Featured Real Weddings Published In Brides of North Texas Magazine Fall/Winter 2011

We are excited to have so many of our brides & grooms weddings represented in the latest Brides of North Texas Magazine. Amongst the happily newlywed couples are: Randi Stephenson + Zachary Burnett, Madison Powell + Kyle Norris, Jency Allison + Jeremy Weeks, Tina Ahmadi + Sina Aboutalebi, Megan Soulek + Cory Procter. Past issues have included Kelly Nixon + Spencer Nix, Alison Skinner + Michael Wydner, Stephanie Thompson + Clinton Harrison, and Suzanne Skinner + Moisan. Plus Leigh Smith + Benjamin Breunig, Heather Holt + John Winston, Sofia Poonawala + Shezad Manjee, Allison Beal + Mark Chandler, Pamela Talis + Alex Mayzlin, Molly McDonough + Brett Long and Ashley Veeder + Luke Korem.

We were honored to be the featured wedding in the front of the magazine with PGA Golfer Hunter Mahan, who married former Dallas Mavericks dancer & Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader Kandi Mahan in January 2011. Typically Brides Of North Texas do an expanded coverage of a wedding for each season but with Hunter & Kandi they decided to have a unique wedding of the year feature. We were blessed to have not only shot Kandi & Hunter’s wedding but also Kandi’s sister’s wedding Katie & Jason Enloe the year before.

Congratulations to all of our recently wed couples, we wish you well and all the best in your newest endeavor of marriage. May it be full of love and joy. It was an honor and privilege to be your wedding photographers. Thank you all!

Ritz Carlton – Dallas, Texas – Melanie & Eugene Jabbour

One of the privileges of being a photographer is the long term relationships created over time by working with other professionals. The wedding industry is a special group, and friendships are formed as a result of working with the same people over time. As such, being asked to work on someone’s wedding within the industry is a special honor.

When Ramsey & Mary Jabbour, the owners of Competitive Camera in Dallas, asked us to shoot their son’s, Eugene’s, wedding that honor was taken to the highest level. The Jabbours, in the industry for over 30 years, are well acquainted with an amazing array of photographers in the metroplex and beyond. Their request was, therefore, a special privilege. It wasn’t too long ago that the Jabbours attended Luke’s & Bethany’s wedding. Now, we were able to share their son’s special day in the honored role of photographer.

The wedding was a spectacular affair at the Ritz-Carlton, thrown with the same attention to detail that has made their business such a success. This event was one of the highlights of our 2011 wedding season. We were thrilled to be called upon to share their special day and to be able to contribute in some small way!

Outdoor Engagement Photos – Tips For Brides

 

A few weeks ago we began our Tips for Brides series of blog postings to help all of you future husbands and wives, brides-and-grooms-to-be, in the process of finding, meeting with, booking and then working with your photographers. Last week we covered the Save the Dates session, which although it is very similar to the Engagement Session experience, is, in fact, a session all in itself.  An Engagement Photo Shoot is a lot more involved, and so there’s a lot more to consider before showing up for the shoot.

Over the years, we’ve spent countless hours shooting engagement photos in Dallas and beyond, so you can imagine we have quite a bit to say on the topic. Because of this, we’ve split up the Engagement Session into two separate blog postings: Pre-Shoot and Shoot. Today we will be going over all the things to think about pre-shoot.

Hair & Make-Up For An Engagement Shoot

Ladies, an Engagement Session is your opportunity to pamper yourself. So get the Mani/Pedi, set up a trial run appointment with your hair and makeup artist for the day of the shoot. This test is an excellent way to get to know them before the wedding day, and it gives you the opportunity to look your very best for the engagement shoot. Now this doesn’t mean you get your exact wedding day hair-do, but they can try some different styles, see what you like and what you don’t like and then settle on something you’re comfortable with for the shoot.

Don’t be afraid to tell them what how you want to look. Sometimes make-up artists will try and push a look they want to see on you. If it’s not you, though, you need to speak up. These photos are for your Engagement Session and your soon to be wedding day. Your engagement pictures should reflect you on your best day, so make sure your make-up artist doesn’t go overboard. And remember, more makeup doesn’t necessarily make a better picture.

Keep in mind the location of your engagement shoot and how your hair and makeup will hold up during these conditions. If it’s hot outside, is your foundation going to become shiny and start melting. If it’s windy, will your hair be blowing across your bright red lipstick?

