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Benefits of Professional Wedding Photography: Education, Training and Experience

Your big day is approaching and you have everything in order. You have your caterer, your church, your reception hall, the cake, the rings, the dresses, vows are written, and everything is in place. Or is it? Who is doing your photography? Oh not to worry – your cousin is an amateur photographer and he is taking the pictures. It was a good way to shave a few dollars off the budget. Good idea right? Wrong.

Midtown Loft and terrace bride

Why is it not a good idea? Why do you want to hire a professional wedding photographer for your big day? Pictures are pictures right? Again wrong. There are benefits to having a professional photographer for your wedding and these benefits far outweigh what you can shave from your budget by having an amateur do it for free. These pictures are the placeholders for the memories of your wedding for the rest of your life. Your cake will be devoured in a night. Your pictures will last longer than a lifetime.

Wedding in Montauk NY 1000

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and those pictures will be one of the most important items in your box of memories. The more incredible the pictures, the more incredible the memories will be. What are the benefits of hiring a professional wedding photographer?

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer: Education, Training and Experience

A professional photographer is going to get you the best possible pictures, using the best set ups and props. The photographer will make sure the lighting and angles are excellent. When you interview photographers for your wedding, remember you want someone with great credentials. What are great credentials? Education and training in photography and years of experience, specifically with weddings.

Style:

Style is a vital component in why you should choose a professional wedding photographer. If you let a relative who is an amateur take your pictures what style will they have? Do they know they have a style or is it all haphazard? You take a huge risk by doing that.

Hire a professional whose style matches yours and who will give you the type of pictures that you want. Do you want modern shots that are black and white and very stark but stunning? Do you want the more traditional and formal style of pictures, mostly in color with set ups that everyone will recognize? Do you want pre-set pictures from a list you give the photographer or do you want candid, not preplanned pictures? Can an amateur deliver what you want in this area? Think this through completely and make sure your wedding photographer matches your desires and go with a professional who will immediately understand what you are talking about when you say you want modern, contemporary shots or you want a traditional wedding portfolio.

The metropolitan building Wedding

Camera Equipment Knowledge:

You will want to hire a professional wedding photographer because they have the right equipment to provide you with the pictures and quality that you want. Your relatives or friends might have a really nice digital SLR with zoom lens, but usually they will still be handicapped by not having a variety of lenses and a couple of cameras of professional caliber. The type of photographic equipment used is as important as the person behind the camera. This is your wedding day after all. You are looking for the memories of your lifetime and you need the right professional equipment and the right professional with the training and experience to make the best use of it.

The Photographer’s Role:

Another reason to avoid having a relative or friend be your wedding day photographer is that they are emotionally involved in the activities of the day. They are more likely to get distracted and not get the pictures you want. Then what happens at the reception when they want to eat, have cake, and dance the night away? Do you end up without any pictures from your reception? Also it is very common for the guests at your wedding to give leeway to a professional wedding photographer because they understand that person’s role. They understand that you are paying that person. However, they are far less likely to give the same leeway to Uncle Bill. They will not see him as a professional photographer. They will see him as equal to themselves in just trying to get a good picture. He might have better equipment than they do, but he is still Uncle Bill and they have no reason to get out of his way or to let him get the picture.

Carlton hotel, Midtown Loft & Terrace Wedding

Professionalism:

Unlike a professional, your friends or relatives will not have a proven track record of taking photos at many weddings. The professional wedding photographer needs to be able to show you a proven record of success – they should have a portfolio of pictures from all the different types of weddings they have done.

Wedding Photographers do More:

Another benefit of hiring a professional wedding photographer with a lot of wedding experience is one that most people never think of. Your photographer will be your right hand woman on your wedding day. You will spend more time with your photographer on this day than with anyone else including the groom. Because of this you need a professional who is focused on you and not on their own role in the ceremony. The professional wedding photographer does a lot more than take the pictures. They also make things easier, more relaxed, and more enjoyable for the bride and groom, but especially for the bride.

