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Choosing The Perfect Wedding Photographer - A Business Decision or Not?

Choosing The Perfect Wedding Photographer - A Business Decision or Not?


by: Sharon Malone
Fresno Wedding Photographers, Fresno Wedding Photography

When I was thinking about how people choose a wedding photographer it struck me that there are two very different ways of thinking. The first is to look at the cost and it is a decision made almost entirely on budget and another item ticked off the "to do" list. The second is a more emotional decision - look for a photographer who's work you love and then see if you can afford their fee.

So that was what I was contemplating whilst thinking of my title. As I was writing the title I thought about how we sell our wedding photography or perhaps more accurately how people buy from us. It may surprise some of you to learn that for us it's also very much an affair of the heart and not a business transaction. That's not to say that we don't have a minimum price below which we are unlikely to book - of course we do - we have to make a living and we have to cover the costs of the excellent products and albums we offer. Second best simply isn't good enough for us.

In order for us to in many instances stand out in the rain, deal with cheeky, often worse for wear guests sometimes difficult family relationships with tact and diplomacy, look after and almost pamper not just the bride but those around her all day long and then at the end of the day still produce our best work ever (because we are only ever as good as our last wedding) there has to be something more in it for us than money alone. I suppose what I am referring to is job satisfaction in its broadest sense.

So we start off with four people - the couple and us. The relationship between us needs to be pretty equal in order for it to work on the day - i.e. we need to want to photograph their wedding as much, if not more, as they want us to photograph it for them.

Think about it. Does the most amazing, special day of your entire life want to be just another mark on the photographer's year planner until they have their quota filled for the year? Of course not! Ideally you want your photographers to be looking forward to photographing your wedding and spending the day with you because, believe me, if they are not then it will, no matter how hard they try on the day be reflected in some way in the pictures. The number of times we go just that little bit further, stay just a few moments longer, watch a little more carefully because we suspect something a little special is about to happen and are rewarded with some beautiful moments and expressions is high. Not everything happens just when you expect it to on a wedding day or just how you are expecting it to happen.

Take the signing of the register picture for example. One never to be missed at every wedding - with the increase in civil ceremonies and peculiar registrars it's also one of the shots which is getting more and more regimented and unemotional to shoot. It's a set up. One of the "must have"pictures for the album. But do you know that virtually every time the couple kiss after signing the register as a set up shot as the photographer stands down and the guests are invited up to take their shots the couples nearly always 99/100 times have another moment when they kiss? They can't help themselves. This is a private moment between two people who are so lost in each other they become the only two people in a crowded room. It's one not to be missed.

Another example of this is the confetti picture. We get some great shots of this. But what happens immediately after the confetti has been thrown? Either one of two things - if not both - firstly some people will try to stuff the confetti down the front of the brides dress - this makes a good "fun" picture with great expressions. Secondly flower girls and little children from the wedding will start gathering up the confetti. They are drawn to it like a magnet. Now there's two ways to capture this second photo opportunity if you are going to - the first (rather boring if you are not careful) is to simply take the shot, the second however is to get down to the kiddies level and take the shot from their angle - it makes a great shot and well worth the effort. That same principle can be applied to photographing kids anytime at a wedding. Get down on their level - see the world as they see it - you will be rewarded with some interesting pictures.

These are just two examples from the many moments that go to make a wedding day. I'm a romantic at heart and I very much shoot for expression - specifically the expressions of love and affection between two people. Now that isn't just limited to the bride and groom. I love the moment when the Father of the bride sees his daughter for the first time on the wedding day for example. Nearly always tough men soften and you can see the love in their eyes. Nearly always the bride looks expectantly at her father as if almost seeking approval for one last time but the shot that many photographers miss is the mother of the bride watching all this going on. She loves them both dearly. She's probably been a party to the bride choosing the dress and helping her to get dressed on the wedding morning. She's as excited about her husband's reaction to his daughter as the bride is. This is mums' moment too.

So now I've talked a little about why wedding photography is an affair of the heart for us what about you? What makes you consider a particular photographer over another? Is it a cost thing or is it a passion for what they do and offer? Without knowing the photographer can you envisage them at your wedding and imagine the pictures they may take of you and your family for you? Or is the album manufacturer more important to you than the pictures within the album? They remain faceless until after the day because it's simply another box ticked on the long list of things you have "to do" before the day. It's not a reality even in your imagination.