Eyes are a focal point in your engagement pictures, so take the extra time you may not typically spend to separate the lashes, add the smoky eye-shadow if that’s something you are comfortable with and fits the shoot. Make your eyes pop, without over doing it.

Blend, blend, blend! Check your foundation in natural light to make sure the face to neck tone is seamless. Too many times a bride-to-be has shown up for her engagement pictures with her face and neck an entirely different color. It’s not a right look for any occasion.

What to Wear

Ladies, besides prom and your wedding day, the Engagement Session is your biggest opportunity to pamper yourself. And yes, this is a reason to go shopping!  New outfit, new shoes, new accessories! Whatever makes you feel good will translate into your photos. So whether it’s an old standby in your closet or something new you picked out specifically for the engagement shoot, make sure you select an outfit that makes you feel great.

In general, if you love Black and White photography, a good rule of thumb is to wear something that is a darker value than your skin tones. Skin tones that are darker it’s just the opposite, wear a lighter value.

Don’t be afraid of color while staying away from designer prints that go out of style quickly. Your engagement pictures will have a long life in your personal history as a couple. So avoid the mistake of having a fashion craze end between the shoot and the wedding itself. Fun colors can make a statement, and it’s a great way to make your pictures Pop!

As photographers, we love outfits that allow movement. So that swirly skirt you love in your closet is always going to be a favorite of ours. But you know your figure best, so pick something out that compliments it. Another great look is that little black dress you pull out only on special occasions. If you feel good in it, your pictures will reflect that confidence.

At Edmonson Weddings, all of our wedding packages come with a complimentary Engagement Session. We like to use the Engagement Session to get to know our couples and figure out how to best shoot them the day of the wedding. With our complimentary sessions, we suggest no more than two outfits to maximize our time together. Of course, there is always the option to add on to your Engagement Session if you do want additional time and outfit changes.

Whether you have two outfits or more, make sure to start with whatever is the most complicated or most elegant. Your hair and make-up are at it’s best at the beginning of the shoot, It will start to loosen up as we progress, so go with the more casual outfits towards the end of the shoot.

Another good idea is to plan your wardrobe changes around the location.  Sometimes it’s easy to find a place to change, other times we are using vehicles. If you give us a little heads up about your outfit changes, we can bring some modesty tents.

And last, but certainly not least, the shoes. Come on ladies; it’s the best part of an outfit, right? Don’t be afraid to break out your favorite or unique pairs sometimes it even means shopping for new ones!

Now, what should your fiance wear? Here’s a little trick to getting your man to pick out the outfit you want him to wear. Do your shopping first, or if you’re not shopping, then pull out your outfit and lay it on the bed. Then ask your man to go pick out three outfits he thinks will go nicely, or complimentary, to your outfit. Of the three he selects, there is bound to be one that you agree with. Point at that one and compliment his choice. Tell him he’ll look so great in that outfit and make him feel good for picking out such a great outfit. This little trick will also help him feel more confident the day of the shoot.

What to Bring & Not to Bring

Some of our couples ask if they can bring their pets to the engagement shoot, and we’re all for including your pets! But think about how you interact with your pets. You’re usually on the ground, sitting or lying down with them. If it’s an outdoor engagement shoot, your outfit could get a little dirty or grimy. So what we recommend, is have a family member or friend bring the pet towards the end of the shoot, after we’ve taken the majority of the just-the-two-of-you images.

Props and furniture are a great way to reflect your personal interests into your engagement images.  Bring things that are fun and different. Perhaps a settee in a field or alley, sporting equipment or memorabilia because he’s an athlete, anything that tells your story and would be simple and fun.

Family members or friends are a big no-no. All photo shoots, whether you’re a professional model or the average jane and joe, can start off awkward. You’re not familiar with having your pictures taken by someone you don’t know so well. And let’s face it, even if they do have your best interest at heart, friends and family being there will just be an added distraction. So our recommendation is to leave the friends and relatives at home and surprise them with the images when they’re complete!

Weather & Timing

The elements, such as heat, cold, wind or rain can be an important factor in outdoor engagement shoots and sometimes they are our biggest asset for getting the most dramatic images!  We like to book shoots on the schedule then reconfirm them about 3 days before the shoot. If we are working with the weather, let’s be in touch by phone that morning to either go forward with the shoot or reschedule.

