Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. There was an excellent post by my favorite CEO, Jim Collins, from Pictage, my image hosting site, about all the things that photographers want to say to their clients but can't.
This is a straight forward article that pulls no punches! It is not intended to insult anyone. They are photography truths that can make your wedding photography experience a whole lot smoother!
Here are a few highlights of the article.
Your photographer is not going to be pushing you around during your wedding day. In fact, most of the time they will be in the back ground and you may not even notice them.
However, you may want to consider leaving extra time for retouching your make-up if you tear up when you arrive at the ceremony site.
You will also want to consider arranging time for some portraits before the ceremony. If you plan for an hour and end up 45 minutes late, you are not going to get as many beautiful images as you saw on your photographers website.
Photographers have a name for your family or friend with the big black camera, Uncle Bob. Most photographers are more than willing to work with whoever your particular "Uncle Bob" may be.
However, it does become an issue when Uncle Bob starts getting in the way.
If you look closely at a group shot from a wedding, many times you will see people looking in all different directions. Why? Because many times there are 3 or 4 Uncle Bobs standing behind your photographer yelling, "Look over here!"
Uncle Bobs have also been known to ruin professional photos by jumping in front of the professional, just by being unaware of the situation. I know several photographers personally that have missed the first kiss because an Uncle Bob jumped in front of the hired photographer.
If you know you have an Uncle Bob in the family, do the photographer a favor and just drop them a line ahead of time to say that you’ll love to see their pictures, but you’re so excited about your photographer too and could they please just be sure they let the photographer work?
Food, Drink & Rest:
Most likely your photographer will be following you around for 6-12 hours on your wedding day.
If you’re like most people you hired your photographer for two reasons. You like their images and you like them. Try not to forget about them on your special day. It doesn’t take much, a few minutes of planning in the middle of the hours and hours of planning for these days, but you’d be amazed at the horror stories I hear of sitting out back by the garbage cans eating stale bread from the kitchen.
I know. They’re paid to be there and they are paid well. But they are also paid to be at your beck and call all day. They need a few breaks and some food and water (or other non-alcoholic liquid sustenance!) Give most of them a table in the corner to themselves and access to some hot food while everyone else (including you) is also eating and they will be prepared to kill themselves for the rest of the evening and never miss a beat!
Can You Take a Picture of...?
YES, PLEASE!! Ask us for photographs!! We have no idea who your best friends are or who your favorite aunt from Denmark is. We are more than happy to take those photos!
Frankly, we like it when you tell us what you would like pictures of -and even what you don’t. Photographers can be amazingly discreet. Whisper in their ear that Heidi would love a few pictures without Swen and he’ll never know it’s happening. Tell them you’d love some pictures of Aunt Millie and Uncle Joe together and you’ll get a beautiful set. Tell them your mom favors her right side and they’ll make sure she’s always on their left. They’re incredibly good at this. Just don’t come afterwards and say, “I wish you’d gotten a picture of …” They can’t make time go backwards.
When you get drunk, you will look drunk.
Make sure there is enough light for your photographer.
Tight dresses look tight in photographs. Heaver bridesmaids won't look like a size 2 when you are all standing together. Maybe something a little less tight.
If you chew gum it WILL show up in your photographs.
Leave your cigarettes in your purse. That square bulge in your dress is not flattering.
Just a few common sense things can make your wedding day go a lot smoother. If you need suggestions, ask your photographer. All of us are more than happy to share our insider secrets to having a beautiful wedding.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. What makes us stand out from other photographers is that we have a southern frame of mind around here. We you meet us, we are here to chat; tell us about your big day, how you met, what your colors are, or even more important, what flavors are your cake!
We don't do a hard sell! We have a la carte packages as well as pre-made packages so you can find exactly what fits your needs without spending money on items you don't want or need.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I love my job! Not only do I love make art from people's special occasions, I love capturing moments between two people that will never happen again! My staff makes sure that those irreplaceable and unrepeatable moments will be captured and saved for you to share for a lifetime.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. I get the common, straight out of a magazine or off a website questions! I'll answer them all here!
I've been a wedding photographer for over 10 years. I chose to become a wedding photographer because of those irreplaceable moments.
My style is traditional with a dash of art and sometimes some magic!
Before formal portraits are over, yes you can have photos with your friends.
Yes, we travel for weddings. We don't charge for that unless it is outside of Southern California.
Engagement sessions are included in all of our packages and include a matted print for your reception.
Yes, I will be the photographer for your event. I may bring up to 2 additional photographers and 2 assistants depending on the venue and complexity of the day. Charges include those extra people.
Hours are based on your needs and overtime hours are discussed at our initial meeting and will be included in your contract.
Purple elephants and occasionally a flamingo.
We always have back up equipment.
I have not missed a wedding in 10 years, but in the unlikely event that I am injured or other unforeseen circumstance happens, all of my second shooters run their our wedding photography businesses and are more that capable of capturing every moment just as well as me.
We provide you with up to 5 free digital images from your engagement session to use for save the date cards or invitations. Complete events may be purchased or are already included in certain packages.
Only if I have a black olive stuck in my nose.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. My grandmother gave me my first camera before a trip to Disneyland.
You can see it hanging from my wrist here:
I looked through a lens for a long time after that.
Years later I got my first professional camera and started with travel photography. I love travel and I love architecture. Put me some place I've never been and I'll have 500 images by noon.
I was asked to shoot my first wedding in 2000. The smiles. The emotion. The looks. Those lost moments. I was hooked.
I've been doing it ever since.