With all of the changes and growth that have happened over the last decade, we wanted to highlight a few of the key factors involved when finding a wedding photographer who has a style you love.
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If you're looking for unique ways to get the most out of what you spend for your big day, you're in luck. Here are some tips to help put some of your wedding expenses in perspective while still having a day you'll look back on happily for years to come.
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Whether you're in the beginning stages of planning your big day or you're only a few weeks away and are starting to go over your day-of timeline with your wedding photographer, there are a few key pieces of the celebration you'll want to have on camera. Some of the following moments are probably obvious, but be sure to consider the ones you might not have thought about yet — and will surely miss down the road if they aren't captured on your wedding day..
Getting Ready with the Bridal Party
When brides and grooms are getting ready for the ceremony with their closest friends and family, there are several fun and emotional moments you'll want to remember after the day is over. Even if you're a more laid back couple, the wedding is likely going to fly by so quickly. When all is said and done, you'll want to enjoy looking back on the day from the beginning.
And if you're really hoping to get the most out of your getting ready photos, bring some gifts to give to the bridesmaids and groomsmen, or pop a few bottles of champagne to kick off the day!
All the Small Details
After spending months planning such a big event from top to bottom, there are a dozen small details you'll want photographs of to remember down the road, especially for your wedding album. Although mostly about your love for one another, a wedding is also a combination of careful planning and characteristics that speak to who you both are as a couple.
If you have a theme, setting or style that says a lot about you and the love of your life, have these factors captured on camera — especially anything with significant meaning! From any family heirlooms worn on the day-of and letters written to your parents, to the gift you give to your soon-to-be spouse, ask us to be there for the moments you'll cherish for years to come.
Whether you plan to do a formal "first look" moment or you want a traditional first look down the aisle, this is one of the most emotional times of the day and surely one that shouldn't be missed! And it's also one you should have two photographers present for (such as us!), since you'll definitely want to have both of your reactions captured on film.
Also, be sure to have your photographer capture your first look with your dad, bridesmaids, and/or mom. Sometimes, these can be very emotional and are very worth capturing! Dads especially are often very emotional about their "little girl" growing up and getting married.
Although an obvious one, this moment is a beautiful tradition at the end of the ceremony you'll want at least one great photo of. You might even talk to your fiancee in advance to talk about your plans for your first kiss "style" — will you do a simple, emotional embrace or a dramatic kiss to get everyone cheering?
Exiting the Ceremony
And right after the ceremony ends, there's nothing quite like that feeling of leaving the altar hand-in-hand with your true love! Be sure to ask your photographer to be ready as you exit the ceremony, but also don't be afraid to raise those hands, kiss again or dance your way to the reception.
Spontaneous Moments with Family & Friends
The rest of the event should feel less about posed images and more about the celebration with those you love the most. One of the things we love most about wedding receptions is capturing images from a fly-on-the-wall perspective, without your guests ever realizing we were taking photographs of those moments.
The laughs, the tears, the hugs . . . there's a lot of great emotion happening on this day and you should be happily surprised to see them in your wedding photo gallery!
If you're using flower petals, sparklers or any other fun grand exit style, tell your wedding photographer about it! We love to prepare for these exciting and scenic traditions so that we make sure to capture photos you'll love looking back on and sharing with others from the big day.
Have another moment you think wedding photographers shouldn't miss? Let us know in the comments!
Contact a Lexington Wedding Photographer Team
We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!
We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (502) 551-5799. We look forward to hearing from you!
Have you always dreamed of having an outdoor wedding or can't imagine not enjoying beautiful weather for your special day? Luckily, there are several outdoor venues in Louisville, Kentucky to celebrate with all of your loved ones!
Not only do we love these locations for the abundance of natural light, but being familiar with a venue before the wedding day allows us to get more creative and plan in advance of the celebration for some of the photo locations we'd love to take our couples to.
If you're in the early stages of planning an outdoor wedding in Louisville, we highly recommend taking a look at some of the prettiest outdoor wedding venues in Louisville, Ky that we've listed below.
Yew Dell Botanical Gardens
A very popular location is the Yew Dell Botanical Gardens . It's a stunning natural setting, with dozens of rare flower gardens and truly unique architecture that's just perfect for organic, boho or romantic styled weddings. The venue even has a castle on site that offers a really beautiful stone background for portraits!
