Katelynn & Pierce

Wedding  |  Lansing, MI  |  June 2016

It is every wedding vendor’s not so secret wish to have brides (and grooms) who are calm, nonplussed, and kind no matter the circumstance, and in all regards Katelynn was a dream.  From our first meeting, I knew that Katelynn would be a breeze to work with, and the way Pierce lights up every time he looks at her says more about their relationship than words ever could.  Their day was full of beautiful details and plenty of laughter — as I can only imagine their married life together will be!

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Thanks to my second shooter Katie for capturing this moment of me behind the camera

|  Second Shooter: Katie of KeatonCreative  |  Wedding Venue: MSU Alumni Chapel  |  Reception Venue & Catering: University Club  |  DJ: Jump Start DJs  |  Flowers: Van Attas Greenhouse and Flower Shop  |  Cake: A Piece O’ Cake  |  Hair Styling: Alicen of Steven L. Marvin Salon and Wellness Spa  |

Today’s post is a reposting from Anna over at Life With the Champions.  Anna’s lifestyle and wedding blog is fantastic, and when she shared this guest post from her own photographer, Amy Carroll, I knew we had to share it with all of you!  So without further ado here are,

10 Things Your Photographer Wishes You Knew

We love Pinterest, too.

But please don’t send us a board filled with other people’s work. As a photographer, I absolutely want to know your style, your aesthetic and the overall feel of your wedding day. (In fact, I request it in my final meeting with you.) But it can be soul-crushing to receive a board of pictures, filled with other photographers’ visions for their clients. My hope is that my clients have hired me for my vision and creativity and I want to bring that to their wedding day.

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Timing is everything.

And by that I mean time of day. Those pretty, glowy pictures? They don’t happen at noon. The best time for portraits is early in the morning or later into the day. Harsh light on a sunny day can take away from even the prettiest of locations. As photographers, we are constantly looking for the best light. If you have all of your outdoor pictures scheduled for 1 pm, we inwardly cringe wondering if we will be able to find a shaded area so that the lighting won’t be too harsh. Work with your photographer and talk about timing for family portraits, a first look if you decide to do one, and other shots. We are happy to help chat about the timeline for the day to ensure enough time for pictures and to work with the best light.

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Speaking of light.

One of my favorite parts of the day is capturing the process of a bride getting ready for her wedding day. Unless it’s in a windowless room with a lot of clutter. I absolutely know that sometimes a pretty getting ready area is out of the bride’s control (and I work with what I have) but thinking about how you might like those images to look can really help the final outcome.

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Let’s talk about Photoshop.

Yes, Photoshop is a great tool for both photographer and our clients who receive their final images. However, when your bridesmaid asks me to Photoshop out all of her tan lines or your sweet aunt asks me to help her “lose a few pounds” in the pictures, it puts me in an awkward predicament. We want everyone to feel great in the final picture but it’s not realistic in any way to Photoshop each file or just push a magic button to “fix” anything that might be less than perfect. I am always happy to fix an image that might be printed for a wall hanging or album, but if we could all unlearn the term “just Photoshop it,” many of us would breathe a huge sigh of relief.

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Timing really is everything.

Determining a timeline for the wedding day is likely one of the hardest parts of the planning process. Logistics can be tricky and there is a lot to fit into a wedding day. I always appreciate being asked for help and am happy to give it when discussing the timing of a wedding day. If you are not doing a first look (which is absolutely your decision…I never try to force one if your vision is to have that first look be down the aisle), be aware that trying to get all of the family pictures, all of the wedding party pictures, and the pictures of the two of you is hard to fit into just an hour–especially if we are traveling from a ceremony location to the reception. Do you want to be a part of your cocktail hour? Considering a first look on your wedding day does allow for a more relaxed schedule and can give you the chance to mingle with your guests and enjoy a drink and the hor d’oeurves you so carefully selected. Also, pad your wedding day timeline. Makeup appointments run late. Getting to and from locations usually takes longer than you plan for. Large wedding parties can often be hard to corral together.

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Keep your photographer in the loop about family drama.

When thinking about your family portraits on your wedding day, please let us know if there are any uncomfortable situations that might be awkward as we put family members together for pictures. If there was a messy divorce or family members who are uncomfortable being in the same room together, please let us know so that we can handle that delicately. Or, if your sibling has a long term partner/significant other and you aren’t sure you want them in your portraits, we are happy to help handle those situations so you aren’t put in an uncomfortable spot on your wedding day.

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Trust us.

