The Bride's Guide to Wedding Photography: How to Get the Wedding Photography of Your Dreams

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  • T H E B R I D E S G U I D E TO

    Wedding PhotographyT H E B R I D E S G U I D E TO

    Amherst MediaPUBLISHER OF PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKSKathleen Hawkins

    Wedding PhotographyHow to Get the Wedding

    Photography of Your

    Dreams

  • Copyright 2003 by Kathleen HawkinsAll rights reserved.

    Front and back cover photos by Jeff Hawkins.

    Published by:Amherst Media, Inc.P.O. Box 586Buffalo, N.Y. 14226Fax: 716-874-4508www.AmherstMedia.com

    Publisher: Craig AlesseSenior Editor/Production Manager: Michelle PerkinsAssistant Editor: Barbara A. Lynch-JohntEditorial Assistance: Grace Smokowski

    ISBN: 1-58428-094-8Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 2002113004

    Printed in Korea.10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopied, recorded or otherwise,without prior written consent from the publisher.

    Notice of Disclaimer: The information contained in this book is based on the authors experience and opinions. The author and publisher will not be held liablefor the use or misuse of the information in this book.

    DedicationThis book is dedicated to my knight in shining armor, my wonderful husband. Jeff, I want to thank you for being my best friend, my encourager and my

    strength. I could never have accomplished the things I have without your love and support. I do cherish you. I love you with all my heart and always

    will, from here to eternity!

  • Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

    1. PHOTOGRAPHYTHAT SUITS YOU . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

    Types of Photographers . . . . . . . . . .9Traditional Photographers . . . . . . . .9Photojournalists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9Combination Photographers . . . . .10

    Avenues to Explore . . . . . . . . . . . .10Web Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10Magazines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13Bridal Guides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14Bridal Shows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14Referrals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16Previous Clients . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

    2. THE SELECTION . . . . . . . . . . . . .20The Consultation . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20Personality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20Budget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

    Costly Mistakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21The Best Scenario . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

    The Retainer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26The Contract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29Name and Contact Information . .29Complete Date andCoverage Time . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

    Itemized Prices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30Payment Policies andCancellation Clauses . . . . . . . . .31

    Hidden Charges . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31Film Limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31Proof Policies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31Product Pricing Clauses . . . . . . . .31Album Order Guidelines . . . . . . . .31File Ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31Model Releases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

    3. PREPARING FORYOUR PHOTOGRAPHS . . . . . . .35

    Appearance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35Exits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36The Reception Dcor . . . . . . . . . . .40Reception Displays . . . . . . . . . . . . .40Image Reflection Displays . . . . . . .40

    Thank-You Gifts . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

    4. BEFORE YOURWEDDING DAY . . . . . . . . . . . . .43

    The Engagement Session . . . . . . . .43Scheduling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44Clothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44Props . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44Ideas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45Bring a Friend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45Fun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45

    TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S 3

    Table of Contents

  • The Formal Portrait Session . . . . .48Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48Dress and Veil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49Flowers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51Assistants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52Hair and Makeup . . . . . . . . . . . . .52

    The Planning Session . . . . . . . . . .55Time Frames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56Private Time Schedule . . . . . . . . .56Traditional Schedule . . . . . . . . . .61Post-Reception Photographs . . . . .71Photo Lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73The Final Step . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75

    5. THE WEDDING DAY . . . . . . . . .78Ready Yourselffor Beautiful Images . . . . . . . . . .78Bouquet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78The Turtle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80Shift Your Weight . . . . . . . . . . . . .80Catch Phrase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81Posing During the Ceremony . . . .81Have Fun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82

    Five Tips for PerfectWedding-Day Images . . . . . . . . .84Dont Be Late! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84Be Flexible . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85Enjoy Your Day! . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85Do Regular Touch-Ups . . . . . . . .85Relax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85

    6. PROOFS AND ORDERS . . . . . . .86Paper Proofs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87CD Proofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88Video Proofs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90Online Ordering . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91

    7. ALBUM DESIGN . . . . . . . . . . . . .94The Design Consultation . . . . . . .94The Classic Album . . . . . . . . . . . .95The Digital Montage Album . . . . .96The Image Box Display . . . . . . . .97

