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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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.

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

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: 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
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.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.

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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
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Techie Ways to Share Your Wedding Photos

Filed under: Photo Sharing — Larry James @ 8:00 am
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Photo sharing services should make the process of uploading and sharing your pictures as painless as possible. Anyone who uses these services is going to want to be able to upload their photos without having to jump through a lot of hoops. As long as the service is able to strike a balance between functionality and ease of use, it isn’t going to have a hard time prevailing among the other photo sharing services.

PhotoSharingA computer failure can destroy 1000s of memories. You can avoid this by keeping your photos backed up on the internet. A number of sites make it inexpensive and easy for you to upload your photos for safe keeping. Once your photos are online and findable, it’s time to look at another fun part of online photo sharing – the actual sharing. You can choose to make your photos public or private – it’s up to you. Private is like a photo on your wall – few see it. But public is like taking your photos to a party – they become a representation of you and offer a way to make friends.

Looking for a simple way to swap event photos with your friends? Some are free, others require a fee. Check ’em out. Here are ten ways to share:

Facebook group: Before the event, create a Facebook group and invite other guests to share their photos on the group’s page. Take it a step further by making multiple groups according to who will be there – for instance, one group for friends, one for family, coworkers, etc. (NOTE: I use my Facebook page to post photos of the brides and grooms whose wedding ceremonies I perform.)

Twitter/Instagram: When it comes to Twitter and Instagram, it’s all about the hashtags. Ask friends to add a specific hashtag, like #KellyandMattWedding720, so that everyone can click on the tag and easily access all the event photos in one place.

Shutterfly: When you sign up for your free photo sharing account at Shutterfly, you’ll receive 50 free 4×6 prints. This offer will let you see the high quality of our digital printing service. With your photo sharing account you’ll also have access to all of our high quality products and services as well as special offers. One of those great products is our own Shutterfly Express™ software.

Avanquest SendPhotos: SendPhotos from Avanquest is a free photo sharing service, offering a variety of compelling features and functionality you won’t find elsewhere. SendPhotos includes a web-based service and basic software, but the real draw is from their mobile solution. It is an amazingly innovative way to get photos from your phone (140 handsets already supported) to a number of sharing endpoints almost instantaneously. More than just providing a place to keep photos and allow for sharing, SendPhotos integrates with a variety of photo sharing services (MySpace, Picasa) and truly facilitates sharing quickly and conveniently.

album_on_macPicasa album: Do most of your friends have a Google account? Try creating a Picasa album where they can add their own snaps. Send an email invitation for friends to access the album, and then share the link with pals who’d like to see the photos.

D-Series app: The free Hipstamatic D-Series app allows you to share a “roll” of up to 24 pictures with friends, each of whom can upload their own perspectives of the bash. Even better? You can order prints straight from the Hipstashop.

Flickr group: If all your friends are on Flickr, then go for a group where you can each upload your favorite shots from the day. Make it completely public to give anyone access, go invitation-only to keep it private, or stay totally private if you have no intention of making the album public in the future.

Photobucket: Once upon a time, this site was a favorite among internet users looking to quickly host an image and share it online at sites like eBay and MySpace or on blogs and message boards. While that’s still true, Photobucket has added several features to keep users coming back to the site for managing photo albums and videos.

Snapfish: This site has been around for a long time–I first wrote about this photo sharing site back around 2001. It is completely free, with absolutely unlimited photo storage. That said, the site’s photo sharing service exists mainly just to support an online printing business, so Snapfish maintains your photo collection only on the condition that you occasionally purchase something. Don’t make any prints, photo books, or photo gifts at least once a year, and your photos might be disappeared.

Zooomr: Zooomr is a very robust and feature-rich photo sharing site, but it lacks the appeal and charisma of Flickr to users. And last time I checked, Zooomr has removed the storage limit for free accounts, so you can upload as much photos as you want.

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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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

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
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

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Top 4 Favorite Wedding Photos

Filed under: Wedding Articles — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: , ,

I often will bring a camera to the wedding ceremonies I perform and after the ceremony I take a few photos. Some of the links will take you to a larger photo. Here are a few of my favorites.

