I strongly believe that the most important considerations when choosing your photographer are that you like the photographer’s style of photography and that you connect with them on a personal level. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you are going to be spending a lot of time with your photographer. Be sure to choose someone who you will be comfortable around.
How I Work :
I come from a background in documentary photography so I like to keep my photography as authentic as possible. Rather than setting up a bunch of contrived, posed shots, I do my best to capture the emotions, dynamics, and relationships of the day that are already there. Of course I am always looking to find the best light and most flattering angles, and will jump in to direct when needed, but I strive to remain as unobtrusive as I can and to record your day as it unfolds naturally. I am there to preserve your wonderful memories for you so that you can focus on being fully present and enjoying your partner and the wonderful group of people you two have brought together to celebrate with you.
A Typical Day :
One of my favorite parts of photographing weddings is documenting everyone preparing for the ceremony. I love the hustle and bustle of the bride and groom getting ready and the full range of emotions that go along with it. It is an exciting part of the day and even though you may be wondering if you really care to have photos of you getting your hair and makeup done, the hours leading up to the ceremony usually are filled with many heart-felt moments and interactions between you and those closest to you. These images also tend to be very special for you and your bride/groom as you will most likely not know what the other was doing leading up to the time that you came together. It also gives me a chance to develop a rapport with your bridal party and closest family members which usually leads to them interacting and engaging with me more throughout the day (read : extra fun pictures!) I also find that when I have that extra time to be with your inner circle they also tend to become my allies for the day and help to point out key relationships/people to me at the ceremony and reception. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this time allows you to become comfortable with me and my camera so that by the time we get to the ceremony you will hopefully not even know I am there.
At the ceremony, I am respectful of the traditions and keep as much out of the spotlight as possible. I do not use a flash as I find it to be very distracting. I also tend to mostly move around the outside of the gathering to find unique angles and up and down the middle aisle so that your guests can focus on you two and not what your wedding photographer is up to!
After the ceremony is usually the easiest time to gather groups for portraits (or before the ceremony if you are open to that.) I always get a shot list from you ahead of time of the different family and bridal party photos that you would like so that we can be as efficient as possible gathering the various groups. This also ensures that we do not miss any important photos. If possible, I like to have you select a family member or friend who can assist me in keeping track of the shot list and bringing over the appropriate guests during this time.
Once we have finished up with the group portraits, I recommend that we take 15 to 30 minutes to sneak away and get some images of just the two of you enjoying each other and the gorgeous scenery that you selected for your wedding location. Again, I like to keep things as natural as possible, but I am always ready to step in to give helpful suggestions and make sure that you are both positioned for the best light and most flattering angles.
At the reception and for the rest of the evening, I generally mingle unobtrusively amongst you and the guests. I keep my eyes and ears open in order to capture the joy and excitement of the occasion, as well as any key moments such as toasts, the first dance, and the cutting of the cake. If you are up for it, I always love to head back out for a few more portraits when the sun is setting as well. That is also a nice opportunity for you two to enjoy a few quiet moments away with just each other. The day will inevitably fly by, so it is really important to try to soak it in as much as possible and taking a little time away is a great way to do that.
Post Processing :
I stay away from highly stylized treatments and a lot of postproduction on my images. I am drawn to natural beauty and I am a firm believer in getting the image I want at the time of capture rather than trying to create a good image from a mediocre image after the fact. In my work, I strive to have my images look as beautiful as the actual scene and subject that I am portraying, I do not however want my subjects to look like airbrushed china dolls. Consistent with the images you see on my website and in all of my social media, I prefer a more natural "real" aesthetic.
As for delivery, I do a blend of straight color and traditional black and white images. When I am editing, I select whichever treatment I feel looks the best for a particular image. A lot of times I feel that emotional "moments" are best portrayed in black and white, as they feel more timeless that way, and taking away the color can help draw the viewer's eye straight to the emotion of the moment. I also turn a lot of the indoor, low light images into black and white, as colors can look off under intense artificial lighting conditions. There are a number of additional reasons that I may chose to convert a specific image into black and white, just know, that I have chosen to do so deliberately to enhance each individual image.
I spend time editing every single image, so each image that I have changed to black and white has been converted and adjusted individually. The images loaded onto your USB drive will be as they are shown in your gallery unless you specifically request to have certain images changed into black and white or put back into color (within reason, as changing images from one treatment to the other requires me to completely re-edit each of the selected images.) The images in your online gallery and on your USB will have gone through initial rounds of editing that include general adjustments such as exposure, temperature, and contrast. I do not do any localized editing during the initial rounds of editing. Any images that you select to print or use in your album will receive additional retouching, and that is when I can often do more localized editing if there are specific blemishes or a spot on someone's pants etc. that needs to be removed. Unfortunately that kind of individualized retouching is not something that I can justify doing when I am editing 200, 400, 800+ images at a time for the initial rounds of editing.
