HELLO, I AM your Dallas Fort Worth Wedding Photographer

CHOOSING A PHOTOGRAPHER  

FOR YOUR PORTRAITS OR EVENTS

Choosing a Photographer doesn’t have to be hard. Oh, there’s so many photographers and so little time! Everyone with a dslr camera will be coming out of the wood-works to offer up an attractive deal, you know; a lesser alternative to help save you money while in return their payment is just to portfolio build. And as tempting as all that sounds, please, please, please keep that old saying in mind.. “You get what you pay for”. Because it certainly rings true in the photography industry, and if you value the idea of having timeless, quality and perfected images that are captured on your special day, you won’t think twice about accepting the offer.

So the BIG question is, how DO YOU choose your portrait or wedding photographer? I mean how do you know if a photographer is right for you?

Well.. I believe there are many factors to take in to consideration like their quality of work, experience, creativity, gear, expertise and personality are just a few but the very last thing you should focus on is price. Whether someone is offering to do your wedding for free or someone is wanting to charge $7k…don’t let the price be the deciding factor. Remember, you get what you pay for.

THE STYLE & RESULT

So let’s focus on the result. What exactly do you want to get out of your images? Do you want the traditional posed, candid or a mix of both; or are you looking for a photographer who can capture your story and tell it with your images? The answer to these questions lies within the photographer style. Researching a photographer portfolio/blog can certainly show you his/her style.

THE QUALITY

Now let’s take a look at the photographer’s quality of work. Are the photos you see on the website consistent, clear and crisp? Does your photographer have a full wedding on display? And is that full wedding display consistent with their portfolio? Do they sample albums, canvases and other products available for you to touch, feel and hold?

THE PERSONALITY BEHIND THE LENS

When you hire a photographer to cover your wedding, you are most likely going to be dealing with this person all day. It is so important that you and your hired photographer have the same vision, agenda and that you both get along. You don’t need tension and anxiety on your wedding day, and you surely don’t need your final images reflecting that either. So get to know your wedding photographer; meet up for coffee and have several conversations over the phone.  Who knows, you JUST might make a new friend!

THE GEAR

Your not a photographer, otherwise you might be so particular that you just might shoot your own wedding.. HA! But since your not, most likely you are very unfamiliar with professional grade gear. AND that’s OK. But you might want to take a few minutes to just double check what gear your photographer uses. You know, although it doesn’t necessarily tell you about their expertise or style but it can certainly tell you alot about skill level. So ask your photographer what gear he/she uses, then go check some of that gear out online, more specifically at the manufacturers website. You’ll be surprised at what you might learn.

LEGITIMACY 

You have a pen and piece of paper. Does this make you a professional writer? No, it certainly does not. It just makes you an owner of a pen and a piece of paper. The same holds true in this industry. I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was a young child, but that didn’t make me a professional photographer. Make sure your hired photographer stands up to your expectations. Ask yourself, has your photographer been published? Do they have a legal DBA?

AN UNPLUGGED WEDDING

With permission from photographer George L Jweid, I bring to you a post about why weddings should be unplugged.

Disclaimer: The images posted in this particular blog post are not of ACTS Photography, but are depicted with the permission of the original photographer. These are by far some of the best examples I have seen as to why I highly recommend you having an unplugged wedding or if you’re attending a wedding to make yourself unplugged at least during the ceremony.

Let’s face it, we ARE in a digital era. I get it. You get it; we pretty much all have smart-phones, digital cameras or recorders. So I guess we should just all embrace it and like those famous words sang on the Disney movie FROZEN, LET IT GO! Wait, what? Hold the phone! Did we really just decide to Let it go? I for one sure hope not and it’s about time I break it down why I believe it is so important to reconsider getting unplugged during the ceremony.

But first, let me explain what an unplugged wedding is. An unplugged wedding is when the bride and groom asks their family, friends and all guest to turn off their phones, ipads, cameras and other digital distractions during the ceremony and even sometimes at specific parts at the reception. Sometimes the officiant will announce it, sometimes the bride and groom will post a cute decorative sign or both.  It’s a growing trend. So if you ever have a wedding or attend one that has a sign on display similar to the one below, take heed.