Oxmoor Estate & Gardens
The Oxmoor Estate is a historic plantation in Louisville, as well as a beautiful Louisville wedding venue. With gorgeous gardens, a 16,000 square foot home, and a jaw-dropping grand library, The Oxmoor Estate is definitely one of the most highly revered outdoor wedding venues in Kentucky.
If you're searching for an elegant venue with rich history and opulent offerings, look no further than The Oxmoor Estate & Gardens as your wedding venue!
Peterson-Dumesnil House Wedding Venue
The Peterson-Dumesnil House is truly a landmark in Louisville, and a lovely venue for outdoor weddings. There interior rooms are large enough to host your getting ready for both the groomsmen and bridesmaids.
The mansion is filled with eclectic, vintage decor and is spacious enough to host guests as well as your getting ready.
If you'd like your reception to be outside, there's a plot designed to host a tent.
While the lawn offers a wide space for ceremonies (complete with a brick pathway down the aisle!), the outside porch is a great option for those wanting a covered area without having to put up a large tent. It definitely brings a warm and inviting vibe for your guests as they arrive!
Whitehall Estate Gardens
There's something so elegant about a classic mansion with a lot of history, and the Louisville wedding venue Whitehall Estate fits this description perfectly. The gardens at this venue include stunning archways, colorful blooms throughout the year, and stone covered pathways just waiting for your walk down the aisle!
About 30 minutes northeast of Louisville is the Hermitage Farm, which is a great space if you're looking to have an outdoor wedding venue with the ability to have some of your guests stay overnight. When you book this location, you also have access to the indoor areas for small gatherings, as well as sweeping views of green rolling pastures on the grounds.
Gardencourt Wedding Venue
This gorgeous location is not only over 100 years old and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, but Gardencourt is also a stunning wedding venue. With brick-lined pathways through manicured gardens, a fountain in the courtyard, and elegant furnishings inside like the marble fireplaces and a grand staircase, there's lots to love about this venue.
One of the best perks of Gardencourt? You have your choice of saying your vows outside in the Rose Gardens or South Lawn, or, if you want an indoor option, you can also book Caldwell Chapel, which is on the same campus.
21C Museum Hotel Wedding Venue
One of our favorites is the 21C Museum Hotel for a variety of reasons. If you're looking to make your wedding easy and relaxed, you can have your getting location, ceremony, and reception all in one place!
It houses a private rooftop penthouse and open/outdoor rooftop overlook with beautiful views of Louisville and the Ohio River! Between exposed brick walls, unique architecture and an outdoor rooftop area, it's a venue that's hard to beat.
NOAH's Event Venue - Louisville
NOAH's Event Venue in Louisville offers an uncovered outdoor ceremony area with a large indoor hall for receptions. The outdoor space is enclosed with a red brick wall for privacy, but trees surrounding the property still give an organic feel to balance out the more modern style of this venue. This location also has a beautiful pergola that you can use to decorate for your ceremony backdrop as well!
The Olmsted Wedding Venue
Another elegant option for an outdoor ceremony location with an indoor backup option is the historic Olmsted. You can say your vows outside on the lawn underneath some of the tall oak trees, and celebrate with your closest friends and family in a dining hall that still has lots of natural light (and some gorgeous chandeliers!).
If you'd like to see more The Olmsted Wedding Photos, be sure to check out a blog post of one of our weddings at The Olmsted!
The Ice House Wedding Venue
And last (but definitely not least!) is the Ice House, which is the perfect space for indoor/outdoor weddings of almost any size! You can have your ceremony outdoor on the East Terrace and easily allow your guests to head straight into Main Hall for an indoor reception. Or you can use their Rooftop Garden, with a truly unique "green space" that has a view of Downtown Louisville!
Did we miss a venue that you think would fit well on this list? Let us know in the comments!
Talk with a Husband Wife Wedding Photographer Team in Louisville Ky!
Once you've selected a date and venue, you should start looking for the right wedding photographer (or photographers!) for you. We’re Jeff and Michele, a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Louisville, Kentucky. Your engagement and wedding photography experience is our top priority — we want you to cherish it forever!
We’d love the opportunity to be your photographers. Reach out to us online or give us a call at (502) 551-5799. We look forward to hearing from you!
Other Featured Blog posts
So, you've gotten engaged and you've been plunged into the strange world of planning out your wedding! Isn't it wonderful?
Of course, right?!
If you haven't started looking at photographers already, you've probably heard that they're the most important and critical vendor decision you'll make. If that's not intimidating enough, you've maybe realized that the choice isn't between a few good options — there are about a million photographers out there!
