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A professional's wise advice for choosing a wedding photographer featuring Jenna O’Keefe

Photography. It is a medium that transcends time, capturing moments long lost. It is a visual memory. It can be captured on an expensive camera or a humble cell phone. It can be color corrected, retouched, and refined or simply left alone. Each snap is special, each moment priceless.

As a wedding photographer, one of the biggest regrets I hear from people is that they did not hire a professional photographer for their big day. The anticipation when they slipped on their wedding dress, the excitement when they said their vows, the joy when they danced with their family is lost to the fading view of their memory. They cannot look back at their wedding album and remember those sweet moments.

Hiring a professional wedding photographer is essential. Not only will you get to relive some of the most poignant moments of your life, but you will also get to share those moments with others. Here are a few things to look for when hiring your wedding photographer:

· Experience, experience, experience. It is sweet when a family friend offers to shoot your wedding. They love you and want to make your day special, but a wedding photographer needs to satisfy many roles on your day. She needs to be a competent photojournalist, needs to understand lighting and ratios, and must be comfortable with portraits and timelines. She must be bold but gentle, assertive but nurturing. It is a complicated role. Look at the photographer’s portfolio and make sure she has a well-rounded gallery. Watch for candid images alongside styled portraits. You may want to ask how long she has been working with weddings. If her wedding photography is in its infancy, maybe find someone who has been shooting longer.

· Style matters. Match their style with your vision. Does their work excite you? Can you see your images having the same dreamy glow or moody feel? Each photographer stamps their images with a unique filter. If you respond to their work, it can be a good fit. If you find yourself asking them to change their look, move on to someone else.

· Enjoy their company. This person (your photographer) will be with you for most of your wedding day, taking part in some intimate moments. Make sure you like them. Do they help facilitate a calm atmosphere? Do they stress you out? These are some questions to ask yourself before you decide.

Your wedding is a wondrous day, full of excitement and joy. It is the start of a new adventure.

Safeguard those sweet memories by hiring a professional photographer that has plenty of wedding experience, has a portfolio you love, and a personality you enjoy.

Photo by Jenna O’Keefe


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