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Hiring a Wedding Photographer? 6 Red Flags You Need To Be Aware Of

Today’s author is Kathryn Cooper of Kathryn Cooper Weddings

 

When planning your wedding, many couples spend quite a bit of time researching venues, tasting foods, and listening to bands. But given that the photos from your day (and video, for a percentage of couples) are the only real keepsake from your wedding, it’s vital that you research and find the right photographer for you two.
 

I’ve worked for years as a professional photographer, and have shot well over 100 weddings all around the country and the world. I absolutely love what I do, and when I’m not working for myself, I’m working with and for other photographers in New York and beyond. In my time working with dozens of other normal and, shall we say, quirky photographers, I’ve seen the good, the bad, the lovely, and the downright rude! I’ve seen photographers throw temper tantrums, yell at couples, and get drunk. There is a vast range of styles, personalities, prices, delivery options, and more to be on the lookout for when hiring a photographer for any event, and when it comes to your wedding, it’s more important than anything that you get it right.
 

 

Now then, here are some red flags you should be on the lookout for when hiring your photographer for the day:
 

Personality:

 

Photographers can sometimes be pushy, rude, or just plain bored and uncreative. See how open the photographer is to your ideas, and how friendly he or she seems to be on the phone. Meet in person or even on Skype if possible, and make sure your personalities match. Remember: This person will be with you all day long during one of the most important—and often most stressful—days of your lives, so it’s important to go with your gut.
 

Is the person responsive to what you want and is he/she lending promising ideas? Would the person get along well with guests? I’ve worked with photographers who have actually yelled at crowds or gotten angry at people, and quite frankly, that’s unprofessional. We’re there to provide amazing shots and experiences for you, not instigate your guests! I’ve also seen shooters bring their significant others to weddings, start fighting, and really make everyone uncomfortable.
 

Similarly, you want to make sure your photographer captures YOU. A bored photographer will shoot each wedding in the same way. You’ll get good images, but they’ll sometimes seem average. A good photographer will manage to capture you: Your smiles, your reactions, and your interactions with the people you love around you. Take a look at a full wedding gallery or recent wedding on each photography site (almost all have these) and make sure you see the kinds of images you desire. I always make sure I’m listening carefully to my clients so I can guarantee they’re having a wonderful time! It’s extremely gratifying to have grooms come up to me and say, “I was stressed out and thought the photos were going to be an awful experience, but you made it all so fun!”
 

RELATED: 3 WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PITFALLS TO AVOID

 

Equipment:

 

Hudson Valley wedding photographer Kathryn Cooper Weddings

Photo Credit: Kathryn Cooper Weddings

Even if you know nothing about photography equipment, it’s important to know a few factors. And don’t get me wrong—you definitely don’t want to question every lens and piece of equipment your photographer has. But one point that is quite important is that your photographer have TWO sets of equipment. Like all gear, things can break, stall, or just suddenly stop working at the most inopportune times. Imagine you’re about to walk down the aisle and your photographer runs up to you saying his camera is broken and he can’t capture anything. What would you do? Make sure the person you choose to work with has a backup camera or a second shooter because it’s too easy for equipment to just go on the fritz.
 

Price:

 

Make sure you know the final price before signing any contract. Many photographers add a tax on top of the packages offered or try to upsell you with prints, second shooters, or albums. If you’re interested in an engagement session and album or have a large wedding that’s great, but if you’re not, make sure you choose a photographer who isn’t pushy and can provide a package that matches what you desire. Is your photographer going to make you pay for every photo you want on top of paying for time? Know what you’re getting into before you commit.
 

Shooting Style:

 

Though many people know a bit about what they’re looking for, the majority of people don’t know just how different photography styles can be. Look thoroughly at each person’s portfolio, and make sure you know how your photographer describes him or herself. I’m a creative photojournalist, for example, but there are many types out there. Examples of photography styles include photojournalist/documentary, fine art, film, film/digital hybrid, artistic, traditional, and more. Just make sure you know if you want your day documented with lots of reaction shots, posed with a lot of lights, or something else entirely.
 

