California Wedding Photography
Are you tired of wedding photographers who are still taking photos from the 1970's? So am I - and I'm actually a photographer based in Kansas. Another thing I'm tired of are the "directories" that list photographers based upon how much the photographer was willing to pay for their listing. I thought it would be interesting to setup a site based upon the actual work performed by the wedding photographer - hence the web site.
However, several things were a concern in setting up such a site:
If you are looking for wedding photography information, I would recommend you look at some of the following resources:
In case you're wondering what a wedding photojournalist is, here is some information that might help you.
Photojournalistic Wedding Photography
What exactly is the
photojournalistic wedding photography style? This page illustrates, with narrative and text, my take on the subject. Hopefully, it will help you as you look for a wedding photographer.
|Important: capturing the wedding as it happens...|
Capturing the events of the day AS they happen with very little (or any) interference from me, the photographer - that's my primary definition. Most photojournalists will pose some photos, but their primary emphasis should be on recording the wedding as it happens - not posing photos.
The two images at right are good examples. Both images document the groom and his best man. Top photo was taken while they were getting ready for the wedding, obviously, it wasn't posed. It was a moment in time as the groom was adjusting the best man's bow tie.
The lower image was a posed photo taken before the ceremony started. To setup and take the photo took about a minute.
Having both photos gives the couple an option for their album, but, a true photojournalistic photographer will lean more towards the unposed images.
Photojournalistic image of groom
and the best man.
time should be spent relaxing and enjoying the day |
as opposed to posing for pictures...
These sample images are from some of my past weddings. At
the wedding pictured above, some time was scheduled to take posed photos of
the groom and groomsmen in advance of the ceremony. Those only took a few minutes, and then the fellows went back to "their room" to pass the
time. While they were spending time together, I took some pictures of them. Afterwards,
I actually preferred the photos of them enjoying themselves. The photojournalistic style emphasizes these types
of candid moments.
candid photos can look as nice - or perhaps nicer - than posed images.|
Both of the images at right are candid, unposed photos. Immediately following their wedding ceremony they were in the foyer while the rest of the wedding part was recessing. They spent several moments completely absorbed with each other. If I, as soon as the ceremony was over, had asked them to pose together for a photo, not only would it have been an intrusion on their special time, but I don't believe I would have gotten a photo as good as the natural one.
The picture of the videographer is similar (and no, he wasn't standing next to the bride and groom during their kiss - it just looks that way because I put the photos next to each other). The videographer, who was a friend of the bride and groom, invested a lot of time and effort videotaping their wedding. Instead of asking him to pose for a photo, it was much easier (and more natural) to take a good photo of him "in action".
photojournalistic style is ideally suited to beautifully|
capture the little details of the wedding, as they happen...
A wedding is full of special symbols and memorable objects - some of which might have been very expensive and involved much thought and planning on the part of the bride and groom. All the images in this section were taken at the same wedding in July of 2002. The only image that was posed was the image of the bride holding her flowers. Each of the images took only a few second to create. And yet the pictures highlight very special details from the wedding. A bride who is caught up in the excitement of her wedding day might not even notice some of the details until she sees them in the photos!
|How do I find a Photojournalistic wedding photographer?|
Finding a photojournalistic wedding photographer is harder than finding a regular (or traditional) wedding photographers! However, with the advent of the internet, it has become much easier to “visit” a variety of photographers in a short amount of time. With modern travel methods it is also possible to hire a photographer from across the nation (although security concerns can cause problems with air travel!).
One of the big concerns that people have when trying to find a photographer is how can they avoid the “bad ones.” We’ve all heard horror stories about the bossy photographer, or the sloppy one that wasn’t dressed professionally, or the photographer that arrived late, or the one that spent hours and hours taking pictures and slowed down the entire day. To avoid these problems I recommend you ask the photographer about each one of those areas when you are in the process of researching a photographer. A true professional will not be in the least bit offended by your questions, and will likely recognize you as a client that is not simply “shopping by price” – but is truly looking for the best photographer (not necessarily the most expensive) available.
Another challenge in finding a photojournalistic wedding photographer is how many people are now claiming the title - but who aren’t actually taking such photos. I’ve gone to great lengths to describe the term “photojournalist” on this page, so I won’t go back through everything. It’s too bad that people have to actually analyze a photographer’s photos to find out if they REALLY are a photojournalist – but that’s a good start. Do the majority of the photos on the photographers site seemed posed? Or does it seem like the subjects in the photo were acting naturally when they were photographed? If the photos pass the “visual review”, the next part is to talk with the photographer and ask them about their style. Ask if they do a lot of posed formals, if they work off a “shot list”, and how long it usually takes them to take the formal photos during the day. Listen carefully to the photographer’s response: while a lot of photojournalists will take the formal photos, they usually prefer the candid ones!
You’ll need to decide how much of a photojournalist you really want. Most couples say they want photojournalistic coverage, but when they realize there will be NO formal photos, they start to change their mind. Even though I’m a photojournalistic photographer, I usually do a formal photo session for my customers.
Another good way to track down a wedding photographer is to talk to your married friends. Find out who they used. Look at their wedding albums. Do you like the photos? If so, check out their photographer.
Something I recommend all couples do before hiring a photographer: review an entire wedding worth of photos that the photographer took. Preferably, in the same format the photographer will be delivering the photos to you (often it is now on CD or view online slideshow). Almost any photographer that takes 500~1,000 photos at a wedding will end up with a handful of really good photos. The truly great photographers are able to fill an album with beautiful photos that were spontaneously captured and gorgeously lit.
Another good way to check out a photographer is to have them take your engagement photos. While an engagement photo session is often more “formal” and “posed” than a wedding day, it is still a good opportunity to check a photographer (and their work) out. I recommend you find the photographer you want to use for your wedding, and then hire them to take your engagement photos. If you are happy with the results – proceed with hiring them for the wedding photos.