Hey, I’m Liz!
The most important part of what I do is telling your love story on your special day. I don’t just show up to your ceremony. I want to know the you beyond the camera so the photos I deliver are keepsakes that’ll be with you for decades. Your love story is the best inspiration for photos that last for decades.
Tips and Tricks
So you’re getting married!? Congratulations!! You’ll want to remember all those details and little moments that are shared between you and the love of your life. So how do you do that? Well….you hire a great photographer! So how do you know a great photographer from a not so great one? Here are a few tips to help you pick the perfect photographer to capture those perfect moments.
First, you want to look for photos that appeal to your style. Are you casual and laid back? Do you like candid photos that show a lot of emotion or are you more traditional and looking for more posed photographs? Find a photographer that is similar to your style and the style of your wedding. If you are LGBTQ, make sure to find a photographer that is comfortable photographing couples of the same orientation. Be sure to meet with your photographer. Sit down with them and chat about your wedding, your style, your expectations and how their business can help you capture your big day or your family. When you meet with photographers, ask to see a complete gallery. This will not only give you an idea of their style but also how they photograph an entire day. During this time, you can see if they photograph more candid moments or more posed and stylized.
So what exactly are the different styles of photography? Here are a few to give you an idea. Make sure you ask your photographer how they would describe their style and make sure that it’s something you’re interested in for your wedding or family photography. These will be the moments you remember forever and you want to make sure that you’ll love them.
If you’re interested in more posed photography such as your parents’ wedding album, you’ll want to go with a traditional photographer who specializes in posed portraiture. The photos you’ll want to see from them will include photos of the bride and groom and the family portraits. Do you like how they turn out? This doesn’t mean that they can’t take some unique photos. Some photographers will take a more dramatic approach and will photograph in a moodier more stylized way. You’ll want to make sure that that is something you want in your photos.
Some photographers will take a more relaxed approach to photography and instead of posed photographs will choose to to take more candid photos of people and the action that takes place during the day. These photos will include your girls laughing or crying as you step into your gown or your guests cutting up and dancing on the dance floor. With a photographer who is a photojournalist, you won’t see people staring at the camera, instead you’ll have moments that are captured as they happen…moments that tell the story of you and yours.
This style of photography is similar to documentary photography. This style is much more stylized and is infused with the photographer’s version of reality. These photos are usually more dramatic and while gorgeous tend to look more grainy and as if they were shot on film. There are a few photographers who are still photographing entirely on film and you’ll want to ask your photographer if this is something they do and see examples of their work. That doesn’t mean that someone using a digital camera can’t make their images look like this. With the right equipment and editing technique, a photographer can make their images look dramatic and stylized.
Now that you know the basic types of photography let’s talk about the photographers who blend styles. There are many photographers who will blend both portraiture and documentary. They will also do a mix of color and black-and-white. It is important to know the style you are looking for and to look for a photographer who already does that. Most photographers will not copy images and cannot copy the style of another photographer. If there is a style you love or images you can’t live without it’s important to hire a photographer that does that naturally.
How many photos can you expect to receive from your big day? This is an important question to ask the photographer you are thinking about hiring. Most photographers will deliver between 400-1500 images. This will also depend of the length of your wedding. You can also expect between 20-45 images from your engagement or family session. Now don’t feel overwhelmed by this. It may seem like a lot of photos but your photographer will be capturing a lot of details as well as you hanging out with your guests. These will include your flowers, rings, cake, dress as well as your ceremony and the love that you two share for one another.
You should also think about how your photos will be edited. Is your style bright or dark and moody? This will also be something you want to ask your photographer as each one has a style that is all their own. When you see photos that have a blurry background, you are looking at depth of field. This is not something you can do after you take the photo. If you want this you’ll want to find someone who uses a lot of depth of field. Post processing is an important part of each photographer’s style. There are three main styles of editing.
Clean and bright: these are lightly processed and appear natural. They will show your day true to color.
Matte: these images are low-contrast and have a film look to them.
High Contrast: these images have a vibrant rich look to them with colors that pop brightly.
While each style is unique and individual, one is not better than the other. What you want to think about when interviewing photographers is what you’ll love when you look back on your wedding or family images. You’ll want something that is classic and will stand the test of time.
One sure way to figure out who you should hire is to figure out if you “click.” Picking a photographer is similar to falling in love. You want someone you can trust much like you trust your spouse. You’ll be spending many hours with your photographer on your wedding day or you’ll be introducing your children to them. You want someone who makes you feel comfortable and makes others and your children comfortable. While interviewing photographers, be prepared to talk about your venue, your style and what you envision for your photos. By telling them these items you can prepare them to better explain how their business can help you or even if they believe that their style is not a good fit for your wedding.
Sometimes a photographer will tell you that they do not believe they are a good fit for you, your family or your wedding. Don’t take that the wrong way. Your photographer will spend a lot of time with you and they will take photos that you’ll look back on for years to come. If they believe that their style doesn’t match their vision, then it is best they tell you now that way you are not disappointed in your images.
Let’s talk price. Weddings can be expensive, let’s not deny that but it’s important to remember that once the cake is cut and the dress is put away, all you will have to remember your wedding day by is your new husband and the photos from your big day. The same goes for your family. When your kids grow up and move away, you’ll have the photos of them being little to remember those precious moments by. I hear people always say, “Photography seems easy, why is it so expensive?” Photography is not easy. Yes, you need a nice camera, but that equipment can be an investment and it will require upkeep. It also requires a good eye. Many photographers spend a lot of money on education and work shops. Paying for insurance just in case something happens is also an investment a photographer takes to provide you with the best photos. A photographer can carry over $15,000 worth of equipment with them at once and spend over 70+ hours a week in education, editing, driving and client meetings. You are not just paying for someone to press a button, you are paying for experience and the care that they will take to edit each and every one of your images. Can you get a cheaper photographer? Sure, but a cheaper photographer will most likely mean that they are inexperienced and might not have as much education and equipment that might be needed to flawlessly capture your moments. Do you really want to risk these moments just to save a few dollars? There are always ways to stretch a budget and work with a photographer who will give you your dream.
Now you’ll want to think about whether you just want images or if you want a full-service photographer. While digitals are important, you’ll want to think about what you’ll do with them. I’ve found that most people who receive a USB of their images never do anything with them. They get thrown into a drawer and never looked at again. Someone who sells products will edit the images before giving you the digitals and will also include albums, canvases and other items to adorn your home. Everyone has heard about a “shoot and burn” photographer. These photographers will photograph your wedding or session and will dump all the images onto a USB without editing. A full-service photographer will also edit out blinking, bad lighting and distractions from your images before delivering them. Paying someone a little extra means that they will take more time and care because they care about capturing your day as beautifully as it happened.
Now that you’ve chosen your photographer it’s time to relax. Trust your photographer. That’s why there are there and they will make each step of the process easy and relaxing. They are also there to answer questions for you and help you to feel comfortable with your choice and also with them. That magic is there and they will capture images that you will remember for a lifetime so don’t hover. Let them do the work.
Are you looking for a wedding or family photographer? I’d love to interview with you and be given a chance to be your photographer and capture moments for you to remember for a lifetime.