Your wedding day is a special occasion with moments that only happen once and can not be recreated.
Hiring the right photographer is of utmost importance if you want to preserve those moments for eternity.
Weddings are expensive, we get it. It all adds up, the dress, the venue, the food, the alcohol and then there is the photographer.
Weddings are budget heavy, and entertaining their guests well is often one of the top priorities on a couple’s list. We have shot weddings for several years now and have talked to countless brides, hearing the “our budget is limited” argument all the time. Here is the thing: We understand that, but you can save money on food and your guests will not mind. Save money on linens, no-one will care. Play bad music, your guests may notice, but they will survive. Hire a bad or inexperienced wedding photographer and end up with bad images and you face regrets for a life time.
As a photography team we work with families at every stage of their lives. One of the biggest complaints we hear a lot during consultations is: “We should have spent more money on our wedding photographer and hired a professional with experience; it is the biggest regret we have.”
So here is the fix: Hire a professional with experience in wedding coverage. Check their credentials. Believe it or not, some photographers are not always all that they say they are.
You will also find that capturing your wedding day is quite different than capturing baby pictures or family moments. It takes a special eye to capture weddings and the willingness to move all day long and pay attention to all that is going on. Wedding days are marathons for a good, experienced wedding photographer. We are constantly on the ball, missing nothing. It is one of the reasons we charge what we do.
It is also imperative that the photography team you hire is, in fact, a team. This means two photographers. Yes, read this again: two photographers. Two of us capture more than one. You want two!!
And please, for all that is holy, do not let uncle Mike or aunt Suzy take care of your wedding pictures!!!! Even if they have a good camera and produce decent photos of their pets and children. They will not capture your day the way you want them to. Friends or relatives have their own agenda on your wedding day and will miss a lot. Remember, you did not pay them, they are a family member and friend. Just invite them, treat them as you will all of your other guests and pay for a good photography team on your wedding day. Your wedding day is special, treat it that way!
Regrets are no fun.
Budget for photography, budget generously, and you will have no regrets!
Networking with Venues and other Businesses
Once or twice a year I get in contact with JB Bridals in Chambersburg, PA, Bella Salon and Spa here in Hagerstown and a venue to create images that benefit us all. I reach out to models I have worked with before and love and add a few fresh faces into the mix. Sometimes these shoots are designed around something I really want to play with and have not had a chance to do, and other times they are designed around one of our business partner’s needs as was the case this year.
We have been allowed into the Miller house for a few bridal sessions, family photos and engagement sessions and have developed a great relationship with this local non-profit historical home that houses the historical society of Washington County. The governing board decided to begin promoting the house as a wedding venue and we helped out, not only by providing images from past “real” sessions but also from this styled shoot, specifically designed to highlight some areas of the house we had not worked in before.
I really enjoy the days during which I just get to play, everything connected to a styled shoot is fun. I love working with JB Bridals and picking out gowns and tuxes for the event. Jackie always pulls the most gorgeous gowns according to what my plans are and the models have a blast trying them on.
Bella Salon always sends me the best stylists and make up artists and they perform their magic turning my models into brides and brides maids as was the case this time. We work together for trade, and everyone benefits from the session. I love the pace I get to set on those days, there is no rush to get to the next stage of the day and I get to meticulously plan each shot.
As a photographer it is important to continuously push myself, and to take time to explore ideas and different ways to utilize a setting, light, and mood. During a wedding I am stuck with whatever the chosen venue has to offer and I am tied to the wedding day timeline. I know how to work within the confines of all that, but it is nice to be able to control each moment, which is one of the reasons I arrange for at least one styled shoot a year.
This year I am planning a second one and it will be fabulous 🙂
Within this post I am showing you a few of my favorites of the day and since we were working at a historical venue, several of them are in either muted tones or black and white. The gowns had gorgeous trains which I showed off in several of the shots. Enjoy 🙂
We are about to enter the season for proposals. All over the globe one half of a couple will decide to get down on one knee this holiday season and pop the question:
“Will you marry me?”
Here at Wertman Photography we love this season. Since the answer “yes” leads to new brides-to-be who we will get to meet with over the next few months, during bridal shows and consultations at our studio, I thought I would point out a few things a newly engaged couple should look for when interviewing a photographer.
- Do not focus on price alone. Some studios will have a low entry cost, but itemize every product, leading to a higher price tag in the end. Ask what is included.
- Look over several websites. Are the images consistent, do you notice a style? If you love the style, call to set up an appointment to talk to the photographer.
3. Set up an in person consultation with the photographer whose style you like. If they are not willing to meet in person, do not hire them over the phone. You should develop a relationship with the team you hire to capture one of the most important days of your lives. This relationship starts during the in person consultation.
4. Do not get scared of by a higher entry cost. If a starting price is listed and seems outside of your budget, call the photographer anyway to talk to them. You may find that many things are included in this cost and that they are willing to work with you in terms of payment plans and that the starting cost is lower as the overall cost at a studio that is not all inclusive.
