As a 5 year wedding photographer, here are some things I've learned.

I shot my first wedding alone quite some time ago, for $0. That's right, I made ZERO dollars after a 12 hour day, no food, no timeline, shot with a Canon 60D (if that tells you anything.) Why did I do that? No one told me I should've shadowed or became a second shooter to a professional, well-educated photographer before I went off on my own....& it showed. I came home very disappointed, very sore & VERY hungry. BUT I had gained experience & knowledge, which kick-started my career. Had I not taken so many weddings, for nearly nothing at the beginning of my career, who knows if I would've reached my first 6-figures by simply doing what I love.

What I started to realize within a couple of years is when I would take more weddings that maybe didn't fit my style or vision, especially for very cheap, some of those clients weren't happy if my style didn't fit their vision exactly. A fault of both of ours; I should've been thinking of quality over quantity & not have sold myself short. My work was never awful, in my opinion, However, those earlier clients were way more picky, sometimes upset, because they didn't trust me as a professional photographer & my skillset. Some of those clients simply liked the low cost, but not the work attached to it. Again, a fault of my own for not recognizing what I was doing to myself & career at the time.

It wasn't until 2021 when a client, of all people, came to me & said I was severely undercharging for the quality of work I was producing. Which was a major compliment that someone was telling ME they wanted to pay me more. That night, I went home, edited my website, changed my pricing & packages & started advertising on social media. I received two inquiries within 24 hours & I booked them both. When I finally started capturing the weddings of the clients who inquired after the price update, I noticed a shift in my mindset. Suddenly, being on my feet for 12 hours wasn't so bad. At these weddings, I was treated like a friend. I was fed gourmet meals, I was asked if I could "please chill out, you've been working so hard. You need to eat, too" which was greatly appreciated. After the weddings were over & the galleries were delivered, I had nothing but positive reviews & appreciation from my clients who trusted me to do my job & it showed.

The venue matters

To put it simply, any photographer or anyone in the wedding industry will give you this advice- make sure your budget matches your vision. Piggy-backing off the last section, I've worked in tons of different venues. From dimly lit, small chicken coops (yes, a chicken coop bridal suite) to large, natural light, spacious suites & it absolutely does make a difference. Sure, any good photographer can make any location look decent, but if your inspo board is very clean, minimalistic & bright, you have to find a venue that offers just that. There are a few other things to take into consideration as well. If you go to check out your venue alone prior to booking it & your bridal suite looks good enough for you, consider how many people will be joining you in there. You'll more than likely have a makeup artist, a hair stylist, a photographer, mothers of the couple, all of your bridal party AND all of their luggage & supplies. Is your space going to fit everyone without looking cluttered, messy & overcrowded? Is there enough lighting? If I had to choose a perfect bridal suite, it would be at Buckland in Delta, Ohio (pictured here.) Large, spacious gathering room, a kitchenette, a large island for all of the supplies, big windows & mirrors, a bedroom, a room dedicated to all of the dresses & more. Absolutely stunning!

The same applies for your actual ceremony & reception. When you go to check out venues, pay attention to where the parking lot is. Will there be cars in the background of your photos at all? Is there a road nearby where people will be driving through? Is someone's house going to be in the background? Take a good look around to see what you may consider distractions. Of course we always do our best to remove those in editing, but some things aren't so easy. If you want to get married at a church, confirm with the church their photography rules. Some I've been to do not let anyone walk past the pews or get up close. Confirm with your photographer they have the proper lenses to capture far distances. Usually churches will give you a list of vendor/photography rules you can pass on.

Why are timelines important?

If you hired a candid, documentary style photographer because you enjoyed the idea of not being on a strict schedule or being too posed, that's amazing & definitely right up my alley. The only concern with no timelines is if the other vendors know what's going on & when. Once the reception starts, the photographer, videographer & DJ need to be on the same page. We'll need to know when the grand entrance is, when the cake cutting is, along with speeches, dinner, special games or dances, etc. From a DJ's standpoint, they need to know what songs to play for which event, it's crucial to keep the night flowing smoothly so we don't have to disrupt the couple at their own wedding.

On that note, do your research on DJ's as well as every other vendor. Make sure you know who you'll be working with exactly if you book through a company with multiple entertainers. You want to make sure your personalty & theirs matches & they can keep your guests up & moving. Especially if you have envisioned lively, fun photos for your reception!

All Love Is Welcome

We don't discriminate against any love, including religion, race or sexuality. It's all welcome with us.

We're also 420 friendly if you choose to include that in your special day (which is surprisingly common.) We just want to see people happy on one of the biggest days of their life & would love to be the ones who capture it all!

Reach Out

If you have any questions regarding your wedding or need help wedding planning, please email me. I can send you recommendations or get you in contact with someone who can.

Also, a little piece of advice - remember at the end of the day, this is YOUR wedding. It's not your mom's or grandma's. You can throw out old school traditions, you can make it fun, do whatever you want to do because at the end of the day, we all hope to only do this once & it's exciting & memorable & should reflect you & your new partner exactly how you are.