Red flags to watch out for can be seen in many portfolios, and they’re styles that are, well, never really in style. Too many tilted or skewed photos can look amateurish, and colorized photos—for example, a rose that’s red while the rest of the photo is black and white—look very amateurish. Do the photos have a lot of weird shadows (indicative of a poorly used flash)? You want your photos to look classy decades down the road, so make sure you’re not hiring an amateur, a student, or that random hobbyist your Aunt Betsy used to work with back in the ‘60s.
 

RELATED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WEDDING PHOTOS TAKEN AND IMAGES CHOSEN

 

Editing Style:

 

Hudson Valley wedding photographer Kathryn Cooper Weddings

Photo Credit: Kathryn Cooper Weddings

In terms of editing styles, there are so many different ones: Dark and moody, film-like, natural, light, and more. I edit minimally and with a very natural editing style, but some photographers Photoshop your face to look like a porcelain doll, so to me, that’s a red flag. If you’re looking for a high-fashion model-like wedding experience, then maybe that’s up your alley, but hey, that’s just me.
 

Almost every photographer has a unique editing style. There are even many people who edit using colorization similar to Instagram filters, so if you’re into that, great—but make sure you truly love the photographer’s final style! If you’re having a ceremony in a castle and are hiring a fine art photographer to take fancy portraits, that person will probably also edit you and your face to look quite different. Verify that you desire that, and that you’re not hiring someone who is going to make you look and feel like someone you’re not!
 

Image Delivery:

 

It’s hard to trust reviews since many review sites can be doctored these days. I also know plenty of great photographers who have almost no reviews or testimonials—there’s very little correlation! What is important, however, is that customers are happy. One thing customers often get unhappy about, however, is late delivery. I know photographers who still haven’t delivered images 9 months or a year down the road, and I’ve heard in forums of clients having photographers disappear on them. This is of course quite rare, but make sure you have a contract that states when the images will be delivered, and approximately how many images you’ll receive.
 

There’s really no excuse to wait for images for 6 or 8 months. 1-3 months is average because all of the organizing and editing from a 10-hour wedding day takes quite a long time. Still, no one wants to wait a year to see wedding photos! You might speak with a former customer first, look at the contract, or ask how long it will take to get your final images.
 

In general, having your wedding photos taken should be fun, not stressful. I don’t love having photos taken myself, so when I have clients who feel the same, I empathize and make them as comfortable as possible. I try to be upfront and myself with all my clients throughout the process. If you feel your photographer is moody, bossy, uninterested, irresponsible, or bored, your photos will likely reflect that. Choose a photographer who will capture incredible photos for you two to treasure for the rest of your lives!
 

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly series (through December) where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. This is not a sponsored post. Join us next week as our Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit continues with more great advice from Hudson Valley wedding photographers as they answer the most commonly asked photography questions. 

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How Much Time Should You Allow In Your Day For Your Wedding Photos?

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly series (through December) where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. This is not a sponsored post.

 

Today’s contributing author is Rose Schaller of Rose Schaller Photo

 

 

If you don’t have a planner for your wedding, your wedding photographer is your next best resource for helping you plan a wedding day timeline. Why? Because they are the only other wedding vendor that will be with you all day. They know how long photos take and based on the timing and location of your ceremony and reception, can help you work backwards to figure out how much time you need to build in for photos, when you should start to get ready, how long you need for family and styled photos and how many places you can go for photos based on the time you have.

 

For example, I had a three-hour break between my ceremony and reception. I had 5 places on my list for photos, and our photographer was educated enough to tell us that even though three hours may seem like a lot of time, it actually goes by much faster than you think. Those three hours included time for posed shots with family and our bridal party, included travel, and included time to pose everyone, which, depending on how large your bridal party is, could eat up some time. He also wanted us to make sure we were at our venue in time to enjoy cocktail hour.

 

RELATED: 6 IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO TELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

 

Hudson Valley wedding photography Rose Schaller Photography

Photo Credit: Rose Schaller Photo

His insight was invaluable as he helped us narrow down our choices of locations to those closest to our venue instead of locations further away. The end result was that we weren’t rushed, we had plenty of time to take photos and a few fun ones, and made it back in time for cocktail hour.

