Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Melissa Jill, Guest Author

If you’re a bride or groom who values photography, the task of picking a wedding photographer can be daunting and somewhat terrifying. After all, there are no re-dos. You’re going to get married once, and you only have one shot to pick a photographer. You’re spending a lot of money, and you’re putting all your eggs in one basket… without being able to see the final product in advance. Yikes! Scary!!

WED-ChoosePhotographerI try to put myself in my clients’ shoes when I am meeting with them to talk about their photography needs. Even though I’ve never hired a wedding photographer myself, I think I can imagine the fear and trepidation they must feel. In addition to this, I’ve heard FAR TOO MANY horror stories involving wedding photographers not delivering, and newlyweds being left disappointed or heartbroken.

So, from a photographer’s point of view, I thought I’d share a few tips on making this huge decision. I know it may seem that I’m a little biased (pick me! pick me!) but I honestly don’t think every bride out there is right for me or me for them. So how do you find the best wedding photographer for you?

MelissaJill_Elopement_BouquetThree simple pieces of advice:

1 – Make sure that when you view their photos, you FEEL something. You are hiring an artist with a specific eye and heart. You want to resonate with how they see and capture the world around them — specifically relationships. And if you feel something when you look through their portfolio at a bunch of strangers’ wedding photos, you are guaranteed to love your own photos all the more!

2 – Ask to view an entire wedding worth of photos – the proofs. Any photographer can show you a slideshow of their best 50 photos they’ve ever shot and you will be impressed. But that won’t give you a good sense for what your wedding photos will look like. You want to make sure they have good quality photos throughout the course of one entire wedding.

3 – Make sure you like them as a person. Whoever you pick to be your photographer is going to be around you and your family for many hours on the best day of your life. So you want to feel comfortable with them and most of all, be able to TRUST them.

If you make your choice for a photographer based on the above three criteria MORE SO than based on price, you GREATLY increase your chances of being thrilled with the result of this once-in-a-lifetime decision.

If you are currently planning your wedding, click here to download a FREE checklist of 12 important questions you should be asking any potential wedding photographers you meet with! We’ve created a convenient form for you to print and take along as you talk with photographers. Make this big decision a little easier! Download your copy today!

melissajillMelissaPHOTOCopyright © 2015 – Melissa Jill. Melissa Jill is a wedding photographer based out of Gilbert, Arizona. She has been shooting weddings for many years and specializes in capturing emotions and moments in an artistic way. Visit her Website at: http://www.MelissaJill.com and her BLOG.

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Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Saturday, February 21, 2015

FUN Photo Ideas for Your Wedding Day

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BONUS Articles: The 9 Myths of Wedding Photography
Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!
10 Things You Can Do to Avoid a Photographer’s Gripes!

Copyright © 2015 – Melissa Rae. Visit Melissa’s Website at: http://www.MelissaRaePhotography.ca/

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Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Monday, January 13, 2014

Considering an Unplugged Wedding?

Welcome to the era of the over-documented wedding, where, even if you’ve hired someone to take photos, every guest has a camera and an iPhone and is tweeting the whole event. Not cool. Especially when you’ve paid big bucks to hire a professional photographer and the photos they deliver to you after the wedding had numerous guest with their iPads and smart phones held in the air and they are staring at the tiny screens. Photography fail. “Be nice, turn off your device!”

If you want your wedding guests to be fully present at your wedding consider an unplugged wedding!

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Click to Download a full color, printable PDF (without the URL)
Compliments of the Offbeat Bride!

“Don’t like the idea of guests attached to their phones throughout the ceremony and reception? Opt for an unplugged wedding. Provide a phone check at the door (similar to a coat check), or add a note to your wedding website or ceremony program asking guests to refrain from taking photos or video. You can word it nicely – something like: ‘We want you to truly enjoy the ceremony and reception, so we ask that you please refrain from taking photos or video today and just have fun. You are welcome to take as many photos as you want at the reception.'” ~ The Knot

Many couples have been heard to say, “I’d rather guests simply watch and clap and smile and cry — and really listen and remember, not from the photos they downloaded onto their computers or Instagram, but from their own individual memories.”

I’ve had numerous weddings where some of the guests were downright rude. They lean out into the aisle when the bride walks down the aisle with her father and the photographer is seen trying to shoot their photos around the madding crowd. If it doesn’t bother the couple, then it’s not a problem. However, to most, it does.

