Author Archives: Dennis
Previews from Wylette & Chuck’s wedding at Lake Lanier Island Resort. (more…)
Jessica and Cameron’s wedding was held at Chapel Valley Farms in Cullman, Alalabama. Fantastic people and an absolutely beautiful venue. (more…)
Wow! It was an huge honor to have a two page spread of some of my night photography appear in Digital Photo UK. (more…)
Karen and Eric were married at Aldridge Gardens in Hoover. Rain was in the forecast, but the skies were clear the entire time. It couldn’t have been better weather for a wedding! (more…)
After posting the above image to Facebook and Flickr I received some emails and comments asking how it was lit. So here goes… (more…)
A few previews for Karin and Demetric’s wedding from the weekend. More soon! (more…)
Looking for the perfect photographer? Here are some tips to keep in mind while you are shopping around.
Style: Every photographer sees the world a little differently and that lends itself to how they express their vision through photography. Zero in on what you like. A word of caution, I see a lot of processing fads such as over exposed hyper-contrast looks nowadays. Sometimes these effects are sublimely executed and the end results are truly striking. Mullets, shoulder pads, and extra baggy jeans have all been popular at some point. Without a doubt they are all cringe worthy in retrospect. I know there are trends happening right now that seem super fresh and cool, but will look so “2013” when we look back on them someday. We grow and change as people but the photos never will. You are going to have these images for the rest of your life as documentation of a very important day.
Natural Light: Watch out for photographers who say they only use natural light. This isn’t something to brag about, it translates into a lack of experience with on location lighting. Natural light can give you super awesome photos, but photographers don’t have control over sun light. There will be times when available day light is totally unsuitable and unflattering. Photos in dark reception areas will have very poor quality without the use of off camera flash as well. Realize how important light is and how important it is for your photographer to understand how to use it.
First Contact: Contact a few photographers you are interested in. You want someone who is easy to get in touch with and will be there when you need them. How responsive was the photographer to your initial inquiry and additional correspondences? This will give you an idea of how promptly they will be getting back to you as your wedding date approaches.
Experience: How many weddings have been photographed by the photographer? How often do they work weddings? Experience allows the photographer to be quick on their feet and be able to deal with complex lighting issues and other problems that may arise. You may never even realize there was a problem if you have hired a professional who has the experience to quickly deal with anything that comes at them.
Compatibility: You are entering into a new relationship here. I’m talking about with the photographer, not your fiance. Meet or call the photogs you like. Do they feel like somebody you wouldn’t mind being around all day? I’m not necessarily saying you should get ice cream together on a regular basis, but this person is going to be with you ALL day on your wedding. Do you sense personality conflicts? Do you feel comfortable with this person?
Professionalism: Do they carry back up gear? Are they insured? These are some surface indicators that can tell you the photographer takes their business seriously and in turn will be prepared to deal with any issues that may arrive during the wedding.
Primary Photographer: Does the contract state who the primary photographer will be at your wedding? Is it going to be the same individual who met with you and showed such stellar work? Larger studios often have a team of photographers who cover multiple weddings each weekend. Make sure you know (and the contract states) who will be covering your wedding.
Deliverables: The contract should explicitly state the products and level of service you are paying for: prints, albums, digital files, number of coverage hours, etc.
Usage Rights / Print Release: This specifies your legal rights to print, reproduce, and share digital files on social networks and other areas of the web. Depending on who your hire, you may have to pay extra for the rights or it may be included with your package.
Nail down the details: Make sure the contract specifies when and where your photographer is to arrive on your big day. Confusion can lead to the photographer arriving at the wrong location or at the wrong time and missing key events.
Payment: To save your date you will generally need to pay a deposit upfront and then pay off the remaining balance sometime before or on the day of the wedding. Confirm when the balance is due. Many photographers will set up payment plans for the balance as well.
Booking: If you find somebody who you love, don’t wait to book them. Brides often hire photographers well over a year in advance. Your dream photographer may be shooting someone else’s wedding if you wait too long to book.
Last but not least, have fun at the wedding!
Email me (info@DennisCalvertPhotography.com) if you have any questions about any of these topics or anything I didn’t cover here. I would love to hear from you!
Here are a few lists of questions that I’m regularly asked. If you don’t find answers to your questions below, send me an email.
- How many images do you deliver from a wedding? Generally between 500-800. There are several variables such as the length of the event.
- What is a print release? It grants you the right to print and reproduce the images delivered from your wedding. A print release is always included with my wedding coverage.
- What do you wear? Either a suit or black pants and shirt.
- What kind of gear do you use? My primary camera body is a Canon 5D mkIII (currently one of the best on the market) and my secondary body is a Canon 7D. I use Professional L series lenses and some EF primes.
- Are you insured? Yes.
- Do you shoot the wedding? Yes. I am the primary photographer for every wedding I book.
Engagement Shoot FAQs
- What should we wear? Patterns on clothing can be a little distracting. Solid colors are generally more flattering and look the best. Also, tennis shoes can dominate a photo so I would suggest wearing something other than sneakers. In the end, wear what ever makes you feel comfortable and expresses the true you. You are more than welcome to bring alternate outfits to shoot as well.
- Where should we have the photos made? Consider some locations that are special to you and your fiance. If you are having trouble thinking of the perfect location, I’m happy to make some suggestions.
- What time of day is best? Usually about an hour and a half or so before sun set is the best time to start. The light then is beautiful and flattering.
Josh is a friend who has been shooting at night with me for years. Photoshop was never opened to create these photos. All of the effects were created with light in real time during long exposures. (more…)
Two good friends from out of state came to visit and wanted to see some wilderness so I took them to Bankhead Forest. (more…)
Night photography is one of my top hobbies. It’s so much fun to get out at night and look at the sky. These photos were made during the Leonid and Geminid meteor shows last November and December. The leading image in this post was featured by Yahoo News the day after the Leonid shower. (more…)