Top Tips for Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer

So, you have a dress, the suits, flowers, cake and a band….but what is the one thing that will remain an everlasting memory of your wedding day? Your photos should be a beautiful and timeless account of the most important day of your life and should help every bride and groom to re-live the romance and excitement allover again.

Choosing a wedding photographer can be a daunting process but hopefully my five top tips will give you something to consider when making your decision.

Image quality and style

The quality of a photographer’s portfolio should be the first thing that captures your attention. A good photographer should be able to offer clients a variety of styles, capturing the personalities of the bride and groom and showcasing the happiness and fun of the day. Be clear on what style you would like and make sure the photographer can provide this in their portfolio.

If you are drawn to a particular photographer, make sure you ask to view all of their images (not just the favourites they pick for their websites!) so that you can check the image quality is consistent throughout.

Be aware that photographers have different editing techniques. If an image is heavily edited then chances are this will be a common theme within their photography portfolio and is usually an attempt to try to cover up poor quality.

Above all, the style of the images should say something about you both as a couple. Whether you are looking for relaxed and informal photography or you would like to go for a more adventurous and contemporary style, be sure to do your homework and shop around.

Personality

As a bride and groom, you put a lot of trust and faith in your wedding photographer. In order to get the best images and a true account of the most important day of your life, it is imperative that you feel comfortable and relaxed in their presence.

You can usually tell within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone, whether you feel a rapport or connection. First impressions are key and if you instantly strike a bond then you are on to a good thing. If you feel uncomfortable around your photographer for whatever reason then this will become very apparent in your wedding photos.

Also, think of your guests. If your wedding photographer is approachable, friendly and down to earth, your guests will be at ease allowing the photographer to blend in and capture the day as it naturally unfolds rather than a forced and posed account.

Remember, a true smile is impossible to fake so choose wisely and ensure you meet with your photographer a couple of times before confirming your booking.

Value for money

This can often be a deciding factor for a lot of brides and grooms and although it is a vital element, it should not be the basis for your decision. High-end prices do not always guarantee the highest quality but likewise, reasonable pricing does not always depict low quality.

A photographer should be open about their pricing structures and in turn, you should be clear on your budget. Neither one of you wants to waste any time so a clear dialogue right from the beginning will resolve this.

Your photographer should offer a variety of packages to suit all and should always be flexible with pricing and what is included within each package. Your photographer is providing a service and each couple will have different expectations and requirements so do make sure that your photographer can tailor make a package to suit your needs.

Always remember to ask about any hidden extras. Some photographers charge an additional fee for editing, VAT, creating artwork for an album or even travel and food expenses. You should always ensure that all costs are detailed in a quote before entering in to any contractual agreement.

Experience

The experience a photographer has will play a large part in the organisation and structure of the day. I am sure many photographers will agree that they have often played the role of coordinator, photographer, master of ceremonies and children’s entertainer. Taking the photos is just a small part of being a wedding photographer and without the necessary experience and the ability to perform under constant pressure important moments can be easily missed.

Always try to choose a wedding photographer who has already worked at your wedding venue. This isn’t a necessity but your photographer must show a willingness to meet at the venue regularly, exploring the best photo locations and opportunities as well as taking the time to run through the structure of the day. It is also a good idea for the photographer to meet with the venue proprietor/wedding coordinator to make sure everyone is clear on the days agenda from start to finish.

Ensure you ask how many weddings they have covered since they began trading and how long they have been in the business. This doesn’t mean that they are any less capable if they have only be trading for a short period of time but will give you a good idea of experience gained. Similarly, if a photographer has been in the business for years and has experience in abundance, you may want to check that their style has moved with the times and will meet the expectations of a modern day bride and groom.

Recommendations

A lot of my bookings have come through recommendations from previous clients and word of mouth. If your friends and family have been happy with the quality of the service and work of a particular photographer then chances are, you will be too. Again, this should not be the main reason for your choice but should be the final piece of the jigsaw.

Speak to your friends about their experiences with their wedding photographer and try to make use of tips and advice from those who have organised their own weddings. A good photographer will always be able to give you a testimonial from previous clients upon request or even provide you with contact details should you wish to hear from them directly.

In conclusion, these top 5 tips should not be considered to be in any order of importance. Each point is as important as the next and when choosing the right wedding photographer for you, a combination of all of these factors should be used as a basis for your decision. May I wish you all the best of luck in your wedding planning and a long and happy future together.

How to prep for a photo session with your dog

1. Plan

Location.  Choose a place where your dog will be comfortable. If your dog is shy or nervous, your home may be the best option. Only consider a studio setting if you are confident your dog will do well in a new environment. If you choose an outdoor location, don’t forget to bring some water along so your dog won’t become overheated.

Let your photographer know about your dog’s temperament, especially if they are aggressive toward new people. That way your photographer will be able to prepare accordingly. 