Most photographers will provide a link to where guests can view their photos and choose to purchase their favorites. Speak with your wedding photographer to ensure you can make a small set of photos (perhaps just five photos) available digitally to guests within a couple days of the wedding. The link can be posted on your Facebook page.

When I interview a couple, I bring up this issue and ask if they would like for me to make a brief – slightly humorous – announcement at the beginning the the ceremony. Most say, “Yes.” Often when the request comes from the Wedding Officiant, guests will take note and respect the couple’s wishes. My experience is that an announcement from the Wedding Officiant along with a brief note on the program and a sign on a chalk board as guests enter the ceremony area works best.

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Have a couple of girls carry signs as they walk in!

Minister: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the bride and groom request that you turn your cell phones, iPads, cameras and other digital distractions (pause) back on after the wedding. The professional photographer will capture how this moment ‘looks.’ They encourage you all to capture how it ‘feels’ with your hearts and without the distraction of technology during the ceremony. Thank you.”

Sometimes not everyone listens. I recently had a guest walk behind me and begin taking photos of the Sand Ceremony during the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom had me make the above announcement at the beginning of the ceremony, so I turned and politely asked the guest to please be seated, which he did. I’m sure it was an embarrassing moment for him, however, I don’t work for him. I work for the bride and groom.

Another humorous version: “Ladies and gentlemen, prior to Sally and Pete’s wedding take-off, all seat backs and tray tables must be in their upright and locked positions, all bags properly stowed, and they request that all portable electronic devices turned off and stowed. This includes cell phones, iPads and cameras. Thank you on behalf of the bride and groom.”

The Offbeat Bride Website suggests that you could include a short note in your programs:

“We want you to be able to relax and have fun with us today! This in mind, we invite you to put down all your favorite devices and just be present in the moment with us. Please leave your camera in your bag (we’ve got photography covered!), and put your cell phone on mute (we promise they’ll call back!). We’re happy to share our professional wedding photos later (on Facebook, etc), but the greatest gift you can give us today is just being fully here with us in this sacred and special moment.”

Note for Guests: A wedding ceremony is a brief and intimate moment shared between people who have been brought together as witnesses to the beginning of the couple’s marriage… please don’t mess it up for the bride and groom!

Just a thought: It is no more rude or tacky to ask your guests to turn off all electronic devices than to have “guest photographers” compromise your professional photos from your photographer!

So… what’s your take on this issue? Please comment below.

BONUS Article: I’ve Had Enough with Wedding Guests Taking Pictures with Phones
Photographer Posts Epic Rant
10 Hot Wedding Trends for 2014!
Unplugged Wedding (Pinterest)
Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The 9 Myths of Wedding Photography

Filed under: Photography Tips,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am

Glenn Hamp, Guest Author

LightRain Images, has photographed hundreds of weddings in Arizona, the United States and around the world and while meeting with couples interested in wedding photography we have heard many myths and misconceptions. We have been able to save our clients a lot of stress and money with our friendly advice. The following are the most common myths we hear:

GreatWedPhotos1. Choose a beautiful venue and your wedding pictures will look good because the venue is pretty ~ While a beautiful venue is important, it is much less important for photographs than many brides realize. An experienced professional photographer can make a couple look breathtaking even in a simple venue. However, an inexperienced wedding photographer will find it difficult to make a couple look good, even in the most attractive surroundings. When planning your wedding budget, consider your expenditures in light of the life-time value of each element. Photographs are the only expenditure that increases in value over the years. You will love your photos and as the years go by you will come to treasure these works of art and proudly pass them down through generations.

2. Put little disposable cameras on every table to capture fun, candid shots of your reception ~ This is usually a very disappointing experience for couples. Disposable cameras take disposable quality pictures – especially being used by amateur partiers who have little interest in capturing quality candid imagery. Our advice is, save your money or spend it on anything else, you’ll be much happier. Professional photographers have high quality lighting and high-resolution cameras for a reason. Additionally, professionals are experienced in capturing fun and candid situations as well as facilitating the fun interaction between you and your guests.

3. Hiring the most expensive photographer guarantees quality ~ While generally speaking, you get what you pay for, there are some photographers who promote themselves as the most expensive, to create snob appeal and create the illusion of being the best available. Although you should plan to spend $3,000-$5,000 for coverage by a great photographer. If a photographer’s starting prices are $6,000+ you might want to look elsewhere.

