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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

Troy and Craig’s Celebration of Love

Have you ever smiled so much your jaw hurt? It happened to me when I first spoke to Troy Williams. As I listened to him describe his wedding to Craig Fields, I couldn’t stop grinning.

Exactly two years from the day Troy and Craig met at the snack machines at the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank, they married in front of 180 lucky wedding guests at The London West Hollywood. The wedding theme was “Celebrate the Seasons of Love,” and every detail was perfectly planned, all the way down to their toast with chocolate milk instead of champagne (they’re not fans of the bubbly!)

I guess fabulousness comes naturally to Troy, who has helped plan the Feature Film Premieres and Parties for Warner Bros. for the last decade. Their save the date video was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. You have to go to their website and watch it!

Troy and Craig's Winter Wonderland Reception at the London West Hollywood, photo courtesy of Powers StudiosAt the garden ceremony in the Hampton Courtyard (where the USC Sirens sang “Seasons of Love” from Rent after the first kiss!), guests partied at a spring/summer-themed pre-cocktail area, then went up to the roof to enjoy an autumn-inspired dinner. After dinner, it was on to the Kensington Ballroom for the spectacular winter wonderland reception. The air was scented with peppermint, snowflake patterns in blue, lavender and white danced on the walls, and a winter-themed photo booth gave guests a chance to take a small piece of the night’s magic home. For dessert, Troy and Craig’s friends and family had some delectable choices: a Tiffany blue cake from Vanilla Bake Shop, cupcakes by Crumbs, and two dessert bars (one for candy lovers, one for chocoholics), courtesy of Wendy Creed Productions. They even had snow machines pumping snow outside the window to complete the winter setting!

That, dear readers, is what I call a celebration of love. I’m still smiling and I’m sure Troy and Craig are too!

Troy and Craig's Vanilla Bake Shop Cake, photo courtesy of Powers StudiosThe Event:
Location: The London West Hollywood
Officiant: Dr. Kimber Lee Wilkes
Choir: USC Sirens
Wedding Cake: Vanilla Bake Shop, Santa Monica
Wedding Cake Topper: Charm City Cakes, Baltimore, Maryland
Cupcakes: Crumbs, Beverly Hills
Candy Bar: Wendy Creed Productions, Los Angeles
Lighting: Entertainment Lighting Services
Flowers: Maggie Jensen Floral & Events, Beverly Hills
Photographer: Powers Studios
Photo Booth: Polite in Public
Spring/Summer Cocktail Area Furniture: 15/40 Productions, Hawthorne, CA
Winter Ballroom Furniture: Designer 8 Furniture
Rentals: ELM Concierge, Baldwin Park, CA
Day Of Coordinator: Jennifer Wang of Events in Motion
Scenting: Scentevents

Kathy Posted by Kathy on Aug 06, 2009.
Filed under CakesCeremonyFlowersFood and DrinkLocationsPhotographyReal WeddingsReceptionsWedding Ideas