How To Pick A Wedding Photographer

Happy New Year to all you newly engaged couples out there!

Things got a little easier for couples trying to find their wedding photographer when we all started putting all our stuff online. It made it easier to look through our portfolios, see what our styles were, maybe get some questions answered and you might even be able to find out about pricing and availability without ever having to actually contact the photographer.

That might be a great way to start your initial wedding photography search, but when it gets down to figuring out who you actually want to meet with, it gets a little more difficult to sort out our nitty gritty wedding photo package details.

I have lots of friends in the industry, am a professional photographer and frankly even I can’t make heads or tails of some of their packages. It’s especially difficult to figure out three things; what’s included in the pricing for rights, what’s delivered to you and how much post processing is done to the images (whether you get prints or digital rights).

Some photographers offer “Full resolution digital proofs”. What’s that? Usually proofs are low resolution and usually full resolution aren’t called “proofs”! “All the images are retouched”. Really? What exactly does that mean? For me that’s always meant they have been color corrected, contrast altered and are ready to print. But someone might think that means everything’s been photoshopped to create a perfect fantasy image of what the couple might wish their wedding looked like complete with altered backgrounds, braces removed, people photoshopped out of the images, etc. It’s subjective and it’s important for you, the consumer to totally understand what you are and aren’t getting. Are you getting images that are watermarked?

If you can figure out exactly what you anticipate you’ll be doing with your wedding photos, that will make it easier for you to ask the right questions about what your needs are. If, for example, you know you’ll be posting your images on facebook and not doing hardly any printing at all, you might be okay with low resolution (although I’m sure you’ll want to be able to print them eventually). I see lots of watermarked images appear on people’s facebook pages. Some photographers use that to copyright their images which means the couple are effectively using those images without consent, while other photographers simply watermark images so that other photographers and corporations can’t steal their work (but that’s for another blog!).

So don’t be afraid to ask questions that might seem silly or the photographer has implied that they’ve answered. Make sure you understand exactly what it is that you are purchasing and there won’t be any disappointments later.

Once you’ve figured out what you need, which photographer can deliver exactly what you’re looking for, then you look at which photographer’s images you relate to the most, who seems like the kind of person you can get along with the best, who has the most experience, timely delivery and whatever else are top priorities on your personal “must have” lists.

Happy wedding photographer shopping to all you newly engaged couples in the New Year!

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AnonymousJanuary 2, 2013 - 5:00 pm

I have recently started a blog, the information you provide on this web site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time and work.

Scaling it back…

Oct. 12, 2012 Wedding

The one thing almost all of my weddings have in common is that my couples have whittled down all the bells and whistles to what makes the most sense to them and what are the essential elements that hold the most importance and value to their lives. So Lauren and Chris had distilled their wedding day to a short portrait session at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, a wedding at the massive Assumption Grotto Catholic Church, a visit to the church’s cemetery and dinner at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, Michigan. Here are some of my favorite images from the wedding.

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AnonymousDecember 30, 2012 - 11:34 am

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fotoclippingJanuary 5, 2013 - 4:02 am

Wow! Those pictures are amazing! Outstanding photography.

Tuyet WichmanFebruary 2, 2013 - 2:15 pm

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AnonymousJuly 16, 2013 - 9:43 pm

A fascinating discussion about cutting back on wedding expenses. We’re planning our wedding outside Michigan, but Im sure alot of these idea could work for us too. Best wishes!!

Ray PackerJuly 23, 2013 - 11:23 pm

I just want to tell you that I’m very impressed by this blog. Thanks for the tips on how to budget my wedding and where the wasted money goes. Thanks for sharing with us your blog.

Liza SantacruzAugust 13, 2013 - 9:20 pm

Thanks for the post about cutting back on silly wedding costs. You absolutely have terrific article content.

AnonymousSeptember 2, 2013 - 3:04 am

Nice Edsel Ford House Wedding Photos, Royal Park Hotel Wedding Photography | Detroit Michigan wedding photographer Marci Curtis topic you posted about. It’s funny because me and my cousin were just talking about it the other day.

AnonymousSeptember 2, 2013 - 11:10 pm

I just read Edsel Ford House Wedding Photos, Royal Park Hotel Wedding Photography reviews. Nice photos! Looks like a fun, small wedding. thanks for sharing.

innitusSeptember 7, 2013 - 12:13 am

I just read Edsel Ford House Wedding Photos, Royal Park Hotel Wedding Photography | Detroit Michigan wedding photography blog and I like these photos. Looks like a nice place to take photographs. Do you need special permission to take photography at the Ford place?

freelance writing flSeptember 10, 2013 - 5:23 am

Nice Edsel Ford House Wedding Photos, Royal Park Hotel Wedding Photography | Detroit Michigan wedding photographer Marci Curtis topic you posted about. It’s funny because me and my cousin were just talking about it the other day.