4. A family member or college friend can take wedding pictures ~ Uncle Bob may have been a photography hobbyist for years or your college friend may have a great new expensive camera she is learning how to use, but take it from many disappointed brides, it takes a large eclectic bundle of skills to be a great professional wedding photographer. We start with formal education in lighting, cinematography and photography, add top of the line digital cameras, lenses and lighting gear, mix in years of experience working in chaotic stressful wedding environments, add a full-time graphics design team to enhance and retouch images and you have professional photography company. Don’t risk it for a “bargain”. These are your wedding pictures and can’t be redone.

5. You can look at a couple of dozen pictures on a photographer’s web site and can tell if they are good and like their style ~ Remember, that every photographer puts their best foot forward and of course the pictures on the web site, especially the first slide show or portfolios will look great. You need to dig deeper and look at many complete weddings and album designs. Look at the quality of imagery in all types of lighting; bright outdoor images, dim indoor lighting, ambient lighting and dark night.

Look at images from a wide range of angles, distances and macro shots. All of the images should be consistently sharp, properly exposed and compelling. If any seem a little off or out of focus, don’t waste your time, remember this is a photographer’s best work, if the best work isn’t great; your images probably won’t be any better and might be worse.

CastleLightRainImages6. Wedding photography seems to cost a lot for just clicking away with an expensive camera ~ There are a lot of hidden costs to wedding photography. Expensive cameras are just the start. Computer and software, education, training and advertising, lenses and lighting, employees, website hosting and electronic storage are just a few items. For every hour on site there are 3-4 hours behind the scenes in post production processing, retouching and organizing your images and that is before an album design takes place.

7. All you need is someone good at Photoshop and you can have great wedding pictures ~ If the original image capture is poor, splashing on contrast or color isn’t going to make your images any better unless you are looking for abstract art. What you really want is a company that captures the finest imagery in the correct lighting focus and exposure and has graphic designers highly trained in retouching and enhancing imagery to create works of art with you and your wedding party featured in the middle of the art.

8. Plan for and choose major vendors before photography ~ On the contrary it makes a lot of sense to start your wedding planning with the end result in mind. Because your photographic imagery is what you will have for the rest of your life and beyond as you pass them down through the generations, it makes sense to look around at who will provides the most dramatic, compelling imagery. Additionally, a professional wedding photographer will have many examples of wedding venues and locations for you to see in various lighting and décor to provide you with ideas to choosing a wedding location, florist and other professionals. Lastly, popular dates with great photographers get booked out a year or more in advance, so you might want to check availability as soon as possible.

9. Tell your photographer what poses and looks you like on the wedding day and direct the photographer to take the images the way you like them ~ This a recipe for disappointment. Brides typically have no idea of the stress and excitement (happy chaos) on the day of the wedding and attempting to remember a shoot list is difficult. Your photographer needs to know in advance the type of photography you like and the combinations of poses and groups of friends and relatives that you want. A good photographer will discuss a shoot list with you and will encourage collaboration well in advance of your wedding. An experienced photographer will know how to direct and pose you in natural looking ways.

BONUS Articles: Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!
10 Things You Can Do to Avoid a Photographer’s Gripes!
Spit Out Your Gum…

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: www.LightRainImages.com, Phoenix, AZ, 480-699-5731.

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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.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Monday, July 29, 2013

What You Need to Know When Hiring Your Wedding Photographer

Sheryl Davies, Guest Author

When your wedding is over and the months of preparation leading up to your big day are done, what you have left are your memories! And those memories are preserved in your wedding photographs.

wedPhtographerYour pictures are a tangible of your joyous day and have the power to evoke those special moments. As the years go by, your photographs assume a large and greater importance, not only to remember your memories, but they will be of great interest in the future, to your children and grandchildren.

Choosing your photographer is one of the most important wedding decisions that you will make. A reputable professional will be booked a year or more in advance, and for that reason, it is suggested that you engage their services early in your planning process. There is nothing as disappointing as having your pictures turn out less than acceptable. There are no make- goods of your day. You only have one chance to get it right.