Understand what 30% chance of rain means – it doesn’t mean that there is a 70% chance that it won’t rain. 30% chance of rain means that there is a 100% chance of rain for some area within the region predicting rain. For example, it may not ever rain in Dallas that particular day, but it may rain 100 miles north or south of us.

Indoor shots are not affected by the weather so much, but they can be influenced by timing (where the sun is) and also the availability of the venue. Choose the time of day for the shoot that provides the best lighting in that particular location. Lighting is critical for creating dramatic images and what may surprise you, more sunshine is not necessarily the perfect light. Overcast skies can be more appealing as they provide all-over light, versus the sun’s light which produces light from one direction. So keep that in mind – you don’t need to cancel your engagement shoot just because the sun’s not out in full force!

Nighttime shots are an excellent way of doing something a little more unique so don’t limit your engagement shoot ideas to strictly daytime activities.

Location/Venue

What we like to do is start very broad and create something unique to you as a couple. Photography works best when you either complement who you are or juxtapose appropriately. We like to take your ideas and then game plan together on the final concept of the shoot. We can then advise you on a location that is most appropriate.

How much time we have for the shoot will dictate how many places and concepts we can accomplish. For our engagement shoots, budget about an hour and a half to two hours and one general area. If you’d like to add on additional time for your engagement shoot, let us know!

Keep in mind some venues charge a location fee to shoot on their property. These are things you can discuss with your photographer ahead of time as they would typically know of any possible costs associated with a particular location.

Creative Ideas for Engagement Photo Locations

General concepts are Buildings and Structures, Manicured Gardens, Maintained Parks, Open Meadows, and Woods & Lakes. You might also do Farm Fields, Old Downtown Centers, Vintage Motels, Urban Chic Lofts, or Old Warehouses. Furniture used in a juxtaposed location, Horses & Stables, Carnivals, Fairs and Amusement Parks might be fun ideas. On a personal level Your Home or Apartment, Museums, Airfields, Old Cars etc that express your personality can be great choices. Hopefully, these ideas or suggestions will help you envision a site that would most accurately represent your unique relationship and love.

And that’s it for the Engagement Session pre-shoot topics! Check back next week for part 2, The Shoot!

Tips for Brides – Save the Dates

Moving right along here in our Tips for Brides series, we now get to the fun part, the shooting! The first scheduled session in your photography calendar will be your Save The Dates.  Save the Dates are your first opportunity to introduce your wedding to your family, friends and soon to be guests. You want to make it personal and show off your uniqueness as a couple. If you don’t have a creative bone in your body, don’t fret. Use your photographer as a resource for ideas. A lot of times, your photographer will just need to ask you some questions about who you are to try and find out what might make a good representation of the two you in a picture.

Now for some people, the Save The Dates session and the Engagement session will be merged into one photo shoot, which is an excellent way to save some money if that’s concern for you. Whichever route you take, you’ll first want to consider a few critical elements.

Timing

Timing is extremely relevant when you are planning your photography calendar. Timing will affect when you can send out your Save The Dates. Timing can change the look and feel of your Save The Dates. And lastly, timing can change how you use your Save The Dates.

When to Send Out

Typically, a Save The Date will be sent out 6 months before the wedding. Of course, there are no hard or fast rules regarding Save the Dates, but the purpose is to give your guests fair notice and warning so they can plan for it. Some weddings may require guests to travel; some may be held on a popular vacation weekend such as the 4th of July, Memorial day Weekend or Labor Day Weekend. Sometimes, the wedding is near a holiday, such as New Years Eve or Valentines Day, in which case your guests may make other plans fairly early on. So a 6 month lead time is the unwritten rule of thumb.

Seasons

Quite often, we’ll meet with a couple who recently became engaged and are planning their June Wedding. It’s now July, and they want their engagement pictures to be full of spring flowers. And they want to use their engagement session photos to create a Save The Date. The problem is that when Spring rolls around, it will be a chance to send out the invites, not the Save The Dates. So you have two options. Either plan a separate Save The Date session for the summer or fall so you can send them out soon, or be flexible with the look and feel of your Engagement pictures. Either way, just make sure you discuss your options with your photographer.

