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How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

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How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

So you’ve just gotten engaged and you’re not quite sure how to find a photographer that’s the perfect fit. No worries! I’m here to give you 6 helpful tips, before you even send an email, to get you on your way to choosing an amazing wedding photographer.

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Heads up!

BLW-Lex-0181 Attention all clients!  As you may have heard me say before, some big things are coming up for Runawayalice Photography!  The website, www.runawayalice.com, will be under construction for the next couple weeks.  I ask that you bare with me during this process and stay tuned for exciting updates.  Client galleries and the blog will still be available!  If you have any questions about finding anything feel free to contact me or email me at runawayalice@gmail.com.  I am so excited to be sharing all these changes with you.

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My Favorite Wedding Dresses

IMG_5606 I'm going to share with you five of my favorite wedding dresses and why.  These are all dresses that I photographed.  If I went onto google and just looked for dresses I liked we'd be here all day!  It was hard enough picking some out from all my beautiful brides!  I hope the ones I chose inspire you while you are out looking for your own.

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There is a lot to love about this dress!  One of the most important aspects of a dress is fit.  Make sure that you have several fittings to make sure the dress is perfect on your big day.  Morgan's dress fit her perfectly.  I also love the champagne colored ribbon that helps to define her waist, the sheer lace detail along the top and all along the dress.  The sheer sleeveless top gives it a different look than just going strapless.

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Catherine's dress was elegant and timeless.  I just love the contrast of the satin skirt with the lace bust.  This was a November wedding so the three quarter length sleeves provided a little extra warmth (although lets face it not much!) as well as an opportunity for some more gorgeous detailing.

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Terri's non traditional dress in red was so much fun!  I know Mother of the Bride's everywhere are cringing when they hear me say it, but non traditional is great.  If you are a Bride looking for a different wedding, go with a different dress!  There are so many beautiful options out there these days in a variety of colors and textures.  Just get on pinterest and pin to your hearts content.

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Give me lace any day!  Jodi's lace dress was beautiful and (seemed to be) comfortable.  She had beautiful lace detailing in the back.  She even had lace flats to match!   I love that Jodi went with a full length veil that gave it all a little drama and was really fun to photograph.

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Erika's gown was beautiful and simple.  However her custom veil from White Orchid Bridal took the whole look to another level.  The veil gave her bridal look an Old World feel which tied in perfectly with Erika and Travis' wedding theme.   If you are looking for a custom, handmade gown or veil I highly recommend talking to Colleen at White Orchid.

I hope these looks inspired you!  I am always available to recommend dress vendors and designers.  Have fun trying on tons of dresses and I hope you fall in love with a dress of your own.

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How to Communicate with Your Photographer

IMG_5603 Like all good relationships, communication is key.  This rule applies with your Photographer whether it is a wedding or portrait session.  The more I communicate with a client, the more at ease we both are and the more we both have a clear vision of the session.  Plus, it's really fun!  I mean what's the point of having all these pinterest boards if you can't share them with someone?

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If communication is key, then how do we go about it?  Welcome to the wild world of technology!  It can be overwhelming but we also have amazing options to communicate even if you are planning a wedding from Zanzibar.  P.S. If you are planning a wedding from Zanzibar just have it THERE.  I'll come to you!