Do you think that you might be able to "barter down" your photographer in price to photograph your day for you, sometimes to the point that, as in other wedding services you have bought in, it becomes a game of wills to see who will give the most before walking away? If you really like the images of the photographer with whom you are entering into negotiation then you have to be prepared to accept the consequences of possibly losing their booking. You might end up with a real bargain but there's also a great chance that you will end up with all of nothing.

Conversely do you simply love what they offer and if your budget will allow you're going to have them? If you do this will come across to your photographer and there is a chance that even if they are slightly above your budget if they have any room to maneuver on what is included - say by decreasing the album size or number of pictures initially included then your photographer may be willing to try to compromise to an affordable price for you.

John Ruskin - a much more intelligent person than I once famously said:

"It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money. That is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing that you bought was incapable of doing the thing that you bought it to do! The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It cannot be done.... And if you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk that you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better. There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper. And the people, who consider price alone, are this man's lawful prey."

I know I'm biased but he could have been talking about wedding photography.

Choosing The Perfect Wedding Photographer - A Business Decision or Not?

California Wedding Photographers

California Wedding Photographers

List Of Recommended California Wedding Photographers Below:

Request Price Quotes - Click Here

Photography by Jon Howell Photography by Jon Howell (member photographer since October 2006)
We are proud to be associated with Photography by Jon Howell. His excellent reputation, great work, and flexible style are enough to put Jon Howell at the top of the list of must-have wedding photographers in Central California.

Charles Le Photography, Fresno, Visalia, Central Valley Photography By Charles (member photographer since November 2006)
Photography By Charles is yet another vendor that has been a long-time member photographer of FresnoWeddings.Net, and our many sister sit
Linkes which means, that we have never received a complaint about the quality of his work, or service.

Composure Photography And Videography Composure Photo & Videography (member photographer since October 2009) They started out under our Videography category in 2005, but eventually decided to move into our Photography category in 2009, and have proven to be a reliable member photographer and videographer to our brides, and grooms.

Choice Imaging Photography - Fresno, Modesto, Visalia, Yosemite, Central California Choice Imaging Photography (member photographer since Jan. 2011)
We are proud to have Choice Imaging re-join us. They have been a members before, and are with us again. We have confidence in referring them to you.

Pro Images Photography - Fresno Wedding Photographer, Modesto, Visalia, Yosemite, Central California Pro Images Photography (member photographer since Jan. 2011)
We are proud to have Pro Images Photography as a recommended photographer..

Fresno wedding

Indian Wedding, Lally + Harman's Wedding Trailer

Indian Wedding: Lally + Harman's Wedding Trailer

Epic Indian Wedding In Ceres/ Fresno California. i want to thanks both Families for taking good care of us, it was truly an amazing experience.

While We're At It You Will Also Enjoy:
Bhav + Sukh's Wedding Trailer

Epic Indian Wedding Filmed in Fremont, Newwark, Modesto and Pleasanton. We Couldn't be more satisfied with all the great peoples, decoration, colors and emotions and of course amazing shots. Thanks Sukh + Bhav to trust me the way you did on your big day.

Indian Wedding: Lally + Harman's Wedding Trailer

Kraig & Tiffany's November 11, 2011 Fresno Wedding

Kraig & Tiffany's November 11, 2011 Fresno Wedding

(Photos In Video Of Kraig & Tiffany Provided By: Mark Janzen Photography ~ 559-681-7567)

What an honor to be able to document KRAIG & TIFFANY'S November 11, 2011 wedding in Fresno, CA.

Kraig & Tiffany planned their destination wedding in Fresno (long distance) from their home in Alaska.

Everything turned out wonderfully under the care of their chosen wedding planning consultant (Weddings By Cassandra ~ 559-474-7206).

The couple chose to add some very personal and unique touches to their wedding as you will see in the photos below.

Just to mention a few of unique touches that really stood out:

Their wedding favors were truffles in personalized boxes for each guest, with each box having the couple's thumb prints overlapping each other. You can't get much more personalized than that!