Think about this for a few minutes. Who will be with you, the bride, from the moment you start your day until you get in the car to leave for your honeymoon? He or she will be in the background and never interfere unless you need them. But you will need them. The photographer is probably the person who assists the bride the most as she goes through her day.

Your photographer will be there for your pre-wedding breakfast. They will tell you if your makeup is good and if your hair is out of place. Who is there every minute calming the bride and assuring her that she looks gorgeous? Who is there every minute to tell the bride that her jewelry is right and her hair clip works perfectly. The photographer is always says “That’s it. That’s good. You’re beautiful. Great shot”. All these things calm an over excited bride. What we know for sure is there will be moments when the only person available to calm the over excited bride is the photographer. If this is a relative, they are in the church seated while the bride is alone in her nervousness.

So many brides and grooms never consider this aspect of hiring a professional wedding photographer. Even if you have a wedding planner, they will not be your shadow every minute of the day like your photographer will be.  Your photographer has to be an organizer and a cheerleader. They have to be a professional and the bride’s best friend for the day.

She also needs to be a therapist for the entire wedding party keeping them calm and keeping them on schedule. It is more likely to be the photographer who says “let’s go it’s time to start”, rather than the officiator. When something goes wrong the photographer has to be able to keep things calm and get whatever shots they can until the crisis is resolved. They also then have to readjust their timing to make sure they get all the shot you requested.

Wedding on a boat in NYC Hornblower NY

Communication and Reliability:

Because of the importance of the role as stated above you need a professional wedding photographer and not an amateur. You need someone who can communicate very well with the entire bridal party and get them where he wants them when he wants them there without anyone feeling like he is an intrusion into the day.

She must be available emotionally for the bride so this means she has to match the bride’s personality as much as possible, be relaxed and outgoing, compassionate and sensitive, fun and energetic. It’s a big order to fill and that is why you need someone who knows how to do it and has done it successfully for years. He or she must be all of this and yet stay out of the way, in the background and of course, most importantly get the best and most intimate photographs while taking care of everyone in the bridal party. No amateur, no matter how good, relative or friend, will be able to maintain the distance and impartiality needed while still offering the intimacy and support needed and still get the shot.

Patience:

You need to hire someone that you, the bride, are comfortable with. Think about spending ten to thirteen hours with this person on the biggest day of your life. You had better like being with them.  You will expose your most intimate self to this person. Make sure you will be treated with respect and sensitivity.  This photographer needs to be the best possible combination of experience and patience. Patience just might be the most important characteristic any wedding photographer can have.
Props: Remember this is your photographer. You will spend all day with her but the most important thing is the pictures. Make sure she has the props and set ups she needs at every stage of the day: before the ceremony, at the ceremony, at the reception, and as you leave the reception.

Remember the most important thing is that this is the biggest day of your life.

They will give you the best quality and the most creativity. What is so important about having a professional is that they will find a way to be in the right place at the right time in order to get the right shot. No amateur can have the experience needed to be able to do this. It takes experience and training to be able to do this. The professional also knows how to coach the subjects of their pictures – to help them relax and look natural in every shot.

He or she has the experience to deal with the bride, groom, bridal party, families, guests, friends, officiator and wedding planner all day long and still stay out of the way, while taking great photos.
Establish a great rapport with the bride. If this does not happen then you will see it in the pictures.
Finally a professional wedding photographer will have outstanding planning skills. They have to be able to plan for any contingency that might occur on the day of the wedding. They need to have a plan for the story they are telling of your wedding day.

With all of this taken into consideration it only makes sense – both from a budgetary and a personal – for the bride and groom to hire a professional wedding photographer.

Punta Cana Dominican Republic Wedding

What Happens at Your After the Wedding Day Photo Shoot

What is an after the wedding day photo shoot? It is a photo session a few days after the wedding or after the honeymoon. The bride and groom dress in their gown and tux and have a relaxing and stress free photo session.