And here are the top reasons why I believe ceremonies should be unplugged:

1.) Your wedding happens once in a lifetime. It can be a very expensive event in which guests have NOT been invited as paparazzi. Family, Friends, and other guest are invited to share this special moment focused on the bride and groom’s special day by being 100% present and attentive; not on the internet or plugged into technology. Yes, it is true that an image can help to bring back memories, but that’s why the professional photographer was hired. Guest should experience the event with their own two eyes to retain the details more vividly rather than snapping away. If you don’t believe me, read this article from PetaPixel about a psychological study that found how taking photographs weakens memories. READ HERE

2.) Your hired photographer, wedding party, officiant and other guests should not have to deal with the audible distractions of extra clicks, snaps and flashes as some decide to take it upon themselves to engage in their technology rather than focus on you and your special day. Just take a look at the image below. Just in this image, I can count 6 guests who are so concerned with recording this event, they are not fully invested. That’s over 1/2 the guest just in this one photograph. And I can count 3 individuals who are looking elsewhere other than looking at the bride. Now, I am curious if those three are distracted by all the technology the other guest are using or if they are distracted by something else, but to me it looks like at least 2 of them are. The guest sitting in the pews or chairs are also a backdrop to the wedding; they can make or break your professional wedding photos.

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3.) On a serious note, if the bride and groom did not value the difference between professional photos taken and snapshots on their special day to tell their wedding story, they would not have invested time and money hiring a professional photographer for their big day.  They would have just asked all family, friends and other guests to bring their camera to help take pictures on the wedding invitation. And if you are worried about a professional missing a shot, make sure the photographer brings at least a second-shooter.

4.) Yes, it’s true. A professional photographer should be able to work around any type of lighting situation. But that rule of thumb is only geared towards outdoor lighting and indoor lighting. The saying does not include random flashes from other random moving people. During a wedding, a photographer adjusts their camera settings according to the indoor or outdoor light that is naturally available. Images can be compromised by guests when they hold their cell phones and iPads up in the air, standing up or stepping out into the isle clicking and flashing away. Photographers are not hired to work around or compete with the flashes and movement of guests. And guess what? If a true professional photographer is hired,  I  bet there is a clause in the contract that doesn’t hold the hired photographer liable for images that are ruined due to paparazzi guests.

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5.) Unprofessional flashes can cause guests to be unable to be identified in the professional images because their faces are obscured by phones and cameras. In what would have been an acceptable image, below you can see how other flashes created havoc for the hired photographer. The cell phones in the image have now become the focal point, center of attention. Had these guest kept their technology put away, and their arms down, the focus and lighting would have been perfect drawing the attention to the lovely couple.

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Of course you have every right to use your device. Sometimes just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. So if it’s not your wedding day, don’t be selfish. Don’t be disrespectful to the bride and groom and don’t steal the bride and groom’s  lime-light at least during the ceremony. It’s not about you, and your need to have a picture to upload to social media proving you were there. It’s about the Mr. & Mrs. Again I want to thank photographer George L Jweid, for allowing me to use these images.

And if you still think it’s okay to be the un-hired photographer during the ceremony, well, check out this tutorial on how to do it right! Just for grins and giggles.

The Walker Wedding | Fort Worth Wedding Photographer

I got the lovely opportunity to second shoot a wedding with a friend Alyssa Maisano from Alysaa Maisano Photography. I feel like we are like two peas in a pod; we work well together and keep each other entertained. We made sure to get every detail from the bling bling rings to the twinkle in the lights over the guests as the sun went down on the Walker’s special day.  The day was very sunny, but we managed to utilize the shade from the near by trees. The venue was simple yet at a sleek family weekend home overlooking 5 acres near Bowie Texas. The couple managed to incorporate southern flare into their theme with the use of burlap, lace and those good ol’ country cowgirl boots.

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What I loved even more was the light and bright room the bride and her bridal party decided to get ready in. With all that natural light coming in from huge windows on each side of the room, it really made for dreamy magazine quality images that needed very little editing. And of course when you have gorgeous subjects it makes our job a little easier!

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We certainly had a blast, and I now have a new found love for formals! They can certainly be fun and hilarious if the bride, groom and entire wedding party are up for trying new things. Somethings, they decide to do on their own, and others with a little direction from a photog, but in the end these are all memories they will treasure forever.

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