Category Archives: How To

10 Things Bride Should Not Forget | Denver Wedding Photographer

Denver Wedding Photographer

Over the time that I have photographed wedding I have noticed lots of patterns and mistakes that happen during a wedding this is my list of things that every bride should consider when preparing for that big wedding day. If you have this done already good for you and you should just probably worry and get other things done but if you haven’t make a check list yet then read on and see if these 10 thing would be helpful to you for your wedding.

1 – Beautiful Hanger

Most of the time when I photograph a wedding dress by it self before the bride puts it on the dress is beautiful but the hanger is plastic or wire and it does ruin the photo in some way. So consider a wooden or custom made hanger for not only better photos but as if custom hanger for memories to come.

2 – Cosmetics

Now I know that every bride does her make-up before the ceremony but what most brides forget is to freshen up after the ceremony, or freshen up for the photos, as well as freshen up just before the reception starts.

3 – Hotel Check-In

This applies to all the brides (and grooms) who are staying in a hotel the night after the wedding. Make sure that you (or assign someone) to call the hotel to let them know when you should be arriving. This way the hotels will make sure they have cold champagne and chocolate ready for you. Also a good idea is to have someone from the wedding to take your suitcases to the hotel (if its not far) so you will not have to worry about that after the wedding.

4 – Confortable shoes

This is important, I have photographed many wedding and I could tell why the bride is not at the dance floor but tries to sit at some table chatting. Or sometimes the bride would just hang out by the bar, in the end a bride which has been in the same shoes all day is tired from walking. I know that the shoes look pretty and it was a good idea to have them but it is also a good idea to pack a confortable shoes. So when the evening starts, slip-in them and you will be good to go for the rest of the evening.

5 – Water

It would be last on anybodies list but in reality this should be almost first. Brides most of the time play a host to everyone at the wedding and forget about themselves until the dinner starts. So drink plenty of water, this would be beneficial for your body, you will not be as tired, or worn down. Yet the downfall comes that you will have to use the restroom more often. Now speaking of alcohol, yes that considers as water (in some ways) but try to hold of until dinner because if you get drunk before dinner you will be even more tired before the wedding even started. By the way this is a must if you have a wedding in summer when its hot outside.

6 – Eat

Now I talked about water but also dont forget to have snacks or eat good breakfast before. Most of the time the bride is busy with making sure that with last minue pres and so on that they forget the dinner will be served hours and hours late so to eat a good breakfast and have snacks in between is a must. You will be less tired and your body will be re-energized so you will be not only thinking straight but also ready for anything that might happen during the wedding.

7- Prepare for take-off

I mean in the sense if you are flying to your honeymoon destination, make sure that you have the passports and driving ticket in your luggage a day before the wedding. This way you will not need to panic and  make a scene the day of your wedding in front of your parents and bridesmaid. Also a good idea is to sign up for text alerts so after the wedding all you have to do is just check your phone and see if there has been any changes to your flight.

8 – Emergency

Make sure a week before the wedding to create a small emergency kit. I can not tell you enough when a bride needs of something like bandaids and there are none around (now someone will need to go to the store and by some) it becomes a stress environment to be in. And this might not happen to the bride, yet I have see also where bridesmaid would have a headache and there is no aspen or tylenol. Again pack an emergency kit and put it with your wedding shoes that way you will not forget it later.

9 – Go to person

This doesn’t have to be a one of the bridesmaids but it should be someone you know. This helps because when something is needed this person can quickly bring something for you and not just assign a person randomly during a wedding. So talk to someone you know before the wedding and assign them to be around you during the wedding or at least not far from you.

10 – Time Out!!!

I have left this one to the end not because its not important but because its the most important. The bride and groom get caught up in the wedding so much that they forget that this is a day about them. So take at least 10-15 mins to yourselves, tell your photographer, wedding party and everyone else to take a hike. Trust me, after you will spend few minutes alone together with no one around you will see that it make all the difference in the world.


