Scott and Dana Halvorson, husband and wife photography team of Weddings by Scott & Dana share with us some of their expert tips for working with a photographer. Based in both Las Vegas and Sacramento this couple is passionate about their work and can travel anywhere to photograph your event. And don’t forget, hiring a photographer for any special event in your life, from a birthday to an anniversary is always a great idea. Please scroll down for many wonderful images by Scott & Dana as well. You won’t want to miss these! – Lynn Butler Beling
Choosing a photographer:
1. When choosing a photographer for your wedding, make sure to ask to see the photos from the entire wedding. Many photographers will show a few of the very best images from each wedding as opposed to showing any full weddings, and it is important to know that they are capable of capturing every aspect of the wedding with skill. Some photographers may be great at the portraits but struggle during the candid moments and vice versa. If you ask to see the full collection of finished photos from a few weddings you will be sure to get a more realistic and accurate assessment of what you might expect to receive from that photographer. Every photographer has a few stellar shots they can share, but basing their skill on their “creme of the crop” selections is unfair.
2. It is just as important to feel a good connection with your photographer as it is to like their work. He/she will be by your side the majority of one of the most cherished and important days of your lives- it wouldn’t be worth it to choose one solely based on their images, if they were going to sour your day with a bad attitude.
Tips for Planning/Working With Your Photographer:
A lot more goes into getting a certain “style” of photographs than one might think. A photographer’s style is born not only from their artful eye, but also from the conditions and settings they prefer to shoot in. This being said, there are some important things to consider in the planning of your wedding day that will aide your photographer in capturing images like the ones you see from their previous work- the ones that drew you to said photographer and their style in the first place.
1. When planning the timeline of your wedding day, get advice from the photographer on ideal shooting times and what will work out best based on your day and on lighting. For us, our style is born out of shooting when the sun is lower in the sky. This doesn’t mean that’s the ONLY time frame we are able to work in, but it is our ideal time frame in order to get images that reflect our best work. There are many ways to work a wedding day timeline, and your photographer can be very valuable in giving good advice to make things go more smoothly and yield the best results. If your photographer is experienced, and takes a lot of pride in his/her work, you can bet that he/she has worked with many other brides and grooms on wedding day timelines and would be happy to help with yours. Note: This should be done BEFORE printing the ceremony time on the invitations.
2. When working with your ceremony site (especially at an outdoor wedding) if there is any flexibility, consult your photographer for the best place/direction within that site to conduct the ceremony. The direction of the sun, and time of day, the direction in which everything is faced/set up all have a huge impact on how your photos turn out. For instance, if things are set up so that the bride’s face is in the sun, and the groom’s face is in the shade, this will be a nightmare for the photographer to work with and your photos will not be nearly as beautiful as they could be if the bride and groom were evenly lit.
3. When possible, ask the vendors to have your venue finished being set up early enough for the photographers to have time to get beautiful detail shots of all the things that you have invested your time, creativity, and energy into putting together. Photographers love to capture detail shots of all the items that make your wedding unique and being able to get the shots before the room is full of people will give the best opportunity for this to happen.
4. If at all possible, use the same photographer for your engagement portraits. This gives you a chance to get to know each other before the wedding even more so and can help you be more comfortable in working with them on the wedding day.
Tips for the actual wedding day:
1. Remember to go about your day enjoying the moments- Just because the photographer puts the camera up, doesn’t mean he/she wants you to look and say “cheese”. If they would like you to look their way, they will most likely call your name- otherwise chances are they are hoping to capture real, candid moments in that particular shot.
2. Try to have your shoes, both rings, an invitation and bouquets/boutonniere with you at the location where you are getting ready. This can be a great time for your photographer to get pretty shots of those items in between your “getting ready” shots.
3. Trust your photographer. If you have chosen a photographer, chances are you like their work. Asking them to do a few certain shots is okay, but sending them to a Pinterest board filled with other photographers’ work and asking them to “copy” certain shots can be insulting to their skill and style. Remember that each shot you see is based on factors and conditions that may or may not be available in your setting. If your photographer has work that you love, chances are there will be shots that are exclusive to your wedding that you absolutely love, just like the ones you see on Pinterest. However, providing them with a list of family shots that you would like is ever-so-helpful and most photographers will even request this.
4. Unless you are having a formal exit, you may be able to save costs by not having your photographer stay til the end of your reception. After a while, especially in the instance of an open bar, sometimes the content of the photos can become less desirable. It is important for your photographer to be there for the important events, ie: first dance, father/daughter dance, toasts, bouquet toss, garter toss and cake cutting, and some of the general dancing but beyond that the photos can become repetitive and unnecessary. In my opinion, I would rather have ample time photographing the events leading up to the ceremony, which help to tell the story of your day, than have more photos of those guest that take “party” to a different level.
5. Have fun. We can’t stress this enough. EVERYTHING will turn out better if you are having fun, INCLUDING your photos. – Scott & Dana Halvorson
(Lynn’s Note: We love when you like a photo so much you want to Pin it! Can you please credit all photos Weddings by Scott & Dana when using Pinterest so they get proper credit, Thank you!)