2. Prepare

Practice commands. If you don’t regularly use obedience commands, be sure to practice them a few days before the photo session to make sure your pup will do what you ask, when you ask. Make sure your dog responds to sit, stay and wait. If you want to incorporate any special tricks during the photo shoot, be sure to practice those, too.

Grooming. To make sure your dog looks his best, either give them a bath or take them to the groomer. Be sure to do that two days before the photo shoot. That will give the dog’s hair some time to settle in place so they’ll look their best.

Trim your dog’s nails. If you choose a professional studio setting, trim your dog’s nails so they won’t leave any scratches on the floor or furniture. If you can’t — or don’t trim them yourself — make this part of your dog’s grooming before the photo shoot.

3. Day of the dog photo shoot.

Walk your dog. About an hour before the dog photo shoot, it’s a good idea to take a walk to burn off some energy. This will help make your dog more relaxed and photogenic. But make sure they don’t get muddy!

Treats. If your dog is food motivated, consider bringing some along. But be cautious about using them. Some dogs become fixated on the treats and that can make the photos look unnatural and unfocused. It also can make your dog drool. Instead, consider bringing a toy your pup likes to play with.

Don’t feed your dog. If your dog is hungry, they are more likely to be alert and willing to focus. If you feed your dog first, you may end up with a sluggish dog who just wants to curl up for a nap. And, if you don’t feed your dog first, a food-motivated dog is more likely to respond to treats.

How to always look amazing in photos

Tip #1. Get a good sleep the night before

We know it’s tempting to watch just one more episode on Netflix. But getting an extra hour or 2 of sleep will make a considerable difference the following day. If you’re feeling relaxed and positive, you’ll look that way for the photo session. This will also help reduce bags under your eyes and generally make you look more radiant.

Tip #2. What to wear

People can be unsure of what to wear for a professional photo shoot. Think about what your dream photos look like?  If they are soft and elegant?  Choose neutral colours with soft, flowing fabrics…. think creams, very soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, tans, greys, and slate blues.  Want to showcase the fun side of your family?  Choose coordinating colours (but not matchy, matchy) with bold accent colours, such as hues of grey with yellow or bright red accents.

If you usually wear glasses, decide whether you’d like to wear them in your portrait. If you aren’t going to wear them, or aren’t sure, take them off around 15 minutes before. This will allow enough time for the red marks on your nose to disappear.

If you wear makeup, don’t be tempted to over apply. This should be a fairly natural representation of yourself. If you usually choose a bold color lipstick, go for it!

Our advice would be to generally stay away from trends, be it fashion choices or hairstyles. The headshot or portrait should last you at least two years. Nothing will date it faster than wearing something that was in fashion for a single season.

Tip #3. How to pose

Place your body at a 45º angle to the camera and head turned back towards the photographer. Don’t worry if this doesn’t make much sense now, a professional headshot photographer will be able to guide you through this during the shoot.

Keep your back straight. Through a lens, the way you hold yourself reflects how confident you look, so stand tall and be self-assured

Let your hands drop by your sides or place them in your pockets. Not doing anything with your hands may feel odd at the time, but it looks much stranger on camera when someone is holding their hands behind their back. Your photographer will guide you in this area, especially if the picture is a portrait and will include your hands or whole body.

Pushing your chin out slightly will separate your face from your neck and body, and define your jawline. Your photographer may ask you to lift your chin or head up slightly, this isn’t because you have a double chin, it’s to ensure the light is hitting your face in the right places.

Tip #4. Work with your best side

Lots of people are aware of having a ‘best side’. This can be due to the shape or symmetry of their face, or even trying to hide a perceived imperfection. Don’t be embarrassed to tell your photographer this, they will work with you to get the best results.

Everyone, in fact, has one eye bigger than the other. By turning your body and head to a 45º angle, placing your bigger eye furthest away will help even out the size difference. It’s not always easy to tell when looking at yourself or someone else, so for most of our clients, we shoot both angles so our clients can choose later on.

Tip #5. Look in a mirror

Rehearse your facial expressions. Everyone prefers the way they look with a certain expression. A full or half smile could work well for a young and passionate entrepreneur. Alternatively, a CEO or a board member in a professional industry may feel that a neutral expression communicates strength.

Don’t be afraid to try different poses, and smile. There’s no harm in trying a few different expressions with the photographer so you can choose which you prefer afterward.

To bring out a real smile and avoid looking forced or still in your business portrait, try thinking of something or someone funny. The real emotion will not only help with your smile but also show in your eyes.

Tip #6. Relax

Relax and let the photographer lead the conversation. Most people feel at least a little awkward having their photo taken. A true professional portrait photographer will talk to you and build rapport to ensure that you’re relaxed so they can capture you at your best. Be aware of how much you are talking. If the photographer cracks a joke to make you smile and you’ve already got your mouth wide open replying, it may make it difficult to achieve great results.