What is really nice about this session is that you don’t have to worry about getting your wedding clothes dirty or wrinkled if your photographer wants you to take pictures outside. Since these pictures are taken within weeks of the wedding, the bride and groom are still in the honeymoon stage and the emotions come through in the photos from any good professional wedding photographer.

Another major advantage to this kind of after wedding photo session is that the pictures can be taken anywhere in any setting. If you live in New York the pictures can be taken at Grand Central Station or in Times Square or Central Park.

When you are not pressured on time, your professional wedding photographer will be able to use her creativity to the best of her ability. In this way her photos taken after the wedding are exceptional. This is an opportunity to get some very different kind of pictures than you were able to get on your wedding day.

Westbury Manor Wedding

Benefits of an After the Wedding Day Photo Shoot:

Wardrobe Changes: It lets you take more great pictures in your wedding gown with the groom in his tux, as well as in your reception and honeymoon clothes.

Go Places: This second shoot, whether after the honeymoon or the day after the wedding, allows for pictures to be taken in a wide variety of venues – indoors and out – in an art museum or in a forest. Go to the first place you met, kissed, started dating, etc. Make some exciting memories!

Less Stress: You get all these extra shots and you don’t have to put any extra stress on your wedding day schedule. You can even be a little more relaxed on your wedding day, knowing that there will be another day for taking more pictures.

More Props: You can choose to use all types of props that you could not use on your wedding day. These after wedding photos can be playful and teasing or they can be serious and sultry. Of course they can also be both. That is the real glory of the after wedding day photos – they can be anything at all that you want them to be. They are not held back by the formality of the wedding day.

Westbury Manor Wedding 2013

Variety: You can have your after wedding day photos shot at different times of the day. You can start with sexy day after breakfast pictures and then move to pictures in the forest in the early afternoon. Finally some night shots at a slightly fancy dinner out and slow dances afterward. With these pictures you would have a complete story of your wedding and the day after.

New Likes: You can provide your professional wedding photographer with a list of things that you and your new groom like and are attracted to. The photographer can use this list to put together a creative list of after wedding photos. If you like ice cream, then your photographer can find a quirky ice cream parlor to take some pictures at.

Westbury Manor Wedding 2013

Playful Poses: Some brides advocate having a trash the dress session where you have pictures taken while you do things that will destroy your wedding dress, like sit in the ocean or a swimming pool with your dress on. Or maybe you want to lie on the beach and get sand all over your dress while various posed pictures are taken. These are usually fun and playful poses.

Westbury Manor Wedding 2013Westbury Manor Wedding 2013

No matter what the reason might be the decision on when to take the traditional or artistic wedding day photos is up to the bride and groom. Your professional wedding photographer will be willing to work with you and take the shots whenever you prefer they be taken.

 

What makes a wedding photograph stand the test of time?

vintage vs modern photo colorization

We all can remember looking through an old wedding album and snickering at the outdated dresses, hair styles and poses.  Every album has the bridal party standing in the church in the same configuration: everyone lined up, bridesmaids on the left and groomsmen on the right, with the newly married couple in the middle.  Every album has pictures of the bride and groom posed with various members of the family.  When you think of modern day photography versus these old photographs, do you picture something different?  Are these traditional photographs passé?  What makes a wedding photograph stand the test of time?

With the development of digital photography, that almost completely replaced film, there are many trends that, over the years, have been popping up in wedding photography. Some deal with the coloring of a picture. Perhaps the person or subject in the photography is in black and white with one particular item still vibrant in color (a somewhat tacky trend of 2003-2006).  Maybe the pictures have been airbrushed to the point of erasing all details in the bride’s wedding dress or worse, her face. The washed-out look in photography has become popular in recent years.

