt a second photographer/assistant was a necessity. Unless you are having a very small and intimate wedding I would always try to find a photog who works with a second shooter or assistant. For example, when 'Uncle Bob' jumps up from his seat to try and snap a photo during the ceremony, it might be nice to have a back up photog hidden around the corner with a second angle on the I dos.


What I also got in a wedding photographer...

Personality | I was so so happy to find a photographer that was outgoing and full of personality. I got a photog was able to make my camera shy husband feel comfortable in front of a camera all day. Someone who was able to remember my parents' names as well as people in my bridal party. Someone who helped me fix stray curls and fly aways on my windy day. The person you choose as your photographer is going to be involved in some intimate moments during your wedding day, you want to find someone you feel comfortable with.

Presence | My photog had some gumption. You may not see the importance until you are part of a wedding party yourself but trust me on this one. Being able to direct and organize 10-30 people in a photo takes skill, and being able to do it proficiently takes presence. She was nothing but professional and able to arrange beautiful compositions quickly and effectively. On our wedding day we were short on time with quickly approaching rain clouds and inpatient groomsmen - our photog worked her magic and captured all the images we wanted, sending us to the festivities right on time.


From behind the scenes to final product...


Planning a wedding can be a little overwhelming at times, but at the end of the day if you are married to the one your heart loves then it was a total success. I love love love my wedding photographer and I hope you all have such luck in your searches.

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