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7 Questions Every Couple Should Ask | By Denver & Sacramento Wedding Photographer

So for this blog post, instead of showing you photos from previous weddings or portrait sessions I have decided to write to all couples who are looking for a wedding photographer. Most of the time when a couple meets with the photographer, he or she will be asking most of the questions to the couple but rarely does a couple ask questions that are so important to figure out if the photographer will be the right fit for them. So here are some of the questions that every couple should atleast ask the photographer to get to know him or her before making the final decision.

Denver Wedding Photographer

1 – I would like to know as much as possible about you. What do you like and dislike?

This is obvious and quite simple to understand. You’re likely to get the photos you desire if you really know your photographer. Ask questions and then really listen to the answers from the photographer. Let the photographer talk and pay attention. If the conversation is all about you (the client) then its good but if you don’t know your photographer then you will not know the characteristics of the photographer and he or she might not be the right fit for your wedding. “What do you prefer: outside wedding or inside, how do you feel if the wedding goes off the timeline, what are your favorite moments of the wedding to capture?”

2 – Why are you shooting in the style of photography that you do?

At times most blogs say that you should follow your heart and find the photographer in the style you like. But sometimes the style of the photographer changes due to trends or because the photographer is trying something new. As for me I like to experiment and blend photography styles in the wedding day. For example, nature light and studio lights. But every client should know why and when it should be used not just to keep up the conversations but also to get inside of why. Maybe the photographer is trying to branch out to lets say film photography and the photos do look different but maybe he or she is just trying to fit it and please the crowd or be different. Sometime the photographers just do what they think is right and that does take time during the wedding so know why the photographer is doing it and maybe you will be willing to give that extra hour for something different. Yet ask for examples when you meet with the photographer.

3 – How do you feel about wedding planners? (And this question is a must if you have a wedding planner.)

This is big, at least for me. There are photographers that work great with wedding planners and some they just don’t like wedding planners. There are plenty of reasons why but for most part even though wedding planners are there to help in organizing a wedding they do think as only as wedding planner not photographer. In the past for me I worked with great wedding planner and not so great. Sometimes the couple would come to me and say that the wedding planner informed them to have certain kinds of photos or style, I will not go into what or why but wedding planners are not photographers. The wedding planners do think they know it all but in reality. But for the sake of this blog I will mention that one time a couple after engagement session contacted me and said that their wedding planner (many years of experience) told them that all photographers give out digital images to the couple for their “Save The Date” card for free. I had a long conversation with the couple and tried to explain the situation that I have also done this for some time and never heard of this. Another example of how one wedding planner was just trying to sell to the couple that they have to do the first look even though they wanted to go more traditional way. In the end when I meet them they were telling me that they need to do first look but after talking with the couple I did notice that they still didn’t want to do the first look even if the wedding planner said that this is the best thing for their timeline. But not all wedding planners are like that some that I have worked with give lots of freedom to couples but still guide them in the right direction working with every vendor from the wedding trying to make sure everything runs as much smoothly as possible. So talk to your photographer and see how they feel about wedding planners and why.

4 – We are still looking for a photographer and why should we hire you?

Be honest with your photographer, I will only speak for myself on this but you will not hurt my feelings if you tell me you are meeting with other photographers. Now some photographers will or can take offense to this but in reality this is why good photographers filter out from bad photographer. If you notice that the photographer you are meeting with is starting to get nervous, or offensive you should not hire that photographer. There could be many reasons why they could get nervous, because of jealousy, pride or they will try to give you a super discount if you hire them on the spot even though it will hurt their budget over time. So talk about why you have considered the photographer you are meeting with and why you are considering to meet with other photographers (even if its the cost you are thinking about).

5 – Do you work with the plan (timeline) that we create or do you make your own timeline for us?

Some photographer are and I want to say free spirited and will work with anything you give them (and still produce great images). Yet some photographers that prefer to create a detailed plan of the wedding to know what to expect. Both cases are good and some photographer prefer one way and some the other way. Know your photographer and ask what they like. This also can give you a heads up if the photographer can capture a special moment with knowing what is going to happen or just by random trying to capture everything not to miss anything.

6 – Why do you like to photograph weddings?

