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What to Look for in a Wedding Photographer in San Francisco

Congratulations! You are engaged! There are a lot of things to think about, from your cake, to your venue and the dress. It can all seem so overwhelming. In the midst of all your planning take a moment to consider your wedding photographer. After all, it will be through your photos that you remember each detail of your wedding day. Before choosing a wedding photographer, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, do not forget to budget for your photographer. Your wedding day will go by in a flash, and you can't be everywhere at once. To ensure you don't miss some of the most special moments, hire a professional photographer. Photography is not a place to skimp in your budget planning. If you don't make your photography a budget priority, the quality of your photos will suffer.

Next, do some research. Any modern, credible photographer will have a website or a blog. A photographer's website will give you a lot of insight into their work. Not only will their best shots be on display, but it will give you a feel for their eye and style. Each photographer will have a "voice". Choose someone who has an aesthetic you like.

Once you've chosen your photographer, set a meeting with them. Pay attention to how you get along when you meet with your potential photographer. Remember, you will be spending most of your wedding day with this person. It is important that you have a good rapport. Your photographer should discuss a "shot list" with you. This list should include any special moments or people you want to be sure to capture.

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When discussing your shot list, let your photographer know about any special family needs. If anyone has mobility problems or any other special consideration, it is best that your photographer knows before the big day to avoid any awkward situations. Most importantly, this is the time to let your photographer know in private, of any uncomfortable situations you might anticipate. If Aunt Linda hasn't spoken to Aunt Arlene since the Great Thanksgiving Throw-Down of 1997, let your photographer know ahead of time.

Finally, before your big day, introduce your friends and family to your photographers to Let your bridal party family know that you'll need some space, especially during special moments like the first kiss, so we can capture the best shots. Nothing ruins a potentially perfect shot like someone holding up their smart phone to catch some grainy video. Let them know that our professional pictures will be available to them as soon as possible after the wedding.

As we said before, every photographer has their own eye or aesthetic. It is important to share you vision with your photographer. Make sure you are all on the same page when it comes to your wedding's style.

Keep in mind that traditional wedding photography is usually highly posed, and will require a lot of direction from the photographer. Contemporary wedding photography is more casual and allows the photographer to be a bit more hands off. This allows the photographer to catch more candid photos and makes for snapshots that really reflect the feeling of your day.

For a really unique wedding album, discuss with your wedding photographer the possibility of a more artistic style. You must be comfortable and trust your photographer to go for an artistic style package. Guidance from the photographer may be a lot, or a little depending on their style. If you are looking for a high-art style, be sure to check out the portfolios and previous work of a number of photographers before deciding on one that you truly love.

These days, brides are choosing a combination of these styles. Talk to your photographer about what traditional shots you want taken. Then give them leave to take more candid photos and a few artistic ones as well. This will give you the best of both worlds. You will have a few posed shots of friends and family - after all, when will they all be together at the same time again - and a few unique shots that ensure that your wedding album is like no other.

You want a wedding photographer that goes beyond just documenting the day's happenings. You want someone who understands your style and the needs of your family. Take your time in researching and speaking with a variety of photographers. A great photographer can make every moment of your wedding day sparkle for a lifetime.

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Wedding Photography: What's Your Style on Your Big Day?

These days it seems there are as many styles of wedding photography as there are styles of dresses. Do you want a conventional collection of images to preserve your big day? Or, perhaps a casual series of snapshots highlighting hidden moments is your style? Is it important that every family member be posed together, or would you prefer the photographer capture your loved ones individually as you enjoy your day? There are several wedding photography styles to choose from, and the more you know, the better equipped you will be to make a choice that will suit your personal style and preserve your memories for years to come.

For starters, you may want to consider a conventional style for your wedding photos. This typically means that the photographer will arrange several sessions with the couple, the wedding party, and selected family and friends for posed shots. Usually these shots are taken either just before or just following the ceremony. You have the advantage of getting photographs taken while everyone is still fresh and at their best, with makeup and hair still perfectly intact before the eating, dancing, and celebrating that comes later. If it's important to you to get a very clear and accurate look of the carefully chosen colors and styles of your bridal party, then the conventional option may suit you best. You might also have older relatives who favor a more classic style, and will delight in seeing the formal shots of your special day. Consider modeling some of your wedding shots on family wedding photos that have been shared in your family. This could add a unique and personal twist to a more traditional style of wedding photography.

A growing trend among couples is to opt for a more casual, documentary style approach. If you choose to go this route, you will have fewer staged photos and more candid shots. This style can be best for capturing the varied emotions of the wedding, especially if you've planned a lively reception with plenty of dancing and live music. Some couples find that this style of photography frees them up to fully enjoy their day, as they don't have to stop for posing and picture-taking as soon as the ceremony comes to a close. No matter what style of photography you choose, it's important that you feel comfortable during your wedding and clearly communicate with your photographer about what style you feel will best reflect your personal taste.

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A combination of conventional and casual styles could provide a compromise that allows you to capture both the spirit and importance of your wedding. In this situation, the photographer would stage a handful of shots and then continue to photograph throughout the wedding to include several less formal photos as well. You may find that the combination of the two styles allows the photographer to more fully capture the range of looks and emotions on display during the wedding, including small moments of intimacy between the couple and their guests.

You may also choose to have the photographer specifically focus on action moments throughout your wedding. If your wedding is set outdoors, perhaps you'd like the photographer to capture your guests enjoying the sand on the beach, or the old tire-swing in the garden. Consider the effect the environment of your wedding will have on the style of images you'd like to capture. Your photographer will come prepared to handle a variety of conditions of light and composition, but be sure to let them know what types of conditions you anticipate for your wedding day. Your wedding photographer is a professional and can recommend styles that will best match with the overall tone and setting of your day.

A wedding can be a true reflection of the couple's shared tastes, values, and personalities, and a good wedding photographer can capture moments of love, intimacy, celebration, and personal style. Depending on what works best for you, you may decide you'd like a traditional wedding shot in black and white. Or, perhaps you prefer a series of casual shots in bright, sunny color. Maybe you're excited to see lively shots from your day of friends dancing, children running, and guests enjoying the wedding you've set up.

No matter what your style, you're sure to find a style of wedding photography that suits you and what makes your relationship uniquely yours.

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