Unfortunately, modern and trendy practices in photography run the risk of going out of style. They can make the picture seem dated and not natural.  Modern and trendy may work for some couples whose personalities mirror a modern, trendy vibe.  The majority of these trendy looks and effects are added after the original photos were taken and this is the part that, eventually, goes out of style. Therefore, it is a great idea to request your wedding photographer provide you with pre-post production versions of your photos.

A wedding photographer should capture the essence of the couple and record the joy of the day.  A couple hiring a wedding photographer can ensure timeless wedding pictures by sharing their vision and personalities with the photographer. The pictures won’t ring true if the photographer is trying for an image or effect that is not comfortable for the couple.

Some people think many trendy, modern pictures indicate a good photographer. While creativity is nice, having a few clean, magazine quality pictures is a must even for an ultra modern couple. The timeless look of your photos will ensure that they will be well received by future generations. A truly classic, timeless photograph will always look classy and hold its own among the trendier ones.

7 Must-have Qualities Of Your Wedding Photographer

It’s been said that the substance of excellent wedding photography is emotion.  After all, what good is a wedding picture if the couple is standing somber and just staring at the camera?  Isn’t the picture much more indicative of the day if there was a twinkle captured in the eye of the groom or a tear escaping from the corner of the bride’s eye as she gazes up at her new husband? 

Who can resist the pull of heartstrings while looking at a picture of an emotional tearing up mother dancing the mother-son dance?

Classic.  Timeless.  Priceless.  Emotions are definitely the substance of good wedding photography.  How can you make sure you end up with photographs that will stir the emotional memories every time you look at them?

Hiring an experienced photographer is a must if capturing the emotion of your wedding is important to you. Finding a wedding photographer who will respect your vision and someone who you feel comfortable with will also ensure a more natural feel to the emotions seen in the photos.

The wedding photographer should arrive early and interact with the couple to put them at ease. The photographer should be familiar with the family members, as well as the bride and groom.

An experienced photographer can follow your vision of your wedding and not have to direct all the action personally to get the best shots.

mother-son-dance-by-tatiana-valerie-artvesta-studio-logo

Formally posed pictures are normally part of the wedding photos placed in an album; however, having an experienced photographer who can also take a photo-journalistic approach to your wedding can get you some unforgettable pictures to help tell the story of your day.

wedding reception photos by tatiana valerie artvesta studio

You want someone who knows when to anticipate an emotional moment, someone who can snap photo after photo without interfering with the activities of the day.  Many moments in a wedding are once-in-a-lifetime moments.  You can’t always redo them to get that missed shot if your photographer doesn’t have the experience necessary to get them the first time.

So, do your homework.  Talk to your prospective photographers.  Look at their previous work.  Read all their references.  Your wedding is too important an event not to get the photographer best suited to your needs.  Finding an experienced, reliable photographer will guarantee a wedding album filled with timeless memories that will tug at your heartstrings and help you relive the emotion of the day every time you look at it.

7 Tips for a Perfect Engagement Photosession

Blog Post Header Engagement Photoshoot Artvesta Studio

An engagement photo session is a great way to test the waters with your wedding photographer. It is a great chance to get used to your wedding photographer’s style and her camera — it takes about 40 minutes for an average person who is not a professional model to get used to a photo camera hovering around their face. After all, no one wants to look like the C-3PO robot from Star Wars in their wedding pictures. Get an engagement photo shoot and you will be happy you did!

For a picture perfect engagement photo session remember to:

1) Wear clothes that fit you well and are flattering for your body type. 11 Fashion Tips to Flatter Any Body Type

Artvesta Engagement Photosession

2) Hire a professional makeup artist to better emphasize your features and ensure that your makeup is camera-friendly. Trust their experience and expertize for the best result.

Yvonne & Ryan 01

3) Wear heels but bring flats with you. High heels look really great in pictures but it is very difficult to be comfortable walking for a few hours wearing them. Bring a pair of flats and it will keep your feet (and you) happy.

4) Budget at least two hours for the shoot. Remember, you will need some time to start feeling and acting natural in front of the camera. Avoid harsh sunlight hours between 11am and 3pm.

