2001 Utah Valley Magazine Bridal Guide: Photography

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PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS

BRETT CRANDALL
Baci Photography, utahvalley360.com

How can I ensure my wedding photographs capture the true feelings of our wedding day?

There are two different approaches to wedding photography today.  Although one is not superior to the other, it is important to choose a photographer and style that will best match your personalities.  Whichever you choose, keep in mind that there are few possessions as valuable as personal photographs.  A favorite wedding photograph will probably be displayed in your home and passed down through generations.  Do not entrust your once in a lifetime day to a friend or amateur.  Instead, seek out an experienced professional that you can rely on and feel comfortable with.

Traditional Wedding Photography

The majority of wedding photographers today are primarily portrait shooters. The traditional photographer will arrange the bride, groom and family in various poses much like a studio sitting. With this style, the subjects are always aware of the photographer and the camera. Traditional photographs are mostly shot in color and displayed  in a large frame or album.

Wedding Photojournalism

An experienced wedding photojournalist is quiet and inconspicuous, preferring to blend into the background and anticipate both action and reaction.

Most of the time the bride, groom, and wedding party are unaware of the moment that they are being photographed. It is this unawareness that leads to natural photographs that convey real and pure emotion. Black and white, high speed film is the tool of the photojournalist.

The tones of gray are dramatic and more clearly portray body language and facial expression. These meaningful photographs can be displayed in a variety of contemporary ways.

Traditional/Photojournalism

There are a few photographers who blend the two styles. We prefer to photograph family groups in the traditional method while working to document the events of the wedding in an unobtrusive, photojournalistic style. We lead the event only when we feel it is appropriate. With this blend of traditional and photojournalistic styles, the bride and groom are left with both an enduring historical record and a natural collection of photographs that tell the story of their wedding day.

Photo by Bob Boyd

Photo by Bob Boyd

BOB BOYD, Bob Boyd Photography

What are the advantages of getting black and white photos?

The biggest advantage of b&w is its archival qualities. Current professional color papers stored properly have a estimated color stability of only 40-100 years, where black and white papers processed properly have color stability two to three times higher.

Black and white photography has grown to new heights in popularity among brides. Wedding photography is undergoing a change where the traditional “formal” photos are not as important as the new trend “photojournalism” where the photographer’s purpose is not only to record who was there, but also the essence of the day — telling a story of the day’s events. By shooting many of these portraits in black and white, a timelessness and emotion are created that is a different result than color portraits can give. In fact, some people just plain look better in black and white!

Black and white, although fun and unique, is not for everyone.

Photo by Bob Boyd

Photo by Bob Boyd

When considering your photography for your wedding day it is important to remember to consult with family, especially parents, to accommodate their photography needs — they will usually want some traditional color portraits. And then, once those are taken care of, have fun with black and white!

GLEN RICKS, Glen Ricks Photography

What are the advantages of hiring a professional photographer?

You don’t know how many times a year that parents or couples come in to the studio and tell me they wished they would have had a professional photographer at their wedding.

You can’t restage the event and photograph it over again! There are people who claim to be professionals; they have business cards and a good camera.

Then there are Certified Professional Photographers who truly are masters of the art that can really do a good job. Professional photographers usually pay more for the processing and printing. The reason is simple. Professional labs that cater to the professional photographers make far less processing mistakes. In fact, they make close to none!

That means that the wedding couple using a good professional will have their photos turn out.

Ideally, you should begin looking for a photographer at least six months prior to your wedding because quality photographers are booked months in advance.

As you are interviewing photographers, ask them questions to determine if they are right to photograph your wedding.

“Whom from your studio will photograph my wedding and may I see a complete wedding that he/she has recently photographed?”

“How many weddings have you photographed?”

“Considering my facial features and physical attributes, which angles of my face would you assume to be better?”

“How long after my wedding day will it take to see our wedding images and how long will it take to complete the finished album?”

Remember this is your special day. Select a professional to create photographic art for memories that will last a lifetime.

ALAN HONEY, Busath Photographers

My reception is in a church cultural hall. Will I get great photos?

The cultural hall, a part of LDS chapels, is probably the site of more receptions than anywhere else in Utah County. Why is this? Well, a couple of reasons. The first is about economics. Most meeting houses don’t charge for their use. If they do, it’s a nominal amount to pay the janitor for the cleanup. Now you can spend more money on other areas like photography or flowers. Secondly, the cultural hall is a familiar place. It is where the bride has gone for dances, dinners and talent nights. Given these factors, why would anyone pay to hold a reception somewhere else?

