You’ve got wedding photography questions, we’ve got answers! We recently sat down with Jeff Turner, the owner and one of two photographers at Black Thumb Studio, to get the 411 on wedding photos.
SEG: What are some tips for choosing the right photographer?
JT: First, find someone whose style fits yours. Once you find someone whose style you like, meet with the photographer in person to determine if the photographer’s personality is a match for you. Ask to see a full wedding’s worth of work and research business reviews online.
SEG: What different photography styles are out there?
JT: Since photography is an art form, the styles vary as much as the photographers taking the photos. Each photographer has different life experiences and different ways of seeing through his (or her) lens that creates his (or her) own style. As much as I’d like it to sound like, “My style is a post-modern interpretation of life through a one-of-a-kind optical device”, it just isn’t. In reality, it’s simply fun and real.
SEG: How far in advance should I book my photographer?
JT: Just like any other vendor, you should select your wedding photographer as early as possible. The earlier you begin the process of looking, the more options you’ll have. A lot of the best photographers book at least a year in advance. All it takes is one more really organized bride to want the same photographer as you and you’ve missed your opportunity to work with the photographer of your choice.
SEG: What type of investment should I make in wedding photography?
JT: Wedding photography is a lot like buying a house – you get what you pay for. Sometimes you can find a house for a cheap listing price, but you may have to invest a lot after the fact to get what you expected. Sometimes you find the perfect house that’s a bit of a stretch for your budget but you make it work and its great from the start. In the end, you realize it was worth the risk to get the house you wanted and you’re thankful you’ll have that house for the rest of your life. Since your wedding photos are the one tangible memory you will have from your wedding, invest wisely. You only have one opportunity to get it right.
SEG: What is the benefit of having two photographers?
JT: Two photographers at a wedding allow more of a couple’s wedding story to be told. It enables a couple to have a photographer with both the bride and the groom while each one prepares for the day. During the ceremony, it allows one photographer at the front and one at the back of the ceremony. This creates less movement (and distractions) during this sacred time and provides an alternate angle as each moment unfolds. Likewise, at the reception, so much more of the action can be documented when a second photographer is present.
SEG: What are the essentials to a wedding photography package?
JT: Time is first. Ensure that your package includes enough time to cover every part of your wedding story that you want told. This can include the preparation process, formal photos, the ceremony and most (or all) of your reception. Second, most clients like to have their digital negatives. It’s important to ensure that you receive full resolution files with rights to reproduce the images for personal use. Do not expect to own the copyright. Third, please buy an album. As much fun as it is to have images on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, your wedding album is something that can be enjoyed the rest of your life no matter how technology changes in the future.
SEG: What type of editing services do you offer?
JT: The editing process starts with culling. We keep the moments and delete the junk (i.e. blurry & under/over exposed images, eyes closed on subject – yes, they happen). All of the images we deliver to our clients are individually reviewed. Each one is color and exposure corrected. We also crop and straighten our images and make selections for black and white conversions. Additional touch-up services (teeth whitening, skin smoothing, object removal, etc.) are also available at an additional cost.
SEG: What is a good way to maximize my time for wedding photos on my wedding day?
JT: One of the best suggestions we can make to our clients to ensure sufficient time for photos is to have a first look. A first look is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day. It’s an incredibly special moment and we love watching it unfold. We’ve found that this moment can be beautifully captured when we have an opportunity to plan when and where it happens. When it happens as part of the wedding ceremony, our creative control can be limited. We’ve also found that most of our clients want to be a part of a portion of their cocktail hour and having a first look allows them this opportunity. We’ve never had a client regret doing a first look, but have had a few who regretted not doing one.
SEG: Capturing your day vs. trying to get published, are there different approaches?
JT: Our primary goal is to tell the story of your wedding day as best we can. If I’m being truthful, we put a lot less emphasis on clothing labels, food garnishes and décor than we do on actual moments, smiles and capturing relationships. This may be why we’re not in a lot of bridal magazines, but also why we’ve photographed three weddings for the same family. We had one wedding where four couples whose weddings we previously photographed were in attendance. That means so much more to us than being on the cover of a magazine…although that would be cool too.
SEG: Any additional advice?
1. Have an engagement session with your wedding photographer. This gives you the opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera and you get to know your photographer before your wedding day.
2. Have a planning meeting with your photographer before the wedding. Know where and when you’ll be taking all your photos and have a backup plan.
3. Be authentic in your wedding planning and in your wedding day. Be true to who you are and not who Pinterest says you should be.
4. Find a great DJ or band and dance your butt off!
Black Thumb Studio is based in the Greater Boston area and provides wedding, senior portrait and freelance photography services. Two words they use to describe themselves are fun and real. Whether it’s a wedding, senior portrait session or anything in between, they aim to create photos that are real and timeless (and to have fun while doing it)! Their team loves to travel and will take photos anywhere.
Tell us, was this interview helpful? What other wedding vendors would you like us to chat with?
By: Dana Bates