 

Today, we’re speaking to Rose Schaller of Rose Schaller Photography to help you plan how much time you should include into your wedding day timeline for posed and styled photos. Each couple and each wedding will have a different timeline, so this is merely a starting point to give you an idea of what to expect. It’s very important that you speak to your photography to set up the perfect timeline for you.

 

Despite the fact that each wedding is different, they are similar in that they all have the same “parts” or “stages”. Schaller says “Images are captured all throughout your wedding day so time should be allowed during each part to take photos. Not all photos will be staged and posed but still, having time in your timeline for them will allow the photographer to capture those little moments that you may forget.”

 

RELATED: AVOID THESE 3 WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PITFALLS

 

So, what are these stages? Well, outside of the obvious ceremony and reception, there are three areas that are usually designated for posed and candid shots. These are:

 

Getting ready:

 

Hudson Valley wedding photography Rose Schaller Photography

Photo Credit: Rose Schaller Photo

“I would add 30 mins to your getting ready time schedule to allow your photographer time to take photos of you getting ready, as well as your bridal party getting ready and celebrating, and maybe even seeing you for the first time with your veil on and ready to walk down the aisle,” says Schaller. “Having that extra time in your getting ready section of your day allows the ability for these moments to take place.”

 

First look:

 

“The next block of time that I ask for is the First look,” Schaller says. “Again, a half hour is more than enough time and we will probably not use all that time but the longer you have, the more time the two of you will have alone prior to the wedding.”

 

Formal portraits (which can happen before or after the ceremony):

 

Hudson Valley wedding photography Rose Schaller Photography

Photo Credit: Rose Schaller Photo

Formal portraits can be broken down into four categories: Couples photos, wedding party, family, and maybe some friends. Schaller says “I usually recommend to set aside an hour to an hour and a half. If you see each other beforehand for a first look, you (couple, wedding party, family) will want to all be back in your suite 30 mins prior to your service. That is when guests start to arrive.” What if you don’t want a First Look? “If you decide not to see each other ahead of time,” says Schaller, “then the cocktail hour would be when these (formal) photos would be happening.”

 

But here’s the most important piece of advice. ALWAYS PLAN EXTRA TIME! Schaller says, “If you plan an extra 15 –20 mins throughout your day you will have plenty of time to relax and

enjoy your family and guests and that is where the true moments are captured.” She says it’s impossible to plan every second of your day because, if you do, she says “You won’t have a second to stop and enjoy your day. It will go by fast enough without every minute being planned. Free time at your wedding is a wonderful thing!”

Join us next week as our Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit continues with more great advice from Hudson Valley wedding photographers as they answer the most commonly asked photography questions.

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Destination Weddings: What You Need to Know About Hiring Your Photographer

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly series (through December) where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. This is not a sponsored post.
 

Today’s author is Hannah Servidio from Hannah Nicole Photography

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photographer Hannah Nicole Photography

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

People have a destination wedding for so many different reasons. Whether it be you love the beach, you want an intimate moment or you love the idea of (kind of) stress-free planning, for whatever reason you choose the question remains who will your vendors be? More specifically, your photographer.

 

No matter where you go in the world, there will always be a photographer, and with enough Google-searching, chances are you’ll find one. You may not love them but they come with the resort, or they fit your budget so you take them anyway. I mean, it’s just your wedding, right?
 

NO! Get that idea out of your mind. Resort photographers are not always the best option for you. While their work may be good, they may not fit your style, and you are under no obligation to use them.
 

There are so many variables and pros and cons that go into bringing a Hudson Valley photographer. Bringing a photographer from home can be beneficial for so many reasons. From personal and professional experience, here are some key things to think about:
 

RELATED: 6 IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO TELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

 

A chance to build a rapport

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photographer Hannah Nicole Photography

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

Most photographers get to know the couple before the big day as it helps to already have a rapport with that person. You’ll feel more comfortable, and in turn, not only will the photographer make you look like a professional model in front of that lens, but you’ll also feel more natural and comfortable with them once you establish that relationship.

 

A rapport extends beyond the wedding as well. When hiring local, you now have a photographer that you’ve built a relationship with that you can use for future photo sessions such as family photos or anniversary photos. You have someone whose work you love and have officially built a long-lasting relationship with.
 