When you meet with a photographer, make sure you look at their sample work and ask questions regarding their style; is it journalistic, traditional or a combination of both? Be prepared to let the photographer know your expectations; what moments you want captured and what you envision in the final product. It is important for you both to be on the same page. Also, ensure that a contract is written with everything that you have discussed- quantities, hours, extra photos, an album, CD or memory stick storage, social media posting, ordering services online for your guests, a Plan B, etc.

You want to ask about their experience; you don’t want a photographer using your wedding for a practice run. What is included in their packages and how will the final product be delivered? Will you be receiving edited images that are print ready, will there be an album included in the price? Will he have more than one memory card to hold the images? It is recommended that they use one for each event throughout the day. With new technology, will you receive your 50 best images, emailed to you a couple days after the wedding in a digital mobile album?

photosIt is of importance to know if they will have a second camera, just in case there is a problem. You’ll want no surprises on your wedding day. Be sure to ask about a back-up plan, if your photographer can’t make it due to illness; a broken leg or who knows what. Make sure that point is added to the contract so you are not left high and dry. You will also need to ask about a secondary plan, in case of inclement weather. You may have wanted those outdoor pictures at that unique location in the worst way, but a torrential rain will ensure that it won’t happen. You need to know what the alternative spots will be, in advance of the day.

Your photographer will be spending time prior to the ceremony; possibly at two homes and then shooting your reception in its entirety, making it a 10 hour plus day. Be sure to provide a meal during the dinner hour.

In this age of technology, where everyone has a cell phone with a camera, it is important to note that you may want your wedding ceremony unplugged. That way your guests will have their full attention on you and your spouse taking your vows and the photographer will have an unhampered view of you both in order to capture what you are paying him for.

Once you are satisfied that you have conveyed all your wishes, relax and let your photographer fulfill them. A professional will gently capture the formal posing, unobtrusively capture the candid moments, and produce the photographs that genuinely reflect s your love and happiness you and your families share on your wedding day.

WedGuideCopyright © 2013 – Sheryl Davies. Sheryl Davies is a long-time wedding industry veteran who has seen the changes but also knows why they came about. She has published “The Wedding Guide Windsor|Essex County” since 1990. She hosts radio shows for her clients on http://www.am800cklw.com. Visit Sheryl’s Blog and Facebook page and http://www.Facebook.com/sheryldavies.

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Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!

Smartphone users! Please, PLEASE stay out of the way of the professional photographer at the wedding!

smartPhonesYour guests will most likely arrive at your wedding armed with their smartphones and some with iPads. Smartphones and iPads at weddings are one of the modern bride’s etiquette dilemmas. The use of smartphones for photosharing can be a great addition to weddings, and can make it faster and easier to get the candid shots that you once had to hunt down from guests. However, they can be a problem for the professional photographers that were paid big bucks to capture the wedding photos for the bride and groom.

The wedding ceremony should never be dominated by guests trying to get the perfect shots as the brides are walking down the aisle. First of all it’s bad etiquette to be in the way of the professional photographers as they shoot the wedding.

I encourage the brides and grooms to request that guests respect the sacredness of the occasion by refraining from photographing during the wedding ceremony. One way to keep smartphones in check is to include a brief note in your invitations, and a reminder in the form of a sign as guests enter at the ceremony area or a note in the program.

smartPhones5Sample note to include in your invitations: “We want you to be able to enjoy our wedding day, feeling truly present and in the moment with us. We’ve hired an amazing wedding photographer who will be capturing the way the wedding looks and we’re inviting each of you to sit back, relax, and just enjoy how the wedding feels. We are respectfully asking that everyone consider turning all cameras, iPads, Smartphones and cell phones OFF during our ceremony. (OR… We are respectfully ask that you do not block the view of the photographer as they take their photos; for example, do not take photos from the center aisle, etc.). We will be happy to share our wedding photos with you when they become available. The greatest gift you can give us is just being fully here with us in this sacred and special moment.”

Sample note in ceremony program: “We want you to be able to relax and have fun with us today! With this in mind, we are respectfully asking that everyone consider leaving all cameras, iPads, Smartphones and cell phones OFF during our ceremony. (OR… We are respectfully ask that you do not block the view of the photographer as they take their photos; for example, do not take photos from the center aisle, etc.). The greatest gift you can give us is just being fully here with us in this sacred and special moment.”

smarPhones2For those of you who think it might be rude or inappropriate to request that guests refrain from taking photos during the wedding ceremony, remember, the bride and groom have paid big bucks to have a professional photographer capture photos of their special memories.

