Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Getaway

Joint base Lewis McCord JBLM wedding
Liz and Chris were married at the Four Chaplains Memorial Chapel on Joint Base Lewis McCord.  Here they are making their getaway and will later meet everyone at their reception which was located in the north end of Tacoma.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Celebrating Love

Cedar Springs Port Orchard wedding
Miranda & Jered look to family and friends during a humorous moment in the ceremony.  They had their wedding and reception at Cedar Springs in Port Orchard, WA.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What should I consider when selecting a wedding photographer?

** This is an entry I submitted to the Puget Sound Wedding Professionals group blog and thought I'd go ahead and share it here on my own blog too.  If you have any questions about wedding photography never hesitate to ask us!

First you want to determine the style of photography you want.   However, with that said you want to keep in mind that some photo editing applications, tricks, etc might be the ‘it’ thing right now.  But, will those editing styles still be desirable in 2 or even 20 years?  Over the past two years alone I have seen several editing trends come and go.  A well composed photograph, one that tells the story of the day and expresses the emotion of the day is something that will last throughout the years. 

     Family Affair Photography

It’s often said you get what you pay for.  This is when it’s a good idea to arrange to meet the photographer so you can see if they have a history of producing a quality level of work that you would want for your own wedding.  

As a wedding photographer, I can tell you that wedding photography can be one of the most challenging yet exciting forms of photography.

Don’t be afraid to ask how much experience they have?   Have they photographed a few weddings, a few hundred weddings?  Is this their business or a hobby? 

Do they have experience at your venue or a similar venue, especially if it’s a low light venue or a venue with it’s own set of challenges such as bright sun (windows or outdoors), or any other lighting situation, each can present their own little challenges.  An experienced photographer is going to be ready for any situation!

One thing we have noticed lately are people with little experience who are trying to take your focus off the actual photograph by over-editing and adding a lot of creative add-ons.   While there are a lot of fun and interesting techniques that can be done to the photographs will they still be desirable in 2 to 5 or even 20 years from now?  Look past the fun edits,  and make sure the images are good from the beginning.

     Puyallup Wedding Photography

Many professional photographers who take their craft seriously are members of various professional photographer associations such as:
PPA - Professional Photographers Association
WPPI - Wedding & Portrait Photographers International
WPJA - Wedding Photojournalistic Association

Also what I feel is the most important credential is a happy customer!  So, don’t be afraid to ask for references from past customers and check for online reviews.

                        Family Affair Photography

Personality counts!  I’ve had family members of our customers tell us stories of past photographers that they dealt with and obviously didn’t recommend them for the wedding we were photographing.  We would hear about these photographers who were invasive, pushy, very demanding who had family or even the bride in tears on their wedding day.   You want a photographer you can spend the day with, who isn’t going to add stress to your day.  They don’t need to be your BFF but, you certainly want someone you are at ease with and who can work easily with all the personalities at your wedding. 

The Photographer:
If you are working with a studio that has multiple photographers make sure you meet with the photographer who would be photographing your wedding face to face before signing any contract.   Also, ask if this is their work you are viewing or a collective gallery of work.  Many larger studios will send whoever is available, this happens more often than you can imagine!

                        Newcastle Wedding - Family Affair Photography

Money Matters:
There are several things to consider when looking at the photographer’s packages and pricing structures.  Do you understand what your getting?  Is there room for changes and what will the changes cost?  How much time will the photographer be at your wedding?  What happens if you need more time?

~ How many photographers will be covering the event?
There are still several photographers who prefer to work alone and others who work as a team of two - usually husband/wife teams.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each.  Most importantly though it’s a matter of personal preference of the bride and groom.  If the photographer is used to shooting alone, it’s often awkward when they are required to bring in a second shooter.  They need to be on the same page and work smoothly together.  Photographers who work in pairs have that established pattern, they know each others moves and communicate well together.

It’s also important to consider your venue and wedding size when determining if you want one photographer or two.  It wouldn’t make sense to have two photographers photographing a wedding at a small chapel with 20 guests. 

~ How many hours of coverage will be provided?
Coverage means what time they start to the ending time.  If you require your photographer to start at 10 am to photograph the bride getting her hair and make up done and the reception ends at 10 pm, that would be 12 hours of coverage.  If your photographer is committed to their job they will have little to no down time during those 12 hours.   When they aren’t photographing the bride and groom, they will be shooting details, guests and family. 

~ How many photographs will they be taking?
This isn’t much of an issue with digital cameras.  I’ve heard of some photographers who shoot about a 1000 images per hour!  Personally, I call this the “Mad Clicker”.  
If they are taking this many shots they obviously  aren’t putting a lot of thought into composition.