Elwood StooksburySeptember 11, 2013 - 5:14 am

Your providing good sound advice for getting rid of all the extra spending that goes on during weddings. All those things really do add up.

Ok KwiatSeptember 26, 2013 - 9:28 pm

Hey, good post.

AnonymousSeptember 27, 2013 - 2:16 am

Thanks for sharing wedding tips with us. I will try to use some of these.

Maye SposatoSeptember 27, 2013 - 2:25 am

I love the money saving tips you have on your wedding blog.

Luigi FulkSeptember 28, 2013 - 11:49 pm

Nice wedding photo web site… I like it!

Hipolito M. WisemanOctober 11, 2013 - 4:31 pm

You really have terrific writing and wedding photos. Appreciate it for sharing with us.

Garland RancourtOctober 27, 2013 - 6:35 pm

Great article about wedding costs and all. Thanks!

Clay MersonNovember 5, 2013 - 2:22 am

It’s hard to figure out where to cut back with weddings. Everything seems so important at the time and people really pressure you into buying EVERYTHING.

Arthur BakeleyNovember 18, 2013 - 8:23 am

I truly am loving this blog. I cannot wait to tell everyone about it.

Sherell GarufiDecember 11, 2013 - 1:14 am

Since weddings are so incredbilby expensive, it’s nice to see a wedding article about cutting back wedding expenses.

James T. WoolfordJanuary 12, 2014 - 3:20 am

Hello! I just wish to offer you a big thumbs up for the great wedding info you have got right here on this post. I’m planning a Michigan wedding soon and will be back to check out your latest wedding photos!

James T. WoolfordJanuary 14, 2014 - 8:06 am

Way cool! Some extremely cool wedding tips!

Erik L. DavenportJanuary 14, 2014 - 11:21 am

Hi there! I simply would like to offer you a big thumbs up for the excellent wedding information you’ve got here.

Erik L. DavenportJanuary 15, 2014 - 10:27 am

Having read this I thought it was very informative. Having looked through a LOT of other Michigan wedding photographer’s sites, it was totally worth it!

Martha R. AlfaroJanuary 16, 2014 - 2:55 am

Great article about cutting out the extras for weddings. who wants to spend that much on one day? and everybody makes you feel like youve got to or your really missing out.

Ruth E. HelfrichJanuary 18, 2014 - 12:06 am

Hi! I could have sworn I attended one of the weddings you shot in Dearborn, Michigan. I loved the photos I saw. Do you post all the weddings you shoot here on the blog?

Erik L. DavenportJanuary 21, 2014 - 7:38 am

Excellent blog about cutting back on wedding expenses. As a graphic designer, I know a lot of people are doing their invitations and thank you cards themselves. It’s certainly cutting into my business, but I’ve also seen a lot of creative things done by my would be clients.

Teresa J. WalshJanuary 22, 2014 - 3:49 am

What a fun post about weddings! I hadn’t thought about a lot of these short cuts.

Filomena E. WadsworthJanuary 23, 2014 - 9:52 am

So much of the stuff they sell for weddings is totally useless.

Valene M. ShipmanJanuary 24, 2014 - 5:32 am

That is a great tip especially to brides looking to balance their wedding budgets. Short but very accurate info.

Steven E. AtencioJanuary 24, 2014 - 9:56 am

Love your wedding blog. Great photos, good advice and more.

Ruth E. HelfrichJanuary 24, 2014 - 9:57 pm

After looking over a few of your other wedding blog entries, I’ve gotta say that I like this one the most. Most wedding industry people are pushing to go big or go home and this article exposes all the frivolous expenditures involved with weddings.

Carroll B. MerrimanFebruary 1, 2014 - 8:33 am

I love this wedding blog. We’re in Detroit and I love looking through all the area’s wedding sites and yours is most definately one of my favorites.

Matthew C. KrinerFebruary 12, 2014 - 9:10 pm

Love the wedding photography.

Issac MaezFebruary 22, 2014 - 6:34 am

great wedding savings tips. wish i’d used these for my wedding.

Luigi FulkFebruary 26, 2014 - 1:35 am

These wedding photos are so much of emotion and feeling. They are just lovely.

Dorris BasbasMarch 20, 2014 - 2:46 pm

My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

Ann Arbor Art Museum Wedding

Kelsey and Mike’s big day back on the campus of University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan began with a wedding ceremony at the United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We had great weather, enough love to fill the Michigan stadium and a lot of fun! Knowing the wedding reception was going to be at the University of Michigan’s Museum of Art, I brought along a large picture frame and we ended up using it as creatively as possible. I love shooting at this venue and loved working with Anna (and her two assistants) from Two Foot Creative. I loved that Kelsey and Mike (who planned their wedding from out of state) were very meticulous planners who then stepped back in order to thoroughly enjoy the fruits of their labor. I’m hoping they’ll have the opportunity to come back to Michigan again soon.