2. The couple chose to commemorate their special day by encasing a bottle of wine in special keepsake wooden box (to be opened and drank on their 1 year anniversary). The box had the following words written on top: "May Our Love Be Like Good Wine, Grow Stronger As It Grows Older." - Old English Toast

3. Rather than simply having their guests sign a traditional guest book, the couple had their guests, stamp their thumb print on a drawn tree (see photos below), and sign their name next to their thumb print. The result is a lasting Tree/Record of the couple's beloved guests. LOVE THIS IDEA!!

Enjoy Some Photos Of The Details & Decor From Kraig & Tiffany's Wedding & Reception:

Kraig & Tiffany's November 11, 2011 Fresno Wedding

Native American Wedding Bands!

Bearclaw Custom Native Jewelry - Native American Wedding Bands!



In Love Indian Wedding Vase

In Love Indian Wedding Vase

A wedding vase is traditionally used by Native American couples in the Southwest but it is being used increasingly by couples everywhere drawn to the culture's spirituality and reverence for nature, the earth, and the environment. During the ceremony each person drinks from a spout to symbolize both individuality and unity. The vase is one-of-a-kind handcrafted with a braided handle. It measures 8" tall and is signed by the artist, Santana Phillips of the Acoma Pueblo.

Taos Two Indian Wedding Vase

Taos Two Indian Wedding Vase

A wedding vase is traditionally used by Native American couples in the Southwest but it is being used increasingly by couples everywhere drawn to the culture's spirituality and reverence for nature, the earth, and the environment. During the ceremony each person drinks from a spout to symbolize both individuality and unity. The vase is one-of-a-kind and hand thrown with mica clay. It measures 9.5" tall and is signed by the artist, Bernadette Track of the Taos Pueblo.

Blazing Star Indian Wedding Vase

Blazing Star Indian Wedding Vase

A wedding vase is traditionally used by Native American couples in the Southwest but it is being used increasingly by couples everywhere drawn to the culture's spirituality and reverence for nature, the earth, and the environment. During the ceremony each person drinks from a spout to symbolize both individuality and unity. The vase is one-of-a-kind and is hand crafted in New Mexico. It measures 8" tall and is signed by the artist, Gary Bennett of the Navajo Pueblo.

Bearclaw Custom Native Jewelry - Native American Wedding Bands!

A very glamorous Vintage Wedding inspiration shoot

A very glamorous Vintage Wedding inspiration shoot! Enjoy :)


Vintage Magnolias Wedding Invitation

Vintage Magnolias Wedding Invitation

Adorn your wedding invitations with an enchanting blend of vintage charm and sleek modern style with this elegant design from Cat Seto. It's sweet and whimsical look will give your event a chic and luxurious style.

Vintage Chiffon Ring Bearer Pillow

Vintage Chiffon Ring Bearer Pillow

The look is rich and sophisticated with crushed ivory chiffon and a band of taupe beadwork. Our pillow is wonderfully neutral and plays beautifully against pastels or jewel tones. Each pillow measures 7" square.

Homemade Chocolate Wedding Favors - Easier Than You Think!

Homemade Chocolate Wedding Favors - Easier Than You Think!

By Jeanette Shinn

Save 10% with Weddings

Crafting your own homemade chocolate wedding favors has become, in many circles, an integral part of the wedding planning process. For many this is a wonderful option for bridal shower favors, but homemade chocolate wedding favors are equally great for the wedding itself.

Regardless of when and where you make use of your homemade chocolate favors, the time spent making them is an event that the bride and her bridesmaids can look back on as a fun evening of laughter for years to come. It can be a wonderful time of crafting where the music was playing, the chocolate was plentiful, and the laughter was nearly endless.

But what options do you have if you want to create (or at least collect) your own chocolate wedding favors without giving in to the exhausted standby of Jordan Almonds wrapped in a sheer piece of organza tied closed with a ribbon?

Dan's Chocolates

One of the most popular options, though rarely attempted, is homemade truffles. These sinfully delicious treats are bound to please your guests. Nearly everyone loves the sinfully rich indulgence of truffles, but few realize how accessible recipes are - and they are really not that difficult to make for someone who knows their way around a kitchen.

As a result your guests might wonder if they had stumbled into Rachel Ray's wedding when they find they will be ending the wedding dinner with a homemade chocolate truffle. Present it as a wedding favor in any number of favor packaging options to match the decor of your wedding and they will be sure of it.