~  Do they edit the photos?  
This is often a big part of the cost of photographing a wedding.  For every hour of event coverage the photographer who cares about their art is going to take 6-10 hours editing the photographs from that one hour of coverage.  For example an 8 hour wedding can take anywhere from 48 hours to 80 hours to edit.  Or another way to calculate how much time they spend is about 2-5 minute PER IMAGE.

~ How many photographs will they edit? 
Some photographers will only edit and give you 50 to 200 images from the entire event.  Others will select X amount of photographs to edit per hour of coverage.  And finally you have others who will edit all photos that have turned out.  These are all things to consider when looking at their package pricing and to be sure to get what is offered in writing in a contract.

There are also photographers who offer a “Shoot & Burn” package.  Meaning they come and shoot the wedding and provide you a DVD of the images unedited in RAW form.  This can be an issue if you don’t have the proper editing programs! 

Will you receive proof prints or will the proofs be in a gallery for viewing?
This is a personal choice.  Proofs are meant to serve as a way to allow you to view your images and choose which ones you would like turned into professional prints.

~ Are professional quality prints provided?
It’s hard to determine what size and how many prints you want before your wedding.   Many photographers are now offering a print credit with their packages.  It’s not only important to know the value of the print credit but, to see their print prices prior to signing.   Photographer ‘A’ might give you a $100.00 credit and you can only buy 2 8x10’s with that credit.  While that same $100.00 with Photographer ‘B’ will fill a wall!

Get it in Writing:         
Once you’ve selected the photographer you want to cover your big day, be sure to get a contract in writing that states exactly what you’re getting and when you’re getting the final product.  A professional should be providing one without asking.

Read through it before signing.  Is it clear?  Fair?   Everything spelled out?  Make sure you have no doubts before signing!  If changes are made on the contract, be sure to show the amendments and initial them with the photographer.  Example, if you ask not to have your images on display on their website.  Make sure it’s written on the contract.

         Family Affair Photography

Final Thought:
Keep in mind when planning your budget that your photographs are going to be one of the few physical reminders of your wedding and I find as years pass the photographs increase in sentimental value.  No two photographers will photograph your wedding the same, like a painting, photography is a work of art. 

If you are looking for additional wedding planning information be sure to check out the 'Bridal 4-1-1' blog hosted by the Puget Sound Wedding Professionals Network group.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.  Not so much for the feast that many families have, though I can't deny I enjoy a good meal!  It's meant getting the family all together, shared conversations, catching up with those you love.  I suppose some say Christmas is good for that and to a degree that is true.  Except at Christmas I feel a bit of pressure to buy gifts for everyone and sometimes finding that right gift can be difficult.  Especially when you get someone like myself - I have what I want when it comes to physical/material items.

                              roast turkey

Those who know my lack of desire to cook, might be surprised that Thanksgiving is a favorite time and I actually enjoy cooking a nice family dinner for this special occasion.   However if I must be honest, I can't really say that I enjoy all the dishes afterwards!  Wait, I can give thanks for the dishwasher and for family members who help clean up! 

While this year has provided it's own challenges it's also provided me with many reasons to be thankful and grateful.  Here is a brief personal list of things that I'm thankful/grateful for this year.

~     My husband and business partner, he has allowed me to pursue what I love.  And not once did he discourage me from starting the business then dragging him around with me!  I think he actually enjoyed this himself, even if it wasn't something he would have visualized for himself before I came into his life.

~     My three children who have led healthy productive lives and fill my life with love. laughter and even a bit of frustration that just reminds me life is a learning process that we must sometimes learn on our own.

~    My precious granddaughters who will test their daddy just the way he has tested me in the past!  For their hugs, smiles and laughter.

~     I'm thankful for my parents who owned their own businesses.   It was because of this I went forward with creating my own business with NO FEAR.  Maybe I should have  had some fear and worries but, I just knew deep in my heart this was right!  I miss them terribly and I feel they would be very proud of what I have accomplished and of the wonderful man (my husband) who supports me through this journey.

~     Lastly, I am thankful for all the wonderful customers we've been blessed to photograph,  to be a part of such an important day in their lives, to welcome a new baby into their families, to document their lives as they unfold.  We have met some truly wonderful and inspirational people with this business.