EngstromJessie Engstrom and Jamie Wicks – Married @ 5:30 p.m., Saturday, March 27, 2010 – The Wrigley Mansion Club, Phoenix, AZ. Their 2nd kiss immediately after the wedding. (They didn’t know I was watching)!

Pouwels(right photo) Lauren Pouwels and Nam Ha (Alhambra, CA) – Married @ 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 23, 2010 – The Phoenician Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, AZ

blackburnSamantha Blackburn and Joshua Clark – Married @ 2:30 p.m., Saturday, October 21, 2006 – Sandcastle Beachouse, Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Mexico

richmond(right photo) Suzanne Richmond and Scott Steinmann Commitment Ceremony @ 4:30 p.m., Saturday, January 27, 2007 – Las Conchas in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Mexico. Suzanne & Scott were legally married in a brief ceremony at 1:00 p.m. in Scottsdale on May 21, 2007

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (95 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Top Ten Things You Need to Know to Ensure Wedding Photo Bliss

Professional Photographers of America (Staff Writers), Guest Author

Sure, today’s affordable digital cameras can make anyone seem like a good photographer. But there’s a lot more to getting the wedding photos you want and deserve than just pointing and shooting. After this most important and special of days, it will be your wedding albums and pictures that you turn to time and again to remember and cherish those once-in-a-lifetime moments. Choose your photographer as carefully as you’ve planned every other detail of your wedding, and you’ll still be enjoying those images years from now.

To help, we’ve put together a list of ten critical aspects of wedding photography you should know and understand, along with some of the most important questions you should ask prospective photographers to help you make your final decision.

#10 Professional Fees: What are your fees? Do you charge a flat rate for the day, or do you charge by the hour? What about travel time, overtime, and editing rounds? Are there other potential costs I should know about?

#9 Format: Do you shoot with film, or capture digital images? Tell me why you choose one over the other. If you capture digital images, what steps do you take to preserve the digital files for the long-term? How soon after the images are taken are the media cards backed-up. What steps do you take to protect against data loss?

#8 Equipment: What kind of camera do you use? Do you use any equipment that requires flashes or special arrangements for lighting? Are you able to provide equipment for black and white, or special effects?

#7 Collaboration: Will I be working with you or someone else on your staff? Do you work with an assistant? Can we work together to make sure you get all the shots I want? What is the process for reviewing, selecting, and editing the final images for the album, enlargements, and print sets?

#6 Deliverables: In what format do you deliver the proofs? Do you provide an album, CD, and prints as final products? How many and what size? What packages do you offer, and what will I pay for additional items not included? Are negatives or image rights included in your costs?

#5 Time: What is the maximum amount of time I will wait to see proofs? Once I’ve selected my pictures, how long will it take for final delivery of all printed products?

#4 Quality: Do you develop or print the final pictures in-house, or do you work with a professional lab? If in-house, what kind of equipment do you use? What do you do to make sure my pictures don’t fade?

#3 Style: What is your artistic style? Do you shoot traditional poses, or have a more photojournalistic approach, or, is it mixed? Do you like to shoot in the studio, as well as on the wedding day? If you stage shots or group portraits, how do you manage distracted or uncooperative subjects or guests? Can I see examples of an entire wedding day shoot to see how you might tell a wedding day “story”?

#2
Experience: How long have you been photographing weddings? How long have you been in business? Can you provide references? Can I view some of your albums? Tell me about the worst wedding photography nightmare you’ve experienced, and how you got through it.

And perhaps the most important thing you need to discuss with your photographer…

#1 Assurances: How do you ensure my satisfaction? What are your backup plans in the event you’re late or called away by an emergency? What happens if there’s an equipment failure, or some other unforeseen issue? Do you carry liability insurance? Can I get all of the points we’ve covered in a written contractual agreement?

Do not take “no” for an answer to that last question! A written contract signed by all parties protects you and the photographer, and does more to ensure your wedding photo bliss than any other action or decision you can make.

Professional Photography – See the Difference

Professional photographers have unique skills and training in the artistry, as well as the technology, of creating beautiful wedding images that reflect exactly the image you want to portray. And wonderful wedding photography goes beyond the actual shoot itself to the products you’ll want to own. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure your photographer is well-versed in creating and delivering the total package that will make you happy long after your big day is over.