How to Use your Save The Dates

Will it be a magnet or a card your guests can pin on their fridge? Will it be a video montage that is emailed to guests as a link? Will the pictures captured during your Save The Date session be used on your wedding website? Will the images be designed into something creative and unique that you and your fiance came up with together? Whatever your ideas for the Save The Dates are, make sure you let your photographer in on that. This will help your photographer to shoot with your vision in mind. If your design requires a vertical image versus a horizontal shot, that’s something your photographer will need to know. And as long as we’re on this topic, make sure you and your photographer understand exactly what the photographer’s role is in creating the Save The Dates. Are they just taking the picture or are they also designing the Card/Magnet/Video? Most photographers will have separate pricing if they are creating the Save The Date in addition to taking the pictures for it.

Conceptual Images versus Pretty Pictures

There is no wrong way to design your Save The Dates. It could be just the two of you sitting in a garden where you plan to exchange I do’s later this year. Maybe the shoot is more conceptual, using the surroundings and a few tweaks to make your announcement. For example, when Luke & his wife Bethany had their Save The Date session, they incorporated Bethany’s love of fashion with Luke’s passion for photography in one magnificent Save The Date card. Bethany is sitting on on the bed of an old pick-up truck, her feet dangling over the side, clad in her favorite Christian Louboutin heels. On the edge of the truck they had spray painted “Save the Date” and Luke stood by her side with a camera in hand. It made for quite a picture and represented both Bethany and Luke’s interests.

Save The Dates can be done on a budget by utilizing a favorite public location to stage the session and by bringing props from home.  You can also go the other way and hire a stylist to set the stage for your Save The Dates. A stylist can help with venue selection, wardrobe selection, hair and makeup, props, scheduling and much more. As we said earlier, there is no wrong way to design your Save the Dates. The most important note to take from these tips is to start a dialogue with your photographer about what you’re looking for and find out what your options are. Oh, and make sure you get the date right on your Save The Dates!

Next week we’ll be going over the Engagement Session! Stay tuned.

Tips for Brides – The Booking Process

Tips for Brides series, today’s blog topic, is on The Booking Process. Understandably, selecting the ideal vendors for your wedding day can be a nerve-wracking, fingernail-biting, ulcer-inducing process. But the good news is that once you’ve chosen your vendors, it’s all downhill from here! So, our first tip in the booking process is:

Book Early!

Get the stressful research part of the process out of the way so you can move forward with the fun stuff. Of course, do your due diligence, make some calls, ask the important questions and make sure you’re at peace with who you’ve selected but then book them, Dano! Ok, not really. But book your vendors as soon as you’ve made your selections. A lot of the best vendors (photographers, florists, bakeries, etc.) will get booked rather quickly. So don’t let the one’s you’ve decided on slip away.

Get Your Game-Plan On

Now is the time to lay out the schedule of shoots, or at least start asking about it. Make a list of what you need:

Engagement Session. Check! Save the Dates. Check! Bridal Portraits. Check! Wedding Day. Check! Check! Check!

Some couples use their engagement session images for their save the dates, which is a splendid idea. However, Save the Dates should go out as soon as you’ve picked a date and location for the wedding. With that in mind, if you have your heart set on a spring engagement session which is months away, you will need to schedule a save the dates shoot. We’ll go into more detail on save the date and engagement sessions in future blog posts. For now, just make sure you ask the questions to your now photographer, “When should we schedule these?” You may also want to ask if they will get in touch with you to remind you of these sessions or if that is your responsibility. As long as you know, you can plan for it.

Things to think about before scheduling your sessions

Do you want to shoot in a particular season? Do you want to wait to get a little more in shape, or perhaps after the summer when your skin has that wonderfully golden glow? Even if you do set a date and plan for that perfect outdoor engagement session, weather can sometimes be an unintended factor. So make sure you have some room to schedule a new date if needed. Ask the question of your photographer, “When is the last opportunity before the wedding, that we can schedule a shoot?”

What does the Photographer Need from you?

Sometimes it helps to work backward from the wedding date to determine what you need and when you’ll need it. Ask your photographer how much lead time they need to schedule a particular session. Typically, your photographer will want the advanced notice to schedule an engagement session, bridal portrait session or save the dates session.

The What-If’s

Make sure you have asked the not-so-fun questions as well as all the fun questions before you sign on the dotted line. No one even likes to think these issues, let alone ask them out loud, but it can save you a lot of pain and hassle if the situation does arise.

What is their policy for changing the date of the wedding?