5. Find out if your chosen studio works as a team or flies solo. A wedding is a big job and if you hire a photographer who works alone, he/she will likely miss something.
6. During the in person consultation you will get a sense of who you will be working with. It is important that you click with your photography team. They will record memories for you that are unretrievable. It is important that you feel that you can trust them.
We worked with some great couples this past year, both during weddings and engagement sessions. I have included some of our favorites from these sessions and we are looking forward to capturing the weddings of these engagement session over the next year and beyond.
Here is to a great Holiday Season, filled with Love and many who will answer “yes”.
Life happens and it happens fast. We try to capture as much of it as we possibly can; from Mom snapping pics with her cell phone, to National Geographic Photographers capturing worldwide documentary quality images, fit for magazine print and awards among the best in the world.
Perusing photos throughout our lives, we will at some point, begin to see differences in style, composition, quality and so on. Our appreciation for great photography has been well noted, as so many marvel at truly wonderful pics. We hang them, post them, share them, comment on them and even sell them!
Some believe that the differences in quality of photography start with the camera. I’ve heard people say, “Wow! Those are great pictures… You must have a really good camera!” There are those who say that it’s in the education and experience of the photographer. (We stand by this one!)
Still others maintain that wonderful photography happens by chance or by luck. These ideas beg the question, “What does it really take to produce Great Photography?” We are going to pursue the answers in this series. Please join us and feel free to comment. Participation is always welcomed!
In October it was suggested to us to participate in a styled wedding shoot, Indian style. Several venues were bounced around and after a while it was settled that the Kamran Center close to Frederick would be the place to do this.
We worked with three models, one male and two females, one of which we worked with before. It was fun to experience the differences in wedding attire and to see first hand how long it takes to get wrapped into a Sari.
While the guys are much more comfortable and it seems carefree in their wedding attire in the Indian tradition, the girls have it much harder, as the Sari tends to slip off the shoulder when they move and restrict they way they can walk etc.
I can not even imagine dancing in one.
After this experience I will forever appreciate the ease in which a western bride gets into her gown and can move pretty freely depending on the style she chose.
All in all this was an interesting experience and we did get some great shots from our great models. Both ladies are gorgeous and witnessing them being transformed into fairy tale creatures was fun.
We are currently organizing a western wedding shoot for March, again working with JB Bridals and if you are interested in participating in that, please read last week’s model call posted here.
Model Call for Bridal Shoot
We need two female and two male models for a stylized bridal shoot. The shoot will take place at the Chambersburg Country Club on Tuesday, March 21 2017.
2 clothing changes (Gowns and tuxes provided by JB Bridal), hair and make-up services (Bella Salon and Spa) provided. All work is for trade and each vendor is participating to receive images and new promotional material. Trade for models will be fully edited portfolio images from the day of shooting.
Female models need to be 5’8″ to 5’9″ and need to bring heels with them, either white, cream or silver evening shoes to match the gowns. size 8-10 wedding gowns need to fit, which translates to regular dress sizes of 6-10. I am looking for hour glass models. We want these images to look real, yet fantastic.
Male models should be a size 40 regular with an inseam of 34.
Please contact us no later than February 28 to be considered for the opportunity.
We will schedule a fitting at JB Bridals in Chambersburg during the week about 1 week prior to the shoot. Hair and makeup will likely start at 9 am and shooting will start at 10:30am. Please plan on a 4-6 hour day. Only serious, committed models need apply and we will meet in person before the fitting day.
This will be fun day creating amazing images while we showcase the newly renovated country club and play with new ideas.
Please contact the studio directly through email if you are interested: firstname.lastname@example.org
What questions should you ask when you interview a wedding photographer?
This week we will focus on what you should look for in a studio while you are looking at who will be the best fit for you.
Whether you found the list of photographers in front of you through a Google search, a bridal show or recommendations from friends, look over the studio’s website before you call to see if you like their style.
If you do, reach out to them either through email or a phone call and set up an appointment to talk to them. Whether they list a starting cost or not, whether the starting cost seems outside of your budget or not, set up an appointment. You never know what they include in their price until you talk to them, and you may be surprised to find that they include it all, making the cost a practical one.
When you meet with them, make sure that you and your fiancé both go if at all possible.
When meeting with a wedding photographer, pay attention to the following:
Is the photographer you are meeting with friendly and approachable?
If you meet them at their studio, what does the artwork hanging on the walls look like? Studios hang their best work on their walls.
Is the person you are meeting with at least one of the photography team or a sales person?
Do they listen to you and ask you questions, or do they launch right into the sales pitch.
What do they include in their price? Is it just a few hours and a CD, or are products such as an album included?
Do they shoot alone or do they use a team? If they use a team, do they charge extra for the second shooter?
Do they offer to help you plan your wedding day and work with your vendors, or will you sign with them and not see them until your wedding day?
Are they pushy and demand you sign now or you will loose them, or do they give you time to think?
Feel free to take this list with you to help you remember what to look for when talking to photography studios.
In our next email, we will give you some tips on what questions to ask before you sign on the dotted line.