And truth be told, some people have had not-so-great experiences that have left a bad taste in their mouth about their wedding photos, so the choice is a big and important one for sure.
This is exactly why we created this tips for choosing a wedding photographer guide! We want to help. Allow us to explain: One night after an engagement session, we discussed with one of our brides some of the things she learned that helped make her feel confident and relieved about choosing her wedding photographer. After hearing her story, we decided that other brides would benefit, just like she did.
Simple enough, right?
So, without further ado, let's jump right in the guide on how to choose a wedding photographer!
Some Things to Consider When Choosing a Wedding Photographer
We feel that there are categories of things to look for when it comes to finding the best wedding photographers to care for your wedding.
We've broken it down :
●Pricing: We won’t focus on that much here, since it’s covered largely in our “How Much Should I Spend On My Wedding Photographer Post?” Check it out!
● Perspective Approach and Editing Style: Their photos should make you feel the way you want them to make you feel while retaining a timeless and talented look that won’t quickly go out of style. You can learn more about the importance of Approach and Style by visiting our post on “Which Photography Style is Best for My Wedding?”
●Interpersonal Skills & Client Care: Your wedding photographer should have the ability to make you comfortable so you look relaxed and enjoy having them there. Also, they need to be able to manage their time and others, not only to help your big day stay on schedule but to rescue it from being "too behind." They also need to be able to confidently direct groups of people for formal photos, without seeming like a pushy jerk.
● Photo Care: They should have the know-how and equipment to ensure that your photos are kept safe, even when hard drives crash.
● Business stability: Let's face it, if they don't have their actual business in order, it will affect how well they can serve you. In Louisville, there was a photographer that made the news because of her shady business practices that left couples high and dry.
● Business Offerings: Will they also include and/or design an album? Can they rush order your save the dates? If the photographer isn’t offering some things you want, then you may need to look elsewhere.
Tips for Choosing a Wedding Photographer — Ask These 11 Questions
Now it’s time for the list! Ask these 11 questions, and you'll be well on your way to finding the best photographer for your wedding.
1. "Do their photos make me feel the way I want my photos to make me feel on our 25th anniversary?"
This is a question for you to ask yourself. Are their photos so trendy that it'll be yesterday's fad by the time you hit your 2nd anniversary? Does it look like they're throwing Instagram filters on it, or adding a bunch of flare to make up for their lack of ability?
Also, something to consider: are they including a distracting watermark on all their images? Perhaps they won’t deliver files with watermarks to you, but some do! So, be sure to ask ahead of time.
2. "Do they have lots of good photos in both bright and low-light or do only the first few on their website look good?"
Look beyond the first few photos! Pay special attention to color photographs as black and white are more likely to hide imperfections. Look for too-white wedding dresses or too-dark tuxes; the wedding dress shouldn’t be a giant white blob in every photo.
Make sure their photos are consistently in focus, especially in low-light. Ask to see full weddings, and look for consistency in how the photos make you feel. If they refuse to show you a full wedding, take that as a red flag!
For some more in-depth tips on looking for a wedding photographer that can shoot in low-light, be sure to check out our post on How to Know If a Wedding Photographer Can Shoot In Low Light!
3. "Do they have good, consistent reviews over the years, and at least some recent good reviews?"
Photographers that care about their business are constantly trying to serve their clients in a way that leads to 5-star reviews. Be sure to check their reviews on regulated websites such as TheKnot.com. Many websites such as Facebook are very unregulated when it comes to reviews.
Don't worry if they don't have "the most" reviews. The style you choose may not be the most popular, or the photographer you're looking at may do higher-end weddings, but a lower volume when compared to someone else. As long as they have consistent, good reviews, you're probably good to go on this point.
4. "How many backup cameras and lenses do you have and are they as good as your main camera in low-light?"
If they don't have extra cameras and lenses, watch out. Camera shutters and lenses can fail! Having at least one backup camera and a few lenses per shooter is absolutely standard.
5. "Will you have a second photographer?"
Having two shooters to capture both you and your fiancee's reaction during your first look or when you walk down the aisle at a minimum is best. Also, do you want to have another way of ensuring you have more backups of your photos?
Then make sure there's going to be a second shooter. If possible, use a husband and wife team. Sure, we might be biased, but having two people that have been through it all, and who also work together as a team all the time is a huge advantage to ensuring a smooth experience.