  1. Meet and Greet If at all possible, go to your consultation with your photographer.  I know this is occasionally not an option due to distance but then set up a Skype consultation.  There are so many options!  I like to have both Bride and Groom at the consultation.  It is going to be awkward otherwise when I show up to capture the Groom getting ready and we're meeting for the first time.  It's his big day too ladies so lets get him in on this important aspect!  At your consultation, whether its your first or second, take time to get to know your photographer and see if you click.  They are going to do the same for you.
  2. Dream So you met your photographer.  Awesome.  Now what?  The wedding is a year (possibly  more possibly less) away!  We don't have to talk on the phone everyday but keep your photographer in the loop by sharing your dream with them.  Weddings change a lot from the initial "I Will" to the "I Do."  One of my favorite ways to do this is to share pinterest boards.  It's an awesome visual tool and also helps me to see what my clients are drawn to.  The key here is to keep it up to date though!
  3. Keep Us in the Loop I try to check in with my Brides regularly but it's also nice when they reach out with questions via phone, email, or text.  After all I'm here for you!  Don't be afraid to reach out to your photographer.
  4. Take Your Time With Your Answers Many photographers have Brides and Grooms fill out Questionnaires, Shot List, and/or Timelines as the wedding date approaches.  We know it's crunch time!  However, take your time to answer the questions, fill everything out, and give us any last minute details that maybe you haven't thought of before.  Having a surprise Daddy Daughter Dance?  Let us know so we can be on our toes!  Changing the location of the exit?  Definitely mark that down.  We can roll with the punches but the more we know the better.
  5. We're Here for You After All I really love to get to know my clients and several of them have become close friends.  When you are working with someone closely on a big event like this you naturally become close.  I guarantee every photographer I know has talked to a crying Bride, worked through a crisis, or just sympathized on the stress of planning.  As a Professional, I have seen the ins and outs of many weddings and it's okay to let your photographer know what's stressing you out.  They might have some helpful hints or tips that can help.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer

IMG_6002 Full Disclosure: If you haven't noticed, I AM a Professional Wedding Photographer.  So this post is naturally a little biased.  However, Professional Wedding Photographers are more than just photographers for a Bride to Be.  We consult, we calm, we lend a hand, and we are involved in all the details.  That said, I see so many Brides go with a family member or friend for their wedding photography and it breaks my heart.  Not just because their pictures might not be great but because there is so much more to a true professional than just the pictures.

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So here it is, my top five reasons for hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer:

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  1. Experience I cannot stress this enough.  When you are hiring a professional you are getting experience from many many weddings.  A professional isn't just taking the shot in front of them, they are thinking ahead to the next shot.  This is crucial in weddings.  Weddings are hectic and a time crunch.  You want an experienced professional who knows how weddings flow, who knows what to expect, and especially who knows how to deal with the unexpected. IMG_2593
  2. Professionals are, well, Professional As a wedding professional I am personally invested in each wedding I photograph.  I want to make a good impression and do my best for you.  Word of mouth is also key, I know that your friends and family are watching how I handle myself.  You don't want to hire a friend and have them hanging out with the Groomsmen when the cake cutting is going on.  This is my job and I give it my all. IMG_4285
  3. Unbiased Third Party Weddings are highly emotional events which is why I love them!  The love is flowing, the friendship, but also the stress.  At times it is crucial to have a third party who can diffuse the atmosphere and does not have a history with anyone involved.  It's easy for me to ask a family or friend to go ahead to the reception while we do couples shots without hurting their feelings.  They don't know me and have no beef with me, or at least I hope not!  The point is its easy to give direction, instruction, and move people along with some authority when they don't know me. _MG_4584
  4. Art My favorite part!  You are hiring an ARTIST.  There is so much more to photography than having fancy equipment, or just pointing and shooting.  Photographers are painting with light, gently revealing emotion, paying attention to color and lines, and capturing raw reactions.  This takes experience (see Reason #1), and an artistic eye. _MG_4242
  5. Products A wedding professional is going to offer you amazing products.  The wedding day is over, Uncle Jim has given you your photos on an unlabeled burned CD and they're now sitting in your drawer.  And that's where they will stay.  I offer my clients high end albums, gallery wraps, metal prints, countless options so that their memories come alive off their walls.  You are going to pour so much time, energy, and lets face it--money into your wedding that you should have constant reminders of that amazing day surrounding you. That is what makes those memories last and remind you of those emotions years from now. IMG_5750

We all know that weddings are expensive and wedding photography is one of the most expensive parts of your wedding.  However, it is also the most lasting.  If you hire a professional you are not paying just for the act of taking photos that day.  You are paying for consultation, communication, behind the scenes, experience, an artistic eye, high end editing, gorgeous products and it will be well worth the money because you will have the best.

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