········Affordable Virginia Beach Wedding Photographer – Recent Journal Entries········
Weddings are a target rich environment for a shooter like me, and your wedding photos will be as unique as you are. Skilled candid wedding photography isn’t simply shooting thousands of photos hoping to “get a good one”. For me, it’s instinct, anticipation, positioning, lens selection, experience, stealth, compassion and empathy, being able to “see” emotion by “feeling” it. It’s thoroughly understanding light, what my cameras are capable of, what I’m capable of, and the dynamics of everyone gathered to celebrate the wedding of the bride and groom. Good candid wedding photography is a skill, and I’m grateful to have it.
Wedding day photography of the newlyweds is EXTREMELY important. While I’m experienced and highly skilled in formal portraiture, I’ve found that couples on their wedding day have little time nor patience for complicated lighting setups and arduous posing to get their posture, chins, eyes, arms hands and what have you in exactly the right place. What I can do for you is loose, fun, fast, and always turns out really cool. I LOVE cool lighting and all that stuff, don’t get me wrong. I’ve just gotten really good at doing it VERY quickly with a bare minimum of fuss. There is NO LIMIT to my imagination.
There are times during the wedding day which are PERFECT for fashion forward romantic portraits of the newlyweds. One is the conventional, no brainer time which follows the wedding ceremony after the family and bridal party photos are done. At that time, it’s generally just the newlyweds and I for a little while. I ask that couples allocate just a little time for this if photos such as these are important to them. If they are not important to them and they just want a couple shots after the ceremony? That’s just fine, I want to give them what they want. Not what I think they should have, and certainly not what I want. It’s YOUR choice. One unconventional time is before the ceremony. I’ve had many couples do their photos before the ceremony. This leaves more time for partying with the family and friends. This isn’t for everyone though, many hold on to the notion of not seeing one another before the ceremony. Another time where I nearly ALWAYS get some great shots done is during the reception. I’m always game to make some photos with the newlyweds, and I will always have some great ideas at whatever venue your wedding happens to be.
I keep these photo sessions for the newlyweds, loose, fun, and short (because they’re well planned on my end and I’ve already got the details of the shots I have in mind worked out and in place before you even get there).
In my experience couples have a preconceived notion that photographing wedding preparations / getting ready is photos of people getting dressed. This sometimes (ok, most of the time), is met with wrinkled noses and blank expressions. I don’t fault the couples I speak with when this topic comes up. It’s just an area of wedding photography that has different meanings to different people.
I like to start my coverage at least 2 hours before the scheduled wedding ceremony start time. I do this to give the couples that hire me a great depth to their coverage. I use that time to document the details. I use that time to do family formals on both sides of the wedding party separately. This saves A LOT of time if the couple desires traditional family formals which are normally done directly after the wedding ceremony. I often do formal bridal portraits and portraits of the groom during this time. There’s a bit of the actual “preparations” for the wedding, but that’s not the focal point. The focal points are the details, the people, the candids, the emotions, the relationships in the two families that are about to be joined by the ceremony.
Many images from this part of the coverage are chosen by couples to be included in their albums, and there are ALWAYS photographs from this part of the coverage that become favorites of the newly married couple.
So, before you dismiss the notion that the extra time required to do this coverage is worth it, ask to see a few full weddings worth of my coverage so you can see how many great images are taken during the pre ceremony time. I’ll be happy to show you.
Wedding ceremony photography has changed an awful lot over the last few years. Not too long ago, cameras just weren’t capable of producing great images in dark churches. With the cameras I carry now, I’m able to push the ISO up extremely high. This enables me to shoot fast, without a tripod, and without flash. I’m extremely respectful of wedding ceremonies. You will not ever see me buzzing around a couple in the midst of their wedding vows. I choose my locations carefully to shoot from and I use very long, very fast, and very very expensive lenses to document wedding ceremonies.
I cover multiple angles easily with the use of remotely operated cameras on tripods and my 2nd shooter. You’ll get a great many wonderful images from your wedding ceremony from me, and you and your guests probably won’t even notice that I was there. That’s the way I like to do it. I want to be as invisible as I possibly can, but I will always get “the shot”. I have enough experience to handle any situation.