What is inappropriate is waving your Smartphones in the aisle while the photographer is trying to get the best shot possible. Not good. Guests often crowd the newlyweds with Smartphone cameras during special must-have shots like the first kiss, cake cutting or the first dance. It becomes difficult for the photographer to do their work when they have to compete with so many smartphone users.

“My heart breaks when a guest ruins an otherwise lovely image or jumps in front of me when I’m capturing a key moment from the day. It completely slays me when this happens because while I am not remotely egotistical at all, I am fairly confident that my image would have been better than the one they captured. In the past 6 years of being a professional wedding photographer, it’s also been sad to watch the progression from seeing smiling, encouraging and happy faces as the bride is escorted up the aisle to faces hidden behind the backs of cameras and cell phones that line the aisle.” ~ Corey Ann, Corey Ann Photography, North Canton, Ohio

smartphoneIf the Bride and Groom approve, I will make the following announcement as soon as I am at the alter: “Ladies and Gentlemen, The bride and groom request that you turn your cell phones, ipads, cameras and other digital distractions (pause – just a few seconds) back on after the wedding. The professional photographer will capture how this moment ‘looks.’ I encourage you all to capture how it ‘feels’ with your hearts and without the distraction of technology. Thank you.” When I pause and say, “back on after the wedding,” the guests will often find this funny and it usually lightens things up a bit before the ceremony begins and it makes the point in a humorous way.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are the bride and groom or are in the wedding party… when the professional photographer is taking photos after the wedding… ONLY look at the photographer – not the guests who are taking photos if you want the photographer to get the best photos. It looks pretty weird when the photo shows the eyes of some of the group looking at the photographer’s camera and the others looking to and fro.

BONUS Article: 7 Ways To Ruin A Wedding With Your Smartphone
Guest Photographers or: Why You Should Have an Unplugged Wedding
Wedding Photos: When Snap-happy Guests Go too Far
Attending A Wedding Soon? Be Sure To Watch This Video
“Unplugged Weddings”: Preventing Guests From Destroying Your Photographs
6 Techy Commandments for Every Bride

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (96 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.
6 Techy Commandments for Every Bride

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Saturday, January 26, 2013

10 Things You Can Do to Avoid a Photographer’s Gripes!

Photographers tell me that there are several gripes that often show up as they are busy doing their best to take the best photos of the bride and groom. Here are a few things that you and your bridal party can do to make things go smoother.

1. Not holding the kiss long enough for them to get the shot. Kiss SLOOOooowly! I always tell the groom to hold the kiss until it begins to feel a little uncomfortable, then let her go! 😉 Why? Because the photographer doesn’t know when the kiss will be and if its a quick kiss they often miss the photo. That photo is usually the one that get’s missed the most. Also, the guests love it! Someone recently shouted during an unusually long kiss, “Get a room!” which brought laughter from the guests.

weddinggueststakingphotos2. It’s annoying when the guests hover around the photographer, taking their own photos during the family portrait session. The couple’s eyes don’t know which camera to look at. Tip for the bride and groom… “always” keep your eyes on the one you’re paying the big bucks to – the photographer, of course. Don’t be looking around in all directions. Look at the photographer’s lens. Ask the photographer to pause for a minute or two between family photos to allow guests to shoot there own photos. He might say, “I’m going to break for a minute or two for family members who want to take snap shots with your cameras.” People usually get the clue that there is a time for them to shoot, and a time when they need to keep out of the way.

3. You want sunset photos? Most photographers will suggest getting married around 4 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. if the sun is setting at 6:30 p.m. and this is great advice. Many couples don’t realize that in order for a photographer to get the best photos, either agree to see each other before the wedding and take a lot of photos before the ceremony begins or have your wedding consultant or wedding coordinator at the venue create a time-line that has the ceremony begin at least an hour and a half before sunset. The average ceremony (usually about 30 minutes or less and some are longer) will be over and you will still have 1 hour for photos. Discuss this with your photographer. I recommend taking the bride and her bridesmaids photos BEFORE the wedding, then the groom and his groomsmen photos so that the photographer can take a few family photos after the ceremony. This allows the photographer to spend more time with just the bride and groom. It’s rude to keep your guests waiting while you take photos after the ceremony for more than one hour, plus the guests are at the cocktail hour and if you are longer than an hour don’t be surprise when you get your bar bill. 😉