Styling

 

One word with such strong meaning. If you want a certain style, hiring local means you can be sure your photographer has the same style you like, because you have many photographers to choose from. For example, I prefer a light and airy look rather than a moodier feel. All my clients know that, and it’s what they’ll expect. Rather than going into it settling for a style you’re not a huge fan of just because it’s easier to choose the resort photographer, you can be sure that your photographer will match your style.
 

Easier communication

 

One of the best things about hiring local is you have easier access to info as needed. Want to meet up with your photographer and have a cup of coffee and go over ideas? You can because they are right around the corner!
 

Also, a somewhat uncomfortable but necessary thing to talk about is what happens IF there is a legal issue. With a local photographer, you can deal with it on U.S. soil. That being said, I hope that never happens to you; but if so, it’s good to know that person is local to you.
 

Lastly, a local photographer speaks the same language as you. While I am not saying the photographer at your destination may not speak English, there is a chance they may not speak it clearly, which could lead to miscommunication.  Your wedding day is a day you want to make sure everything goes smoothly.
 

 

Creative inspiration

 

Photographers LOVE to shoot in new locations. Seriously! It is like Christmas for us. Shooting somewhere new sparks something inside of our creative heart. While some couples may say, “I want a photographer who knows the area where we are getting married,” to that I say, I understand, but maybe the person who knows the area is bored of shooting in that area in which case gives you generic and passionless photos. As a destination photographer, I always arrive a few days earlier, and I location scout to find the most beautiful locations to shoot.
 
So now the “bad” news.

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photographer Hannah Nicole Photography

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

While I only have one, it’s not necessarily a con. I feel like it is more of a reality. Every photographer is different, and I CANNOT speak for all of us but rather myself and a few other destination vendors I know.

 

RELATED:  AVOID THESE 3 WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PITFALLS

 

The cost

 

It is understood that you, the couple, will cover airfare, hotel and transportation costs. (Again, just speaking for myself and a few other destination vendors I know.)
 

This is an additional cost to the photographic services you invest in, but sometimes your photographer may be willing to work within your budget just to shoot in a new area, creative crack for us photographers!
 

Sometimes the photographer will also ask you to cover meals (I am not one because I eat like a college student). So, be aware it can be an additional cost. If you are having your wedding at an all-inclusive resort, this can be the cheapest and most cost-effective option since that covers transportation and food.
 

If all of the pros outweigh the con for you, I suggest you start searching for the photographers in your area to start chatting with. It never hurts to ask if they are willing to travel. This is your wedding. It’s not some random day of the week. These are photos you will look back on for eternity and smile at, so your photographer and photography should be seen as an investment.
 

 

Join us next week as our Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit continues with more great advice from Hudson Valley wedding photographers as they answer the most commonly asked photography questions.

Read More

6 Important Things You Need to Tell Your Photographer

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly series (through December) where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. This is not a sponsored post; no compensation was received or exchanged for this blog post or the promotion of the photographer.
 

Today’s contributing writer is Alicia King from Alicia King Photography

 

When it comes to your wedding day, all your vendors are important, but perhaps one of the most important is your photographer. Now, I’m not just saying that because this is a post on photography, I’m saying it because it’s true. They are one of the most important vendors because they are one of the first vendors you need to book, they are one of the vendors you spend the most time with, they will be with you almost all day during some of the most private and emotional points of the day, they will help you create a timeline (if you don’t have a planner), and they are the ones who will create the family keepsakes you will treasure for a lifetime.
 

If you have a photographer and you haven’t been communicating with them, you need to start now. If you think that just telling them when and where to show up is enough, you are mistaken. Photographers need to know waaaaaaaaay more than you think, and to help you with this process, we’ve asked Alicia King, Owner, and Photographer at Alicia King Photography, to share with you exactly what you need to be telling your photographer to make sure they capture everything you want them to on that day, the day you don’t get to do over.
 

