Wedding tips, ideas & stories, from The Photographer

Posts tagged “tips

I’ll Photograph Your Wedding With an iPhone

 

I could shoot a wedding with an iPhone if you wanted me to.

Here’s my offer; I’ll show up at your wedding and take pictures with an iPhone for $150. Email me your wedding date & ceremony time and I’ll let you know if I’m available.

Don’t think it can be done. Well check out these images taken at the Olympics by from fellow photojournalist Dan Chung  , or the portraits of the New York Yankees shot using the Instagram app that are licensed by Getty Images.  The iPhone is being used in amazing ways and I know several professional wedding photographers, including myself, who take a handful of cell phone photos at weddings. It’s really more of an experiment, or a chance to be arty, but it could be and I’m sure it has been done already a way to shoot an entire wedding. So why not your wedding?

Ok, I’m not really expecting to have any takers on this offer and if there are please know I don’t have an iPhone and that isn’t a real offer. The reason I made that offer is to show an extreme of what a lot of people are thinking these days. That just having a good camera is what you really need from a photographer.

The reason those iPhone photos are so amazing is because the photographers using them are not just professionals, but craftsman at what they do and they could make great wedding photos with a disposable camera from Walgreens.

The best advice I can give for finding a photographer who truly is great at their craft is:

  • Ask to see at least 100 images from a single wedding.
  • look at their non-wedding work
  • go for someone with at least 5 years of professional experience
  • look for a background with formal training, basically more than just “self taught”
  • Ask if they shoot film and if you can see samples
Now, this isn’t a perfect metric and I will say there are great self-taught photographer and lousy professionals with 5 years of experience, but this is where I start when I’m looking for photographic talent.
And if you really want me to show up and shoot your wedding with an iPhone, I will add it in to my normal package for free. Just mention this blog post.

 

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 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #11; Beware of Certain Photographers

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #11

What should a couple beware of with certain wedding photographers?

 

While rare, although not as rare as I’d like, the biggest concern would be that the work the photographer is presenting as their own, is actually copied from other photographer’s websites. This however can be extremely hard to find out. A more common bait & switch is performed  by studios who show work from photographers who no longer work for them. The other is when a photographer is really only good at one, or two types of photos.

A great way to flush both of these pitfalls out is to ask for samples of at least 100-300 images form a wedding that is completely their work, or the work of the photographer you’ll be working with. I have seen a lot of wedding portfolios with great artistic colored details shots of flowers, but lack any real candid moments. A couple who recently booked me mentioned that several of the photographers they looked at seemed more concern with the skyline in the background of the posed photos than the bride & groom.

 

Here’s a great post from Chicago Tribune photojournalist Alex Garcia, giving 7 solid tips on things to look out for when hiring a wedding photographer.
http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/assignment-chicago/2012/02/photographers-you-shouldnt-hire-for-your-wedding.html

 

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #12

How should a couple determine their wedding photography budget?

Previous Questions

#10  What should a couple look for in a wedding photographer?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


Narrow Your Guest List

 

Tips to Narrow Your Guest List

Lets face it, most couples want to invite just about every person they know to their wedding. And why not? Its suppose to be a grand celebration and a giant party, but budgets and time constraints often bring things down a notch. I mean if you did invite 500 people, at 30 seconds a person, it would take you over 4 hours to thank them all.

So, I’m going to share a little tip I usually give to couples who I meet, early on in their wedding planning, to help sort out a more manageable list. (By the way, it helps to do this on a computer file, since there may be a lot of writing).

 

First; go hog wile and make a list of every person you & your future spouse would invite.

Second; make a list of who you absolutely have to invite.

Third; with exception to the “must invite” eliminate people you haven’t seen in person in over a year, or people you haven’t even talked to on the phone in the last 6 months.

 

Now obviously this will not give you your final list, but it will give you a very good starting point. Some family & friends my not make that cut due to geographical difference, but you’ll still invite them and this does leave open the door for a few people, mainly co-workers, or fellow students in some cases, so if that’s something you have to decide on your own. Also, if parents are paying for part, or all of your wedding day, don’t forget they’ll have a list too.

The real reason of this method isn’t to give you an absolute list, but more of a way to help you determine if inviting the kid who lived on your block in 8th grade is really necessary.

I think using the phone and in person conversation is far more relevant than the use of say Facebook.

No matter what you do, good luck and just remember. Don’t worry about who might be mad if you don’t invite them. Worry about who you really want there to celebrate your special day with.

 

 

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Image Friendly Wedding Tip #5; Dress To Impress. Grooms.

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Image Friendly Wedding Tip #5; 10 Things Grooms Should Be Thinking About When It Comes To Attire

wedding tux for men
#8 Make it personal. My wife loves Audrey Hepburn, so if you’ve ever seen Sabrina, you’ll recognize this white Tux jacket. If you’re wondering why the odd look on my face, I was just told the DJ couldn’t find the processional music.

Gentlemen, I know its not easy. For months the focus seems to be on your bride-to-be, but when it comes to your clothing choice for the day, don’t just mail it in.

Sure you got her to agree to marry you, but that doesn’t mean you can just hit cruise control. People will be looking at you and feeling so-so about what you’re wearing shows up in photos. Here’s a top 10 list of things you should be thinking about when it comes to looking for your attire.

