• Sydney Leigh

Why Invest in a Photographer

Whether you are hiring a photographer for your engagement photos, wedding, elopement, or just photos as a couple, it is so important you invest in your photos and your photographer. Yes, there is a difference! ;) There are so so many photographers out there that can take INSANELY beautiful photos and deliver you the product that you want. However, when you invest in photos, you also need to invest in your photographer. Let's break the whole investing importance down here.

First off, investing in your photos. I want you to really look deep into your photographer that you are thinking about booking. Look through their website, through their social media accounts, and through their online galleries. Make sure you are really in love with absolutely EVERYTHING you are seeing. Look at the photos that most relate to where you will be taking pictures! Those are the ones that your photos will most resemble. Eloping in the mountains? Look at their wedding photos with mountainous areas. Taking photos on the beach? Study their photos that are by water and sand! Getting married in a church? Make sure you like the lighting their church photos have! If you do not see your location in their portfolio, find something similar and chat with them about what they would do to prepare for your shoot! If you do not see something that resembles your location in my portfolio.. here is what I do: first, I do a ton of research on the location you chose! I look at landscape photos, location, and tags to see what looks best when! Second, I go to scope out your location the day before at the time we would be shooting. I try to find the best spots with amazing views and lighting. I typically take someone with me to test out lighting and views on them to make sure you two will look amazing there!

Along with making sure your photographer has photos that resemble your location, make sure they have professional equipment and plans that back up your photos! There is nothing worse than getting your photos taken and your photographer losing the photos. We are all human, and mistakes happen. Luckily, engagement photos and couple photos can be redone, however.. your wedding day is something that can not be redone. So, simply ask or read your photographer's website to see how they back up their photos. As a photographer, I shoot with TWO memory cards on each camera. One is the main memory card, and the other is a back up of the main one. So, you are double covered already when you are taking your photos. Once I get home from your wedding day, I instantly back up your photos on TWO external hard drives. So, now you have FOUR copies of all your photos. I keep these memory cards in my fireproof safe. I do NOT delete the photos off either memory card until you have the gallery in your possession. And even after your gallery has been delivered, your original photos will stay on my external hard drives.

Next, investing in your photographer. I want you to think about three things while looking for a photographer. Experience, personality, and style. First, let's talk experience. The more experience the photographer has, the better, but also, possibly, the more expensive. Here is why. As a photographer grows, their skills, knowledge, and cliental do as well. A photographer's experience is based on these three things. The more people they photograph, the more their skills and knowledge grow. They know locations, posing, prompting, camera skills, lighting, editing, outfit ideas, and so much more. Experience is huge. The more work they have to show, the more they have shot, the more they know, the more they have worked with. Next, personality. The way your photographer interacts with their audience, their friends, and significant others, is how they will also interact with you. They are telling your love story, so if they do not have any good relationships in their lives, you love story may not look how you want it to in your photos. So, pay attention to how they portray their relationships on their social media and/or in real life. How your photographer portrays themselves is also how they will capture your love story. Make sure they are confident in who they are and what they do. If they are not, they may not be ready to lead you through your session. Lastly, style. Focus on their personal style and the style that your photographer shoots with and edits with. Personal style will show what style is best shown through their photos. If your photographer has a boho style, the boho vibes will come out in their work. If they have an adventurous style, the adventure vibes will come out. Shooting style will determine what your session will be like. If you see a ton of serious photos in their portfolio, your session might be very serious and somber. If you see a lot of movement photos in their portfolio, you might be doing a lot of movement activities. Really focus on what you want your session to be like while looking at this style. And finally, their editing style, There are so many different styles to editing. Make sure you are in LOVE with the colors you are seeing. The photographer will not change their artistic style to fit something you want that is NOTHING like the rest of their work. Hire them for exactly what they do, not what you are hoping they do. If you like the light and airy look, the dark and moody look, or the naturally color look, hire a photographer that already does that!

So, to recap, you are investing in quality photographs AND the photographer. Trust me, I get it. Weddings and life is already expensive. Budgets are budgets. But, just make sure if you are really wanting a certain style, photographer, experience, and/or quality of photograph, you have your budget set accordingly. There is always someone who will offer a "cheaper" package. I just want you to ask yourself, "Will I be happy with this photographer on our wedding day," "Will they truly capture the photos I am wanting," "Do I love everything they do and stand for," and "Will I LOVE these photos the days, weeks, months, years after my wedding." Just remember, this is one of the ONLY ways you will be able to look back and remember your wedding day when you are 65 years old.

I hope this helped you really consider which photographer you want to book for your big day, whether that is me or another photographer! There are so many amazing photographers out there, and I definitely hope I am one on your list! :)

xoxo, Sydney

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Mountain Elopement Photographer

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Destination wedding and

elopement photographer
based out of Minnesota but

always ready to travel.