Do they have a cancellation policy?

When you have these answers up-front, there will be less concern later.

What is their payment schedule?

At Edmonson Weddings, we require a 50% retainer at booking, with the second half of the payment due 30 days before the wedding. We’ve found that many vendors operate on a similar payment schedule, some varying just slightly. You may find some vendors who have payments split up into three installments; some require the final payment due 2 weeks before the wedding. We’ve learned that for the majority of our clients, it helps to have the half the amount due at booking and have it all taken care of at least one month prior. No one wants to worry about money in the weeks leading up to the big day.

What to Expect On The Day

Will it be the photographer you meet with or another shooter? Will it be 2 photographers or perhaps more? You don’t want to be surprised on your wedding day with a photographer you weren’t expecting. Some studios are more like photographer factories. In this situation, you are usually just booking the studio, and they will assign a photographer for your wedding. So make sure you ask the question and if you’re not comfortable with the answer, ask more questions.

Wedding Albums Capture Your Legacy

You can choose to include albums in your packages or not – the choice is up to you. But our recommendation is that if you know, you want it, incorporate it in the package in the beginning. If an album is important to you, make sure you include it in your budgeting process. A lot of couples wait to order an album after the wedding is over and unfortunately, a lot of other bills come due towards the end of the wedding. If you plan for an album from the beginning, you can avoid the disappointment of not having one right away.

Many of our clients order their wedding albums up front, not only for themselves but their parents and grandparents and sometimes even for their bridal party. All they ask of us is, no surprises. At Edmonson Weddings, we provide our couples with a planning guide so that there are never any surprises. What you see is what you get!

We hope this week’s installment of Tips for Brides has provided you with some guidance and reassurance when it comes time for you to book your wedding vendors and photographers in particular. If you have any additional questions, feel free to post them here, and we will do our best to respond!

From a Second Shooters Perspective

A guest blogger here today. Hello all, my name is Brittany Nicole, I am new to the wedding industry here in Dallas and have had the pleasure of photographing several weddings with the Edmonson’s. It is such an honor and a pleasure working with these guys, and I cannot thank them enough for all they have taught me and meant to me in pursuit of my photographic endeavors. Not only are they brilliant photographers but also two men of outstanding character. I do believe I’ve made my point…I just love these guys! 🙂

When David and Luke shoot a wedding, they think of EVERYTHING! So how do I contribute? What do I have to offer? I had to put a lot of thought into how I could make my images different, creative and unique for them. All that kept running through my mind throughout the wedding was different perspectives, big picture, and details!! While David and Luke’s focus is mainly on the couple and their family on the wedding day, preoccupied with ensuring they capture all the key shots every couple desires, my job is to take a step back and see things differently and find ways to be creative. Let me explain more thoroughly and show you just what I mean through a few examples.

On details, well, let me just say that this is my favorite part of the wedding, I LOVE photographing details. I thrive on details, and my eyes are continuously scanning the room for them. Perfect example from this particular wedding was, when David was having me assist with lighting during a moment with the bride pre-ceremony, I couldn’t help but notice how beautifully the light wrapped around the bouquet and how she so gracefully held them, simply a gorgeous detail and I had to grab it.

The big picture is only taking a step back. While David and Luke stick close to the bride and groom, say during the first dance or speeches where expressions are important to capture, what happens when I take a step back and see the full picture. Their images perfectly capture the bride and groom, along with the wonderful expressions which retell their story for years to come. However, what happens when I include various elements, friends, and family, or the architecture and design of the building itself, creating a dramatic image which may not capture their unique expressions but has a completely different role in their unique story. In this example, David being much closer, was able to show more expression upon the signing of the Ketubah, while I moved to the end of the table and included more of the rooms beautiful features, more specifically the ornate chandelier.

When I say different perspectives, some great examples of this would be during the formal portraits, angling myself to the side and capturing more candid images, like talking and laughing. Or during the cutting of the cake, while David and Luke focus on the bride and groom, I might turn and quickly locate the mom’s and dad’s, capturing their expressions during this time for storytelling. Below you will see a couple of images of the brides entrance at the ceremony while David shot from the back of the room, I ran around to the side and managed to grab this shot before their guest rose in the bride’s honor.

Here David was shooting bride’s brother giving a speech while I angled myself as to focus primarily on the couple from a different perspective.

