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.

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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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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.

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