4. Not creating a shoot list. More than any other complaint photographers hear from brides is that the photographer missed getting a certain photo. Usually it’s because that particular photo was not on the shoot list. This list acts as a checklist for the photographer so that no important “must have” photos are missed. Ask the photographer to take lots of fun photos and candid shots. As the photos of the people on the list are taken, they are checked off the list. Include “all” the names of the people who will be in the photos and before the wedding ask them to stay close so they can hear the photographer shout out the names for the next photo. Be sure to list the bride and her siblings, and the groom and his siblings. Give the photographer the names and cell phone numbers of the maid of honor and the best man and ask them to assist the photographer in rounding people up for the next photos. They should be your your go-to persons for question from the photographer. Make sure they understand that this will be part of their duties. Tell them to caution guests who will also want to take photos to stay out of the way of the photographer and to not use flash while the photographer is working.

5. Be clear about how many hours you will need the photographer. Before the event, clearly communicate to them what services they are prepared to offer for the price you pay. Do they include digital files? How many hours of work will they shoot? Are they going to shoot the reception too? Is there a travel charge? What prints are included? Will they do an album? Don’t surprise the photographer with a demand to stay longer than you hired them for and not expect to be charged extra for the time.

6. Nothing is worse than one photographer trying to conduct two large families for photos. Make sure you tell the families and the photographer which family will go first.

funweddingphoto7. Let the photographer know if it is okay to move around during the ceremony. If you want the best shots, your answer should be, “go anywhere you need to go to get a good shot.” That may mean getting in the guests way – momentarily – to get the picture. Weddings in churches often have restrictions about the photographer using flash during the ceremony. Be sure to check with the person performing the ceremony. Every location has different rules. Get to know them.

8. Create a timeline for the reception. It can be very easy for the photographer to miss the cake cutting, bouquet throwing, etc. Photographers are usually very good about following a schedule with brides for the big things like when the bride and groom photos will be taken. Be sure your timeline has everything that you want the photographer to shoot.

9. Hire your photographer far enough in advance so they won’t be rushed to obtain all the details that you want them to know about your engagement photos and your wedding.

10. Not being ready for photos when the photographer arrives. Plan your day! Especially your wedding day. Double-check with the hair dresser and anyone else that may need to be there to help you be ready – according to your time-line – to make sure they stay on schedule. Be on time! No excuses.

We’ve all seen the bad wedding pics. Blurry brides, green tinted grooms, hideous composition and the list goes on. Weddings are a one shot chance. There is no reshoot of the event and the bride and groom are very emotionally invested in the outcome of the photos. Hire a photographer only after viewing his/her portfolio, an in-depth interview about your likes and dislikes, checking their references, etc. You will want to know if they have a plan in place for handling an equipment malfunction?

A professional wedding photographer knows the ins and outs of weddings, what works and what doesn’t. I would NEVER recommend that you “cheap-out” by having a family member or someone who is just beginning their photography career to shoot your wedding. NEVER! The good ones aren’t cheap and the cheap ones are not usually good. Plan your wedding budget accordingly.

Wedding photography is one of the hardest jobs in photography. Weddings are emotionally and physically exhausting events to shoot. They have days of prep before the wedding and days, if not weeks, of work (editing, etc.) afterwards. Wedding photographers deserve your “respect” and trust and the really good ones genuinely deserve the fees they receive.

BONUS Articles: Wedding Photography Checklist
Your Best Shot – Wedding Checklist
Here is a link to the other Photography articles on this Blog. Click here!

Photo Credits: Top photo: Andrew Sansom Wedding Photography
Photo on the right: KWP | Weaver, Orlando

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

“Professional” Photography is too Expensive!

Filed under: Boudoir Photography,Photography Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

Oh, really?

There are a lot of people who think professional photography is too expensive. Please take a moment to consider the time and care that your photographer takes to create beautiful memories of your wedding for you. This is a great little run down sheet that shows you the time a photographer spends on a session. Some of my photographer friends say the time expressed in this graphic is on the low end.

Please think twice before you have your “friend” with a good camera take photos at your wedding! NOTE: Photo on the left below is by Aleksandar Jaredic.