I’ll leave you with a few tips to remember for the next time you second shoot or perhaps before you embark on your first-second shooting experience. When shooting second, it is important to shoot in a way that is complimentary to what the primary photographer is doing and to be proactively thinking.

1. It’s as easy as noting the lens choice of the primary (when shooting the same subject) and choosing a different lens to compliment the subject. In the case of our bride at the window, I might use a 70-200mm lens so that while I’m backed away from the subject to assist with lighting, I can still capture the way she gracefully holds her dress or the bouquet, while she’s having her portrait photographed.

2. Changing the orientation of your camera, what I mean is, if the primary is shooting vertical, what happens when you go horizontal? What various look and feel can you create with a different orientation?

3. Remember different perspective!  Try not to follow in the footsteps of the primary for shots; they already have that shot covered, and while I’m positive it’s a fantastic image and great potential for your portfolio, that is not why you are there. Think outside the box, change your angle, go big picture and dare to be different. You too can create something compelling, unique and beautiful through finding various perspectives to the primary.

While there are times to be creative, explore the possibilities, and have fun remember that you are there to serve.

Wedding Consultation – Tips For Brides

A couple of weeks ago we posted the first of many blogs in our Tips For Brides series, which we hope will help alleviate any unnecessary stress and answer some of those mounting questions for many of you soon to be brides. The first post set forth a list of some of the key points to consider when searching for your wedding photographer (or any wedding vendor, really). If you missed that post or want a quick link back to it, you can click here.

In today’s post, we will be providing you future brides with a quick checklist of questions to ask yourself and thoughts to keep in mind during your initial consultation with your wedding photographer – and again, in some cases, these issues will be useful when meeting with any wedding vendor for the first time.

First and foremost and probably the easiest question to answer:

–      Is this photographer trying to sell you something or do they genuinely care? It’s either one or the other and if it’s not then run, don’t walk. Now, of course, no proven professional would be in business if they weren’t out to make some money doing it. But there needs to be a balance. If that is the only thing they are concerned with, and what you want is of no concern, then you should probably look elsewhere for your photography services. If they are always pushing you to upgrade your package or encouraging multiple add-ons, thank them for their time and be on your way. A wedding photographer who lives and dies by the bottom line will never go above and beyond.

This next question to ask yourself is particularly telling of the type of personality your photographer will most definitely demonstrate on your wedding day, if they are exhibiting it at all during your consultation:

–      What is the attitude of the photographer toward other vendors and other photographers in particular? This concern may be hard to bring up, and if you can, it may be even tougher to decipher. But in our opinion, photographers who get along with other photographers and other vendors have nothing to hide. Others successes do not threaten them, and so there is no reason for negativity. It’s the vendors and photographers who speak ill of their competition that you should be worried. If they’re negative today, during your consultation, how do you envision them acting the day of your wedding?

Photographers and Videographers have a long standing rivalry.

–      Do they work well as part of a team? Which one is more important? Well, that depends on who you ask. And the truth is that in today’s world of fill-in-the-blank-biography, Videographers are doubling as photographers and photographers are now offering videography services. But pose the question to your photographer in the consultation and see how comfortable you are with their answer. You are looking for team players.

What if you can’t relate to some of their images?

–      In truth, the best wedding photographers will capture the true essence of each and every one of their clients. And depending on their range, you may not be able to relate to all of them. That’s ok. You don’t want to look at a bunch of cookie-cutter images that could fit you or anyone you know. You want the images that only depict you and your fiance and express your individual uniqueness. So it’s alright to give the photographer a little grace on images that don’t look like you. You can describe what you’re looking for and perhaps they can pull out some images that are a little more your style. It’s ok to ask for what you want, but remember it’s also a good thing for your photographer to be diverse in their styles.

What’s your ideal scenario for the big day?

–      Have your mental game plan for the wedding prepared or at least thought out a bit before your consultation so you and your photographer can discuss it. There’s nothing tougher than having a bride and groom come in for their consultation and have opposite ideas of what they expect on their wedding day. Make sure the two of you discuss your thoughts and ideas and come to an agreement. And then schedule your consultation. And again, don’t be afraid to lay out for your photographer what it is you’re envisioning. While wedding photographers are creatives; they aren’t the best mind readers.

Lastly, there’s no need for the game face at your consultation.