Details, details, details

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photography Alicia King Photography

Photo Credit: Alicia King Photography

Since I was a DIY bride, I had so many details that I wanted photos of. I made sure our photographer knew of everything I wanted a memory of. King says “The first thing I would highly suggest telling your photographer about would be if you have any special family heirlooms you are incorporating into your day that you want to be photographed. This could include a special charm or fabric wrapped around your bouquet or a necklace that belonged to someone important. If it’s something that means something to you, let your photographer know!! That goes for other details as well. Even if a specific detail isn’t an heirloom, if it’s dear to you, and you want a photograph of it, make sure to mention it!”

 

RELATED: 3 WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PITFALLS TO AVOID

 

Any special or unique moments of your day

 

King says “It’s also helpful to let your photographer know if you have chosen to incorporate anything special or unique into your ceremony or reception. For example, a sand mixing ceremony, the Hora, or singing happy birthday to a guest if the wedding date happens to fall on the same day.” Our wedding day was also the birthday of a special little guest who was turning 6. We wanted to do something special at the reception for him, so we purchased a big cupcake for him and had everyone sing happy birthday as the staff brought out the cupcake with six candles on it. If we hadn’t have mentioned that to our photographer (or our DJ too, for that matter), he could have possibly missed the whole thing. By telling him in advance, he knew to expect it. King also says “Some church ceremonies also include the first kiss in the middle of the service instead of at the very end so that would also be something to tell your photographer if you know ahead of time!”
 

Who your family members are

 

“You may also want to let your photographer know if there are key family members coming that you want photographs of or with,” says King. So, this may seem silly but think about it. Your photographer knows you, maybe your parents, but he doesn’t know who your cousins are, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. You want to make sure you give him or her a list of all the important people in your family you want pictures with. They don’t have to know what they look like, because they will announce who they want to have pose for photos, but if your grandma is there and if they don’t know who your grandmother is or if you want a photo with her, that’s a photo op you will most likely regret getting.
 

 

Special spots

 

“I always like to ask my couples if there are any special spots at their venue that they would really love to take photos,” says King. “Sometimes they say no and want me to choose (which is totally fine!) but sometimes they say yes! It is always my goal to take pictures the couple really wants, so knowing what spots stick out in their mind as important helps tremendously!”
 

Venue restrictions

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photography Alicia King Photography

Photo Credit: Alicia King Photography

You may not realize it but venues may have restrictions in terms of where and how something can be photographed. “Most times,” says King, “Churches have strict rules about what a photographer can and cannot do. It is a good idea to find out from whoever is performing the ceremony if there is anything your photographer needs to know.” For example, King says “Some churches have balconies that photographers are not permitted to use for photography. If you have asked your photographer to take a picture from the balcony, and they are not permitted to go up there, it would be better to know that ahead of time then expect it and not receive it.” As a related topic, this is a question you want to make sure you ask your venue about. Some may tell you, but if they don’t make sure you ask to be double sure.

 

RELATED: 5 WAYS TO GET BEAUTIFUL WEDDING PHOTOS ON A TIGHT BUDGET

 

Officiant restrictions

 

“It is also a good idea to ask whoever is officiating your ceremony if they personally have any restrictions,” says King. Everyone knows that your ceremony is the most important part of your day, and so, because of that, your officiant may have restrictions such as no flash photography during the ceremony.
 

In the end, your photographer needs to know almost as much as you do about your wedding day. King says “It sort of sounds funny but keeping them in the loop will make your day go as smooth as possible!”
 

Read More

Avoid These 3 Wedding Photography Pitfalls

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly post where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. Each week through December, learn from the very best so you can make smart and educated decisions when it comes to preserving your special day. Click on any photo to be taken to the photographer’s website. This is not a sponsored post; no compensation was received or exchanged for the purpose of this blog post or for the promotion of the photographer.

 

 

Today’s post is written by Doug Madden of Duetimage Photography

 

Everyone makes mistakes.  And sometimes mistakes are not due to simple carelessness or bad judgment.  Mistakes can come about through good intentions too, and this is how I think some couples are undercutting their wedding photography.

 

Here are three examples of how couples can wind up shortchanging themselves when planning their wedding photography timetable, and some practical advice for avoiding these pitfalls.