Additionally, you probably want someone to be there with you and someone to be there with your fiancee during the getting ready portion of the day.
*Bonus. Ask: "What's the second shooter's experience with photographing weddings?"
If the photographer seems to get uncomfortable, I wouldn't put much stock in having that second shooter. A second shooter could be anyone, even someone with hardly any skills that was booked perhaps even the week before your wedding. However, a caring and wise photographer will hire someone with credentials.
6. "How will you keep our photos safe during and after our wedding day?"
Make sure they back up your photos multiple times! We personally use cameras that back up data to two cards at once. This, coupled with shooting film means that we have our clients wedding photos on up to 7 different sources at any given time.
Once we get the photos uploaded to the computer, we back them up to another hard drive, which is backed up again, and then finally backed up again to a hard drive that is taken off-site for extra protection against destruction by potential flooding, tornados, or fire.
If the photographer you’re considering doesn’t have a plan to backup at least three times, and preferably one in a different location from the rest of the backups, be wary. God forbid, but if their house burns down before they deliver your photos, will the original files be safe?
7. "What size files will you be delivering? Will I receive printing rights?"
This is a two-part question. If you want to have the freedom to make large prints for years, make sure you'll be getting the high-resolution files. These files are typically 3mb-10mb, sometimes a little smaller or larger.
It’s nice to have smaller files (500gb-1mb typically) for uploading to social media. These files still look great but aren’t compressed to look pixelated. But, if you’re printing above a 5x7, be sure to get larger files that will look great printed!
It's OK if they don't include printing rights, but just know that, if you want prints, you'll have to purchase from them directly. If that's the case, then ask for a list of the cost of prints, and make sure it's worth it. It can be a huge advantage to order directly through the photographer if they calibrate their monitors to be color accurate and use a professional lab.
Often a photographer may refuse to grant print rights. This is not intended to be mean or to get more money out of you, but because they care about their craft so much and want to ensure that the final product of the print comes out looking as amazing as it is supposed to. While you may have access to less expensive printers, oftentimes these can show inaccurate colors and not last nearly as long as professional prints.
We offer both print rights and custom printing so that our brides have a choice.
8. "Do you have business insurance?"
If they don't, sometimes venues won't even allow them to photograph on the premises. But perhaps even more importantly, having insurance is also a good sign that the photographer has invested not only in quality gear but also in their business as a long-term craft and means of earning a living. These types of photographers are more likely to provide an awesome experience and a quality product.
9. “What will happen if you can’t make it to the wedding?”
Although this is probably the last thing you want to think about, making sure that your candidate has a legitimate backup plan provided they can’t come is HUGE! Be sure to ask who their backup is. Are their backup photographer(s) of comparable style and ability?
10. “May I see your contract?”
A good photographer comes with a good contract. Reading the contract before booking is a really great idea! We suggest asking for them to explain any terms you don’t understand. If the photographer does not have a contract, even if they are a family friend, don’t book them!
After you've talked with the candidate photographer ask:
11. “Who really stands out to me the most?”
Out of all the photographers that I’ve considered…
…who’s photos did I like the best?
…who seemed the most professional?
…who did I like on a personality level the most?
This is one of the MOST important aspects of choosing your wedding photographer. Make sure you love the photos the photos they produce, that you love their professionalism, and that you love their personality! If they don't make you feel comfortable and relaxed with a healthy combination of those traits, that unease will likely follow you throughout the day and shape your experience. Again, they will be with you the WHOLE DAY.
Natural looking photography is a product of having a natural energy and rapport between yourself and the photographer. This might not be an immediate rapport, especially if they’re a little shy, but if a photographer really rubs you the wrong way, don’t go with them just to save a buck.
You don’t have to meet them in person, although you can if they are willing. A phone call or Skype session should be enough to find out if you click! Remember, the photographer will help make or break your wedding experience and how you look in your photos (and how you feel about them later)!
Let's Wrap It Up
Now, no photographer will meet all the standards perfectly, but they should aim for excellence in all these areas and should be able to address each one of your questions.
Hopefully this post has helped you answer the question, "How do I choose a wedding photographer?". If you found this resource helpful, please share to help others!
If you're a bride, planner, photographer or someone else with an opinion, tell us what you think in the comments! What other important questions did we miss?
If you have any other questions for us or would like to reach out and share your experience, please feel free to contact us!
Thank you and happy wedding photographer hunting!
Jeff & Michele