We recommend interviewing multiple photographers – and don’t forget, chemistry is important as well. Your photographer will spend this most important day in very close contact with you, your wedding party and your guests, so make sure you interview several photographers and after you’re satisfied that all of the above is in order, pick someone who you will want to share in your wedding day.

Larry’s Note: A special “Thank you!” to Marcia Mauskopf, Professional Photographer for calling my attention to this article.

Bonus article: Read, “Hire a Professional Photographer or Friend?

Copyright © 2010 – Professional Photographers of America. Reprinted with permission. Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is an international non-profit association for professional photographers. PPA exists to assist its 22,000 members in achieving their professional, artistic, and fraternal goals; to promote public awareness of the profession; and to advance the making of images in all of its disciplines as an art, a science and a visual recorder of history. To find a professional photographer, visit: www.PPA.com/findaphotographer/.

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.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, May 10, 2010

The Bride and Groom’s “Reveal Moment”

Here’s a great idea. Take nearly all your photos “before” the wedding. It’s called the “reveal moment.” Some call it, “first look.”

Traditionally the bride and groom do not see each other before the wedding. This tradition often causes problems. It originated in arranged marriages where bride and grooms had never met each other, let alone seen each other before the wedding. It was considered bad luck if either party saw each other.

reveal1More and more, brides and grooms are tossing aside the “no see before the wedding” idea in favor of a special moment where the bride and groom first meet before the wedding with the photographer.

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.

reveal2The photographer will set it up. They will pick a special place for this photo opportunity. The groom with his back turned will be waiting. The bride walks within a few yards of him. The groom then turns around for the “reveal moment” as the photographer snaps away. The two of you will see each other for the first time all dressed up on their wedding day.

Having a reveal moment is the perfect way to freeze a moment in time when you get that first look at each other. Its a memory you will cling to when you remember your wedding day.

This gives the couple a chance to have some intimate time alone together on their wedding day. The rest of the day is filled with craziness, a little chaos, and mobs of family and friends rushing them at all times.

One bride said, “We only took photos after our ceremony because my husband insisted that he not see me until I walked down the aisle. After the wedding, he felt differently. We built in a time buffer between the ceremony and cocktail hour, however, we still spent a significant portion of our cocktail hour taking photos. If we could do it again, we would definitely take most of the photos prior to the ceremony.”

reveal3Doing the photos ahead of time is when the bride and groom are the freshest, look their best, and it gives them the option to go straight from the ceremony to the cocktail hour to mingle with their guests, then the reception and not leave their guests waiting for an hour or more while they take photos after the ceremony.

A private, romantic meeting – before photos with the wedding party – creates the first of two exciting “reveals”. It is an opportunity for the couple to exchange wedding gifts alone if they want to. It may be the only time they have together the entire day. The second heart-pounding “reveal” moment is walking down the aisle. It will always be a memorable moment for both of you even if they’ve seen each other earlier.

I had a wedding where the bride and groom kept their guests waiting for about an hour and 45 minutes while their photos were taken after the ceremony. Several guests left before the reception. I can imagine the shock when they finally received the cocktail hour bill. It’s thoughtless and rude to keep your guests waiting that long.

Taking photos and having a special “reveal moment” for the two of you before the wedding seems to make all photos go more smoothly and allows everyone to be a little more relaxed.

BONUS Article: Seven Reasons to See the Bride Before the Wedding
75 Reasons to Have a First Look

NOTE: Congratulations to: Katie Waldman and Evan Holdsworth – Married @ 6:30 p.m., Saturday, May 1, 2010 – Camelback Inn, Paradise Valley, AZ. There is great example of a “Reveal Moment” about 5 minutes into this video.

Larry’s Note: Photos by Marcia Mauskopf, Marcia The Art of Photography, Phoenix, AZ. These photos were taken at The Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens, Phoenix. Hold your mouse over the photos to see what’s going on.

Larry’s Note #2: Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable.

marriotphotography

Above photo by: Marnee Marriott, Marriot Photography, Scottsdale, AZ.

Another great “reveal moment.” Click here!

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (95 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

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

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hire a Professional Photographer. . . or Friend?

