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k0098

One of the things I stress the most with my clients is that there are NO re-dos of your wedding day!! If you choose a sub-par photographer, you WILL regret it!!

Did I make that point clear?? ūüôā I’ve heard so many horror stories from people (who were NOT my clients) about how terrible their wedding pictures turned out and their disappointment can hardly be contained. Too many people think owning a “really good camera” means they are now a “photographer”. That could hardly be further from the truth.

Over and over again, I hear this, “Oh, my friend is a great nature photographer and has a really good camera, so they are going to take our wedding photos.” Great! It will save you some money, but trees, flowers, mountains, etc……these aren’t weddings. Weddings are fluid and moving. Getting a group of 30 family members to all look at the camera, at the same time?? That takes experience and patience. And you only get one chance to capture that first kiss on camera. You better bet you want the person behind the lense to be experienced with weddings.

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Photo by Quinn Photography

I’m not going to lie……good photographers cost money…..period! And you get what you pay for. Experience matters when it comes to your special day. If someone is offering an “amazing” price that seems too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true. On average, in the Sacramento region, a good wedding photographer will cost between $3500 – $6500, depending on what services and products you need.

By now you are probably saying, “Well, why does this cost so much? They only spend a few hours taking pictures.” Ummmmmm……no! First, with digital photography, we now have the ability to tell a complete story of our wedding day, something I wish was available when I was married almost 23 years ago. You are going to want the photographer there to document the entire day, from the time you are getting your hair and make-up done, to the moment you step into that amazing vintage car and are whisked away from the reception. From ceremony start time to reception’s end, the average wedding is 5-6 hours long. Then add in about 2 hours for the getting ready photos and another 1 1/2 to 2 hours for pictures before the ceremony starts, and you are getting into quite a long day. And because digital cameras allow the photographer to shoot thousands of pictures of just your wedding day, it will take he or she days (uninterrupted) to review all those photos to delete the blinks or less than perfect lighting. Then, when you factor in the amount of time they spend editing those photos in Photoshop afterwards to crop them just so, or adjust the lighting just right, they are probably barely making minimum wage on your wedding. And don’t forget the time they spend meeting with you beforehand, shooting your engagement photos, or designing your wedding album.

View More: http://kristyweldonphotography.pass.us/patricejoewedding

Photo by Kristy Weldon Photography

So how do you go about finding the perfect photographer for your wedding? First, your coordinator can provide you with some good recommendations. We are fortunate enough to have some amazing photography talent here in the Sacramento area, and I’ve been privileged to work with many of them. I have an extensive list of photographers that I recommend to my clients based on their styles and needs. You can also ask friends and family members who they used for their wedding. Just make certain to see their finished album so you can see whether or not this photographer’s pictures style is right for you. Looking at a photographer’s website is also a good start, but remember, this is just a small representation of their best photos.

Once you have narrowed down your list, it’s time to start meeting with photographers. Most have various packages depending on your needs, but if you don’t see one that meets yours, ask if they can put together one that does. Most contain an engagement session. I highly recommend doing an engagement session as this allows the photographer to spend some quality time getting to know you and your personalities. This also gets you more comfortable with the photographer’s working style and makes wedding day pictures go much more smoothly. Ask to see many different albums from many different weddings. This will allow you to see a complete wedding, from start to finish. Also, make certain that the photographer has lots of good quality photos both inside and outdoors. Many houses of worship forbid flash photography during wedding ceremonies. Many photographers can get great lighting outside, but it takes a talented photographer, who knows how to use his/her camera and lenses, to take great indoor pictures.

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Photo by Everlasting Images

Ask if the photographer is bringing an assistant, or second shooter as we often refer to them. Having a second photographer makes sure that all angles are covered on wedding day. One photographer can capture the bride walking down the aisle, while the second can capture the groom’s priceless reaction.

Photos by Jacqueline Photography

Do invest in a package that includes an album. Many couples decide they can “save money” but just using the photographer’s “digital” package. This is usually all the edited photos on a CD or flash drive. Most of these couples think they will just take these digital pictures and have an album made later, but that rarely happens. This is one of the most important days of your life! Don’t leave the memories sitting on a CD or flash drive. Put them into something that you (and your future generations) will truly cherish for years to come.

AndreasImages (37)

Photo by Andrea’s Images Photography

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I am so excited for my next wedding….Bruce and Fatima.¬† They are actually getting married this Saturday, March 20th, at McKinley Park.¬† I have had so much fun working with them and have thoroughly enjoyed planning their wedding.¬† They had their engagement session with Jackie Willard from Jacqueline Photography a couple of weeks ago and she just posted the fabulous results on her blog.¬† So I thought I would share.¬† Jackie is an¬†extremely talented photography and I can’t wait to work with her, again, this weekend.¬†

http://www.jacquelinephotographyblog.net/

Enjoy!

Karen

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The tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other before the wedding goes back a long time.  Many people and cultures consider it bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other before the bride walks down the aisle.  However, more and more people are realizing that this is simply a superstition and in no way dictates how married life will go.

Pictures after the ceremony can take quite a long time, depending on how large your family and wedding party is.  Many couple are now having these photos taken before the wedding.  The biggest advantage is that the couple, the bridal party, and the family have more time to enjoy the reception and their guests.  Some couples have even expressed that seeing each other before actually relieves some anxiety and stress they have leading up to the ceremony and they really find that they remember and enjoy their ceremony more.

To make this work, it is important that you allocate at least 2 hours before the wedding towards these pictures.¬† In addition to the “everyone together” pictures, the photographer also needs to take all the separate pictures (girls with bride, guys with the groom, etc.).¬† Therefore, this leaves less time for hair and make-up appointments and getting dressed.¬† This can be quite stressful if your time is limited.

However, there are plenty of advantages to having those together pictures done after the ceremony.¬† The biggest one is that special moment when the bride and groom see each other as she is walking down the aisle…..it’s simply amazing!¬† Nothing can compare to that googly-eyed expression on the groom’s face as he sees his bride for the very first time.¬† I personally waited until after the ceremony to do those pictures and still, 16 years later, I can remember vividly the wonderfully big grin my husband had on his face when I walked down the aisle.¬† I swear I only looked at him the entire. time.¬† If you do decide to do your pictures together before the ceremony, many photographers and wedding planners, however, will find another way to make the first moment you see each other special.¬† The groom is waiting, perhaps in a secluded area (like a garden) and the bride arrives, all by herself (with the photographer there but out of the way to capture this moment on film).¬† They have a few moments of private time before the family and bridal party joins them to take pictures.

The other main¬†advantage to taking your pictures after the ceremony is you don’t feel nearly as rushed while getting ready, especially if your ceremony is morning or early afternoon.

Either way, to¬†make the picture taking process go faster and smoothly, make certain that you work with an experienced and very organized photographer.¬† They should be able to take charge of the large group, (family and bridal party) and quickly get those pictures taken.¬† In my experience, the most efficient way is for the photographer to start with the largest groups of pictures and go down from there.¬† Start with the big extended family pictures first, then send those people off to the reception.¬† Then do the bridal party pictures next and send them off to the reception.¬† Finally, the bride¬†and groom are left by themselves, with just the photographer.¬† They don’t feel pressured or stressed, but more natural and happy.¬† These can be some of the best pictures in your album!

Happy Planning!

Karen

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