5 Top Tips for making a photo session with kids easier

If you’re preparing for a photo session with your children, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive. Don’t worry – here is a list of my top tips for making a photo session with kids easier

1. Don’t make a huge deal out of it

If you’re stressed out, your kids will usually pick up on it and act accordingly. Their behaviour will usually be better if you are relaxed and having fun. You may have to make some compromises to keep the peace. Focus on the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff.

2. Make it fun

Let the kids have a couple “fun pictures” where they get to pick their own pose or props. You get to keep the more serious photos while they get to keep their silly photos. And it helps the kids relax a little too. This way everyone wins.  If you are struggling to get your kids to sit still, turn the photo session into a game. Simon Says usually works like a charm.

3. Be prepared 

Ensure that your children are well rested and have had their nap. Bringing some snacks and activities along is also a great idea. If you are having your own photos taken too, then you might want to bring a family member or friend along to watch the kids.

4. Be patient

Save your sanity by trying not to control the photo session too much. Sometimes the best photos come from kids just doing their own thing. Work with your photographer and your photos will look fantastic.

5.  Have a chat

Get your children talking to both you and the photographer about topics such as school or their favourite songs. Sometimes all you need is a little distraction, to help your kids relax – this also helps the photographer to build a relationship with your little ones! This allows them to feel more comfortable around your photographer and will also give your photographer a chance to capture a few candid and cute expressions.

BONUS TIP

For babies – it’s easy. Just dress them up in cute outfits and let them do their thing. No pressure. Everyone loves a baby!

Advice for brides that will make wedding planning so much easier!

You’re engaged! Congratulations! As you launch into preparations for your best day ever, we’ve put together a list of our favourite tips for creating the stress-free wedding day of your dreams.

While bringing any vision to reality takes research and hard work, having the right team and plans in place ensures that things go as smoothly as possible and that you avoid last-minute pressures that often make things feel overwhelming. With over 10 years experience in the industry we’ve definitely picked up some tricks for making the day of your dreams go as smoothly as possible.

A Helping Hand

One of the biggest things you can do to cut out stress surrounding your wedding day is to hire a quality wedding planner. No matter how big or small your wedding is. They take so much pressure off of the entire process, in everything from the timeline to selecting your vendors. You can relax throughout the process, knowing that someone with years of experience is coordinating the details and making sure everything is getting ordered, paid, and set up in perfect timing. They have connections with trusted vendors – they know who is dependable, gives the best service, and is the best fit for your vision.

Expect the Unexpected

Setting up a great timeline can help you anticipate the unexpected. It’s important to go with the flow and enjoy the day as it unfolds. Don’t stress things that are completely outside of the range of anyone’s control – that means not looking at the weather forecast, and taking any setbacks in stride.

Don’t let unexpected weather ruin your day, just roll with it and trust we can still create stunning images!

Pamper Yourself

We always recommend hiring professional hair and makeup artists! It may not seem like a big deal, but having someone there to help you get ready and pamper you make the day so much more fun and relaxing. It’s really a great way to start off the day! Remembering to take time for a little self-care is so important amidst the flurry of activity on your big day.

Keep it Simple

It’s easy for weddings to get cluttered with a lot of unnecessary details. Sorting out the things that have special meaning to you and your spouse is a key element of creating a stress-free day, and ensuring the focus is on the things that matter most. Do you really need those favors that people will likely throw away or could you put that budget towards a more gorgeous bouquet or upgraded wine at your wedding dinner? This helps not only with creating a more relaxed timeline but is also a great way to put less pressure on your budget.

Enjoy the Moment

Having a relaxed wedding day is a balance of preparation and flexibility. Take time to enjoy the little moments: the romantic dates leading up to your big day, the time with loved ones before the ceremony, the dreams of the marriage you’ll build together. Don’t let pressure steal the joy of the process. Be intentional with taking care of yourself, and fostering good communication with those around you.

Hire an amazing Wedding Photographer ….Us!

We’re passionate about helping you create the wedding day of your dreams! We are friendly, warm, and professional. A good wedding photography knows how to make your day fun while providing structure and gentle guidance as needed to get the perfect shot. We treat our couples the way we would want to be treated on our wedding day, with high levels of service, not just around the photography, we are there for whatever you need.  You can rest assured that you will be well taken care of and that you will have beautiful photos to look back and remember this special day in both of your lives.

The Best Day Ever

Those are our tips! The more that you can do to keep the focus on the excitement and anticipation of getting married, and less on the stress of planning the event itself, the better! It’s worth investing in for the things that matter to you, and the things that will make sure that you can relax and actually enjoy your day when it arrives. And above all, to be able to truly be present in the moment with your future spouse – that’s what truly makes for the best day ever!