Many clients think that if the photographer is photographing weddings they love what they do. Yes it is true because if they didn’t they would not photograph weddings. But what most clients don’t know is why. See if the photographer matches your expectations and has passion for weddings not just because they get paid. This is kind of going back to the first question of likes and dislikes.

7 – Have you photographed a wedding at my location?

This can be a question that can help you know what to expect. I do understand that there is a trend now a days to do backyard weddings and the photographer will never be able to photograph a wedding at your backyard in the past but do ask if they have done this before and ask for examples. I have been asked with this question before and my answer is yes if I have shot at the location and if not I will check it out (and first I show them simural weddings) or if its at someones backyard, I do ask if I am able to stop by to see what to expect. This not only gives assurance to my clients but also gives me an idea if we need to plan where the ceremony should be for the best photos and so on.

I hope this would help every couple out there to get to know their photographer but I do want to say that if you are meeting with the photographer ask questions to get to know him or her. Think about it you will be working with the photographer all day during your wedding and knowing that the photographer has the right attitude, knows what he or she is doing, and can connect with you and your guests is very important. Yes I know that photos speak for themselves but you will have to make sure that not only does photos look good in photographers portfolio but also the person whom you are hiring has the right vision, personality, and attitude towards you and your wedding.

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Choosing Wedding Photographer Part 3 | Sacramento Wedding Photographer

Sacramento Wedding Photographer

Expectations Should be Clearly Communicated: If you find the photographer whom you like but all images of the portfolio are summer photos take notice if your wedding will be in winter. This would not be photographers fault but you might be setting yourself for disappointment. Talk to your photographer about which photos are similar to photographers and make clear comparisons or at least good contrast with your wedding day plans. But also try not to rely on Pinterest for wedding photo ideas if you are using Pinterest. Tons of photos on Pinterest are staged for editorial purposes and are not from real weddings.

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Give notice to your photographer about any special events that will take place during your wedding, because photographer are not mind readers or can’t predict the future. If there will be for example a family heirloom that will be passed at some point during your wedding day, don’t forget to tell that to your photographer! Also if you want special photos of family, especially if you want candid shots, you will need to point that out to your photographer. This applies to both experienced and not experienced wedding photographer. Don’t be afraid to make a wish list and pass it on to your photographer, especially to emerging wedding photographers.

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The Numbers: Back in the day when wedding photographers shoot using only film, the norm would be to provide the clients with some kind of proof prints or small book with all the thumbnail images. Now a days in digital world 99% of photographer don’t do that, so be sure to have some kind of online gallery to view your images or a preview session. You will need to understand what does and what doesn’t come with the wedding package that you are choosing, talk to the photographer to get a better understanding what you are getting and how long will you need to wait to see your proof images. Digital images take less time than processing film so find out when, exactly, will you have access to them. Good question to ask is “Will I be getting a DVD of images or online gallery?” If online gallery will be provided, how long will you have to wait and for how long will be the online gallery online. As well as will you need to purchase all prints or could you just purchase few prints. Sometimes a contract outlying all of this is not really unheard of.

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Second Shooters: Now you have found the photographer, who is your fit in budget and style of photography. Congradulations! YET, will there be second shooter with the package and what is second shooter? A second shooter is: someone who also takes picture during your wedding day, helps out photographer with lights and bags, as well as fills in the gaps with candid photos while photographer is focusing on the main subjects, and especially photographs from a different angle during ceremony or during prep photos. Second shooter is very important to main photographer, regardless of how big or small the wedding is. The second shooter is always on the side of the photographer which when things go awry they can run an errand or fixes lighting room while photographer is preparing to photograph the first dance as an example. If the photographer says that he can work without a second shooter, do ask to see an album of complete wedding of him/her working on their own. If the images look great then you can be at rest knowing that the photographer can handle the job by themselves. With that said, sometimes photographer bring assistant just to carry bags or hold the lights while its windy or for any other purposes but make sure to ask if the photographer will be bringing an assistant.

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Aha Moment: Don’t forget that experienced photographers can be great resource of ideas and help.  If the photographer who is the right fit for you, then they will be enthusiastic about your wedding and would like to pass on the knowledge they have to you, which can be a golden nuggets of wisdom. But here are some example of what wedding photographer have advice in, which I myself heard of and also pass on to my clients as well:

Tell and show the details about your wedding ahead of time so they can capture detail shoots which you actually want and incorporate into photography which capturing special moments.

