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Capturing the moment

Kara Wiliams
Photo/Kelley Cox
ALL |

You think you only need to have chemistry with your groom on your wedding day? Think again. If you want fabulous pictures of your special day, it’s ideal to have a great relationship with your wedding photographer, too.

“It all boils down to the chemistry I have with the bride and groom,” said Carbondale-based photographer Jackie Daly. “The more they know me, the more relaxed they are, and the better experience it is for everyone.”

That’s why Daly will meet with her clients as often as possible before the big day. “I want them to see me as part of the team, not the enemy,” she said.

Wedding planner Susan Nicholson of 5 Star Events in Carbondale agreed. “This is the person you’ll be spending your entire wedding day with,” she said. “You want to make sure you have a great rapport.”

Nicholson suggested interviewing three or four potential photographers. (Consider asking for referrals from local married friends, your contact at the reception site or the Yellow Pages.) You’ll want to find out what their hourly fee is, how much reprints cost and what sort of album they can make. Some photographers will hand over their negatives, so you can make your own prints, said Nicholson. “But that’s rare.”

It’s important to review portfolios carefully, according to Stacey Stuart, who has been shooting weddings up and down the Roaring Fork Valley for 12 years. “The photos should be in focus and flattering ” the people should look good,” she said.

But more importantly, couples should take note of the “feel” of the photography. “It’s great when couples see my work and say, ‘Yes! That’s the feeling I want.'”

Photography is one place in your budget that you shouldn’t skimp, nor should you let a few hundred dollars be the deciding factor in choosing a photographer, according to Stuart.

“Some people say that they really don’t care about the photography,” she said. “But that’s what you’ll access most after the wedding. You won’t pull out your dress again, but you’ll look at pictures.”

Once you’ve selected your photographer, you’ll sit down with him or her to spell out exactly what pictures you want taken on your wedding day. If photos of you getting ready with your bridesmaids are important, make sure it’s on the photographer’s lineup.

And while many couples these days are cutting back on the number of formal posed shots in lieu of lots of candids, those posed pictures are usually necessary ” if not for you, then for Mom and Dad.

To help facilitate taking the family group shots after the wedding, Stuart asks her couples well before the wedding to make a list of who’s in which shot. “The brides aren’t thinking clearly on the actual day.”

Daly designates someone from the bride’s side and someone from the groom’s side to act as point persons. “They’ll make sure Aunt Susan isn’t running off to the bar when she needs to be in a shot.”

Daly said that her favorite clients are those who are fun and relaxed, and who can stay grounded and calm, even if the day doesn’t go totally as planned.

Stuart said she is appreciative of clients who will grin and bear it during the post-ceremony photo session, even when they’re eager to get to the reception.

And a good photographer will make that happen ” fast.

Said Stuart, “I let my clients know that the day isn’t about me, it’s about them. And I’ll do everything I can to help get them to their party.”


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