Father's Day From a Wedding Photographer's Perspective

How can I sum up the significance of fatherhood? I'm not entirely sure where to begin...I have an amazing father, and I’m married to another fantastic father.  I've seen grandfathers, uncles and friends serve as stellar fathers to children who need one. 

What is it that they all have in common? 

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They teach. They discipline. They spoil.  They do so much, but there’s something more that stands out.

When I watch fathers walk their daughters down the aisle, what I see in each man's eyes is pride.  Without speaking a word, their faces shout, “This woman beside me, I’m her biggest fan!”  The father standing onstage beside the groom, he’s always glowing with pride too.

There’s no doubt, a mother can see a child’s need usually before he even voices it, and she loves and nurtures like none other.

But a father, he has an eye for spotting a child’s potential.  He encourages the good that he sees and he believes in future greatness!

Several of our brides have requested first look photography with their groom as well as with their father. When we do these, I honestly can’t say which man is happier to see that beautiful, smiling bride!

So dads, keep up the good work!  We all need your support and belief in us!

 

Shout out to my amazing dad who always supports and encourages me!

Shout out to my amazing dad who always supports and encourages me!

How Photography Has Changed Me

This week we celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary. Yay us! Our very first summer together, we had a lot more free time than we did spending money, so we went on a lot of walks.

Here's a frame from a video of me, pregnant and about to pop, trying out my new toy.

Here's a frame from a video of me, pregnant and about to pop, trying out my new toy.

Phil almost always brought his DSLR along, and he started teaching me to use it. (DSLR means digital single-lens reflex camera. Translation: big fancy camera pros use.)

I gave just the amount of effort a person must to appease a loved one and show a polite interest. He persisted though, and a couple of anniversaries later he even surprised me with my very own DSLR camera.

Over the years I’ve slowly fallen in love with photography. I started out taking pictures of our kids. Then I took pictures of our cats, the laundry, the kitchen sink. It’s no longer just “his thing.” It’s my thing, and it’s our thing!

With two little boys, a construction site is often the subject matter.

With two little boys, a construction site is often the subject matter.

This week in the car, I realized that not only has photography become a hobby for me and a business for us, it’s changed the way I see the world.

I have become so much more aware of the beauty around me. 

I more frequently enjoy the numerous and amazing shapes of the clouds as I drive, and I notice the cool composition of the toys scattered across the living room floor.

I’ve gotten to know our little town better as I wandered its streets and stopped to capture the details that inspire me.  As I drive past those spots in my daily routine, I remember stopping to enjoy them, and it makes me like it here just a little more.

I’ve never thought of myself as an artist, but it turns out that I am, and photography is my art. It’s something I create to express the beauty of life as I see it.

12 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Photographer

Your wedding is quite possibly the first event that you’ve ever hired someone to photograph, so it’s perfectly understandable if you are a bit unsure of what to ask. Thank goodness for the internet, right?

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I’ve seen a few long lists of questions for photographers, but let’s be honest you probably don’t care what brand of camera your photographer uses or what shoes he plans to wear.

I've complied a shorter list, from my experience on both sides of the interview, of questions that you probably do want answered.

By the way, please have an interview (video chat works too), rather than listing questions in an email.  I really believe that meeting face to face is the way to get a feel for who they are and how you feel around them.  After all, they will be with you the majority of your wedding day!

Now, let’s get to it!

About the Experience:

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1. Please share about yourself.  Like I said before, it’s worth making sure that your personalities and priorities are at least somewhat compatible.  Do they have a sense of humor that will put you at ease in front of the camera, or did talking with them seem uncomfortable?

2. Tell them about you. Okay, I know this is technically not a question, but it’s still worth doing.  If they are interested in what you have to say, it’s a good sign that they care about how you want your day to go and they will listen to your desires in the future.

3. What kind of experience can we expect from you? Give them a chance to prove that they offer more than just beautiful images.

4. Will you help me create a timeline? Who is better to give advice on timing than someone who has walked alongside multiple brides each step of their wedding day.  Again their interest level in your timeline may be a good indicator of their willingness to accommodate your desires.

About the Logistics

5. Are you shooting any other weddings on my date? You may have already asked if your day was available, but did you make sure that your wedding is the only one they are planning to shoot that day? 

6. What packages do you offer?  There are actually a few related questions here.  What are the prices? What exactly is included in each package? How many hours of coverage do I need? Finally, are you able to customize a package to fit my needs? 

7. Will there be a second shooter?  Having two photographers working together often means more photos in less time, and it definitely means additional perspectives on the big moments.

8. What happens in the case of illness or emergency?  No one wants to be stuck without a photographer on the morning of their wedding because the flu is going around.  Do they have a trusted colleague to cover for them?  Will you be reimbursed?

About the Photos:

9. What’s your photography style? They might say something like, traditional, artistic, or photo-journalistic. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples or more specific descriptions if you aren’t familiar with these terms.  

10.  What kind of retouching or processing do you do? Are they willing to do a lot of blemish reduction and facial retouching, if that’s what you want? Do they edit photos for a specific feel (i.e. vintage, modern, soft)? If you prefer natural, authentic looking photos can they do that?

11. Are you take-charge or laid back? Some people want a photographer who will take the initiative to direct the flow of the day, while others want a photographer who goes with the flow and captures things as they unfold naturally.  Are you a match in this area?

12. Share your ideas. I know, I slipped in another non-question. If you have specific shots that you want or creative ideas you’d like to try, make sure that they are capable and willing to do those things.

One final piece of advice: Go with your gut on this.  There are tons of photographers out there, and I think you will thank yourself for taking the time to find a photographer that you are compatible with, one who will give you photos and an experience that you love!