Reno Wedding Photographer | Pretty Wedding Photos { Guest Blog }

Reno Wedding Photographer | Pretty Wedding Photos { Guest Blog }

Today’s post is a guest post from Marie with Artless Articles. She is newly married and writes regularly on her personal lifestyle blog. I followed her when she first met her now husband, as they dated, got engaged, planned their wedding, traveled for their honeymoon and now as they settle into married life. What I have always appreciated about Marie as she planned her wedding and even afterwards, is the value she placed on her wedding photography. Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, and read on to see what Marie has shared with all of my readers.

The Importance Of Having Pretty Wedding Photos

Would you want crappy photos to remind you of how lovely your wedding was?
We sure didn’t. That’s why we made sure to invest in a
decent photographer (Jessica Watson Photography).

There’s really no nice way to put it but ugly ass wedding photos are just unnecessary. Why would someone do that to themselves? To me, there is no gray area. Wedding photos are either good or bad.

And most wedding photos are bad.

I’ve seen some very beautiful, extravagant weddings but the photos look so frightening one wouldn’t believe it if they weren’t at the wedding themselves. What is the point of making your special day so beautiful if it’s just going to be looked back on through distorted imagery? So many couples put themselves in debt trying to have what they think is the perfect wedding yet they can’t even see the importance of having quality photography or understand WHY quality photography is relatively expensive.

Don’t you want an accurate portrayal of your wedding – to have photos oozing with happiness?

Photo by Jessica Watson Photography

 

Exactly. You.pay.for.caliber.

To be clear, I’m not trying to brag and say that my wedding photos are the best. Our wedding photos just happened to represent our “Sweet & Simple” themed wedding very well. For that I am proud.

Good wedding photography is a must if it is within your budget. Our wedding photography budget was 1/4 of our overall wedding budget. We didn’t want to go cheap on our photographer because we wanted our wedding to be depicted the way we remembered it: beautiful, whimsical and tasteful.

Our wedding dessert bar provided by Pastrygirl complete with a cake,
wrapped gluten-free treats to the left and a bunch of lemon squares, brownies,
Meixcan wedding cake, and cookies to the right! Photo by Jessica Watson Photography.

Before I go into how we chose the photographer for our wedding, I wanted to share with you two big no-nos when it comes to wedding photography: 1) Relying on friends and family for their personal shots and 2) Hiring an amateur for cheap

Reasons why you should not rely on friends and family to take your wedding photos: 

They could never get an image like this without having to bother the wedding couple
for their rings. It’s different when the photographers ask for it because there’s a certain
level of trust that they will be returned. When it’s just a wedding guest who has
absolutely no obligation to take photos, genuine mistakes can happen in which the
wedding couple will forget to get their rings back or the guest who took the photo could
forget themselves. They also most likely wouldn’t have the proper lens to get this
type of effect. Photo by Jessica Watson Photography
  1. They are your guests. They are not there to work for free and shame on brides who pressure their guests to surrender their personal photos of the wedding. They are there to celebrate, relax and have fun, toasting to your new marriage.
  2. They will not catch every single, special moment. Even if you’re the celebrant, they are not always going to be at your side or in front of you. And if they are, they can only happy snap for so long before they get tired of it.
  3. Unless they are a hobbyist or professional, they probably will take pics using a normal point and shoot or their smartphone camera. There is a huge difference in quality when it comes to simple cameras and the options a professional can get when they take photos with manual settings. Also, even if they were an actual photographer, see Reason 1.
  4. Unless they are a hobbyist or professional, they probably just don’t know what they’re doing. Seriously, they do stuff like keep photos of you even though the light is overexposed. They don’t edit the photos unless they do it on Instagram. They take photos from completely wrong angles. They take blurry photos, keep it and don’t toss out bad images. I mean…they don’t take it seriously because, quite frankly, they shouldn’t. They are (most likely) not professional photographers.
  5. It is not their damn job to give you what you want. You cannot just give them a shoot list and ask them to take a picture of everything on that list. WTF, that’s so tacky. Unless they insist and make that your wedding present or something, DON’T DO IT.

Reasons to not hire an amateur (or cheap) photographer:

  1. When someone is an amateur and building their portfolio, there is lots of room for mistakes.  So making deal with an amateur photographer so he/she can build their portfolio is a big no-no. Why would you want them to “practice” on your special day? Your special day is not a test for them. They can take that elsewhere.
  2. They usually do not have a second shooter. This means that the photographer, unless he/she can magically be in two places at once, will miss out on many candid shots and memorable moments that aren’t just about the bride and the groom.
  3. They usually can’t even angle photos right. I’ve seen so many wedding photos out there where the photographer tries to turn the camera and take tilted shots of people and things. That’s hella lazy. Instead of doing that, what they need to do is take the time to move their asses and make necessary changes so they get the shot they want. Simply tilting the camera and making a diagonal shot is completely unacceptable in most cases.
  4. Many still don’t know basic composition. They usually shoot everything in the center.
    This photo is a proper photo. While we’re not in the center of the photo, we are still the focal point. The blurred, sunlit, leafy background complements us, the subjects. Photo by Jessica Watson Photography 

These are your memories. They are important.

So that I’m not totally biased, I wanted to use some others’ wedding images on this post from here on out. Just so there’s no confusion: I do know these photographers somewhat personally but I sought out their photos. They didn’t come to me (or need to come to me) to be featured in this post.

Why is good wedding photography so darn expensive?!?!!

Of course, before you invest, you have to understand why good wedding photography is relatively expensive. Wedding and portrait photographers, please forgive me if I’ve left out many other things. You can add stuff I’ve forgotten in the comments section if you wish.