1. Put some thought into it. First are you even going to go with a tux, or will you be wearing a suit? Bow tie, or normal tie? Black, white or gray? If you’re getting married for the second time, or are doing a small low-key wedding, going with a suit might be an option. Getting married in Texas and want to show your inner-cowboy off, maybe you go with a bolo tie. Tuxes don’t just come in black, but as with all of these choices, talk with your bride-to-be the more adventurous you get. You want to look better than some schmo who picked something off a rack, not overshadow her.

2. Rent or buy? Just about every bride keeps their dress and just about every groom rents his tux, but it should be the other way around since, you’ll be far more likely to wear your tux again after the wedding. So you have to ask yourself, what are the chances I might need to rent a Tux again soon. The benefits to owning your own tux are limitless, but being 100% sure it fits perfectly is all you need to worry about now. Look for stores like Filene’s Basement, or other outlet stores that sell suits. I managed to find a tux for about $75 more than what I rented my wedding tux at. Even if I don’t find a black tie charity event to wear it at, I’m always solid on Halloween as James Bond.

3. Don’t just go with the first Tux the guy at the mall tux rental shop shows you. This goes back to my main point, you can’t just mail this in. It might be the one you go for in the end, but don’t just do what they say is the in style this year.

4. Do some research This goes back to the last point. Maybe read up on a few blogs and see if there is any advice for tuxes based on body type. Maybe do a few searches on the internet and see what the new trend is out there, or even better, don’t end up like those who got married in the 1970′s with baby blue ruffled shirts & cumber-buns, find something that is classic and will stand up to your children’s ridicule. Your hair style may be a different problem.

5. Try and find a store use to adult rentals, AKA not the mall. Not that being in a mall makes a bad rental store, but sometimes these places can be staffed with people who are use to dealing with a majority prom crowd.  This could lead to your fitting, or order not getting the full attention it needed because there were 150 other people renting tuxes that week. There are usually a few tux rental shops in downtown areas of larger cities. Try one of these places out. Chances are they’re use to dealing with adults who need the occasional tux for a black tie event and aren’t going to be over run during prom season. No matter where you go, its always a good idea to ask what their peak season is, so you can make arrangements not to get fitted then.

6. Read Reviews. Wedding web sites and consumer web sites like Yelp, are full of reviews on local businesses. Just because the tux you rented from a national chain for your friends wedding in New York was good, doesn’t mean their store in your home town is on point.

7. Stand out from the groomsmen. I did a white jacket while my groomsmen did black jackets. You can switch it up in several different ways. Vest color, tie color. I’ve even seen the groom wear a bow tie while his groomsmen went with a regular tie. What ever you do, make sure your groomsmen all stick with the same plan. Nothing looks worse than two guys wearing bow ties and two guys with normal ties. Dads, ushers and other tux wearing non-groomsmen have a little more leeway. While I’m not against groomsmen matching the bridesmaids color scheme, don’t make them wear teal green, purple, or some other less than flattering color. Black, grey, silver and other neutral colors won’t clash with the girls and the fact you’re putting some thought into it might help convince your bride-to-be not to put your buddies in pink bow ties.

#7 Going with a white jacket is a nice way to stand out from the groomsmen. It can also be as simple as switching up yoru vest or tie color.

8. Make it personal if you can. Did your dad and grandfather both have tails on their tuxes? Go with that if you can find the right style. My wife is a huge Audrey Hepburn fan and if you’ve ever seen the movie Sabrina you may recognize my white jacket. Custom cufflinks with a message or theme are another way to go.

9. Cuff Links. Yes Please. Two things I’ll say right now about cuff links, while they might not have always been the most popular, they have never gone out of style, or made someone wearing them look dated. Sure most rental places will give you standard cuff links, but why not go with something a little more stylish, or take a cue from tip #8 and make it personal. On top of adding just a little more style to your look, cuff links also make a great groomsmen gift. As a groom think about getting your own french cuffed shirt for your wedding day. Rental shirts have cheap cuffs, don’t always fit properly and you can always have your shirt tailored to fit you like a glove so it’s one less thing to worry about on the day of your wedding.

#9 Cuff Links Yes! At a recent wedding each groomsman had custom cuff links with an image of something that made them happy.

10. Make Sure You Feel You Look Good. I always say one of the top 3 most important things at a wedding is the dress. Why? Because if the bride doesn’t feel she looks like the most amazing person in the room, its going to show up in the photos. The same thing can be said about the groom. If you feel like you’re tux fit is to baggy, or to tight best, its going to show. Do you feel like it isn’t for you and was something you went with to make her happy.  Let her know long before the wedding so you can work it out. Either way, loving what you’re wearing makes all the difference in the world.

 

#1 Put some thought into it. Shoes are another way to showoff some of your own style.

If you are a former groom and have some dressing advice for future grooms, post in the comments section, or on my Facebook page.

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Preview of Posts to Come

lightning wedding reception
lightning wedding reception

Things got a little stormy at the end of Kate & Alex's wedding this summer, but they managed to miss bad weather. My advice & tips might not be able to stop storm clouds, but it could help you avoid disasters at your wedding.

It was a busy wedding season and I haven’t been posting as many tips and advice for couples about to get married, but there are a bunch of things lined up.

•Things to look out for with group photos

•Google for weddings

•Why you have a better eye for photos than your photographer

•Tips for the Groom

Plus ways to make your wedding more image friendly.

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com
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