We wish you, your family and friends a very 'Happy Thanksgiving'.  Enjoy the holiday with those you love, laugh with them, embrace the moment and remember to give thanks for having love in your life!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blue Eyes

Tacoma Portrait Photographer - Family Affair Photography
Doesn't he have the most beautiful blue eyes?  I must admit, he had me captivated.  Young girls better watch out when he's older!  Not only for this little guy, his older brother is just as good looking.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Kiss

                              Tacoma_Wedding_Photography_Family Affair Photography

First kiss as husband and wife.  Lauren and Robert were married at the Holy Cross Catholic Church on the north end of Tacoma.  We were originally told no photography during the ceremony, after talking to the father he agreed to let us shoot but, he could stop the service and tell us to leave f we disrupted the service.  After the service he said he thought we decided not to take any photos as he wasn't aware we were still there. =) We love hearing that!  The couple should be the focus of the day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Daddy's Girls

Tacoma Portrait Photographer - Family Affair Photography
This was taken during my recent trip to DC to visit my son and his family.  This is my oldest son with my two precious granddaughters who are 'Daddy's girls'  and yes, they have him wrapped around their pinkies!  (I don't think he even tries to deny it).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sarah & Ben ~ Alderbrook Resort Wedding

Sarah & Ben were recently married at Alderbrook Resort in Union, WA.  The wedding took place outside overlooking Hood Canal followed by dinner on the resorts dinner cruise boat, 'Lady Alderbrook' and then they moved to the resort for party. 
Alderbrook Lodge 01
Alderbrook Lodge 02
       Sarah's 'something blue' was having the bridesmaids and flower girl sign the bottom of her shoes.
SONY DSCAlderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook Lodge 04_edited-1
Alderbrook Lodge 05
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook Lodge 07
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Considering they had their wedding in late October, they were blessed with decent weather for an outdoor wedding.
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook Ldoge 10
Alderbrook Lodge 11
Alderbrook Lodge 12
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook Lodge 14
Alderbrook Lodge 15
SONY DSC                     Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
                  It was beautiful on the canal and we were all treated to a wonderful sunset.
Alderbrook Lodge 17
Alderbrook Lodge 18
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook Lodge 20
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook Lodge 22
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook Lodge 23
Alderbrook Lodge 24
Alderbrook Lodge 29
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Alderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
dancingAlderbrook_Lodge_Wedding_Family Affair Photography
Thank you Ben & Sarah for allowing us to be a part of your very special day, we had a lot of fun. 
The details:                                                                                             
The Venue:   Alderbrook Lodge & Resort, Union  WA 
Catering & Cake:  Alderbrook Lodge  
DJ:  Shelton High School, Leadership program  
FloristLynch Creek Floral  
Photographers:  Sonny, Monica & Cristina

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beaming Bride

                           Alexander Inn Wedding  Mt Rainier      

I love Tammy's bright smile as they were getting married, she simply couldn't stop beaming!  Doesn't she make you smile too?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Say What!

Pioneer Park Wedding Puyallup

I'm not sure what was being discussed but, it looks like it took the groom by surprise. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Setting the Scene

               Landmark Tacoma

            A holiday wedding at The Landmark in Tacoma, chair covers were provided by Trendy Events also of Tacoma.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


                    Olympia Wedding Photography

Where's my groom!  The wedding was scheduled to start and there were no signs of the groom.   No worries, the groom finally arrived he had been stuck in a traffic jam on I-5 between Fort Lewis and Olympia.  They had a beautiful wedding at the Olympia Capital Gardens and a fun filled reception that followed.  I should add that the bride wasn't worried that her groom wouldn't show for the wedding.  She was fully confident in his feelings for her.  However, she was concerned for his well being as she knew he was never late. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Break Time!

Alderbrook Lodge & Resort wedding

Nothing like taking a moment to enjoy a cozy fire on a cold drizzly November day. And that is exactly what Jaime and Anne did on their Nov wedding day.  They had their wedding and reception at Alderbrook Lodge & Resort in Union, WA.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Alex & Max

Not that long ago we met up with Shawna and her absolutely adorable one year old twin boys Alex and Max at Priest Point Park in Olympia.  Sonny assisted me during the photo session by jumping up and down acting goofy for the boys.  
Olympia Portrait Photographer Family Affair Photography
Shawna was in Olympia visiting family.  So, we couldn't let the day go by without getting a photo of her family here in WA.
                      Olympia Portrait Photographer Family Affair Photography
Olympia Portrait Photographer Family Affair Photography
Olympia Portrait Photographer Family Affair Photography
Olympia Portrait Photographer Family Affair Photography
Olympia Portrait Photographer Family Affair Photography
Olympia Portrait Photographer Family Affair Photography
Olympia Portrait Photographer Family Affair Photography
Olympia Portrait Photographer Family Affair Photography
This was after we got Sonny to jump up and down acting like the goof that he is, and I say that with complete respect!
                 Olympia Portrait Photographer Family Affair Photography
Olympia Portrait Photographer Family Affair Photography