Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tips on Hiring Your Wedding Photographer & Inspiration Sites Part 1

Congratulations! You’re engaged and now you’re looking into hiring a wedding photographer! I’ve put together some helpful hints whether you are having a boutique wedding, backyard wedding, courthouse wedding or a grand ballroom wedding. I am hoping that by taking you through these hints you have a great experience with your photographer and end up with photos you love!

Wedding Photography Styles 

There are specific photographic styles that wedding photographers use and you should know what they are before you start your search and what options each style brings to the table. Knowing this before you start your search will really put you ten steps ahead.

  • Documentary/Journalistic Photographers do very little posing and work to create images that capture real emotion during your wedding day. Little interaction takes place between the photographer and the wedding party. You are not going to get a lot of posed family shots but the shots you do get of mom and dad are bound to be filled with emotion. Many photographers depict in their ads this style of photography. 
  • Traditional photographers are all about capturing the wedding with directed posing. Expect lots of family and wedding party portraits. Not the current style of wedding photography and not too many photogs out there that are still doing this…I think. 
  • Illustrative photographers are a blend of both journalistic and traditional so you get those real moments and natural wedding portraits – it’s a mix of both journalistic and traditional. This seems to be the current trend in wedding photography. You’ll find a lot of “natural light” illustrative photographers around town. This is my personal preference and style.

How Wedding Photographers Differ in Style 

I’ve included links to wedding photographers with different styles and personalities but I thought you might want a bit of an explanation on why and how they differ.

Processing your images is the photographer’s style and expression of art. Think of the difference between Monet, Van Gough and Sargent. All beautiful. All different.

When you take a look at the websites below keep this in mind and note what you like. Some photographers have a clean and simple style with bright colors and perfect skin tones. Clear and crisp images are what you get. Think Kate Spade and you get the idea.

Other photographers, myself included, use light and motion to create artful images that then go through post processing where color overlays, textures and cropping create more of stylized look. They are soft, romantic, current yet timeless. Think of the store Anthropologie.

Editorial wedding photographers knock my socks off – I love the edgy, Vogue feeling to some of the photogs on my list below. Glamour, high fashion and money! If you want hip magazine style photos that scream “I’ve made it!” you’ve found your photog!

Fine Art & Ultra Creative Photographers - First off – all photographers are creative but I named this category “Fine Art & Creative Photographers” because quite honestly I couldn’t think of a better name. This is one of those categories that I can only say “You’ll know it when you see it and you’ll love it or hate it.” The thought, creativity and soul bearing beauty that photographers are capable of inspire me daily. Utterly unique – these photographers are like the Tim Burton or Caravaggio of photography. Heavily stylized and it works perfectly.

Wedding Photography Inspiration Websites 

Below are the links to some of my favorite wedding photographers around the country in no particular order:

  • Ed Peers London photog that presents you with intimate, deeply romantic photos. How does he do it??? Magic! Great European locations to gawk at.
  • Natalie Licini Pure art. I can say nothing more. I couldn’t do her work justice with my words. 
  • Joe Buissink I’ve had the honor of seeing Joe Buissink speak and viewed his photos in person – breathtaking! Based in L.A. his celebrity wedding portraits are not to be missed for your inspiration. 
  • Aves Photographic Design Texas photogs that capture your day with a kick! I love their black and whites/sepia pics and their color images are just right! Love them! 
  • The Youngrens Based in San Diego, the Youngrens have a clean colorful style that is simple and straightforward, capturing emotion wonderfully. Perky and fun pics. 
  • Jessica Claire My first wedding photographer crush. Based in Orange County Jessica creates clean and beautiful photos that are simple and classic yet have a complexity that can only be born from tons of practice, lots of amazing lenses and the time honored tradition of hard work. 
  • Bobby Earle I met Bobby Earle and his beautiful wife briefly about 3 years ago in San Diego. He’s a laid back travelin’ man who creates soft romantic images in between leading photo trips to Asia. He loves using his tilt shift lens and the results are stunning!
  • Karen French Photography  Most published wedding photographer. Ever. Fashion background, stunning photography! A site you must visit! Los Angeles and the O.C.
  •  Wild Flowers Photos  Nostaligic, whimsical, vintage. Down home. Beautiful use of light. I exhale and swear I’m moving to the country - where the air is clean and grass grows 10 feet tall and old barns await me. 
  • Jeff Newsom  Jeff loves light. Take a look at his unique and modern portfolio the painting with light method. Awesome!

Of course, there's my own site Andrea Scott Photography {shameless plug}

More tips to follow, for now please enjoy the wedding photo I took for a beach wedding at the Hotel Del Coronado!

hotel del coronado wedding san diego_0059

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