Today we had the pleasure of speaking with a couple of amazing wedding photography pros! These pros are here to give us their best advice for selecting your wedding photographer. They are also here to give us the must-have photos on your wedding day and beyond. Let’s introduce these amazing wedding pros quickly before we jump into the fun stuff!
Amelia, the owner of Amelia Marie Photography, is based out of Burlington, Vermont. However, she serves all of Vermont, New England, and beyond. She is truly an adventurous soul and is not afraid to jump in headfirst for her couples. Amelia has that warm personality that just invites you in. You will truly leave any session with her feeling like you’ve made a new friend. She says wedding photography is her true life passion.
The owner of Ellen Sargent Photography, Ellen, is based out of Boston, MA. Ellen though some very strong ties to Vermont as she grew up on the shore of Lake Champlain. One of our favorite things about Ellen is that she has mastered the art of simultaneously streaming a Boston Bruins game while catching up on the most recent episode of The Bachelor. We have worked with Ellen numerous times on weddings and her talent has never ceased to amaze us. We were recently featured on Vermont Weddings with Ellen! She reached out to us for a Surprise Spring Mini-mony for some of her amazing clients. Check out the feature here!
We curated a list of questions for Amelia and Ellen and they so graciously answered them all in great detail.
Both photographers agree, one of the most important questions to ask is easy. The first question you should ask is, “Are you available for our date?”. Ellen says it’s really important for her to hop on a call/zoom, or meet up with couples before they book. Ellen always tells her clients, “if you don’t feel like we vibe, go with your gut instinct and choose someone you do vibe with.” You should of course follow up with other more important questions like pricing and packages too. Amelia has a great blog called 15 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer. We highly suggest you check out her blog after you’re done here!
Amelia says, “At least a year in advance is a good rule of thumb. However, like most other wedding vendors, photographers have experienced many postponements and reschedulings in 2020 and 2021. So, keep in mind your dream photographer may be booked farther out than normal due to COVID.” Ellen followed up to say, “I’m booking into September 2022 and beyond, which is the furthest out I’ve ever booked.
Ellen helps couples create a wedding day timeline that best suits their photography desires. Both Ellen and Amelia agree that 8 hours seems to be the sweet spot for coverage. Amelia says that her typical wedding day starts at noon to 1pm and end anywhere around 8-9pm in the evening. This allows your photographer time to get everything from those getting ready shots to those dirty dance floor shots. Ellen says she rarely stays to the end of the reception. She said those late-night photos are best shot on your iPhone.
Amelia says, “I love taking the opportunity to step away from the celebration with just my couple to snap a few portraits at golden hour. It gives the two of them a moment to really soak it all in, and I get to capture them in the most beautiful light of the day!” Ellen agrees but says, “Ohh, that’s so hard to answer! While I work hard to make everyone feel comfortable in front of my lens and assist with posing so there’s no excuse that my clients are “awkward in front of the camera”, my favorite images are often not from any of the posed portraits. I live for candid photos. The photos that freeze time forever and let my couples look back at the belly laughs they shared with some of their favorite people.”
Both Ellen and Amelia agree that is it so important for couples to create a shot list so that they don’t miss those must-have shots. Amelia noted that her style is very candid, authentic, and in the moment. However, she makes a point to still get those priceless photos of grandparents, dads, sisters, brothers, etc. Ellen says while she works incredibly hard in the planning phase to ensure it doesn’t happen usually if it does it is due to things that are out of everyone’s control(like the bus breaking down on the way to the wedding venue). Woof! Sounds like that has happened before.
Both Ellen and Amelia recommend having some items on hand for detail shots but think it is a task best delegated to a wedding party member or family member. Ellen says some of the most common items to have on hand are: a full invitation suite, shoes, jewelry, rings (both bride’s and groom’s), any special heirlooms, veil, and dress are typically photographed. She suggests couples consider bringing an attractive hanger so we’re not left to use the one the dress was stored on or one from the hotel’s closet. Ellen says some couples opt to purchase a ring box from The Mrs Box to play on their color scheme and elevate their flat lay. Side note, we love when couples ask us for some styling blooms. Those tiny pops of florals also help add some dimension and interest to your detail shots.
Amelia and Ellen both feel so strongly about the importance of an engagement shoot before the wedding that they include it complimentary in their wedding packages. Amelia says, “It’s a great way for the couple to get to know their photographer and vice-versa, as well as have the opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera and break the ice a bit before the wedding day so you know just what to expect.” Ellen says she loves doing engagement shoots because if your portrait time on the wedding day gets cut short, we can still get a lot of awesome shots because the couple has already experienced a couple’s session and knows the posing, prompts, etc. You spend more time with your wedding photographer than anyone else on your wedding day so it is so important that you are comfortable with them.
We really resonated with Amelia when she said, “My biggest piece of advice would be to invest in a wedding photographer that fits your personality and style.” We could not agree more with that advice as it is something we often preach to our own couples who seek us out for wedding florals. Both Amelia and Ellen agree it is important to do your due diligence by not only looking at their social media but also asking for a full gallery of images so you can see what the finished product may look like. Ellen noted, “Do keep in mind that each galley is shot with the couple’s vision in mind, so while it might not be exactly what you’d want, look through the lens of do you like the style, do you like the edits, and do you like the overall vibe?”
Thank you so much Ellen and Amelia for letting us #AskTheExperts and breakdown some wedding photography questions. We have worked with Amelia and Ellen many times and a lot of photos in our portfolio actually belong to them. We highly suggest you check them out if you are in the market for a wedding photog. Who do you want to see us chat with next? Venue Owners? Caters? Bakers? Let us know in the comments.