wedding photography

What character traits should we look for in a wedding photographer?

When looking for a wedding photographer, it's important to seek out someone who you click with, not only on a stylistic level, but also on a personal level. Do they listen? Are they attentive? Do they have good ideas without overshadowing your own? And would you want to be friends with them? By asking past clients, reading reviews and conversing with the photographer, this information can be gathered to know if they are a good match, or not.

For me the photos are the most important thing so I really don't mind spending more of my budget for them. However, I also want to make the most of them, so I wondered what key moments or shots I should try to include in my album?

I like to think of the album as a storybook of your day, a story without words. Include all the "must have" shots like bride and groom prepping, the first look, a full ceremony shot, and the just-married smiles, but also include the emotion, mood, location, weather, candid moments of family and friends and lots of details. All of these things capture the feel of the day, and when this album is viewed 50 years from now, the viewer can be transported back in time.

What are some of the more popular trends in wedding photography you’re seeing?

A swing towards more candid shots full of emotion and less posed and perfect images. And, on the wedding day, an overall feel of a gathering of loved ones rather than a big production.

Photographer Katie Cannon specializes in intimate weddings and elopements, and is based in Homer. Visit

How do I choose where to have our engagement and wedding portraits taken? Do photographers have ideas or can we come up with places we like, too?

I consider it a collaboration, and I always have ideas on great locations – but I love to hear input from my couples on if they have any family property that is meaningful to them, perhaps the place they got engaged, or some favorite spots they’ve frequented as a couple. I’ve had couples choose very fun locations, like bowling alleys, skating rinks, ice cream parlors or restaurants they love because it is meaningful to them!

My mother-in-law is a bit controlling, and I’m concerned that she will start pulling our photographer all over the place and directing her to take tons of photos I don’t really care about. What is the best way to handle this with my photographer?

Your photographer is there for you. YOU are their clients. No one else in your family. Personally, I make sure to communicate with my couples on the photos they want before their weddings, and then I make sure to get those. If the MIL grabs me during down time for a photo or two, I have no problem with it. But if I am busy with photo requests from the bride and groom, I will emphasize that I am working off of a requested shot list, and we will be sticking to that.

If you could give couples one piece of advice for choosing a photographer, what would it be?

My biggest piece of advice for choosing a wedding photographer would be to make sure you see a whole entire wedding they’ve photographed from start to finish. It is easy for any photographer to put together a stunning highlight reel of their work – but do they photograph the whole event to your taste? Every moment of your wedding day is important – not just one stunning portrait in perfect photography conditions.

Catie Bartlett is a professional wedding photographer in business since 2011 with 100+ weddings of experience. Visit

Q: What are the most important questions to ask potential wedding photographers?

Be sure to ask them these two questions:

• “Will you spend time with us before the wedding helping plan the best timeline and suggesting beautiful photo locations?” (To show how invested they are in getting exceptional photos vs. just showing up to do the job.)

• “How do you approach/interact with your clients and their guests on the wedding day?” (To see how well your personalities mesh – so important for beautiful wedding photos!)

Q: What is your favorite moment to capture at the wedding festivities that couples don’t expect?

I love photographing the couple listening to toasts to catch lots of laughter and honest emotional reactions. If I just focused on the speaker I'd miss so much of the story! I also love to photograph the couple right after they leave the ceremony while everyone else is walking out; their guard is down, the hard part is over and they're just so happy.

Q: Lots of couples worry about their photos looking too posed and formal – how do you ensure that they look natural and more candid?

It seems counterintuitive, but I give couples a lot of specific directions. Most people don't know what to do with themselves while being photographed so they feel awkward. It's way easier to be told – that's why you hire professionals! It’s about developing relationships well before the wedding and simply caring about people. The best photos happen when people can be themselves with their photographer.

- Erica Rose, owner of Erica Rose Photography,

Q: I know that different photographers have different styles and ways of shooting the wedding day. How do I know which style is for me?

The best way to figure out what you like is to spend some time on a photographer’s website looking at their images. After all, a photographer is going to show their favorite images that most likely represent their preferred style of shooting. You can usually tell in the first minute or two if you like someone's style just by looking at their image galleries.

Q: Are there any misconceptions about wedding photography that you’d like to dispel – or any little-known facts that you think couples would be interested to know?

A lot of our brides are afraid they won't get good photos if it rains. As long as you have fun, keep a positive attitude, and don't mind getting a little wet, we can take amazing photos in the rain. One of my favorite images from last year was taken while the wind was blowing 30 mph and it was pouring rain. In the photo you can tell that the bride and groom are wet, but it's still a great moment.

Q: We aren’t exactly the most comfortable couple in front of the camera. I’m really nervous that my wedding photography isn’t going to look great. Do you have any tips for becoming comfortable with the photographer for our wedding day pictures?

Your photographer should have some tricks to help you feel more at ease. There are many different techniques, but one of the reasons to hire a professional is for this guidance. If you do an engagement session before the wedding with your photographer, you will learn what to expect on the wedding day. The biggest thing to remember is that these photos are for you – and you are with your best friend and you should just be yourself and act natural. The only expectations anyone has about your photos are those you create.

- Joe Connolly, owner of Chugach Peaks Photography,

Q: If the bride and groom don’t want to miss a big chunk of their reception, what timeline do you suggest for taking wedding photos?

For couples who want to avoid missing a big chunk of their reception, I always suggest doing all the formal/creative portraits before the ceremony. I usually take about an hour for each group (bride/groom, bridal party and family), but it’s wise to add in some wiggle room just in case something does go longer. We often start with the formals/creative portraits about 3 1/2 hours before the ceremony, and usually have some time left over before the ceremony.

Q: What information do I need to provide to my photographer before the wedding?

Let your photographer know of any special moments or images you want captured. Also let the photographer know of any special needs for doing the family portraits like divorced parents or deceased parents, shy kids and elderly grandparents because we can make a plan to fit the situation. Also, are there any surprises planned? I had one bride who wanted to surprise her groom with a limo ride after the reception, so we had to keep him occupied and not suspicious. He was very surprised.

- Peter Luchsinger, owner of Pal Photography,