Here Comes The Guide's Blog

3 Tips for Getting Wedding Photos You Can Be Proud Of

As a wedding planner for umpteen years, I’ve learned that there’s no substitute for doing your homework. Follow these 3 steps before your wedding photo shoot, and you’ll increase your chances of getting the quality images you dream about.

Toki Cavener PhotographyWhen choosing a photographer, be sure you:

1) See and like their work. If you’ve chosen a studio that has multiple photographers, confirm that you’ll get the pro whose pictures you admire most, rather than an unknown associate. Some photographers display award-winning images, but may send an assistant instead. Read the fine print on the contract, and ask what would happen if the photog you specified is unavailable for any reason.

2) Get references. Sure, they seem nice and professional, but how can you be certain they’re reliable? The best way is to check them out by personally speaking with previous clients and venues where they’ve worked. Like all our wedding vendors, each one of our wedding photographers is Certified By The Guide, and has gone through our own rigorous reference check process.

3) Make friends with your photographer. When a person is uncomfortable while having their picture taken, it shows. For a special event like a wedding or a milestone anniversary, you might want to have a trial run with your photographer. An engagement or family shoot gives the photographer a chance to gauge your comfort level in front of a camera, and to notice details like when you blink your eyes or that nervous twitch of yours. It also gets them familiar with your good side and your less-good side—photographically and personality-wise.

For more wedding photography insights, be sure to read questions to ask when evaluating your wedding photographer.

Kathy Posted by Kathy on Aug 20, 2009.
Filed under Expert AdvicePhotographyPlanning

What Everyone Should Know About Hiring A Wedding Photographer

When hiring a photographer for your wedding, remember that this is a business decision. The event professionals you talk to fully expect you to do your diligence. Besides, if they act offended, they aren’t really professional, right?

articles_altHere are some guidelines for getting revealing references:

  • We strongly advise you to call a few of a prospective photographer’s past wedding clients, and also contact at least one event location where they’ve worked. Good studio photographers aren’t always good event photographers, and vice versa.

Here are some questions to ask references that will get you revealing answers:

  • What’s the photographer’s temperament like? Are they tense while they work, adding to the stress of your day?  Or does their good humor contribute to the joy of the celebration?
  • Do they play well with others (e.g. your caterer, entertainment and master of ceremonies)? If they’re likely to fight with the DJ over a power cord or let the caterer’s grilled salmon grow cold while they get “one more shot,” then this isn’t the right photographer for you.
  • If you could improve anything about the photographer’s work style, what would it be?
  • Were there any added expenses that were not made clear to you before you signed a contract?
  • Did the photographer respond to your calls and questions efficiently?
  • Most importantly: Would you recommend them to a friend or family member?

If you’re using to find your wedding pros, you’re already ahead of the game. Like all our wedding vendors, each one of our wedding photographers is Certified By The Guide which means we talk to at least 10 other wedding professionals about their work and up to 10 brides and grooms who used that photographer at their event. We certify only those wedding pros who get rave reviews. Lukewarm feedback doesn’t cut it with us!

For more wedding photography insights, be sure to read questions to ask when meeting your wedding photographer.


Kathy Posted by Kathy on Aug 13, 2009.
Filed under Expert AdvicePhotographyPlanning

The “Wow” Factor

It would be great if you could turn your entire wedding wish list into reality, but in this tough economic climate it’s not always easy to do. So rather than trying to get everything perfect, couples are striving for a more realistic goal: making just one detail of their wedding so memorable that guests will be talking about it for years to come. I like to call this the “wow” factor.

Russell and Alix hired two San Francisco Opera Company singers to sing “All I Ask of You” at their ceremony.  At Debbie and Sherman’s wedding, Chinese Lion Dancers led the guests from the backyard ceremony to cocktails in the front yard. (Another couple, Julie and Ryan, also had Chinese Lion Dancers at their reception, and they used photos of the “show” on their thank-you cards!) Creative mood lighting transformed a local community hall into a romantic setting for Adam and Carol’s reception.

Julie Go and Ryan Chew's Wedding, photo courtesy of Dorothy Hatchel PhotographyThe best part? These were normal, budget-conscious couples who made the decision to splurge on just one part of their wedding. None of the above examples cost more than $1,000, but these out-of-the-box ideas made their guests murmur “wow” every time.

Some other ways to wow your guests:

A solo saxophonist playing as you walk down the aisle.

A fabulous walking illusionist like Rich Ferguson entertaining your guests during your cocktail hour.

A bagpiper leading the groom and his party down the aisle or playing as the sun sets at your vineyard or beach wedding.

A Polynesian dance troop giving your guests a heart-pounding dinner show they’ll never forget.

A bell choir performing at a Christmas wedding ceremony.

A video montage of your love story that ends with the first strains of your “first dance” song, and a spotlight shining on you as your MC announces, “Ladies and Gentleman, dancing their first dance as husband and wife…”

What do you want your guests to say “wow” to?