    The Design Process . . . . . . . . . . . .97

    Closing Thoughts . . . . . . . . . .102

    About the Author . . . . . . . . . .103

    Thanks! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104

    Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107

    4 T H E B R I D E S G U I D E TO W E D D I N G P H OTO G R A P H Y

  • The biggest day of your life is aboutto arrive. Visualize the perfectflowers, a long, flowing dress and

    your prince charming waiting for theentrance of his beautiful, radiant bride.This is something you have most likelydreamt about since you were a little girl.Hiring someone to document this

    important day is one of the most signifi-cant decisions you will face. (Well, thatand, of course, who you will marry!)However, finding someone who can takethe perfect pictures is only half of thedilemma. Arranging prewedding daymeetings, choreographing wedding daydetails and selecting the postweddingday products are all fine points to consid-er, though they are often overlooked.This guide will help you find a pho-

    tographer whose style and personality is

    I N T R O D U C T I O N 5

    As you begin planning the details of your special day, take the time to educate yourself on all theimportant considerations that must go into hiring a qualified photographer. Photo by Andy Marcus.

    Introduction

  • the best match for you. After all, you willprobably spend more time with the pho-tographer than any other vendor; thelimo driver, the caterer, the baker and theflorist all come and go. The photogra-pher will be there from the beginning tothe end. It is important to follow yourheart and have the peace of mind thatyou made the right decision.

    6 T H E B R I D E S G U I D E TO W E D D I N G P H OTO G R A P H Y

    LEFTFollow your heart and choose a wedding photographer who will capture the day the way youwant to remember it. Photo by Deborah Lynn Ferro. ABOVEIn the end, your cake will be eaten, yourguests will have gone home and your images will become your memory! Photo by Jeff Hawkins.

  • You are getting married, and youhave a lot to think about. Theresthe dress, the venue, the guests

    and the photographer. You will need tofind a talented artist to capture youremotions and document every detail ofyour perfect day. Since you can neverreenact these important momentsthetears, the laughter, the joythe endeav-or to find the perfectly matched photog-rapher must not be taken lightly. Findingthis person is part serendipity and parthard work and research.So, where do you begin this quest to

    capture your picture-perfect day? Wheredo you search to find a photographerwhose style is appealing to you, whosepersonality meshes with yours and whooffers the products and services that youdesire?

    P H OTO G R A P H Y T H AT S U I T S Y O U 7

    Whether it is laughter or tears of joy, thedocumentation of your emotions for theyears to come makes your images price-less. Left photo by Ken Sklute. Photo aboveby Andy Marcus.

    1. Photography That Suits You

  • This book will guide you in selecting aphotographer whos a perfect fit. Youwill learn how to locate a photographerwho can produce the cutting-edge ortime-honored, traditional images thatyouve always wanted. You will learn howto orchestrate a time line to ensure thatthe photographer gets all of those price-less images. You will read about retainersand contracts, and will discover how tocreate a color story that will make everyaspect of your photographs work togeth-er in perfect harmony.There are many things to consider

    when selecting the right photographerits not as easy as opening a phone bookto hire a repairmanand it shouldnt be.The search may take some time. Typic-ally, you should begin your search a min-imum of eight to ten months prior to thespecial day. However, photographersStewart and Susan Powers add this bit of

    caution: You can never call too early tobook your photographer, but you cancertainly call too late.

    TYPES OF PHOTOGRAPHERS

    The first step in selecting a photographeris determining the style you like. Photog-raphers typically fall into three generalcategories: traditional photographers,photojournalists and a photographerwho blends both styles together. You willneed to decide whether you want black& white images, color images or to havethe session done digitally, in which caseeach image can be made either way.Traditional Photographers. A tradi-

    tional photographer creates a classic styleof portraiture, one that is formal andposed. Over the years, certain guidelineshave been established by top award-win-ning photographers working with thisstyle. Now, younger generations of pho-tographers use these tried and truetechniques to produce images that appealto a wide variety of clients.

    Photojournalists. The photojournal-istic movement in wedding photographyis rooted in the documentary style ofnewspaper and media photojournalism.

