Things to consider when looking for a wedding photographer….

There is a lot to consider when looking for an event photographer. Event photography is very different from other types of photography. A good event photographer should be able to shoot everything, in every lighting situation, relatively quickly.

If I were looking for a photographer to capture my once in a lifetime event I’d do my research because there are no second chances.
First, you want to hire a professional photographer who shows up on time and dresses appropriately.
You want to find out about their experience level how many years have they’ve been shooting events? Did they go to school for this? And is this their full-time job?
You want to read their yelp reviews and ask for references. Yelp is uncensored resources when it comes to reviews and any professional photographer should be able to give out a handful of past clients that will speak on their behalf.
You need to find out if they bring professional backup equipment and what steps do they take to back up their work after an event.
You want to find a photographer that will get involved in your event. Someone that will show you weddings with similar lighting situations, someone that will scout the venue before the event and someone that will help you lay out your timeline relative to light.
When looking at a photographer’s portfolio you need to consider their portfolio as a whole and look for a consistency in their style. You want to fall in love with all the images, not just a few.  In general, overly photo-shopped portfolios are red-flag.
I’ve been shooting events for years. I graduated from brooks institute of photography.  I think part of a being an event photographer is to plan for cameras to fail so that when they do fail, know body knows about it because you’re prepared with backup gear.  My motto is that I keep a back up for my back up. After an event, I back up all my files to my desktop, laptop, two external hard drives, and online gallery and a disc. I have a 5-start rating on yelp because I take care of my clients. I get involved with my events. I have a 5-start rating on yelp because I take care of my clients. I get involved with my events. Before I meet with clients I research their venue and show them images from weddings I’ve shot with similar lighting situations so they know what their wedding photos are going to look like before their event. I also go over timelines and advise clients as far as lighting.  When you look at my portfolio know that nothing has been photo-shopped. I believe part of being a professional photographer is not having to rely on Photoshop to make great photos; you should be able to do it for the most part in camera.
I recently read that the number one regret most brides have is their wedding photographer because after the cake’s been eaten, the dress has been boxed and guest have all gone home, all you have is your photos. Most brides don’t consider that when choosing their wedding photographer.

Chris and Heathers Wedding Photographs from the La Venta Inn

Photographed by Sara Jordan












































































































My Editing Process for Weddings

Many people think photography is such a great job. I get paid to take photos? Taking photos isn’t even a 10th of my job as a photographer. Most of my time is sitting in front of a computer editing. I know several photographers that shoot and print but I’m not one of those. I think the editing process is as important as taking pictures. 
After shooting an event I go home download and backup all my files. Then I load all those photos into a laptop so I can go through and check focus. Which means I blow up and check thousands of images, to make sure the focus is exactly on the focal point. (When I was in school one of my instructors was nicknamed the focus Nazi. He scared me for life.) 
After the focus check I do a quick run through looking for images that aren’t up to my standards, then I batch process for the initial color saturation, rename the files, back up and re-upload. 
At this point, I’ve put a couple days of work into the event. Once the files are all re-uploaded color and I go through correct each file. Then I organize the files and upload them on to the online gallery. At this point, I will email my clients and let them know that the gallery is up and they can start picking out their final images and share the gallery with family and friends. 
Once they have made their final selections I will double check their final images, confirm their address and mail them out a disc. 
While my process is very long I really think it’s the best way to ensure that my clients receive quality images. I know most photographers limit their editing and some only spend 4hrs max. Can’t imagine their clients being happy with the final result but….

The Natural Light Photographer

First off I prefer natural light to artificial light. However, if you understand lighting you can have amazing results with artificial light.
Recently there has been this flourish of “natural light photographers.” Most photographers use natural light but for the purpose of this blog we’re only going to talk about wedding photographers that only use natural light. Since I’ve been doing weddings for almost 10 years I know the idea that a photographer would claim to use only natural light sounds like a disaster after sunset especially during the winter, outdoors at night and dark venues with no ambient light.
I recently met with a bride whose sister hired a natural light photographer for her wedding and had less then amazing results. When she told me she hired a natural light photographer I just shook my head. She laughed. “I know right, I didn’t think about. What if there wasn’t any natural light?” 
As a seasoned wedding photographer, I will say I use flash at all my weddings. The only reason I’d use natural light for an entire wedding is if it was a June wedding during the day but even then I’d probably want to flash fill a little. 
Tip: If you’re planning to meet with a photographer that only uses natural light ask to see wedding he or she has shot at your venue or venues with lighting similar to yours. Also, ask to see lots of night photos.
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