 

The Friend Factor

 

Hudson Valley wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Duetimage

Quite often, when talking to prospective clients for the first time, we hear the phrase: “We want great wedding photos, but not of us.  We mostly want candids of our friends.”

 

Now I get it.  Your wedding posse will likely include good friends from college and high school.  Maybe even further back, to elementary school, playschool, possibly the neonatal unit.  You love your BFF’s and you want to remember their camaraderie on the biggest day of your life.  But I can think of no worse plan for your wedding photography than making your images all about them and not about yourself.

 

Wedding photographers can seem hung up on portraiture and there’s a good reason for this.  That’s because weddings are about beauty, about looking your best on a day when you’re spending a lot of money on stunning venues, elegant decor, a knockout dress, and everything else that goes into a wedding.  Your photographer wants you to look as gorgeous as all that.  And even more importantly, your photographer wants to capture the love that shines in the eyes of you and your spouse on the day that you formally commit to each other.

 

At our studio, we always recommend that the bride and groom set aside at least one hour for their portraits.  When clients hear this, they usually want to head for the hills. That hour is easily imagined as a very long shooting time, and many clients are often concerned about stepping away from their friends for so long and missing out on the party.

 

The good news is that you don’t have to.  If you’re concerned about being a good host to your besties, plan your wedding portraiture before your guests arrive.  If your friends are in the wedding party and will be present all day, then explain to them your intention to take wedding photos alone as a couple.  It’s a pretty sure bet that they will understand and they’ll find plenty of ways to occupy their time while you’re working with your photographer.  And since wedding minutes go by faster than normal minutes, your couples portraits will likely be over before you even know it.

 

RELATED: WHAT ARE CURRENT PHOTOGRAPHY TRENDS & WHAT IS A HIGHLIGHT REEL VIDEO

 

The Live Audience

 

Hudson Valley wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Duetimage

Sometimes couples have no problem setting aside time for their portraits.  Where things start to go wrong is in the crowd control department.  More often than not, members of your wedding party might want to trail along while shooting things like first looks and couples portraits.  These are moments that should be set aside exclusively for the bride and groom, and their photographer, and here’s why.

 

Mothers of the bride can be notorious for making an insensitive comment to their daughters that deflates their confidence when the cameras are clicking.

 

Bridesmaids, in their enthusiasm, can start giving camera directions that run contrary to what the photographer is trying to achieve.

 

Large groups of friends watching from the sidelines can get rowdy, and especially with a drink or two, they’re likely to get loud and tease you all in good fun.  And it is good fun, except that it eats up time and diminishes the sense of intimacy that bride and groom photos require.

 

If first looks and portraiture are important to you — if that’s the kind of imagery you’ve been looking at for months on Pinterest and wedding blogs — then you can’t be shy about demanding your “me” time.   Tell Mom that you love her.  Thank your bridesmaids for being there.  And tell your friends they can tease you when you show them your wedding album.  But your camera time belongs to you and your spouse alone because the moment can’t be repeated.

 

They’re Just Formals, Nothing Personal

 

Hudson Valley wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Duetimage

So, you’ve set aside time for portraiture and you’ve drawn a clear line in the sand when it comes to crowd control.  So now you’re going to make it up to everybody by including each and every guest in a 100 or so formal shots.  Right?

 

Quite often, when our clients create their photography schedules, they tend to use family formals as a time to acknowledge each and every guest at their event.  The lists of guests to be photographed can be quite extensive, ranging from relatives to kindergarten friends, to relatively new work colleagues.  Sometimes couples are pressured to have formals with friends and colleagues of their parents, who they don’t really know.  And sometimes guests end up on the formals list because so-and-so is on the list, and the other people might get insulted if they’re not included too.

 

The thing to remember is that while formals look simple, each group to be photographed takes time to setup and pose.  It all comes down to minutes, which as I’ve already said are shorter on wedding days than on regular days.

 

We recommend choosing the subjects of your formals very carefully.  Narrow the list down to the really important people in your life, namely your parents, siblings, and grandparents, plus any aunts or uncles who’ve been a positive force in your upbringing.  Friends who have stuck with you through thick and thin, or who were instrumental in bringing the bride and groom together, certainly deserve a formal too.  As do guests who have traveled to your wedding from very far away.