–      You want to be as upfront, honest and real as you can be. The key to fantastic wedding images is the ability to connect with your photographer. Open up. Let them see who you are. If you can do that, the possibilities are limitless!

Hopefully, this will help you with your wedding vendor consultations, and if you have any questions about any of this, please feel free to call or email us. We’d be happy to make even some recommendations of photographers for you if we are not the right fit after meeting with us. That’s just the kind of guys we are!

Come back next week for an explanation on booking your wedding photographer (or another vendor)!

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer – Tips for Brides

It’s a jigsaw puzzle, planning a wedding. And I don’t mean one of those big block, 24 piece puzzles you put together as a child. This puzzle has a thousand moving parts, all of varying shapes and sizes, and a seemingly endless combination of colors, details, venues and choices. And for most people, there are no smaller puzzles to practice on. Planning a wedding can be stressful and time-consuming. And so to help alleviate some of that stress and try to make the entire photography portion of your wedding planning feel a bit smoother and hopefully a lot more fun, we’ve compiled a step by step process for Selecting & Working with your Wedding Photographer.

  1. Searching for Vendors
  2. Consultation Meeting
  3. Booking
  4. Save the Date or Engagement Sessions
  5. Bridal Session
  6. Wedding Day
  7. Post Wedding Process
  8. Albums

We will be exploring each of the items on our list in more detail in the coming weeks – each week focusing on one particular step in the wedding photography process. Of course, this is only our opinion – but a very well thought-out idea we’ve spent many, many years forming! This week’s blog tips for you future bride & grooms is something you probably know a lot about already – How do you know when you’ve found – the one! The Wedding Photographer!

Find Wedding Vendors

First of all, throw out that old myth that you need to find the “ideal” wedding photographer. The “perfect” wedding photographer – in truth, does not exist. Now that’s not to say you won’t love your photographer; it just means that everyone has a different view of what they feel is “ideal.” But having said that, there are certain things to keep in mind when doing your research when placing those first calls and making your first face-to-face visits. And actually, some of these tips will apply to all of your wedding vendors – not just your wedding photographer.

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER STYLE

First of all, you want to look for a photographer with a style that matches your own. If you’re unsure as to what your style is, ask yourself “Do I like what I see?” “Can I picture myself in these wedding photos?” “Would I be proud to have this album as my own?” If you answered yes to all of these, then there’s a good chance your styles will meld well. But you may want to go a little deeper and pay attention to the images they present. “Do I prefer the formal portrait style images or the candid photos?” “Do I want a lot of Photoshop in my pictures or a more realistic appearance?” “Do I want someone who is directing us on how to pose or just following the day and capturing it as it unfolds?” All of these questions have multiple layers within them, but it’s a good idea to explore your thoughts on each. Finally, its next to impossible these days to find someone who isn’t an “award-winning wedding photographer“. Make sure you explore exactly what that means and the criteria for their awards.

STORYTELLER

Secondly, you want to find a good wedding photographer who is also a good storyteller. What does this mean? Well, when you’re looking at their portfolio of work, do you get a sense of who the couples in the images are? Can you decipher from the pictures more than just a general feeling of the day? Do you get a sense of completion when you get to the end of an album or does something feel missing? A good storyteller is important, but the key is to find a photographer who can tell your story. And to do that, there are some additional things consider.

Take note of how well they listen to your requests? Are they accommodating to your requests? Do they ask questions about who you are and what’s important to you? Are they interested in getting to know you or are they in a hurry to move on to their next client? How they interact with you during your conversations, meetings and sessions are all good indicators of how accurately they will tell your story, so pay attention!

CONSISTENCY

Ask yourself if their work is consistent? Don’t assume that all of their work will be as high quality as the one album they present to you. Any photographer, no matter what their experience level, can have one lucky day, one decent album to show potential clients. Ask to see more and pay attention to the consistency of their work. Of course with time and experience, we all get better, but you want to make sure the work they are showing you is the same caliber of work you can expect to receive on your wedding day. You may not need a wedding photography specialist but if you want the best, find yourself a master wedding photographer. Look for external certification that proves they’re competence.

PERSONALITY

Personality is key! Besides your fiance, your wedding photographer will be the person by your side the entire day of the wedding. So make sure the three of you feel some chemistry in your meetings and pre-wedding day sessions.

