How to Choose a Studio
Choosing Your Wedding Studio:
Here are three
great ways to put a potential wedding photographer to the test.
(how good are they?)
their name ...does it come up at all? Just a little or is
it on pages and pages? If they come up on lots of pages that means
they have really made their mark in this world and they have made
important contributions as photographers. (They might even be
test. Look at a recent calendar and pick a random Saturday.
Pick one date that YOU picked ~ not the photographer.
Ask the photographer if they worked that day? (If they are good
they are in demand. If they aren't good they probably didn't work
b). Ask for the name and contact info for THAT random bridal
couple. (This way they can't just hand you only the "good"
referrals and you can ask that particular couple how they liked
"Everything was up front and open with no surprises. Everything that was said would be done was done! Reminders and timelines were helpful too. Joel was very flexible and open to change on the spot."
~Heidi & Peter Brady
3. Credentials. "Award winner" is not a credential.
Everyone has won a ribbon at the local fair. Look for "Master
Photographer." There are not many around. Why? Because it
is a degree that takes 20 years to get and most photographers
never achieve. It is a difficult to get, internationally recognized
degree. It is a consumer reports AAA+ rating, your assurance of
quality. (More about this on Steve's Credentials)
of State wedding album competition." This means the photographer
beat out everyone in the State so they must be pretty good. "National
Loan Collection" is an extremely elite level of selected
images that most photographers never achieve. "Kodak Gallery
Award" is another prestigious award given by Kodak that separates
photographers a lot. "Work selected for display at Epcot
Center in Disneyworld" means the image is among the 100 top images taken in America.
This is another elite award.
really mean something and can help you ask the questions that
separate the so-so photographers from the phenomenal one. If you
use consumer reports why not use these consumer reports to help
you in your selection? Why settle for less especially since the
best usually DOESN'T
|"I love the attention to detail that was put forth - shots of rings with program, the head table, flowers, the rings with the detail of my dress as a backdrop....these ended up to be some of my favorite shots and many commented ...that's cool and unique. At first prices seemed high, but when I compared what my friends received (from their photographer at another studio), I realized I got more for my money! I am overall pleased and glad that I found your studio. I only wish I found you sooner as many of my friends are already married and missed out!" ~ Greg and Jaci Van S.
Joel suggested many shots beyond the pre-planned ones (i.e. grandmas and extended family, etc). He was so calm and patient.
~Mary K. Anderson (mother of bride…Jonathan & Jill Reeves)
Avoid a studio
that has more than two or three photographers. Many photo studios
are photo schools in disguise. The photographer at your wedding
will probably be "in training to learn wedding photography"
at YOUR wedding with these studios.
Look for a
studio that has a balance of traditional and photojournalism styles.
Too much of one style will eliminate an important part of your
day. Just like your high school yearbook has both candids and
formal portraits ... consider a balanced style to show story telling
images AND the most flattering portraits as well. This way you
can see exactly how each person looked in their best light and
also who they are as a person.
LOOK for the difference! Double lighting, groupings, studio backdrop, an extremely creative eye. These are important to have!
"Thank you so much for the outstanding job you did at our wedding. We had so much fun with you. So many people at the wedding commented on what a fabulous job you did. Wedding photographers face a tremendous amount of pressure and I must say, you handle it very well. Thank you so much for being a part of our wedding. You gave us a gift that will last a lifetime and beyond…visual memories of cherished moments. Thank you with heart felt appreciation." ~ Bryan and Sara
Reputation is important. How long has the studio been in business? Studios are springing up like dandelions with the advent of digital photography and photojournalism. The standards of quality have become muddy ... because of these factors.
Studios come and go quickly because many jump in, realize how much work is involved and how intense the responsibility is to photograph weddings. These studios come and go and make life complicated for couples that may book the new rookies before they see the solid and professional veterans.
"Thanks... for your artistry"
~ Carina Caponi
get calls on a weekly basis in the busy season from
tearful brides that ask if we are booked for THAT
WEEKEND! Many rookie studios fold overnight and
dump their brides with little notice.
have been thrilling and delighting our brides since
1971. We are happy to provide references and if
you ask around, our reputation speaks for itself.
Many bridal shops feature our work!
Look for innovation. We can actually show you the images we shoot as we shoot them at your wedding. Imagine how secure you will feel seeing first hand that we are doing a perfect job for you. If anything or anyone isn't looking perfect, you can see it right away and it gives you creative control of your photographic results.
We also offer images
hosted on the internet so all of your friends and family
can experience your wedding images at the same time. We
can generate black and white, hand colored, sepia and special
effect imagery to give your images the ultimate look. We
can create montage magazine style albums that will make
your friends jealous. (Ask for details about these innovations.
This service is optional and may not be always available.)
for a full time, full service studio. Service doesn't mean
much to clients until they don't receive any. Avoid studios
that are part time photographers working out of their home.
on seeing just the photography of the actual photographer
you are considering.
NOT let a studio show you a book of all their
photographers mixed together. Then you are looking at
a box of chocolates and you never know what you are
going to get.
in for a FREE 10-minute crash course in photography ... it's the only
one in town and it is astonishing!
"Dear Steve, Thank you very much for your help during our engagement and wedding photographs. We really treasure all the excellent shots you were able to capture with your expertise! We look forward to having you do future family photographs for us! Thanks again very much! ~ Len & Molly Lopez
You will receive a high-resolution DVD of your wedding images! We understand that nowadays, people want the capabilities
of e-mailing images to friends and family everywhere and
then can print up what they want at their leisure, so we
have made this available to all of our clients!
Does it really matter how many photographers are on staff?
photography is a lot like certain other professions. It
is like being an airline pilot, a heart surgeon or a midwife.
How many mistakes are allowed in these professions? NONE!
They are all zero tolerance professions. There are no Federal
or State boards that control wedding photography. You
could become a wedding photographer tomorrow by simply
having business cards printed up. Think of how complicated
it is to become a pilot or doctor! There is a reason for
that. Huge pain and suffering is caused by a doctor or pilot
that makes a mistake. There is also huge pain and suffering
caused by a wedding photographer that blows a wedding or
does an extremely poor job.
|I think we should call large groups of photographers what they really are. They are "photo schools" where the rookies learn from their mistakes at your wedding! The people that run these unscrupulous studios are what we call "parachute salespeople." They promise you "a blue sky" and when the chute doesn't open and you crash and burn ... "oh well."
we could run a studio like this for a short time. We didn't
like it at all. I don't see how anyone in good conscience
could run a studio like this. We believe that only a highly
trained professional with at least 15+ years experience
should be in this business. The two photographers on our
staff have 53 years experience combined! One of them is
a Master Photographer, winner of the MN state wedding album
competition and had their work shown at Epcot Center and
Disneyworld. Why settle for less when you can have the very
best? Especially when we don't cost more than the rookies
do! One of the most amazing tricks these places pull on
clients is to have all their work in ONE book at the studio.
This way you never have an idea of what or who you are going
to get. Many photographers are like a box of chocolates
... you never know what you are going to get!
"Thank you so much for the wonderful job you did at our wedding ... You were both very sincere in your concern for our satisfaction and we will refer everyone we know to you. Please extend our gratitude to Steve and everyone else who helped us during this process. You are the kind of people who we enjoy seeing succeed because you are sincere and client oriented. Thanks again for everything!" ~ Letty and Jason Van Ert
us at 651-644-2184 or e-mail us at email@example.com
or. We would love to chat with you and help you have a fantastic
wedding day! ~Steve