PROvsAmateur

I would ask you to remember that you really do get what you pay for. Check references. Talk to others who have used the photographer you are considering. Make a wise choice.

BONUS Articles: Click here for at least a dozen articles, tips, etc., that may save you money when you hire a photographer!

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Are You Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding? – “No way!”… However…

When brides hear the question, “Are you seeing each other before the wedding?” – “No way!” or “Not at my wedding!” are typical responses. More and more, brides and grooms are tossing aside the “no see before the wedding” tradition in favor of a special moment where the bride and groom first meet before the wedding with the photographer.

Although they will most likely be on a strict timeline after the ceremony, by scheduling a “first look” or “reveal moment,” before the wedding ceremony the photographer will be able to capture your special moment of seeing each other privately for the first time. From a photographer’s position, there are usually many more pros to seeing each other beforehand than cons, but what it comes down to is your personal decision. The idea of not seeing each other before the ceremony comes from the days when marriages were arranged and the groom might never have seen the bride. There was a chance that he might take one look at her and bolt – so it was often safer for them to meet for the first time at the altar.

“That quiet moment that couples share the first time they see each other in private before the ceremony is the one time all day that they get to be alone and reflect on their true emotions.” ~ Marnee Marriott, MarriottPhoto.com

firstlookHere is how to set it up. The bride and the groom get ready separately. While your hair and make-up are still fresh, you and your photographer stage a time for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time. At the exact moment that you see each other for the first time, you’ll completely forget the photographer is snapping away some very special and intimate moments.

If you think that it will make walking down the isle or saying your vows any less special, I promise you it won’t. You will inevitably have lots of emotions on your wedding day – enough to spread out through the entire day.

If you are having an outside wedding at sunset, most photographers want you to allow no less than 1 1/2 hour from the end of the ceremony to the beginning of sunset. Lighting is one of the most important factors for getting great photographs. If you’re having a sunset wedding, there is a good chance that there won’t be any daylight remaining after the ceremony for photos unless you plan for it. By doing a first look, we’ll be able to do your “formal” photos and couple session BEFORE your ceremony in the gorgeous natural light!

“If the bride and groom are very traditional, they won’t see each other before the ceremony. But photographers will encourage it because the bride’s makeup is fresh and her hair is done so they can get a lot more photos done before the ceremony. Afterward, they can take a few family shots and enjoy the cocktail hour.” ~ Elizabeth Todd, wedding coordinator at Blackstone Country Club, Peoria, Arizona

I like the “first look” idea because you will get more and better photos when you give the photographer the time to go above and beyond the call of duty. Taking photos before the ceremony can often be so much more relaxing as well. And I’ve never met a couple that wasn’t in a hurry to get to their reception. You’ll also be giving yourselves some extra time right after the ceremony to take a few brief photos, then join your guests at cocktail hour or spend a few alone minutes together to take in the special moment you just shared.

Most couples do a “reveal moment” well before the ceremony. This gives them an opportunity to greet each other in a more secluded area away from the guests. A couple may choose to do this if they would like to do formal and family pictures before the ceremony rather than after, giving the couple more time with their guests following the ceremony. They may also choose to do this to relieve a little of the pressure of the wedding day.

Make sure everyone is ready when the photographer is scheduled to arrive; dressed, hair and make-up, etc.

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you” to Cory Ryan, Photographer, Austin, Texas for his contribution to this article.

Photo Credit: Real Photography, Inc., Black Forest, just outside Colorado Springs, CO.

BONUS Article: The Bride and Groom’s “Reveal Moment”
75 Reasons to Have a First Look
16 First Looks You Don’t Want To Miss
Seven Reasons to See the Bride Before the Wedding

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Friday, September 30, 2011

Spit Out Your Gum. . .

Filed under: Photography Tips — Larry James @ 8:00 am

. . . and 11 more tips to make your wedding photos great!

1. Lose the gum BEFORE the ceremony and certainly while the photos are being taken. 😉 It’s more difficult to get a great smile if you’re thinking about where to park the gum, eg., under your tongue, the roof of your mouth, etc. Gum chewing while you’re being photographed on your wedding day is a no-no.

smile2. As you are walking down the aisle, be aware of the photographer. Take your time. You may want to slow down a bit. It’s your big day. Show that you are happy! SMILE!

