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Monday, June 27, 2011

Who is going to tell your story

A few weeks ago I had a friend e-mail me and ask for some advice as she began her search for a wedding photographer. She asked me some really good questions about what to look for when looking for a photographer, and I realized while I was writing her back, that she can't be the only bride out there asking these questions, so I thought I would share my answer here. Maybe you are a bride looking for answers or you know a bride who is looking for a photographer and doesn't know where to start.

ALL day long
One of the biggest pieces of advice would be to make sure you interview the photographer ahead of time and make sure you see their work of RECENT weddings. You have to like this person because this is the one vendor that you are going to spend your WHOLE day with from beginning to end. You want to make sure that your personalities mesh well. Your photographer may see you as you get emotional when your dad sees you in your dress for the first time, or are there as you get a little stressed out when your flowers don't show up on time. You want to feel comfortable and free to be yourself around your photographer.

I have found that being a wedding photographer I also play another unique role on the wedding day. I am someone who has "been there, done that." My brides have never been brides before and may have never even been in a wedding before, therefore it often helps to have a seasoned traveler along for the day. I have painted a bride's nails, fixed a bridesmaids dress, put flowers on groomsmen, and dried a mother's tears as she saw her daughter dance with her new husband. I get to not only capture all of these tender moments with my camera, but I get to be a part of these memories with the couples I have the honor of photographing on such a special day. This is something you may want to consider when meeting different photographers.

Input, input input!
With the internet it is so easy to research photographers and their work before you meet them. Ask other brides who they used. Look at their pictures and see if that is the same style you want for your pictures. Once you have narrowed it down, talk to other brides that have used that same photographer and get their input as to how the photographer was on the wedding day, final prints, and time frame working with them. Ask them if they felt like they got a good value for their money.

What's included?
Make sure you understand all that you are getting in your many photographers will be there? How many hours will they be there? What will you get? Proofs? An album? What kind of album? Ask to see samples. Images on DVD? What is the turn around time? Are there other expenses such as travel?

The less expensive or more expensive does not make them a bad or good photographer. I will admit though you sometimes might be cautious of the photographers that are really cheap...why are they cheap? Are they new and trying to build their business? Are they no good and that is the only way they will get hired?

Once upon a time...
How many images will they give you? Do they sort through the images before giving them to you or do they give you every single picture they took regardless of quality. A photographer can shoot a lot of images in a day, sometime a 1000 or more, which can be overwhelming for you as a new couple to go through. It would be more advantageous to have them choose the best of the best of the day. This is part of their job as the one telling the story of your day in pictures.

Your personal storyteller
I personally believe that a package that is just a photographer for the day and then they give you all the images on a CD is not the best value for your money. In my opinion then you are only getting a portion of what the photographer has to offer. You are going to be a newly married couple and that alone will consume your thoughts and life for the first year. Making your own wedding album is not going to be top on your list.

Like I said, the job of a photographer is to tell the story of your day and if they just burn all of the images on a CD or DVD for you after they are done, then essentially all they have done for you is give you the rough drafts to a great novel or all the rough footage to the next big blockbuster movie! I now offer album credit in my package. I don't want any couple to be without their great storybook to show their children's children!

Also, I have found that often just having the CD they rarely seem to getting around to printing pictures. So, having an album guarantees your story is written and you have pictures to show.

Not just another item on the budget
People often ask why wedding photography is so expensive. They are just pushing a button, right? I wish it was as easy as that. Your photographer is the one vendor who will be working for you long after the wedding day. After spending the day capturing all of those special moments, then comes the time to string the story together with pictures to tell 1000 words. It takes the right person to capture those moments so they are captured naturally so that when you show your wedding album to your children all of those same emotions are felt all over again as if it was yesterday.

Hours of time go into picking just the right images, editing them and putting them together in your album. The reason it is not just another line item on the budget, is because it is an investment. You will wear your dress once, your flowers are only fresh on your wedding day, the food is enjoyed while it is hot, and music is over when the last song is played...but your wedding pictures and album will be enjoyed for years to come. You are investing in the story of your first day as husband and wife.

I hope that this information has been helpful and that you feel more confident as you begin or continue your search for your photographer and storyteller for your wedding day.

Thursday, June 23, 2011're a Senior in High School

I can remember my high school years and looking forward to becoming a big bad senior! Ok--really I was just looking forward to getting my senior pictures taken. My very own photoshoot! How fun is that?! But before that could happen I needed to have a very serious conversation...with my orthodontist! I got braces on the fall of my junior year and the only way I would agree to it was if they could assure me that they would be off in time for me to get my senior pictures taken. They held up to their end of the deal and in the fall of my senior year I had a pretty smile to show off!

So, being that I had to get my pictures taken later in my senior year, I was unable to be a rep for any of the area photography studios and had to pay full price for my senior pictures. Now granted my parents did pay for a good portion of the pictures, but I can remember pitching in some of my hard earned money, because I wanted more wallets to hand out to all of my friends. =) If I had the opportunity to be a rep, then I would have earned as much as I could have to get more free photos to hand out.

What is my point in telling you all of this?

I need reps!!! All of you rising Seniors who are ready to tackle your senior year in high school (braces on or off), I need you! I am looking for one male and one female rep from the area high schools in the Indianapolis area. It is first come, first serve, so contact me right away! I already have some people lining up!

If you don't live in the Indy area and still want your senior pictures taken, I am willing to travel to you! I will be in Cleveland in the August and September, and in Steubenville in August. I am also planning a trip to Columbus, OH sometime this summer, so let me know if you want to get in on that schedule.

See below for my deal for the reps. It is a great deal that you don't want to pass up. Contact me ASAP at