Art Museum Wedding Party photo, Michigan

Ann Arbor art museum wedding party photo

U of M bride puts on her wedding dress

Bride reacts to putting on her wedding dress in Ann Arbor Michigan

wedding ring photo from U of M wedding

Wedding ring balanced on a shoe from an Ann Arbor Wedding

Bride and groom head down the aisle in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Bride and Groom head down the aisle in the Ann Arbor Wedding.

Groomsmen photo in Law Quad

Groomsmen in Ann Arbor Wedding Photo

stairwell wedding photo in Ann Arbor

Stairwell art museum wedding photo in Ann Arbor

First Dance Wedding photo in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Michigan wedding couple’s first dance

overal shot of michigan wedding reception

Wedding reception photo from the U of M’s Art Museum wedding.

Bride and Groom and the Art Museum

Bride and Groom kiss amongst the Michigan Art Museum

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Nice ShotzJuly 3, 2012 - 9:20 pm

Very nice!

Detroit Michigan Baby Turns One!

Turning one is a big milestone for any baby and usually leaves parents wondering how on earth the time went so quickly. This baby’s first portrait was especially important as it was going to have to tide her parents over for a long time. I took Baby B’s photo just before her parents deployed for another tour and these photos will go with her mom and dad while they’re in Afghanistan for the next 6 months.

We had a lot of ground to cover as this wasn’t just a baby photo shoot here in Oakland County, it was their one chance to get some nice family photos as well. You’ll see that not only were we able to get photos of Baby B doing her cutest smiles ever, but we were able to get a nice family photo with mom and dad in their full dress uniforms.

But that wasn’t the real challenge. Babies turning one are pretty easy to shoot. Sure, they can move around and are happy to show off their new mobility and are as hard to shoot as moving targets. Yes, baby photography can be challenging as babies moods change faster than Kim Kardashian goes through men, but they are just so darn cute!

To add to this particular challenge of taking photos at a one year’s landmark anniversary, was adding into the mix the family pets. Taking photos of a one year old, two wonderful parents and TWO dogs was a bit more tricky. Then we added in the pig… yes, pig! That’s when things got pretty wild. Dog “A” does not like the pig, the pig needs to be kept away from the baby (as he might have mistaken her as something edible), etc. So with a bit of combined patience and a little perseverance we were able to get the non quintessential family photo of the baby, the parents, the dogs and the pig!

The top off my Detroit, Michigan baby photography session, mom had made Miss baby “B” her own set of cupcakes and matched her outfit with the frosting on the cupcakes. The results were a lot of fun. Her aim wasn’t too good, so we ended up sponging her off periodically when the frosting went into her eyes, but we all loved the photos. The glee you can see on Baby “B”s face is priceless. What I wasn’t able to photograph, as it happened while I was breaking my equipment down, was the clean up session. Picture frosting and cake bits all over their hardwood floors, a baby covered from head to toe in frosting. What are parents to do? One grabbed the baby and the other brought in the pig! Clean up time? 12 seconds!

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Michigan Camera StoreApril 20, 2012 - 3:17 pm

So precious! Love the cupcake one!

Matthew LampsonJune 16, 2012 - 9:38 pm

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She Said “YES”!

Dustin called to enlist me into his plan to surprise his longtime girlfriend Kate with a Detroit style wedding proposal and he wanted me to photograph not only her reaction, but to take immediate engagement photos. He wanted the event thoroughly covered and brought along Kate’s Dad as another surprise so he could witness the wonderful proposal.

There was only one little possible hitch to all the well laid plans. It was snowing (which as we all know hasn’t happened much in Detroit this year) after pretty balmy temperatures, but this biggest, most challenging part of the surprise engagement was gaining access to where he’d taken Kate on their first date. What had been an abandoned building in downtown Detroit six years ago had served as an eclectic and not typically romantic first date spot. They’d climbed into the wreck of a Detroit high rise and perched themselves on a balcony over -looking all of Detroit, sipping cocktails.

Their abandoned secret lair was now a full blown construction site. So what’s a romantic guy prone to sweeping gestures to do? He enlisted the Broderick Towers construction team, of course. With their blessing, help and supervision, we all piled into the elevator with a baffled and blindfolded Kate.

Dustin guided her out onto the rooftop of the Broderick Towers, untied the blindfold and dropped to one knee. She said, “Yes”!

After a short while, Kate eventually noticed one of the men in hard hats was actually her father! We took photos on the rooftop as well as on the balcony where they’d had their first date. Let’s hear it for incurable romantics!

 

 

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Michigan Camera StoreMarch 15, 2012 - 12:38 pm

What a nice proposal! So sweet. Great shots! Camera Mart.