Another even simpler option, with the help of your local craft store, is the molding of chocolates. With a superior chocolate, some candy colors, a double boiler, candy molds, and a little bit of creativity you can create fun bite size candies that fit your wedding theme. For example, if you are having a Hawaiian themed wedding you could make orchid shaped chocolates in the colors of your wedding. Or perhaps, if you could find a mold, you could create chocolates in the shape of a hula dancer... or sea turtles... or palm trees. The possibilities in molding you own homemade chocolate wedding favors are nearly endless.

Fortunately there are plenty of options within the homemade chocolate wedding favor realm that lend themselves beautifully to such an endeavor. For example, chocolate covered strawberries, raspberries, mango, or any one of a number of other fruits are always a hit and once again easy to do with the help of your local craft store. Or if your circle loves it their coffee, why not try creating chocolate covered coffee beans? Fill a chest favor box with the treats and call it good, or you can intermingle them with an assortment of truffles and decorative molded chocolates in a clear Hexagon Favor Box. Or perhaps even choose some personalized ribbon and use it to adorn your hand crafted gift.

The Most Unique Romantic Gifts -

Chocolates and other edibles are not something you can make months in advance like a woodworker would be able to do with trivets or wooden puzzles they planned to present as wedding favors, but neither should you wait until the last moment. Depending on which recipe you use, chocolates will keep for a few days in a refrigerator and in some cases will last for as long as a month in the freezer so plan ahead. The experience of creating homemade chocolate wedding favors at the same time as keeping company with their closest girlfriends is one most brides treasure for a lifetime.

Save 10% with Weddings

Tents For Weddings, Some Helpful Tips And Advice

Tents For Weddings, Some Helpful Tips And Advice


by: Carl Walker

Renting a good tent is important when planning an outdoor wedding. While tents provide a cozy and personal touch to the whole outdoor wedding décor, they also shield you and your guests from unfavorable weather conditions. Tents are also more flexible than existing facilities because you have more options regarding where and how you want to have your wedding. However, they are more expensive and can cost you around $3,000 to $6,000 without the extras such as lighting, flooring, and the cost of delivery, setup, and removal.

Types of Wedding Tents:

These are some of the popular tents that you may want to check out before making a decision.

Party Canopy: This is a lightweight tent designed to protect from sun and rain. Installation is easy, and inexpensive to rent in comparison to other types.

Pop-up Canopy: Another lightweight tent with collapsible-frame fabric. Installation is also easy.

Frame Tent: A tent with a metal frame having no center poles. The rental company usually installs it.

Tension tent: This type is built with high center poles, a steeply sloped ceiling, with a more open feeling inside of the tent.

Pole Tent: This type has poles around the perimeter and in the center, which is very practical for harsher weather conditions. The rental company will install it.

Location and Flooring:

The best location for setting up the wedding tent is on an even high ground, and should be free of overhead utility lines. If the site has uneven terrain or experiences high rainfall, try to include plywood or plastic flooring. Plywood can be expensive but it will provide a durable raised floor and is suitable for almost any type of terrain. Plastic floor is ideal for paved surfaces and is much cheaper than plywood floors. Also consider parquet-wood floor which can be used as the dance floor.

Size of the Tent:

There’s no harm in renting a tent that’s a little larger than actually required. Think of a tent size in which your guests can be comfortably seated. Here’s how you should estimate tent seating specifications:

All chairs in rows: 6 square feet per person
Round tables: 12 square feet per person
Rectangular tables: 8 square feet per person
Cocktails and receptions: 8 square feet per person

Along with these specifications, figure in the bar area, cake table, band area buffet tables, and dance floor.

Color of the Tent:

The traditional color for tents is white but you can choose from a wide variety and combinations, depending on the theme and mood of your wedding. For example, if you want a romantic starlit night sky to be part of your wedding, rent a tent with a translucent ceiling. Sidewalls can be solid white for more private affairs, clear vinyl to let in natural light, and cathedral-window walls for a more decorative touch.


Remember that every rental firm also provides optional accessories which can really underscore the décor of your wedding and the tent. Choose those that will fit in to the theme and tone of the wedding. Other accessories that you can’t do without may include air-conditioning (for areas with extreme climates), carpeting, portable bars, decorative lighting etc.

Outdoor Wedding under the Tent Pictures, Images and Photos