List your photographer as an attendee to your venue place. Seating them with the guest or at least in the same room assures that you will get the images of important and spontages moments. Don’t have them eat away from the party with the rest of the vendors.

Do find out what the photographer is going to be wearing for your wedding day. You don’t want the photographer showing up in t-shirt just because it feels comfortable to photograph. When the photographer dress up (or at least business casual) for a wedding then everyone feels more at ease, as though it was a guest of a family who is taking pictures.

When its time for group shots “formal” do ask someone who will be attending the wedding but will not be in pictures to bring snacks and drinks for the wedding party. This will make for much happier crew of people who are more willing to be patient while picture are taken. Also do ask someone to gather family member for immediate family photos not your photographer who does not know who is who and only meet them for the first time at the wedding.

– But most important thing is RELAX! Do expect things to go wrong, or out of schedule, and be candid with your photographer. If you are tense it will show in photos through your face and your body language.

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Last thing, when it comes to choosing your wedding photographer, communication is the key. Just think about it, if you where the photographer, you would like to know as much as possible of information about the event. So pay that forward to the person who will be your photographer. This applies to newbie or a pro, and your photographer will thank you because it will make the day go much smoother.

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Enjoy this post by Sacramento wedding photographer provided by Shutter Avenue Photography offering Sacramento wedding photography in the Sacramento metro area.

Shutter Avenue Photography is not your regular Sacramento wedding photographer. Every wedding that Shutter Avenue Photography photographs is treated with care and creativity not found with any other Sacramento wedding photography studio. Shutter Avenue Photography captures your wedding day in a unique photography style in the Sacramento area.


Choosing Wedding Photographer Part 2 | Sacramento Wedding Photographer

So this is part 2 of Choosing Wedding Photographer, and there is something I would like to talk about. Even though I have talked briefly about this in previous blogs yet I have had clients ask me more and more about what I will talk in this blog post. Somethings I will repeat if you don’t want to browse around and look for the other posts but lets start with newbies vs professional photographers.

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Emerging Wedding Photographer vs Professional: Not only did I hear or it happend to my wedding but the horror stories of photography which has gone wrong and all because someone made a choice on cutting the budget rather than experience. Now it is alright to make sure you don’t go over your head with a photographer who can fit your budget. However, main point is to not underestimate the importance of wedding photography when trying to fit it with in your budget in the first place! Pictures is one of the investments what will bring you joy over the years to come comparing to flatware rentals, party favors and even flower arrangements. If you would have to make a choice go with the photographer whom you like and who can provide great art work after your wedding for your home (as well as for your loved ones).

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Now how do photographers base their prices? Its in relation to their experience and on whether they have ironed out there workflow, by building a strong portfolio, personal style, and client testimonials. With that said, like I have mentioned in previous post some photographer do charge more and they are horrible photographer and some are great photographers but charge less (but you can read all about that by clicking here). But if you are hiring a wedding photographer who is higher than your budget, they should have confidence in what photos need to be taken, how to work in any lighting situation, and can help you to ease your process before or during your big day.

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Professional wedding photographers don’t need to be babysat and guided throughout the wedding, they can create beautiful images of your day and be self-sufficient knowing what needs to be done. Comparing to emerging photographer who is just testing the waters can save you tons of money and if you are on very tight budget. But the plus that comes with newbie is that they will go above and beyond for their clients, wanting to encourage word-of-mouth marketing and very dynamic imagery to improve their portfolios. Few things to watch out for if picking an emerging wedding photographer would be: they make mistakes which from photography standpoint are just vital to grow in wedding photography business. They can also miss photos when photography needs to be done and also can do poorly executed photos. But if you are on a mission to save money for your wedding and do understand that newbies are not professional then this is for you.