The really good photographers invest a lot of their time and money into their craft. They’re usually taking workshops which they pay for themselves. They always upgrade their equipment, which also depreciates each time they use it. They invest a lot of time into processing and editing photos (so when you pay you’re also specifically paying for that). They spend time blogging and marketing so they can promote their work and thus gain clients just like you so they can keep their business going and keep providing beautiful photography for clients.

What you’re paying for isn’t just for their time shooting. You’re paying for their experience, their equipment, their knowledge, their quality, their time, their talent, their creativity, their assistance. Yes, you’re also paying for that second shooter who is helping them out so that you can get photos from all around the room. You are also paying for their assistants who help them. After all the expenses are paid on their end, they actually don’t make as much as you think they do.

However, you’re still paying for *a lot* of shit which makes it possible for you to get some stellar photography. Good wedding photography doesn’t.just.happen.

How To Choose (and how we chose) A GOOD Wedding Photographer:

  1. Decide your overall wedding budget first. From there, you can decide how much you want to use on your photographer. We used The Knot’s budget tool and it generated our photography budget which was only $600. That wasn’t a large photography budget at all. Having said that, I cut back from other expensive areas of the wedding (such as my dress and elaborate floral centerpieces) which allowed us to raise our budget to a few thousand dollars. We know we wouldn’t get a freakin’ celebrity photographer but we knew that for where we lived, we could land someone who took beautiful images.
  2. Look around online at different photographers’ websites. See if any of their images resonate with you. The minute you see something weird (like them cutting off limbs in photos or always having everyone centered), take them off your list. The less options, the easier the selection. You deserve nothing less than perfect. It came down to Jessica Watson and two other photographers.
  3. Meet with potential photographers and look at their portfolio. They should have a book of their images to present to you. When we met with our photographer she had books upon books of her work. Honestly, we didn’t even have to look through most of her stuff since I’d already checked out her blog online and poured over the images. We kind of already knew we wanted to hire her.
  4. Decide on who you want based on whether or not you personally like the photographer himself/herself, their images and their price. At this point you know you want good quality but that it must fit your budget. If it doesn’t but the person is decently priced, then there might have to be some changes in priority.
  5. Secure the photographer. Read the contract carefully (you should’ve already gone over the contract too with your initial meetings with the photographers). See if prints and/or a CD of the images are included. Most photographers are different so it depends on what you want. We wanted a CD of high resolution images so we could make our own prints for personal use.

And with that, I leave you a short visual guide on beautiful wedding photography:

This is by Brazilian-based, American photographer, Jann La Pointe. This set of images perfectly depicts this wedding. The quality of the photo does not underrepresent the beauty and thought that was put into the bride and groom’s special day. My favorite image is the photo of the cake topper with the kissing birds and blurred in the background you can make out the newlyweds kissing as well. The colors are all perfect and her composition is so perfect.
This is one of the photos that resonated with me when choosing Jessica Watson. I loved how she caught everything in this one shot. She caught the scenery, the mood, the romantic lighting. You can almost hear the waves and you can really feel the happiness and warmth in this photo when you look at it. The aisle which leads your eyes to the happy couple is also makes you feel as if you are there.
So what I like about this one is the extremely shallow depth of field and the natural lighting. I love the contrast between the rings and the background. I love the spacing between the rings. I just love it all. The rings aren’t my style personally, but the way they are all simply hung with the mini clothespin makes them look so regal yet playful. Photo by Huong Forrest Photography
This is a photo by Junshien International Photographers. So here, the photographer used a wide angle lens and was able to capture the willows over the couple. They also shot into the light so it gives the photo a nice, dreamlike effect.It sounds cheesy but it looks like a garden fairytale. It is absolutely beautiful.

 

If you’re currently looking for a wedding photographer, I hope this post helped! Good luck in your search. If you have any questions you can leave a comment. Remember: You deserve nothing less than beautiful wedding photography.

If you’d like to head to Marie’s original post, you can do so here.

Reno Wedding Photographer | Pretty Wedding Photos { Guest Blog }

Who is Huong Forrest?

Reno Newborn Photographer

Huong Forrest Photography is the passion, vision and dream of one Reno newborn photographer, Huong Forrest. I specialize in newborn photography and have a great passion for capturing Reno's tiniest new residents. I also adore capturing the innocence of babies and children, the love and passion of a newlywed couple and their wedding and I greatly enjoy revealing the beauty, confidence and fierceness of your everyday woman.

When I'm not with my clients, you will find me running around with my two adorable sons, helping people improve their health and wellness with It Works! Global, giving back where I can in several photography forums and blogging about business, photography and motherhood.


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Please send me an email at any time or call me at 775.233.8382 if you would like to discuss an upcoming portrait opportunity.

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Jessica Vaughn - So very true! I’ve heard so many horror stories and I’m so thankful I made photography a priority in my wedding budget!

Jessica - What great advice! So very important to do your research and choose a professional.

Jama Pantel - What a great post! And soooo true. And that ring shot=pure awesomeness! Wow!!

Melissa Berg - Great article! Love the beautiful examples!

Laurie Gould - Fantastic information that every Bride and Groom should have!

Brian - really well said and written

Donna Beck - So well said. And love the pictures too!

Cherilyn H. - I couldn’t agree more with her! My husband and I had a pretty small budget for our wedding but photography was the one thing we didn’t skimp on.

Tara Colburn - Great information here. I hope future brides out there listen up, it is SO important to hire a great wedding photographer (Like Huong!)

Kim Kravitz - Wow! What an awesome and very informative post! I hope all future brides out there are able to see this.

Angela - What a wonderful and informative post! Well done!

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