 

Making the final selection can be painstaking for couples who are concerned about bruising the feelings of their guests.  If this sounds like you, keep in mind that most people will understand the need to keep your list small.  Everybody gets it that time on a wedding day is limited, and chances are they’re planning to take their own selfie with you anyway.

 

RELATED: 5 WAYS TO GET BEAUTIFUL WEDDING PHOTOS ON A TIGHT BUDGET

 

It’s All About You

 

As you might have noticed, in each of the examples above, the solution is to keep the focus on you and your spouse as a couple.  And that’s the way it should be.  Weddings are a formal declaration of a union, broadcast to the world at large by way of those present at the moment you say, “I do”.  Let your wedding photos say: we are here … we are one … and this is our time.

 

 

 

Join us next week as our Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit continues with more great advice from Hudson Valley wedding photographers as they answer the most commonly asked questions.

Read More

Photography Trends and Highlight Videos – What You Need To Know

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly post where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. Each week through December, learn from the very best so you can make smart and educated decisions when it comes to preserving your special day. Click on any photo to be taken to the photographer’s website. This is not a sponsored post; no compensation was received or exchanged for the purpose of this blog post or for the promotion of the photographer.
 

Today’s contributor is Lynette Romero of Pioneer Media
 

Photography and videography go hand in hand when it comes to your wedding. Photos are great for capturing snapshot moments of the day, while video captures the sound, movement and the essence of your wedding day. Photos are a must when it comes to capturing your special day, but your memories go up a notch when you have video capturing your conversations, your voices and everything that makes these precious moments such a great legacy and a treasured heirloom.
 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Pioneer Media

Today, we spoke to Lynette Romero (photographer), who, together with her husband Bryndon (videographer), co-own Pioneer Media in Newburgh. In our conversation, Lynette discusses current photography trends as well as explains the difference between a traditional wedding video and a highlight reel.

 

Photo trends

 

Photography trends change over time. Just look at what you’re seeing on Pinterest compared to what your parent’s album looks like. Today, couples are asking for more intimate and personal moments to be captured and not so much of the formalized portraiture you saw 15-20 years ago.

 

Photographers love capturing those special moments on film because they not only make each wedding unique but also creates a really special keepsake that’s so much fun for the couple to look back on. Many of these special moments happen the morning of your wedding (or during the ‘getting ready’ phase of the day).

 

WCHV: What are couples doing the morning of their wedding that makes for such memorial moments? 
 

Romero: “Many couples mark the unofficial start of the wedding day by exchanging gifts or cards and reading their notes to each other for the video and photo. Since the morning of the wedding sometimes can be stressful or busy, reading love notes from each other focuses the couple back on each other. It sets the tone for the first time they see each other, and adds great content to their wedding video and photo album.”
 

WCHV: What are some ways couples have personalized that moment?

 

Romero: “At a recent wedding, our groom wrote a love note on the bottom of his bride’s shoe. We saw a variation of this idea at another recent wedding, where the whole bridal party signed and wrote little notes on the bottom of our bride’s shoe.”

 


 

Video

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Pioneer Media

When it comes to videography, there are two main types. There’s documentary style which is more traditional and captures longer moments. Think of this as the type of video you would take on your phone. You are capturing the moment live, without edits. Then there is cinematography style, which is video edited with the addition of music for entertainment value to make your day look more like a movie.

 

Cinematography style is one of the hottest trends, and most of the examples you see online are highlight reels. Think of them as the “movie trailer” for your wedding

 

WCHV: What exactly is a highlight reel and how is it different than a regular video?

 

Romero: “Our highlight reels are typically one song length, three to five minutes. They are very cinematic and include the most emotional and entertaining content from the day. Our full videos are much longer, normally at least a half hour, but have the same cinematic style, with shorter clips and set to music. In both cases the audio (can be the card readings, the vows, the toasts, etc.) drive the story of the video.
 

What are some of the moments you want to be captured on your wedding that goes beyond the traditional? What special moments do you and your spouse-to-be have planned? We’d love to know. 

 

Please join us next week when we hear from another great Hudson Valley Photographer answering the most common photo/video questions couples have
 

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