Today’s blog entry is all about wedding photography. Whether a striking portrait or beautiful emotional catch, we’ve all seen photos that make our hearts skip a beat. The team at Morgan Events has been so fortunate to work with some of the best pros in the industry! So, when writing this blog entry, we asked three San Francisco Bay Area wedding photographers- Tara Arrowood, Kevin Chin and Michelle Walker– what advice they’d give our clients when it comes to wedding photography. Based on their responses, we’ve organized some important information for you below. Here’s what you need to know about hiring your wedding photographer and how choosing the right professionals will impact your wedding day.

Style. Over the years we’ve worked with many amazing photographers. They all have different approaches to the art of photography, different personalities, different styles of shooting and different methods of catching exactly what they wanted in the shot. Notice our trend of using the word “different”? That’s because it’s absolutely true- all photographers are different- which is why photography is such a beautiful, creative and varied form of art. When you interview photographers, they will undoubtedly tell you their style of photography up front, and you’ll notice it while flipping through sample albums. Here’s a breakdown on a few types of photography:

Photojournalism: The style that focuses on storytelling through images. This style captures the moments of the day exactly as they happen- the emotions, the spontaneity, the real story as it unfolds.

Portraiture: A classic style of wedding photography consisting of formal posed portraits, subjects specifically in or out of focus, dramatic composition, creative backdrops and silhouettes.

Fine-Art: This wedding photography style focuses on the photographer’s reality and is very much about the framing of the shot. Photographers often use creative lighting and create images with dramatic flair.

Fashion: This high-society style evokes visions of editorial and magazine glossy pages. Dramatic, bold, edgy and often ideal for cosmopolitan urban weddings.

Hiring Your Photographer. While it seems like a daunting task, there are a few things you can do to narrow your choice of photographers and find the perfect fit for your wedding day.

First, ask you wedding planner for a recommended list. Referrals are everything in the wedding industry. Starting with a tried and true list from your trusted wedding planner takes a lot of the guesswork out of finding your photographer.

Next, start scheduling interviews. During your meeting, scrutinize full wedding albums of the photographer’s previous clients. See if your aesthetic matches the way the wedding was captured. Pay attention to the small details, the framing of shots, the venues and especially the lighting.

Once you’ve conducted your interviews and viewed sample albums, take some time to process your gut feelings and think about which photographer you really connected with. Make sure your personalities mesh and that you won’t mind having them around all day. As Tara Arrowood shared, “Photographers are the only vendor who is with you all day on your wedding day- the most special, well-planned and anxiously awaited day. You want to be comfortable with me, you want to like me, you want to feel like I could be your friend, and honestly, someone you won’t find annoying on this precious day!”

Other vendors that impact your wedding photography. Hiring the right vendors is essential to a seamless event. When we asked our photographers for general advice on what couples should do to make the photographer’s job easier, Photographer Michelle Walker emphasized the importance of hiring a professional wedding planner (she had 2 at her own wedding) and a hair and makeup team. She added, “be the first one to get your hair/makeup done. There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed. Make sure you look like yourself… your most beautiful self.”

Timelines. Let your photographer be involved with the timeline of events. As Tara rightly says, “timelines are in place so that every vendor can do their best job.” While photographers are hired to capture the emotion of the day and candids, they also need time for the details that pull all the elements of the day together. Photographer Kevin Chin advises, “The most common problem I run into is not having enough time to get all of the photos that I want to tell your wedding day story. Hire a great wedding planner and work with your photographer to make sure they have enough time to get all the photos you want.” Michelle suggests a few ideas in terms of managing time on the day-of: “Do a first look and all portraits before the wedding ceremony. That way the rest of the day is just for you.” And at the reception, “Have a cocktail hour and a half. Having time to visit with everyone makes for great candids.”

The Unexpected. Photographers are experienced at managing the unexpected on your wedding day. Even the best timelines can be skewed by unforeseen events. Not to worry though. Tara explains that “being a ‘wedding’ photographer means that I need to be very good at different types of photography (photojournalistic, fashion, food, interior photography) as well as being able to think on my feet…you never know what might come up on your wedding day. Conditions change, nothing is predictable.” And remember, the unexpected is not always a bad thing! For example, a cute flower girl yawning during the ceremony makes for great wedding photography!

Trust your Photographer. Above all, it’s important to trust your photographer. They are masters of their craft and serious professionals. “You are probably not a professional model and don’t know what to do in front of the camera and that is totally OK,” says Tara. “That’s my job… to make you feel comfortable and relaxed, look your best and most importantly have fun!” Leave it to the photographers to direct you as needed and capture all the moments as they happen. “Your wedding day will fly by before you know it and hopefully you have hired a good photographer to help you remember your day. Make a promise with your fiancée that you will take a few minutes out of the wedding day to step back and soak it all in,” suggests Kevin. We completely agree. Your wedding day goes so fast you’ll be glad that someone captured all the things you’ll inevitably miss. And finally, remember: “the best photographs happen when you’re relaxed and happy,” said Michelle. So trust your photographer to capture the memories and you’ll get to enjoy every moment of the day from start to finish. Relax and let go. Let the pros go to work!

In closing, we wanted to send a special thank you to our photographers who contributed to this article. Here are some of our favorite memories they’ve captured for our clients.

Images 1-15: Arrowood Photography | Images 16-24: Kevin Chin Photography + Cinema | Images 24-38: Michelle Walker

st. regis rooftop ceremonystreet crossing    royal colors bouquet

st. regis ballroom wedding reception

st. regis san francisco at night

balcony kiss    place setting

wedding reception tent

outdoor lounge seating

dance floor

first dance black and white

sunset wedding photography

artistic wedding photography cat lighting pattern

sparkler exit

two grooms in white dinner jackets

wedding invitation   heart place cards

bluxome street winery

red flowers

dinner table

ombre wedding cake   wedding cake

wedding reception in barrel room

palm trees   hualalai four seasons

same-sex wedding photography

same-sex wedding ceremony

wedding photography group photo

place setting

bride smiles

wedding invitationwedding rings

wedding photography selfie

ritz carlton half moon bay

confetti dropshakespeare garden san franciscobride and groom and dog