Your wedding photographs are a precious keepsake. Your wedding day can never be repeated. Many couples often consider having a relative or friend who is “getting into photography” document their special day.

This is a disturbing trend. I often hear couples say that they’re going to have a friend take their wedding photos. Please don’t do that! It’s a bad idea!

I know. Everyone has been tightening their money belts these days. However you don’t want to do that when it comes to a once-in-a-lifetime event – like your wedding.

Due to digital photography, the barrier of entry to become a wedding photographer has also become much lower, and more than ever clients have to do their homework before hiring their wedding photographer.

Many amateurs, equipped with sophisticated equipment, are capable of taking decent photographs. However, there is much more to wedding photography than knowing how to operate a camera. Beware. There are many part-time hobbyist out there that claim the title as a full-time devoted wedding specialist. If you hire a budget wedding photographer, you’ll get budget wedding photography. Remember, “cheap is not good and good is not cheap!” The photographs of your wedding will become permanent reminders of what should be one of the best moments of your life.

Wedding photographerWedding photography has truly become it’s own art form. Wedding photography is about seizing moments, capturing emotion and creating memories. The technical skills required to do this are essential, but it doesn’t stop there.

petalsAn experienced wedding photographer knows the flow of the wedding day. They know when to anticipate those special candid moments, and how to pose a large wedding group. They are experienced at knowing where to be and when to be there to get the best shots and angles. It also takes a certain personality and finesse to deal with the many people that the photographer will interact with during the day.

A professional wedding photographer does more than just take pictures. Most professional photographers spend anywhere from 10 to 20 hours or more carefully editing your wedding day portraits. The beauty of the photographer’s work extends into the way they process their images, not just showing up on your wedding day. They have pride in their quality of work, and their ability to produce images you’ll cherish.

Family members and friends rarely have the professional caliber photography equipment that is necessary to record an event as special as a wedding. If they get distracted during the ceremony or have inferior equipment, your memories of your special day could be compromised, ending in a large amount of disappointment for the bride and groom later.

While there are alternatives to having a professional wedding photographer, they should be used in addition to the professional, not instead of. A professional will be able to provide you with the high quality images that you will want, not the random, often inferior photographs that should never appear in your wedding photo album.

Proper planning and a focused effort in choosing your wedding photographer will allow one of the best moments of your life to be captured perfectly. How do you know a photographer is right for you? Before you hire a photographer, know who you are hiring. Check their references.

chirello5You can never ask too many questions. Ask questions about equipment, the time it takes to edit, products, travel fees, how long they’ve been in business, how often they shoot, etc. Make sure that they have a great tract record. The best method to find out about your photographer is word of mouth and former clients.

Never make your decision to hire a professional photographer on price alone. That’s a “no no.” Check out the quality of work first. The wedding images should catch your eye and make you want to see more. If the images don’t do that for you then inquiring about pricing is a moot point.

You absolutely need a photographer who knows their equipment inside and out and has photographed weddings before. If you don’t feel comfortable with a person you interview to photograph your wedding, don’t hire them. Sometimes personalities just don’t “click.”

Give your photographer a list of photos you would like taken. If you specifically want shots of your hands with your wedding rings, put that on the list. If you want images of you and a friend who isn’t in your wedding party, just make a note. Remind close family members and friends to stay close to the wedding party after the wedding so they can be available for photos when the photographer is ready to take their photos. Nothing slows a photo shoot down more than having to run around looking for the people you need. Your photographer will have a list of standard poses he/she shoots, but most are flexible with adding others.

photographersPhotography in its purest form is all about emotion. A photograph has the power to move us in many different ways. Make sure your photographer shares your vision.

Never mix business with friends and family! Your wedding photos are simply too important to leave to amateurs. Hire the best, full time wedding photographer because those pictures are very important and eventually they will become the time-keep of your marriage. When you see the photographer nearby, remember to smile for the camera. This is hopefully a one shot deal, so don’t take any chances.

NOTE: The photo (above right) was taken by Larry James at Anushka Turner & Jason Ray’s wedding, March 19, 2010 at Sassi Ristorante, Scottsdale. Jason Ray (right) and one of his Groomsmen. Photographer: Kelli Leslie of Kelli Leslie Photography. Videographer: Clyde Jones.

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (95 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

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

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