Wedding party photos can be a lot of fun! I go into a wedding with this thought: “the couple have asked all these people to be in their wedding party for a reason, so I’d better get some good shots of everyone” Some couples have ideas about their wedding party photos because they’ve done certain setups before at other weddings or they’ve seen a photo that I’ve done or somewhere else that they like. Whatever the case may be, and this is going to be a recurring theme with me. If it’s important to you, I’m going to make it happen.
Many times, the best wedding party photos happen in between directed moments. I love the way things just “happen” on wedding day photo assignments. Those moments fit my always ready, sniper style perfectly. Wedding party photos are USUALLY done before the ceremony (separately if that’s what has been discussed before the wedding day), then together after the family photos are taken post ceremony. If there’s formal transport from ceremony location to reception location, I might suggest stopping at a place or two to goof around a little. All these things are completely up to you.
I just want to always ensure that you get a solid body of coverage from your wedding day that includes each and every person you’ve invited to your wedding. Especially your families and wedding party.
Let the party begin! This is the time during the wedding day where there are really important things to document well. You, your wedding party, families, and friends are about to settle into eating a nice meal and dancing the night away (or day!). For me, it’s time to kick it into high gear because the wedding reception is what I like to call “a target rich environment”. There so much to photograph! Introductions, first dance, parent dances, blessings, toasts, cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter removal, garter toss, reverse garter, details, ring shots, any special groups you asked for before the wedding or right then and there, each and every guest at the reception, and oh yes, the DANCING. Then, there’s looking for people that are NOT dancing to make sure they don’t get left out of the coverage. There’s people EVERYWHERE doing different things and I walk or run at least 10 miles during the wedding reception to make sure I photograph EVERYTHING.
I’ll ask you during the reception if you want to take a few shots to take advantage of a nice sunset, or a cool venue feature, or just because. Nobody will even know you’re gone, and it’s never for more than 10 minutes. We can do as much, as little or nothing at all. It’s all up to you. Whatever the case may be, you’re going to get a great many reception photos and you’ll get photos of everyone at your wedding unless they’re literally hiding from me.
Why are photographs of the details present at weddings important to you? That’s a question that I like to ask couples that hire me to photograph their wedding. In truth, sometimes the couples say that images like these aren’t that important to them, and when they express that sentiment, I respect their wishes and I don’t shoot too much of the details.
Most of the time, the couple DOES want photographs of the details. I find this type of photography fun! It never interferes with my ability to cover what’s going on during a wedding because I do these shots on an “opportunistic” priority. I get the shots I need when there’s a lull in the “action”. There are times when I MUST get certain shots at certain times (like reception room overview shots before the guests get in there), shots of the cake (before it gets cut), or shots of the church (before we’ve all left and never see it again that day). But, everything else I can normally do without missing a beat.
Detail photographs are important “scene setters” and backgrounds for album designs. My basic philosophy when it comes to details is this “if you paid for it, I’m going to get a nice photo of it”. That seems to cover ALL the bases. And best of all? I’m affordable!
If you’re looking for a photographer in Virginia Beach to do your engagement portrait photography, look no further! I HIGHLY recommend having an engagement session to anyone planning on getting married. This is a GREAT chance to get some professional photos taken before the wedding and there are a bunch of ways you can use the images. The obvious way is you can hang a great big photo of yourselves on your wall. The other ways you can use your images are save the date cards, custom table cards for your wedding, a wedding guest book with your images on every other page, a signature frame where your guests can sign on the matte. Let’s not forget a formal announcement in the newspaper, images you can use on your wedding planning website, on facebook, and other social media sites.
Not only does it give you and I a chance to work out the nuances of how you react and interact together in front of my cameras, it’s A LOT of fun. Trust me on that, I can provide plenty of references to back that statement up if you like. I shoot them on location, wherever you like. If you don’t have an idea for a location, I have PLENTY of ideas. It’s a great warm up for the wedding day and the images are always pretty awesome.