Trust is key in any good relationship. If you love your photographer, trust him or her. We often have a vision and even though it may be hard to see it, we are usually capturing something quite lovely. There are many times we are in a location and we see some ray of light, wonderful background, or pretty vista that we steer you toward. Trust the process and your photographer. Along the same note, remember that we are looking for lighting just as much as pretty backgrounds so if we don’t put you on that bridge you love at 1 p.m., it may be because the lighting at that time just isn’t perfect and won’t result in the image you imagine.

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Everyone is a photographer.

And by that I mean most of us carry around iPhones and cameras and when we are at a friend or family member’s wedding, it’s completely natural to want to capture some pictures, too. And I totally get it. Especially as more and more couples incorporate a custom hashtag with their wedding so that everyone can share candid shots from the day. I actually love this and also participate throughout the day by putting a few shots on Instagram and all of the social media channels during the wedding day. It’s fun and as a bride and groom, how lovely to see instant shots of people having fun at your wedding! What isn’t fun is having 20 iPhones hanging out the aisle as I’m getting a picture of your newly married selves walking down the aisle. Or as I’m taking family portraits, having eight family members behind me also snapping pictures and nobody quite knows where to look. I am happy to allow photographs during the day, but the person you hired to take those pictures should take priority and relaying that helps set expectations.

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We aren’t robots.

Robots don’t have to eat. Your wedding vendors do. When we have been working all day long, typically with very little downtime, we need to sit down and refuel at some point. It’s a natural break for us to eat at the same time as your guests, especially as nobody likes having pictures taken while they are putting filet mignon into their mouths. Talking to your venue ahead of time to make sure your photographers (and any other vendors that have been working with you all day) have a meal is always appreciated. A bonus is if we can be served at the same time, as we often get our meals served dead last which means the bride and groom are likely already done eating and we have to start photographing dances and cake cuttings. Sometimes we never even get to eat our meal. A fed photographer is a happy photographer.

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Weather happens.

We are never surprised by this. We are sad if you can’t have the outdoor ceremony that you imagined, but we are also well adept at handling tricky weather situations. Buy umbrellas (you can always return them if you don’t use them), bring rain boots and embrace the elements. Some of my very favorite pictures ever have happened when Mother Nature threw us a curve ball. And if it’s cloudy? We are doing a happy dance as that is some of the most flattering light you can have in your pictures.

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Nick & Carrie

Engagement Session  |  Mount Pleasant, MI |  June 2015

Since I’ve had the advantage of knowing Nick & Carrie for a few years, I was certain their engagement session would be a breeze. And it was! We were lucky to avoid most of the rain showers and even got some great photos on campus at Alma College where these two first met.  A few of my favorite things about this adorable duo: the way Carrie’s nose wrinkles when Nick makes her laugh, the absolutely absurd things Nick does to prompt that laugh, and how willing they were to give every goofy idea of mine a try.  I was thrilled when they called me about setting up an engagement session, and I absolutely can’t wait for their wedding next year! I’m so happy for you two — here’s to many more years of fun and laughter.

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Sarah & Justin

Anniversary Session  |  Cadillac, MI |  June 2015

These two.  I wasn’t sure it was possible that they could be more adorable or any more in love, but even though it’s been a year since their gorgeous beach wedding they appear to be just that.  I was so excited when they told me they wanted to book a session on one of my summer trips back to Michigan.  Even though the weather wasn’t particularly summery, we still had a great time at some of their favorite spots in downtown Cadillac and even managed to get a few with their adorable pup. One of my favorite things about this couple is how natural they are in front of the camera; sometimes I feel like I have to interrupt them and remind them I’m still there shooting. I can’t wait to watch them fall even more in love from year to year.

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Summer & Joe

Engagement Session  |  Frankfort, MI |  July 2014

Summertime is definitely making a strong case to be my favorite season of the year.  In large part because it’s generally the time of year when I get to travel back to the Midwest and photograph lovely people like this couple!  I’d been looking forward to Summer & Joe’s engagement session for a few weeks, but I got even more excited when I discovered that we would actually be doing their photos in Frankfort. (You may recognize this beautiful beach from Justin & Sarah’s Wedding post last summer!) Not only is Frankfort a lovely little town on the shore of Lake Michigan complete with plenty of cute shops and restaurants, but the beach is stunning and has a great lighthouse pier. We had a lot of fun waiting for the sun to set and trying to keep the cameras dry during their engagement session. I’m ecstatic that I get to photograph these two lovebirds again at their wedding in less than a year — plus it will be summertime again then!

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