Yvonne & Ryan 03

5) Do your research and select your favorite location for the photo shoot. It will be great if the location reflects your style and personalities.

6) Bring alone as few bags as possible for an outdoor session. It is hard to carry bags from one spot to another and your belongings might get stolen while you are busy posing in front of the camera.

blog post engagement photo session

7) Don’t worry, be happy. Smile a lot and express your love to each other! The photographer will surely capture your happiness.

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As you plan your wedding day… A few tips from a wedding photographer who’s been through it all.

Here are a few tips from a wedding professional who’s been through it all. Years of working as a wedding photographer have taught me to make sure that my customers remember to:

Call or email all vendors the day before the wedding. Confirm times and amounts owed. Who wants to be in a situation when limo does not show up or bride’s bouquet is not ready on time? Speaking of flowers,

Make sure to ask your florist to include two pins per boutonniere. If you need instructions on how to pin a boutonniere, you may refer to this video: http://vimeo.com/9290792.

Expect a long and exhausting day ahead. It might be a good idea to have a few cans of an energy drink handy before leaving for the main photo session. Take a pair of flats or flip flops with you, walking between the various photo locations can take its toll on your feet! Put on your stunning high hills only immediately before you are all set for the next picture. Please, bring along a small container with baby powder (especially for a summer photo shoot), you will thank me later…

How long is the main photo session? A main photo session usually takes place before the ceremony and the reception. It is a good idea to set aside at least 2 hours for portraits and a photo session with your bridal party. Budget another hour for a photo session with your immediate family.

HAVE FUN! – This way your happiness will be captured in the most professional and creative way.

If you are getting ready at the hotel, let the photographer, videographer and florist know your room number when you check in. The wait at a front desk can be lengthy and the vendors may end up using up valuable time to find out where you are. I also had brides who checked in under a different name and the front desk had no idea what room they were at.

During the ceremony, make sure your videographer uses lapel mics to capture your “I do’s”. A lapel mic will pick up your words while an on-camera mic will record the ambient sound.

First Kiss – Make it Count! Don’t try to set any speed records on your first kiss as husband and wife. Make it last. The longer the kiss – the more great pictures of the moment you will get.

And most importantly, make sure you hire professional photo and video team to capture your once-in-a-lifetime event! At Artvesta studio we realize that weddings are not just another birthday where you can do it all over again next year! We keep your best interests in heart.

By the way, here is a very interesting discussion thread about common things brides or couples mistakes when choosing a wedding supplier – http://www.bridaltweet.com/forum/topics/what-are-the-common-things

Congratulations and happy planning!

P. S. Take a look at our PORTFOLIO and our BLOG for wedding photography inspirations.

Caring for Your Engagement Ring

Got engaged? Congratulations!

Your engagement ring is one of your proudest possessions and it is is essential to keep it looking its best.

To ensure that your precious ring stays spotless and sparkling, you will have to clean it regularly, but not with soap!

Clean your engagement ring with:

– a special jewelry cleaning solution and a lint-free cloth or a small brush any time when your ring’s shine and sparkle begins to dull. Be careful and do not hold your ring in your fingers under the water – a small container or a strainer will help in preventing your ring from falling down the drain

– ammonia free Windex which is great for a quick fix but as experts say, an ultrasonic cleaner and steamer is the best.

How to take care of your engagement ring

Do NOT:

– use any kind of lotions, soaps, or chemicals while wearing your ring
– use pins, needles, or other sharp objects to clean your ring. This will scratch the stone or surrounding metal
– do not wear your ring to the gym or when doing physical work
– touch the stone(s) with your fingers
– keep your ring loose with other pieces – the diamonds in your ring can damage your jewelry while your ring’s gold or platinum setting can be scratched by other gems

And of course make sure to get your ring inspected at least once a year by a qualified jeweler to guarantee the setting is secure.

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