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But what are they ways to save money if you are on a tight budget: well then hire a photographer with little experience for maybe just ceremony, family, and wedding party formal shoots (so maybe for 3 hours only). But then do encourage your guests to capture the reception with their own cameras and ask them to send the digital files to you. Or provide some film cameras to your guest, but do be aware that when you buy 100 film cameras you might only get 10 rolls out of that, guests sometimes are notorious for not wanting to photograph at a wedding but just want to party.

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Another way to keep your cost in photography is not hiring the second shooter (this is a big one so more about this later). Yet not every photographer would be willing to make that compromise, and if you understand that this will cut down on photos as well as missed shots then this might be the sacrifice to make in order to hire the photographer you like.

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The most important is you want to steer clear of photographers who are doing this just to pay the bills and have no passion in wedding photography. In other words, make sure that the photographer has good amount of photography to prove that this is something they do because they love doing this and not just sample gallery with 5 images and bunch of other photography stuff in between. Now they are photographer who would do only 15-30 weddings a year because they like to photography other portrait photography (lets say editorial work), but be sure that their portfolio is something that stands out for you and this is what you would like for your big day.

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In the next blog post I will be talking about “Expectations, Numbers, and Second Shooter” so come back next week for more on how to choose wedding photographer.

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Enjoy this post by Sacramento wedding photographer provided by Shutter Avenue Photography offering Sacramento wedding photography in the Sacramento metro area.

Shutter Avenue Photography is not your regular Sacramento wedding photographer. Every wedding that Shutter Avenue Photography photographs is treated with care and creativity not found with any other Sacramento wedding photography studio. Shutter Avenue Photography captures your wedding day in a unique photography style in the Sacramento area.



Choosing Wedding Photographer Part 1 | Sacramento Wedding Photographer

Sacramento Wedding Photographer

Finding a Sacramento wedding photographer or anywhere in the world is not that easy as some people think. Especially if a photographer is looking for a photographer for their wedding or portrait session. Since I am a photographer and I have my own style I can be very picky about other photographers and their photos. But the process of picking a photographer for a wedding can be daunting. My friend who is also a wedding photographer got married last year and it was not fun for him to find a photographer even though I still photograph him and his wife. Because there are not just one style of photography but four different styles. So lets jump in and explore what are the styles are out there for weddings.

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There are many photographers out there with particular styles and I mean ton of talented photographers. To find the the photographer that would document your wedding day you would need to look through their work and see what draws you to them. This will help you to narrow down your choices.

Traditional Photographer for Sacramento Weddings

Traditional Photographers: They are heavier on posed photos with some kind of pre-planned shoot list. This is great for couple who don’t like surprises or who need the logistical organization of shoot list (very good for big parties). The plus side of it is that the wedding is well captured with traditional photographer.

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Photojournalistic Photographers: This is a style of photographing with no to little pre-planning and great recording of the day. They stress more on moments, energy, and emotions of the wedding. Some rituals like cake-cutting, is skipped in favor of capturing a candid smile instead. Also they would focus on the couple sacrificing the wedding party as a whole.

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Illustrative/Artistic Photographers: There are similarities with traditional photographers but with a spin/updated shooting style. The end result can vary from unorthodox posing, different to extreme angles, dramatic lighting and so on.

Sacramento Film Photographer for Wedding

Film Photographers: This is coming back in style,  you could say a growing trend between wedding photographers. But many wedding photographer are leaving their DSLR’s and the bag and shooting with film only. There are drawbacks to this but if you are and your photographer have the constitution for this risk then the rewards are more than great.

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With now narrowing the styles I would like to say that some and I mean many wedding photographers have a mix styles but don’t just assume this by looking at their photos. Talk to the photographer, for example a photojournalistic photographer might do some posed shots if you ask. Some will tell you no that is not my style but some will be more than happy to do so, just avoid the surprise and ask.

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Enjoy this post by Sacramento wedding photographer provided by Shutter Avenue Photography offering Sacramento wedding photography in the Sacramento metro area.

Shutter Avenue Photography is not your regular Sacramento wedding photographer. Every wedding that Shutter Avenue Photography photographs is treated with care and creativity not found with any other Sacramento wedding photography studio. Shutter Avenue Photography captures your wedding day in a unique photography style in the Sacramento area.