How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

The wedding photographer/client relationship is a long one. You want to make sure it’s built to last. This is a person, or a team, you’ll partner with during one of the more stressful/happy/overwhelming/ecstatic parts of your life! Make sure this person is a solid and reliable presence in your planning.

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Remember, this is a big investment. These photographs will be the biggest memento of your wedding day. They will be passed down through your family and to friends. Sure, they’re for instagram and facebook and thank you cards. But, they’re also heirlooms. Do your research and make sure you choose not only a photographer who does great work, but also someone you like and can afford.weddingphotography_howtochooseaweddingphotographer_seattle_seattlewedding_couples-1694

When you choose a wedding photographer, you’re starting a relationship.  You’ll negotiate contracts, have an engagement shoot, organize wedding day details, spend the majority of your wedding day with them and design albums together. Don’t choose someone you’re constantly annoyed and/or dissatisfied with. It’s too long, and too important, of a relationship.

That being said, the search is overwhelming!! There are so many talented people to choose from, so many different styles of photography. I’ve put together a short guide to choosing the right person to photograph your wedding. As I was putting this post together, I realized the qualities you should look for in a wedding photographer are roughly the same as the qualities you need for a successful relationship, and if you’re getting married, you already know what that’s all about. So here we go…

1. Choose someone whose work you respect.

You want to be impressed by this person’s work. If you find yourself looking at his/her website and repeatedly saying, I could take that with my iPhone, this is not the person for you. Look for interesting angles, beautiful light, fleeting expressions, and intimate moments. You want to feel something special when you look at the work!weddingphotography_howtochooseaweddingphotographer_seattle_seattlewedding_couples-9821

2. Find someone you like to hang out with.

On your wedding day, you will spend a lotttt of time with your photographer. Probably more than your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family. Your photographer will be right there with you during all the important, intimate moments of your wedding day. If this is a person that makes you feel awkward, please don’t choose this photographer. If you don’t feel comfortable, it will show in your photos. Choose someone who is there to capture your moments in the best way possible, and who does this in a kind way. Choose someone who makes you smile and lightens the mood. weddingphotography_howtochooseaweddingphotographer_seattle_seattlewedding_couples-4742

3. Be upfront about your budget and your needs.

If you find someone whose work you connect with, but they are out of your budget, start a conversation. Don’t dismiss the option just because you think you can’t afford it. When you look at his/her packages, see if there’s anything you can do without. Maybe you don’t really want a 10×12 album and a canvas. Maybe you’re willing to get prints yourself, or order them after you’ve financially recovered :) Maybe you can work out 6.5 hours of shooting instead of 8. If you’re willing to compromise and be upfront, most likely your photographer will be too. I always use my packages as starting points, and I’m always willing to move things around to accommodate.weddingphotography_howtochooseaweddingphotographer_seattle_seattlewedding_couples-4759

4. Choose someone who is organized and can stick to a schedule.

This is a hard one for a lot of creatives. We get lost in the land of beautiful light and beautiful people. If your photographer knows this is a problem for herself, then make sure she works with someone who can keep her on track. This might be a second shooter or an assistant, but there needs to be someone who can stay organized. The wedding day is a lot of organized chaos and the photographer is not only responsible for getting all the good shots, but also for making sure the day runs smoothly. I spent many a wedding season as a second shooter, and I got very good at the organizing/co-ordinating parts of the day.weddingphotography_howtochooseaweddingphotographer_seattle_seattlewedding_couples-3216

If you think we might get along and you respect my work, let’s chat. I’m currently taking bookings for 2016 and early 2017. Email katejmillerphotography@gmail.com

Wedding Photography: Jeri & David’s Elopement

seattle wedding photographerI met Jeri & David on a gorgeous morning in late summer. The air was crisp with the sea breeze blowing towards us on Alki Beach. They found the perfect quiet spot for their elopement. The only people around were a few runners on the running path. The guests in attendance were the bride’s daughter, and the groom’s brother.

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Jeri, David, and Jeri’s daughter, Allie flew in from Texas so they could get married in an intimate ceremony on Alki beach. I love how relaxed and happy everyone looked.

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I think Jeri’s lace wedding dress was the perfect choice: casual and breezy, yet still so romantic. She looked incredible! And in true Seattle fashion, she got her bouquet from Pike Place Market!

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During shoots like this, I feel privileged to be a part of such intimate, special moments in peoples lives. Thank you Jeri & David for having me as a part of your Seattle wedding day!

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seattle beach wedding

xoxo

Kate

To see more wedding photography, check out this post

Wedding Photography: Jenn & Josiah Get Married!

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I love wedding photography. I love traveling for wedding photography. And I love shooting weddings for my friends! So, a few weeks ago, I took a very special trip back to the east coast for the perfect storm of wedding photography–my best friend’s wedding. While I was not the official wedding photographer because I was just a teeny busy being Jenn’s maid of honor, I couldn’t resist sneaking in some camera time whenever I could! Jenn has been one of my best friends since we were freshman in college and it was so special to be part of this big moment in her & Josiah’s life. We live on opposite coasts, but it never feels like it. In college, I used to make Jenn model for my portrait shoots all the time and I’m so happy I was there to shoot parts of her wedding day and stand next to her as she married Josiah. She is creative, hilarious, and generous. Her husband (what!?) Josiah is the perfect match for her! Take a look at a few moments in their day, let’s start with the rehearsal at Stocks Manor

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Unfortunately I couldn’t shoot the ceremony and stand with the bridal party…so we jump to the reception!

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I love this sweet moment between Jenn & her grandmother…

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And then the real party began! Jenn loves to dance more than anyone I know!jennwedding_seattle_weddingphotographer_wedding-28jennwedding_seattle_weddingphotographer_wedding-30jennwedding_seattle_weddingphotographer_wedding-31jennwedding_seattle_weddingphotographer_wedding-35jennwedding_seattle_weddingphotographer_wedding-34jennwedding_seattle_weddingphotographer_wedding-32jennwedding_seattle_weddingphotographer_wedding-36jennwedding_seattle_weddingphotographer_wedding-37

Let’s wrap it up with  sparkler send off, shall we?

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Vendor Round Up! Thanks to all the fantastic teams!

Venue: Stocks Manor, Mechanicsburg, PA

Hair & Makeup: Moda Salon

Flowers: Hammaker’s Flower Shop

Cupcakes: Sweet Confections Cakes

Jenn’s Dress: Celestial Brides

Jenn’s Rehearsal Dinner Dress: Bloomingdales

Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Angelo

 

I loved this day, and I love these photos, Jenn & Josiah–congratulations & cheers to you!

xoxo

Kate

 
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