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Finding a Wedding Photographer

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Book a Wedding Photographer

I confess I read bridal magazines. I started when I was planning my own wedding, but now I just like to check out the trends. I always love reading the how-to’s when it comes wedding photography. Many of these articles feature questions you should ask your photographer before booking him or her. Before you do that, you should ask yourself some questions first:

1. Style
Every photographer has a different approach to shooting a wedding. The two basic categories are traditional, focusing mainly on posed photos, and photojournalism, capturing candid moments as they happen. Few photographers are strictly one or the other, but each photographer has his strength. As a bride or groom, it’s important to know what types of photos you prefer. What kind of art do you have in your home? Are you drawn to certain images in magazines?

2. Hours
Are you looking for coverage of your entire wedding day? If you’d like a photojournalistic approach, you may want to start with getting ready photos and end when the reception is over. If you’re not planning a big exit, you may decide two hours of reception photography is a good amount. Maybe you’re planning a small wedding and decide you only need a photographer for the ceremony and a few posed photos. There is no right or wrong answer.

3. Budget
Most of us hate talking about money. If you’re in the middle of wedding planning, you already know the importance of a wedding budget. Most couples spend about 10-20% of their budget on a wedding photographer. I recommend coming up with a range that you’re comfortable spending on photography. Some couples choose to not have a wedding videographer so they can increase their photography budget. Others hire a photographer for only a couple hours so they can have a videographer for the whole day. How important is wedding photography to you?

4. Products
It may be difficult to imagine how many prints you’d like or what kind of album. Since different photographers have different pricing structures, it’s imperative for you to have at least an idea of what you’d like. Is it important for you to have a disc with all of your hi-res images? Are prints and an album more important? Would you like a piece of art in your home from your wedding day, like a gallery wrap?

Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography

Gustav - nice tips 🙂 thx for posting. can’t wait for the next one.


Polka Photos - Thanks Gustav!

Postcards from Playa: NCIS Silhouettes

Playa del Rey, California
I love watching NCIS: Los Angeles. I try to figure out where the different scenes were filmed. For example, a few episodes back a scene that was set in the Cayman Islands looked like it might’ve been shot in Marina del Rey. Last week NCIS: Los Angeles filmed a few blocks away from me on Culver Blvd. in Playa del Rey. I didn’t want to get in the way of shooting so I took a few photos from across the street.

Playa del Rey, California, photographer

Encore! Jump for Your Love

I have some very exciting news to share with you next week. And I thought this would be the perfect Encore! image to go with that news.

Wedding photojournalism is about capturing the moment, perfect with all of its imperfections. This week’s photo shows the usually shy ring bearer jumping off the stairs to the shock of one bridesmaid. It’s a rather busy image. If I had directed the photo shoot, I would have removed the items from the banister, moved the luggage and hid the cords. If I had more than a second to capture the moment I would have swung the camera a little to the left to get all of the bridesmaids in the frame. But the moment wouldn’t have been true if I moved everything out of the way and asked the ring bearer to jump again. I love that this photo captures life as it’s happening.

Los Angeles, wedding photographer, wedding photography

P.S. This is my new blog series called Encore!

When I blog about a wedding or portrait session, I try to arrange all the photos to tell a story. Sometimes great photos don’t quite fit. Encore! will feature one (or two!) of those photos every Friday.


Ala - This is a great shot! The expressions are priceless, especially the guilty one on the jumper’s face.

Polka Photos - Thanks! He definitely knew he was busted. Other than this jump, he was very well-behaved, the perfect ring bearer!