Sophia and Robert married at The Barn at High Point Farms - between them as a beautiful pair, their choice of decor, and the loveliness of the setting, it was magical. See why here!Read More
I read this article on managing your budget for your wedding and the lesson about trying to cut corners on wedding photography. This post is about what you're actually getting for what you spend on a wedding photographer.Read More
If youth is wasted on the young, Celia and Gary are taking it back with their attitude! Come and see their engagement pictures, photographed at the historic Swann Plantation in Sevierville, TN.Read More
A wedding photographer's time is money and a bride with a budget needs to figure out how long she wants her photographer to be on duty. This article can help to understand the types of coverage a couple may want and the time it may take to realize.Read More
When a picture that is "just a snapshot" is much more and why I choose to provide my wedding clients with the digital files for their images. A sweet story about why this picture of my children means so much to me.Read More
Fortune smiled on Justin and Jenny when the smoke from wildfires cleared and the sun shone when he proposed to her in historic Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Come hear the story and see the pictures of my latest proposal to be photographed!Read More
It's Fall, y'all, and that means that weekends in the Great Smoky Mountains are filled with visitors, looking to feel the crisp air and see the change in foliage.
So where is a young man to find a private spot to propose to his lady love?
And that is where I come in. I found a spot for Trent that would give him the solitude needed to ask Sarah to marry him. And you know, the canopy of trees to provide shelter from the rain did not hurt, either.
Let's have the pictures tell the story . . .
Can I get an "Amen!" for love?
Seriously, I really love shooting marriage proposals. As I drove away from these two lovelies today, I thought how in Southern California, I practiced Family Law and helped couples end their marriage. As I was reflecting on that, I was listening to Brad Paisley's "Rainin' You" and it was raining. And I heard the lyrics, "I can't explain it, but I am baptized anew." And I thought, "Yes - I am so much happier doing this than what I was doing then." Couples like Sarah and Trent make my heart happy and I am joy-filled to help them start a life together. Proposals, engagements, wedding: it's a happier occasion and, heck - there's cake!
The "after portraits" are always a delight - but then, the glow is still fresh!
A grey day, but in a quiet corner of the Smokies, the warmth and light of this man and woman shone!
Congratulations to Sarah and Trent!
What happens when wedding portraits don't come out as planned? It's never too late for a do over. Or, even better - plan to do your wedding portraits on a day apart from your wedding and take advantage of a gorgeous setting and the right time of day. Here are images done at Ijams Nature Center, part of Knoxville's Urban Wilderness, for a great couple, Megan and TJ.Read More
During the Memorial Day weekend, I photographed the wedding of Elizabeth and Andrew Myers at an outdoor area owned by the Middlesettlements UMC called . . . the Field of Dreams! WHat a great name for a place to get married!
But I wanted to do a special image for them that would take in the beautiful rolling hills around this area. I wanted to showcase them but still capture the expanse of land around them. Well, the second part could be done with a wide-angle lens, but then the new Mr. and Mrs. Myers would be tiny in the image.
Fortunately, there is a technique that has been popularized by noted photographer Ryan Brenizer; commonly referred to as "the Brenizer Method," it involves taking a series of images of the couple and around the couple using a shallow depth of field, and then using Photoshop to stitch them all together.
And this is what you get:
The image above took more than 50 separate images to make.
Does it take extra time? Sure. When I first saw an example, did I have to learn how to do it? Yeah. But . . . it's the Field of Dreams, and a little more effort for my clients is worth it when it makes their wedding pictures special.
A fellow professional photographer and I were chatting and a topic that always makes the blood pressure rise is the "photographers" who advertise on Craigslist.
This is not to disparage Craigslist - more and more, people use it to sell and barter, and as a believer in the capitalist system and a fervent supporter of that great American tradition, the small business, I am all for it. But to advertise your services on it is free and with that comes the need for the consumer to be quite, um . . . discreet when choosing a vendor. And especially so for wedding photography.
A quick search for "wedding photography" on my local Craigslist showed a lot of offerings. I was surprised to see some that are very good. And some are horrible. I am not going to link to any of the offerings, but I can see how a couple with a limited budget might think "$500? And we get all the photos on a disk? Sounds like a deal!"
And that is what my friend sheepishly admitted to me - he was one of those guys who said, "Hey, not bad - $300 and that's another thing checked off the list." The price was right,a photographer was needed, and so what could go wrong?
As it turned out . . . a lot. He told me the pictures came back to them after several months and were not simply awful, but pretty much unusable. Out of focus. Bad lighting. Weird poses. So oddly composed that you just look at them and say, "I . . . can't even . . ."
I did not believe him, so I asked him to send me some, assuring him I would keep his and his lovely wife's anonymity protected and use them for a blog post to warn others.
And here is the train wreck, in all the glory as it was delivered.
But you don't have to make the same mistake. Here are a few pointers when looking for a photographer:
- Know your venue first. Your photographer must be aware of limitations and be able to accommodate them. So, if you are going to get married in the perfect little chapel, but it is dark inside and there is a strict policy that no flash can be used during the ceremony, you need someone who can work in low-light situations, which means having professional grade cameras and lenses. Knowing the venue allows a photographer to do some scouting to find spots for photos, rather than just "running and gunning" on the day of your wedding.
- Ask to see samples of a wedding they have shot, from soup to nuts. How do they handle all points in a wedding, from bridal prep to the final exit from the reception? Also, ask to see samples of albums they have designed. Are pictures placed randomly or is there a flow that tells a story?
- Know your style and expectations. When you're viewing a photographer's portfolio, and you want high-key, very bright almost-fashion photography and they shoot with warmer tones and prefer traditional poses . . . then there is a mismatch. Don't expect a photographer to match your style. Find the one who does.
- Look for signs of professionalism. Do they have a nice website? Can they offer a contract for you to review? Do they have insurance? Are they a member of a professional organization like Professional Photographers of America or Wedding and Portrait Photographers International? A professional photographer understands the cost of doing business and should be willing to meet to answer your questions, as well as allow you to get a chance to know them, even if it results in no sale. Avoid egos.
- Be ready to do some work on your end if professional photography is not something you've looked at since your high school yearbook picture. Attend bridal shows. Look at the ads in them. Contact several photographers. Meet them. If they are too expensive, ask if they can recommend other photographers who don't cost as much - or look for ways to afford them if you really like their work. As an example, maybe you really want them for a few hours to do your bridal portraits and you'd be content with letting your brother's college buddy "try his hand" at shooting the rest. The more you can define what YOU want and expect, the easier it will be to shop for a wedding photographer.
Fortunately, this couple are the type to be able to laugh about it, but maybe you wouldn't. I can tell you, I have "fixed" wedding photography for other photographers where they messed up, but the images above cannot be helped in any way.
So, do your planning. Give me a call, I would be happy to sit down and talk about how we can work together to make your wedding photography great!