Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Saturday, September 7, 2013

7 Most Common Mistakes Brides Make When Looking for a Photographer

Glenn Hamp, Guest Author

There are many pitfalls for an anxious bride, but with a little friendly advice you can avoid the seven most common mistakes brides make when looking for photography service. These tips were gathered by LightRain Images, a Phoenix, wedding photography company from years of working with brides, before, during and after the wedding and hearing stories from the bride’s envious friends who tearfully recounted their bad experiences.

PhotographerCHOICE1. Allowing yourself to be talked into having a friend, relative or newbie photograph your wedding. Your special day only happens once and you can’t go back and capture these special moments after the event. Uncle Harry might have been a great photography hobbyist or your college roommate might have a cool new digital camera, but there is a huge difference in quality and consistency between an amateur and a seasoned professional wedding photography team handling the photography from beginning to end.

A lot of technical knowledge of photography is unique to weddings and this is only the beginning. There seems to be an overabundance of people who think they want to become wedding photographers, but quit after a wedding or two of disappointed brides. There are many sad stories from brides recounting how they thought they would be getting a good deal to have a person just getting into the business try out wedding photography at their wedding.

2. Not asking enough questions when choosing a photographer. You are planning the most memorable day of your life. You need to ask as many questions as you can. A good professional photographer will welcome this. Look at the albums the photographer has created.

• Do you like the style?
• Are they fresh and contemporary?
• Do they do quality black and white photography?
• Do they do sepia art?
• Do they look old fashioned or too stiff and stuffy?
• Do they combine photojournalistic style with classic portraiture and tell the wonderful story of the wedding day from all angles?
• How many photographers will be shooting the event?
• What if one of them becomes ill?
• What happens if one of the cameras stops working?
• Is there backup equipment?
• How long has the photographer been in the business?
• Does the company have liability insurance?
• Do they have any formal education in the field?
• How many images will be taken?
• Will they be displayed on-line for friends and relatives to view?

3. Leaving all the decisions to the photographer. Working with your photographer to plan the types of poses and images you are looking for can make a big difference in the final product. You should become engaged in the process. Get excited about planning the location, poses and combinations of friends and relatives that you want.

Clip pictures out of magazines that you feel are romantic and compelling to show your photographer. A good photographer will welcome the involvement. Good planning with a professional turns good photography into Photobiography!

4. Not understanding the Whirlwind Syndrome. A phenomenon occurs at every wedding for all brides and grooms. All the details and events that have been planned for months and dreamed about for years happen so quickly that it seems that the whole event is compressed into a short whirlwind of activity. The bride and groom get pulled here and there by friends, family, the bridal party and the photographers. The day’s events become a blur and seem to go by in a flash.

LightRainImages sunset  photoBefore the couple knows it, it is all over and all that remains is their sketchy memory and stunning photographs to help them relive their special moments. A good photography team will capture all the establishing photos of the venue, the details of the table settings, the rings, the shoes, the bride’s dress, flowers and tuxedo details before the event begins. These will be captured for not only you and your groom to enjoy, but also your friends, family, your children and grandchildren. Make sure you have a photographer that is experienced with capturing all the details, who can do high quality macro shots and is passionate about doing the highest quality work and designing them into your unique custom designed coffee table storybook album. You want someone that creates true art with you in the middle of it.

5. Committing too much of your budget to things that don’t last. It has been said that photographs, like diamonds, are forever. Don’t finalize your budget until you have considered carefully each item and thought about the total lifetime value of each component.

Years from now will your guests be thinking of how large your cake was or remembering how your flowers smelled? Will your grandchildren ask you how much you spent on your fancy venue or limo or will they marvel when they look at the timeless images in your album and how beautiful their grandmother was when she married that handsome guy with the thick hair?

6. Choosing a photographer that is not personable. To ensure that all your special moments are captured, you will be spending a considerable amount of time with your photographer. The chemistry between the couple and the photographer should be good.

You should work with a photographer who you can relax and be comfortable with. A photographer can be the most technically competent in the world, but if they can’t work in a friendly, courteous and fun way, they will only stress you out, make you anxious and the pictures will reveal your discomfort.

7. Becoming enthralled with trendy looking images. At first glance, odd, unique or unusual angles or lighting may seem cool and trendy, but it is best to evaluate imagery with an eye for classic, timeless beauty. If you want to see a great case-in-point, look at some old wedding photos or portraits from the 50’s. For a while everything had heavy overly done vignette and looking at the images now, just makes them seem a little silly.

Trendy things that likely will fall by the wayside that some are overdoing now, include washed out backlit images, images taken with the camera askew at all different angles and poorly done black and white that looks like gray and white and images of brides in front of dumpsters or rolling in the mud.

LightRainLOGOCopyright © 2013 – LightRain Images, LLC. Reprinted with permission – This article is adapted from LightRain Images Wedding Photography Website and Wedding Blog. LightRain Images is a Chandler based, Phoenix Wedding Photographer, photographing weddings and portraits worldwide. Contact:, Phoenix, AZ, 480-699-5731.


CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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  1. This is by far one of the most comprehensive posts I’ve seen here and look forward to more. You have always nice things to post. Thanks for this useful information. Excellent post with great resources! Keep us updated about this I would like to hear more on this topic!


    Comment by Ozmates Travel — Tuesday, December 17, 2013 @ 2:52 am | Reply

  2. Leading New York Wedding Photographers,and I like this site. Thank you.


    Comment by wedding photographers — Sunday, December 15, 2013 @ 4:15 am | Reply

  3. Larry, I absolutely LOVE this post! Thank you so much for sharing this with your brides and grooms! Numbers 5 & 6 are SOOOOOO important! GREAT POST!


    Comment by Maria Fossler — Monday, September 9, 2013 @ 9:29 am | Reply

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