3. As a Wedding Officiant, I always arrive early to tell the photographer that he has my permission to go anywhere he needs to go to get a good photo. Most photographers like to stay out of the way however, there are times when it’s best for them to move in close for a moment or two. Be sure to let them know that you are okay with that.

bicyclewedding4. Never be afraid to shine and go with the moment. Let your emotions show on your wedding day. Whatever you feel, let it out. Wear your best smile. If you feel yourself getting a little emotional (by the way, it’s okay to cry at your wedding), wipe the tears away and get back to smiling. Bonus Tip: Remind the groom to have a clean handkerchief in his pocket and have a small tissue tucked in the center of the bride’s bouquet just in case. If the bride tears up the groom can take out the hankie, offer it to her or dab the tears himself.

5. Hire the best, most creative professional photographer you can afford and trust them to do a good job. It’s best not to rely on family and friends to take photos. First, they want to be at the wedding to enjoy your moment, and second, if they are not pros, the kind of photos you will receive may not be the best. At the reception, keep the disposable cameras away from the children otherwise you get photos of the floor, and worse. Have the MC remind the adults that they may take as many photos as possible and to leave them on the table at the end of the evening.

6. Sometimes the groomsmen will want to wear sun glasses. Never during the ceremony. Their eyes help make the smile they are wearing shine for the photos. A really fun Bride or Grooms gift to their bridesmaids and groomsmen are custom sunglasses. In their wedding colors or even monogrammed, they also make for some great photo ops after the wedding.

WeddingBouquet7. Avoid “white” roses for the bridal bouquet. They are beautiful, however all roses symbolize Love, but their colors have special meaning. White roses offer little contract against the bride’s white dress. If you plan on having a rose bouquet, use the list below to choose the shade that best matches the feeling you want to convey.

White – innocence, purity, secrecy, reverence and to honor those who are deceased
Red – Love, passion, respect and courage
Yellow – Joy, friendship and freedom
Pink – Happiness, gratitude, appreciation and admiration
Cream – Thoughtfulness, charm and graciousness
Orange – Admiration, fascination, enthusiasm and desire

8. When exchanging rings, don’t be afraid to turn towards each other, or even towards your guests. Take your time. This in not a moment to rush through. Even though the wedding officiant will continue to speak, you do not need to be facing him/her. Tilt the hand receiving the ring toward the camera.

9. Make the kiss last a lot longer than you usually do. Two reasons: the photographer doesn’t know when that moment is coming and you want to be sure they get a photo of the kiss, and second, the guests love it. They will usually begin applauding and you may hear someone say, “Get a room!” 😉 Some couples don’t like showing affection in public. Let this one day be the exception.

weddingshot10. Prepare a photo list. Give your photographer a complete list of all the photos to be taken after the ceremony; the names of the brides family, siblings, grandparents, and the grooms family, siblings, wedding party, etc. If your intent is go take photos at or near sunset, losing light can be a problem. Appoint someone familiar with your family to be in charge of finding these people and getting them to the photography location as quickly as possible. Remind everyone to stay near the ceremony site for photos after the wedding and to listen for their names to be called. Tell the groomsmen that you will save them drinks so they don’t start drifting toward the bar.

11. Before the wedding, professional makeup is a must. After the wedding and before you begin to take photos, the maid or matron of honor should have a make-up kit handy to help the bride freshen her make up.

12. The smallest adjustments in posture can make such a huge difference! Try these simple tweaks for a slimming effect:

• The lower the bride holds her bouquet, the thinner she will look.
• Turn your body to a 45 degree angle from the camera
• Lift your chin slightly up and out
• Put all of your weight on your back leg
• Lean in a little with your chest

Relax and have fun. It’s a great day! If you’re stressed or exhausted, it’ll show. Get plenty of rest the night before your wedding. I encourage brides and grooms to schedule their rehearsal dinner two days before the wedding instead of the night before. This gives you a day of rest and an a opportunity to energize yourself for your wedding day. Be funky, outrageous and outwardly emotional. Allow your photographer to capture those emotions, you will treasure them. Remember, your mood will always be reflected in your photographs. Trust your photographer – you’re paying a professional for a reason!

There are many other photo tips too numerous to mention. Spend some time with your photographer and ask them for their best tips.

Having said all this, FORGET about the camera and just have fun!

BONUS Articles: Photography Tips

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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