Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

It's time for a Tuesday Tip! This week we have a guest blogger. I'm happy to introduce Stephanie Farrell of Farrell Photography. She's the kindest, happiest person I've ever met and I'm super excited to have her and Steve be the photographers at my own wedding. Steve and Stephanie are role models as a couple as well. Enjoy!



It’s your big day! All those hours planning, combing through Pinterest, making lists and all those decisions! It’s the best day of your life with all your favorite people. After the party is over, the cake is eaten and the guests are gone, what is left? The memories of this wonderful event will live forever in photographs. It’s very important that you don’t leave this important part of your wedding day to chance.



When you choose a professional wedding photographer, they will focus ONLY on taking the most memorable pictures of your day. It will be documented for you to look at and share for the rest of your life. Just like you made all of those personal decisions about what color, decorations, food and all of those important decisions that reflect who You are, so should your choice in photographers.


Every photographer is an artist. Just like any art, they are all different. If you like the art, hire the photographer. Look at the photos. Is the style what you like? Do you like dramatic, romantic, quirky, soft, colorful….the choices are endless. If you fall in love with the photographer’s photos, you will love YOUR photos too! Any photographer can get lucky and have a few great shots. If you want great photography from the first shot to the last, ask to see an entire wedding album.



It’s also important to ‘like’ your photographer. This person will be a real part of your special day.

If you are shopping by price alone, choose the least expensive photographer. It’s that simple. If quality matters to you, hire the best photographer your budget will allow. Remember, this is the only “forever” vendor you will hire. Keep in mind that with photography, the work is not completed when the wedding is over. The post production time should be included in your quote and often includes many hours of sorting and editing to make your photos the top quality that will have your friends oohing and ahhhing over your wedding photos. Not all photographers offer complete editing services in their packages. Be sure to ask.


Experience matters. Knowing how to cover a wedding is not just about having a great camera. Experience will matter when things are not going perfectly. An experienced wedding photographer will know how to get the shots that matter the most to you and make them beautiful works of art. Your friend or relative with a great camera will have to be very lucky to even come close. On that note, if you are planning to have a friend or relative take on the responsibility of your wedding photography, they will not be a guest at your wedding. They will be working. And, if they are not a wedding professional, they may not know what to do. For your own sake, don’t leave it to chance. Let your friends and relatives be guests.



Time equals photos. More time, more photos. Less time, less photos. If you want all of those pretty “getting ready” photos, allow the time for them. If you hire your photographer to show up at a certain time and you are not ready, every minute that ticks by is lost opportunity. If you are willing to take time away from your reception for the perfect sunset photo, you will have that forever.

It’s a long exhausting, wonderful day…..so SMILE! If you see a camera anywhere near you, assume that you are in the photo. If you are not completely comfortable with having your picture taken, take some time to practice before your wedding. Get comfortable and make it easier on yourself. Practice smiling and posing. It sounds silly, but it will pay off when you are reviewing your photos.


ALWAYS have engagement photos. At Farrell Photography we insist on engagement sessions with all of our couples. First, it gives us an opportunity to get to know our couple and have them get to know us. We bond and become friends which is so helpful on the day of the wedding. Additionally, we blow our couples away with awesome engagement photos and this gets them very excited about the wedding photography. We typically attract the couple who is edgy and adventurous and loves artful photography. In our engagement sessions we go ‘all out’. And….the couple’s friends and family will see these amazing photos and they too will be excited to see what we will come up with on the wedding day. Everyone is happy to pose and is patient with us as they anticipate the outcome.


Housekeeping. Those details that will matter in a “just in case” scenario. Get a contract. Have everything in writing. This is for your protection! Ask if your photographer is insured. Will they have a second photographer or will that cost extra? Will they edit the photos? Are the photos they showed you, photos they actually took themselves? Will that person be the person who shows up that day?


Book early. Photographers can only book one wedding on your date. Some dates are really popular. If you want a really good, competent photographer, book as soon as you can to lock in your date. If you wait, your choices will diminish considerably.


Enjoy! Our wish at Farrell Photography is to create a way to remember your special day forever with timeless, artful, photography.

Farrell Photography is the husband and wife team of Steve and Stephanie Farrell. Their work is featured in Real Weddings Magazine, Sacramento Bride and Groom Magazine, The Perfect Wedding Guide, Sacramento Magazine and more. They have two locations in downtown Sacramento and Jackson Ca. Please visit their website at www.farrellphotography.net or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/farrellphotography.