The cultural hall by definition is a place where culture happens. This could be in the form of a musical performance, a play or court of honor. Basketball games have even been known to break out in a cultural hall. Because of its multiuse purpose, it has to be flexible. There are lines painted on the floor for sports, there are basketball hoops anchored at either end of the hall, there is an aluminum curtain dividing the hall from the chapel overflow. Not really the ideal site for a reception, is it?

What to do. There are some tricks that we photographers use in order to get great images — even in a cultural hall. One way is to use a telephoto lens. When you use a telephoto lens, the background goes out of focus or becomes “fuzzy.”

The subjects of the picture, usually people, stand out. When you have doors, aluminum curtains and other undesirable elements in the background, the telephoto lens can turn them into indistinguishable blurs.

Another way to get great cultural hall photos is to not photograph in the cultural hall! Why not use a lobby? There is often nice furniture, lamps and other “props” in a lobby or foyer.

Unless the weather is bad, pictures can also be taken outside — next to the building, near some greenery, under an entryway. There are lots of places. You are only limited by your photographer’s experience and imagination.

If you absolutely have to photograph in the cultural hall, your photographer should be selective in the background he chooses, eliminate unwanted clutter, be mindful of trees or plants or other objects that “grow out of people’s heads,” and he should vary his locations. It is very tiresome to look at photographs that are taken in the same spot. Moving a little to the left or right can vastly alter the look of a photograph.

With a little effort, you can have great photographs taken in and around a cultural hall. But if money is no object, a reception center is still your best bet.

MELANIE DEAN, Altus Photography

I’m getting married in the winter. How can I still get great outdoor photos?

First, you must pick your photographer very carefully. Remember, this is one of the most important decisions you will make during the planning of your wedding. After all, the pictures are what will be cherished after this once-in-a-lifetime moment has passed.

Find the best photographer you can, with the style that best reflects your taste, then book the amount of photography that fits your budget. Getting more pictures that you don’t love cannot be considered a bargain! Be mindful of value as it relates to price (e.g. the number of proofs you get per hour of coverage), and then ask to see wedding film that shows a wide variety of conditions.

A growing number of brides want a visual record of what actually occurred on their wedding day, along with the traditional formals that so many wedding photographers shoot. It’s best to find a photographer who can give you both natural looking formal shots along with a mix of moment-catching candids.

Secondly, there are, in fact, benefits to shooting outside in the winter. Cloudy or overcast skies actually create some of the best lighting conditions possible. On a clear day, shooting the hour or so before sunset is traditionally considered ideal. However, direct midday sunlight is best to avoid because the harsh shadows it creates can actually enhance the photography if the subject is backlit or if there is snow covering the ground. In that case, the snow acts as a giant reflector, naturally eliminating the shadows under the eyes without resorting to “fill-flash.”

A good photographer will also help with the squinting problem that often accompanies such conditions by carefully placing and coaching the subjects. When you hire a skilled professional, you need to coordinate the wedding day itinerary with lighting and weather in mind. Then all you have to worry about is keeping everybody warm!

TODD CHINIQUY, North By Northwest Video Productions

Why is it important to use a videographer at my wedding?

Your wedding day comes and goes so very quickly.  It is over almost before it starts. Many brides think that they will be able to remember every detail about their wedding day, but in reality, those details fade like so many others in your life. Video lets you relive those memories as they really were.

When choosing a videographer you need to find one that will produce a video that you will be proud of. Don’t just call on the phone for the least expensive price. Take the time and go to their office to view their work. If your time is limited, have them send you a demo tape. Before you make a decision, view as many demo tapes as possible. Be sure of what you are getting and make certain you receive a contract outlining every detail.

Be careful about who you hire. Many people think that they can shoot a wedding video just because they purchased a nice camera. A quality camera is important, but what they do with it is crucial.  They need to know how to shoot as well as edit a video that will draw emotion.

One of the best things you can do is ask around. Call several reputable wedding service providers in your area and ask them who they would use if it were their wedding.

When your wedding day is over, the only thing that you will have to remember it by are your photos and video.  Be sure to hire a professional who specializes in capturing these memories.

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