    P H OTO G R A P H Y T H AT S U I T S Y O U 9

    Traditional images are achieved by using formalposing and lighting techniques. Photo by PatrickRice.

    Photojournalistic images are created with anoutside-the-box mentalityformal rules are dis-regarded and special moments are captured asthey unfold. Photo by Ken Sklute.

  • A photojournalist captures an event as itunfolds, rather then posing or staging thesubjects. Because newspaper photojour-nalism is commonly shot in black &white, this style of coverage has led to arebirth in the popularity of black & whitewedding images.Combination Photographers. To

    accommodate the vast number of vari-ables involved in shooting a wedding andto satisfy the needs and desires of variousclients, many photographers offer boththe photojournalistic and traditionalstyles of coverage.

    AVENUES TO EXPLORE

    Today, there are many incredible vehiclesto assist you in your search. Web sites,bridal publications and bridal shows canbe a good starting point, but the simplestway to find a great photographer is oftenthrough referrals.Web Sites. By beginning your mission

    with a web site search, you can comfort-ably navigate the web sites of local pho-

    10 T H E B R I D E S G U I D E TO W E D D I N G P H OTO G R A P H Y

    Photojournalisticimages are commonlyshot in black & white.

    Photo by AndyMarcus.

  • LEFTMany photographers encourage couples to stand in aspecific spot or to kiss, but then let their natural emotions flowinto the photograph, blending photojournalism and traditionalphotography together for an appealing look. Photo by JeffHawkins. BELOWBy adding a creative angle to a traditionalimage, your photographer can create a fashion-inspired image.Photo by Andy Marcus.

  • tographers and begin to unveil the stylethat is most appealing to you. Searchingweb sites tends to be a faster and moreeffective choice than going through theyellow pages since phone book ads donot typically feature the photographersimages. Web site navigation allows you toview the photographers portfolio in thecomfort of your own home. Follow thesesteps to begin your search:

    1. Use a web search engine to find localphotographers. Type in your city name

    and wedding photographers in thesearch field; for example, enter Orlandowedding photographers.

    2. You will also want to do a search forlocal publications. The most helpful website we have found is www.thepwg.com.At this site, you can register to receive acomplimentary copy of The PerfectWedding Guide. Because the site offerspublications geared to meet the needs ofbrides from over fifty-seven locationsthroughout the United States and

    Canada, you can pretty much locate avendor in any major city in the UnitedStates. If you visit a particular publica-tions web site, you are certain to find theweb sites of established, experiencedwedding photographers in your area whocan afford advertising in wedding publi-cations. In fact, this secondary searchmay help you to find photographers thatyou didnt catch with the first search. Tobe most effective in your navigation,select a site that is updated regularly andis professional and user-friendly.

    3. Other helpful sites are:www.theknot.comwww.weddingchannel.comwww.getawayweddings.comwww.wppinow.comwww.ppa.com.

    4. Look for a web site that moves youemotionally and/or displays images thatrepresent what you envision for your day.Once you find that site, contact the pho-

    12 T H E B R I D E S G U I D E TO W E D D I N G P H OTO G R A P H Y

    Black & White PhotographyAccording to Bill Hurter, editor of Rangefinder magazine and WPPI Monthly (the official publicationof Wedding and Portrait Photographers International, an important professional organization for

    wedding photographers), Black & white photography lends an air of timelessness to a wedding

    album and is consistent with photojournalistic style coverage. Without the distraction of color you

    are able to focus more on the feelings created by each moment. Many of todays couples prefer

    this style of photography. Nevertheless, many of the parents and family members believe black &

    white photography is going back a generation, instead of forward. So most successful and expe-

    rienced photographers believe it is important to please all parties involved by providing both color

    and black & white images.

  • tographer to determine his or her avail-ability. Dont delay, dates fill quickly!Magazines. Bridal magazines are

    designed to provide interesting and help-ful articles about everything that has any-thing to do with weddings. They show-case the ads of many photographers(which can help you to define the styleyou are looking for), feature articles on avariety of topics and are chock-full ofvendors advertisements. Most nationalmagazines include advertisements forphotographe...

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