Lastly, though you will have the rights to make your own prints from your USB, I still strongly recommend that you purchase any prints that you plan to enlarge or have on prominent display in your home through me. In addition to the extra editing and retouching they will receive, I have all of my prints printed at a professional lab and the quality really can not be matched by regular consumer printing solutions.
Rather than build my packages around the number of images you will receive or get to see, I base my packages on the amount of time you will have me to document your day. I will create the best collection of images I can and will provide you with an edited selection of everything that I feel you would enjoy seeing. Sure, I could easily give you a guaranteed 600, 800 or 1,000 images, but instead I give you an edited collection of the absolute best images so that you won’t have to narrow down all the ones with your eyes closed or mid-bite.
I highly recommend making the investment to purchase an album of your wedding day. An album allows us to tell the story of your day in a way that simply cannot be done by printing a selection of your photographs or by having your friends and family click through your images on a computer screen. Having a gorgeous handmade album to sit back and physically hold and share with those closest to you will be something you will cherish for the rest of your lives. We sit in front of our computers far too much these days without you having to go there every time you want to relive your wedding memories too. I guarantee that if you have a gorgeous album sitting on your coffee table or even tucked away on your bookshelf that you will flip through it and share it more often (and your friends will thank you for not making them flip through your slideshow of 500+ images from your wedding!!!)
I personally custom design my albums with a selection of your favorite images (or I can choose the best images for you if you prefer.) I supplement your selections with some additional images that I choose to help balance out certain layouts and help the album flow. I do not believe in outsourcing the album design like many photographers do because I don’t think that a hired album designer that has never met you and was not at your wedding is going to be able to convey the vibe and feeling of the day as well as I can.
Once the album is designed, I will send you a PDF to proof and you will be able to make one round changes on up to 5 pages before I send the pages to my professional photographic lab to be printed. The printed album pages are then sent to a classically trained bookbinder that I work with in Bozeman, Montana. She crafts each individual album completely by hand and backs all of her own fabric herself, which means that she has an endless selection of fabrics to choose from! (Many of the more commercial album making companies buy their fabrics pre-backed from China so they only have a set number of fabrics and colors to choose from and they have huge assembly lines of people and machines that put the actual albums together so the quality of craftsmanship really can not be compared.) My wedding albums are truly heirloom quality.
Wedding Planners :
I cannot stress enough, how important it is to hire a wedding planner to help you facilitate and coordinate your big day... especially if you are planning on having a destination wedding. There are so many details and decisions that go into creating your perfect wedding and having a good planner to consult with and to help you to bring together the ideal team for your event will ensure that the time leading up to your wedding and your actual wedding day is stress free and as amazing as you envisioned it. There are a number of great planners in the valley that can fit a wide range of styles and budgets, I would be happy to point you in the right direction.
How do I book?
I do a 50% deposit via check or cash, and a signed contract (online) to secure the date. If you are not completely sure what package you are going to want, I just suggest going with what you know you will need for now and we can always add on more time or products later.
How do I know how much time I will need you for?
The first step in figuring out which package will be best for you is to figure out how many hours of coverage you will need. I build my packages around 6, 8, and 10 hours of wedding day coverage. 8 hours is a good starting point for a traditional wedding day.
My 6 hour package was designed to accommodate couples who are having smaller, more intimate celebrations that don’t include a “traditional” reception. 6 hours of wedding day coverage is usually sufficient for me to have time to do getting ready photos, cover the ceremony, do group and couple portraits after the ceremony, and then get some nice detail and ambiance photos of the dinner, document the toasts and the cake cutting, and then I usually leave as these couples generally don’t plan on having any dancing or entertainment after.
I usually recommend having me start photographing three hours before the beginning of the ceremony if we are going to be doing getting ready photos (longer if the two locations that you are getting ready at are not near each other, or if we have a drive between where you are going to be getting ready and where the ceremony is.) Other things to take into consideration with my start time is if you are going to want to do a first look or take some of the family/bridal party group shots pre-ceremony. I like to be at the ceremony location 15-30 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony to get some quick detail shots, get my gear set up, and to be able to take some candid photos of guests arriving and mingling (this is also a good time to get some more candid imagery of the groom and groomsmen hanging out.)
If you are going to be doing any sort of grand exit, those usually make for great photos and you will probably want to have me there until the end of the reception to document your exit. If not, I usually suggest planning on having me there to document one to two hours of dancing after the dance floor is opened up to your guests. If your wedding is on the smaller side (less than 100 people or so) one hour of dance photos is probably sufficient. If you are having a larger wedding having some extra time to get photos of more of the guests is always nice.
Okay, I hope that helps!
Please let me know if you have any special requests for your big day as I always do my best to be accommodating.