I had made a post back in December about wanting do a snow session. Hannah’s mom Sumer contacted me about booking a session in January. It took a few tries, but we finally made it happen. We had to work around both of our work schedules, so I wasn’t sure if there would still be snow on the mountain, but there was enough to get a couple of different looks. This was my first time shooting in the snow and it was SO much fun!
Oakley contacted me through email in March to schedule her October Avenue of the Giants elopement. We corresponded through email, so I was really excited to meet them on the day of their elopement. We met at the perfect little redwood grove. We picked a spot in the middle of some clovers, surrounded by ancient majestic redwood trees. The sun showed its face to add a magical element to the photos. Their ceremony was officiated by Dana Hope and it was perfect. After they exchanged vows, we made our way around the redwood forest shooting more couple photos. Elopements are favorite of mine as they are all about the couple, and the typical wedding day stress is non- existent. It is about the joining of two people and their love for each other. There is just something special about elopements!
Congratulations you are engaged!!!!
Now all the planning begins! The most important decision to make when it comes to wedding planning is the date! Second most important is who will your photographer be? After everything is said and done, only your photos will remain! Here are my top tips to consider when choosing your photographer:
Decide on a budget
Photography is easily one of the biggest expenses you’ll have for your wedding. Part of this process will be figuring out how much of your overall budget you want to devote to photography. Every photographer has different packages they offer with varying lengths of time, coverage, products and cost options. Make sure you know what is included in each package and what you will be walking away with.
Note: On average, wedding photographers cost anywhere from a $2,000 to 10,000+, depending on the experience of your photographer and what they include in your wedding package. Coverage is usually about 8 hours or so, more or less time will influence your cost.
2. Consider the lighting at your venue
Is your wedding indoors or outdoors? Rosina Vineyards or The Fortuna Riverlodge? Depending on the lighting, your photographer will need specific equipment to shoot your wedding- for example: it is much different shooting in the summer wedding during the day, than it is in the winter wedding in an indoor location. Do they only shoot natural light or do they use a combination of natural light and off camera flash? By looking at your photographer’s portfolio, you’ll be able to see what they specialize in and make a decision based on what fits your venue.
Tip: Your venue will often have recommendations of photographers who have shot in that space before. This can be a great place to start looking for potential photographers!
3. Do your personalities mesh?
At the end of the day, you’ll be spending the ENTIRE day with your photographer! They will likely spend more time right alongside you than your own mother. Obviously you want to make sure you like their portfolio, but personality matching is just as important. Once you check them out online, always set up an in person meeting (or skype!) so you can make sure its a good fit for everyone involved.
4. Use your engagement photos to get to know your photographer
Being comfortable and natural in front of a camera isn’t always easy to do. Most of us aren’t highly photographed on a regular basis. So having a photo package that includes an engagement shoot is a must so you can get to know your photographer, their style, and personality! This will ensure nothing slips through the cracks the day of the wedding!
5. Questions to Ask:
What is your primary style? Candid shots, natural light, off camera flash, portraits, etc.
If my wedding goes longer than expected, will you stay? Are there any overage fees?
Do you have insurance?
How long after my wedding should I expect my album to be ready?
Typical is 7-8 weeks
If other members of my family want to order extra prints, can they do that? How?
What is included in the package I am getting? How many photos will you edit/color correct?
Will you have an assistant?
How many weddings have you shot before?
How many backup cameras/lenses do you have?
How will you keep our photos safe during and after the wedding?
How long does it take to get our gallery back?
Do you travel?
Can I look at a full wedding gallery?
I hope these tips support you in choosing the perfect photographer. These photos will last a lifetime!
Do you need a photographer for your upcoming wedding? Check my availability here: www.parkyspics.com.I’m happy to answer any questions you have!
As a professional photographer, I often get asked for advice on how to feel confident and comfortable in front of a camera. This has also been something I have struggled with in the past and has taken me awhile to feel happy with someone taking photos of me. I mean, we all agree its awkward right? You just standing there, trying to look cute and pose naturally, all the while feeling as though everyone is staring and judging you. It can be downright nerve racking to say the least! Since I have been in your shoes and have experienced this first hand, I thought it might be helpful to talk about a few tips I have learned in how to feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera!
Get to Know Your Photographer
Before your photo shoot, try to get to know you’re photographer. Take some time to check out their website and social media page. If they have a blog, take a few minutes to read what they write about and share with the world. Once you can get a feel for who your photographer truly is the far less intimidating they will be! If your photographer is going to be the one shooting your wedding, it’s a great idea to have an engagement photo shoot with them before your wedding. By doing a shoot prior to your big day, it helps make you and your partner more comfortable in front of the camera, as well as makes a great opportunity to get to know the person that will be capturing some once in a life time moments! Some photographers will offer package deals with engagement and wedding shoots, so be sure to ask for additional details!
Wear Something You Feel comfortable In
If you’re not naturally comfortable in front of the camera, I highly recommend choosing an outfit that you feel comfortable and confident in. I have worked with clients before that have picked out a more “daring” outfit that was out of their comfort zone. When we took a look at the photos the client did not like how she looked in what she had picked out and the way she had posed in it. She stated to me she had felt uncomfortable and lacked confidence. By choosing an outfit that you absolutely love and feel really great in will allow confidence to naturally shine through! When you feel great about how you look and feel in something, your smile becomes so much brighter and your body will pose more naturally!
Know Your Angles
Speaking of posing naturally, do you know your best angles? Obviously it’s my job as a photographer to know what angles compliment the best, but you knowing how you like to look really helps with confidence in front of the camera! Taking a few moments to stand in front of a mirror to see what angles you prefer on your body is really beneficial before your photo shoot! Take a few pictures of yourself, pose a little, get creative and review what you look like. Trust me, once you get used to this it will make it much easier when someone else is taking photos of you!
Understand the Light
If you have ever worked with a professional photographer before, I am sure you have heard them go on and on about evening light. I know it sounds strange that we always seem to want to photograph in the evening on a warm summer night, but it’s totally normal. The light is far more flattering and soft when the sun is setting. By having your photos taken midday when the sun is at it’s highest peak in the sky, leads to unflattering and harsh shadows on your face. Be sure to stick to the golden hour. We want the glow of the radiance you have within, to be what shines brightly!
Ignore the Rest of the World
All too often it is so easy to let the little voice inside take over when you’re having a photo taken. It doesn’t matter if you are surrounded by a lot of people or in the middle of nowhere, just you and me, doubt will start to creep in. You may feel concerned about what others are thinking of you but in reality, most of the time, people aren’t even noticing that there is a photo shoot going on. Most photographers won’t mind if you are shy either, it’s their job to help make you feel more comfortable! So try to forget about the rest of the world and who is around you and just enjoy the moment at hand!
Similar to above and ignoring the rest of the world, it is so important to try and have fun while you’re being photographed! As a photographer I do my very best to try to keep the mood light, entertaining and comfortable. I may not be the classic comedian but I’ve learned a thing or two about making people laugh and loosen up! The more relaxed you are and can let yourself go in a photo shoot, the more confident you will feel and the nicer the photos will turn out!
I hope these pointers will help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera and help build your self-confidence! Put on that perfect outfit you absolutely adore and work your best angles! Photography is meant to be fun and creative so enjoy the experience!