WORD OF MOUTH

References or testimonials from past clients will help a lot in your wedding photographer selection (as well as any other vendors you end up booking.) A photographer’s website or blog will often post client testimonials, but if they don’t – it can’t hurt to ask them for some references. Also, wedding planning sites such as TheKnot.com, weddingchannel.com, stylemepretty.com, are all great ways of finding additional information about your potential wedding vendor. And if none of these options yield any answers, try googling the vendor’s name and see if anything comes up. Sometimes you’ll find an ecstatic former bride who has reviewed her wedding vendors on her blog. Hopefully, it’s all good information, but if she’s got something negative to say, take it with a grain of salt, but don’t dismiss it entirely.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

It should go without saying, but sometimes, it must be said – The last thing you want to skimp on is your wedding photography. Be willing to spend some money. When the wedding day comes to an end, the images from your photographer will be there to let you relive the entire day, detail by tiny perfect detail – anytime you want.

We want you to have that dream team of vendors on your wedding day, a group of individuals dedicated to providing you with everything you’ve dreamt of leading to your big day. And hopefully, our weekly tips for the bride to be will help you achieve that goal. Check back in with us next week for a run-down on Your First Vendor Consultation Meeting! 

 

PPA Loan & Showcase Awards 2010

One of the fastest and easiest ways to grow as a professional photographer is to challenge yourself. Now there are several ways to do this with just you and your camera, but there are also ways of growing that maybe you haven’t thought of yet. Seek out new learning opportunities whether it be at international conventions or maybe from just a few close friends. Learn from your peers as well as those you look up to. Become involved within the industry. And when you get the opportunity, find out how you stack up against the competition by entering a few print contests.

In 2011, Luke & David attended the Imaging USA convention and trade show for the first time. The annual photography convention was held in San Antonio, Texas this year – right in our backyard so it was an easy decision to attend this year.

As part of their tradition, the organization conducts an International Photographic Competition and for the first time, both Luke & David entered prints to be considered alongside some of the world’s most talented and successful photographers. David won a gold award and Luke won silver. Luke was also a finalist in the best of wedding photography category. One of Luke’s images hung for convention attendees to view during the Kodak Gallery Award Ceremony the following evening which was both an honor and a blessing for Luke.

In addition to their image awards, both David & Luke were thrilled to receive International Photographer of the Year awards from the PPA organization for 2011. Two of their images were requested by PPA to be included in the Showcase Collection and three prints for the PPA Loan Collection.

PPA was a new experience for Edmonson Weddings, but one that they hope to continue in the years ahead. For those of you in our Dallas area, David has recently become involved with PPA on the regional level, serving on the local DPPA guild. He is responsible for planning the guild’s educational content, bringing in speakers and building relationships with those involved in the guild’s development through education. If you are interested in becoming involved in the Dallas PPA guild, you can visit their website at www.dallasppa.org for more information. We look forward to seeing you at one of the upcoming programs!

Giving back through speaking.

The life of a professional wedding photographer is filled with many blessed moments. Being part of such an extraordinary and meaningful day in two people’s lives is not only an honor for us but a blessing in itself. When we were asked to speak to other up-and-coming photographers about our experiences in wedding photography and this unique industry and our place within it, we of course obliged.

This past year has graced us with many blessed occasions, but one we are most proud of is our first speaking engagements. We spent time speaking at several Texas regional PPA (Professional Photography Association) conventions this year, including the Dallas guild, the Lubbock guild, and the Texoma guild; as well as the annual SPA (Senior Portrait Artists) conference in Palm Springs, California.

As a photographer and as an artist, you need to refine your craft and develop your personal touch – this is what will make you stand out amongst the competition. But there are several things we have learned along the way that can help you get to where you want to be – quicker, and with fewer missteps. It’s called, Learning to Surf – Riding the Wedding Day Wave and it’s the topic of our speaking program.

First-time surfers will tell you – starting out is hard. You’re unsure of yourself, and you’ll misstep more times than you can count. You’re tired; you’re sore, and you may be hesitant about getting out there and doing it again. But as you learn, it starts to get a little bit easier and a lot more fun. Wedding photography is no different – the trick is learning how to keep your eyes on the horizon, it will keep you from falling head first towards whatever issue you’re focusing. Our goal in this program is to get you up on your feet faster, hopefully making the wedding photography process easier from the get go.

If you’re interested in attending one of our upcoming speaking engagements, drop us a line. We’ll keep you updated as they arise!

Thanks!