Friday, May 7, 2010

The Photos

(Photo credit to Stephanie Tracy)

Okay, I fibbed. I said this post would be about wedding schedules and day of coordinators, but what's really been on my mind lately is photographers.

I've scoured the net, looking at photos from makeup artists sites, knot reviews, venue recommendations, etc. To be honest the makeup sites were the best resource. They often have a gallery of past faces they've done and usually credit the photographer. With venues I never know if the venue is getting a kickback or a favor for recommending the vendor.

So, here's my approach to wedding photographers.

1. Look at their website

2. Ask for pricing and availability

3. If a larger company, ask who will be your photographer on the day

4. Ask said photographer (and assistant if applicable) for a complete wedding album they have done. You don't want to judge them from their "best of" highlights. I prefer if they have a wedding they shot at my location so I can see how they approached the venue.

5. Read lots of customer reviews from more than one site. Business are not above having friends rate them highly or offering a discount for a review.

6. Meet with your photographer in person. They will be around all day and you will be spending lots of time with them. If they're annoying, attention stealers, tortured artists or plan to treat your wedding like an avant garde project, you want to know before you make a booking.

There, my recipe for picking a photographer. Thus far I have mine narrowed down to a few people.

1. Stephanie Tracy at Portray Life: Wedding 1, Wedding 2 and Wedding 3.

2. Shawn Kloster: His Photo Blog

3. Lori and Keith Anderson. A website collage. They did my free engagment shoot and *update* I have all the charming pics from it. I'm looking forward to sharing a few.

4. Memories by Michael: A Nixon Library Wedding

I'm not going to mention pricing or goodies, but purely on visuals who do you guys like best? Inquiring minds want to know.


  1. Ok, my thoughts are most anyone with a decent digital SLR can take good photos of flowers, people standing in a line or the moment of the kiss. It takes someone with real talent to capture those in between moments of laughter and tears when you're not posing for the camera, and is able to do it with the right camera settings and lighting.

    Frankly I could toss out all our staged family portraits and just keep the candids...even though the photographer assured me I'd want those poses of me gazing into the distance solemnly (not try not smiling on your wedding day). I took them but would rather have had more focus on the small intimate moments. Like Stephanie on her knees buckling my shoe strap. Or Matt and I whispering at the head table.

    All that to say in browsing through the albums it seemed the person who was able to capture those was either Stephanie Ann or Michael. Beautiful stills and portraits as well as those wonderful moments of laughter.

    I would want to see more of Michael's though...maybe he used a soft filter on everything but some look a bit out of focus. The stills were just so-so.

    Stephanie, on the other hand, was artsy without being too staged, and had gorgeous stills as well. It seemed like she adapted to the style preference of the couple, which is huge. Some photographers only shoot one way and can't get it in their heads there might be other styles.

    All right that was probably WAY more opinion that you wanted but there it is! I did like Shawn Kloster's pics as well, but some of his choices for his wedding portfolio make me question his taste...

  2. I love this long comment. This is exactly the kind of input I like from people. Especially brides who have been through the same thing. Thanks, buddy! :-)

  3. I like Stephanie and Lori Anderson.

  4. I really like stephanie tracy... i can picture you in the place of the bride... it just fits.

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