Three Tips for Hiring a Wedding Photographer

While I may be new to the whole wedding scene, here are three of the most important things that I've picked up along the way. So, if you're a soon-to-be bride, here are the things that I want to pass along to you: 

1. Hire a photographer whose style you love. If you like their work on their social media accounts (find mine here: Instagram and Facebook) you will be happy with your own photos.  Basically, three camps of photography styles exist, (1) light and airy, (2) dark and moody, and (3) everything in between. I tend to be more towards the light and airy. If you prefer dark and moody images, then I'm probably not the photographer for you, and hey, that's ok! Before you book someone, make sure you look at their past work and see if it's something you'd be proud to put up on the walls of your home. 

2. Hire a photographer with whom you can get along. Your wedding photographer is a part of the most romantic and intimate parts of your day (hello! first look, and getting into your wedding dress!) You'll be together for your ENTIRE WEDDING day! Make sure they're someone you'd like to hang out with on a normal day. Do you have a similar sense of humor? Are they fun to be around? Do they treat you and other vendors with respect? 

3. Your timeline is important. While shopping for a wedding photographer you may notice that they tend to price their packages by the hour. They range anywhere from 4 hours to 12 hours. Some also say "all-day" which means there is no time limit, and will be available for as long as you want them to be. So how do you know which package is right for you? It all comes down to the timeline, and how you have your day set up.  By timeline, I mean knowing what time should your ceremony start, how much time to include between the ceremony and reception, how long it will take for family formals, bridal and wedding party photos. As your photographer, I have timelines available and will work one-on-one with you to set your day up to make the most of our time together, and make sure we get the best shots! 

While you think about those things, enjoy these photos from a styled wedding shoot I was a part of in mid-Missouri at The Legacy Barn

Special thanks to: 

Amber Koelling Photography

Event Planner: Melissa Mertens at Your Way Wedding 

Models: Hope Hoellering & Raj, Della Walker

Makeup: Maxx Payne at MakeupbyMaxx 

Hair: Della Walker at Della's Cuts, Colors, and Styles

Venue: The Legacy Barn in Barnett, Missouri

Florals: Florissimo 

Cake: Allison's Pastry Shop

Cookies: Cookie Creations by Laura

Stationary: The Ink Cafe LLC

Rentals: A1 Party & Event Rental

Agate Slice Place Setting: Danika Choi 

Cake Topper: Lietofiore

Downtown St. Louis Wedding

Oh, friends, I am so excited to share this wedding with you today! It has a bunch of downtown St. Louis big hitters (no, I don't mean the Cardinals!) The ceremony was at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, photos at The City GardenAnheuser-Busch Brewery, Forest Park, and a reception at Windows On Washington. So many great St. Louis landmarks. It’s hard for us to believe that going into this day, I didn't know anyone, even the lead photographer. That's one thing I love about photography; it brings people together. Also, has anyone noticed that people just seem to be so much nicer when you have your camera out and are taking photos? I always thought that weddings would be this crazy high-stress day and that people would be kinda nutso. 

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think I've ever encountered a grumpy person while shooting a wedding. I have been blessed to work with some amazing couples. Everyone just seems so calm and put together, and it's always like, "Hey! The photographer is here!" and are genuinely happy to see me.  I've also heard that once vendors start arriving for the wedding day, that's when brides say it gets a lot more real.

I'm falling in love with wedding photography pretty hard and fast. I'm an introvert, so I'm always a big fan of those intimate one-on-one moments that weddings are chocked full of. First looks between a bride and her groom where they recite their vows to each other,  a dad walking his baby girl down the aisle with a single tear running down his face, when a newly-married couple walk into their reception space for the first time and see all of the beautiful details they have so carefully picked out. It's simply the best. Also, what's not to love about a day surrounded by your bestest friends and close family. Oh man, I couldn't think of anything better, and as a wedding photographer, I get to experience that with my couples over and over again. Who wouldn't want this job?!?!

A Family Farm Wedding

Chelsea and Greg's day was a perfect reflection of two people becoming one. Every part of the day was so personal. They celebrated on the grounds of Chelsea's family property in rural Missouri.  Her grandparents built the house, and Chelsea has such fond childhood memories of being on the farm that she couldn't imagine getting married anywhere else. Her biggest wish was to get married there, and her whole family pitched in to make it happen. Watching the care that this family had for each other, and the time they took to make sure every detail was taken care of was one of the best parts of the day.  The forecast showed the day being extremely chilly, and the family scrambled to make sure everyone was warm and toasty with cozy blankets and heaters set up all around the ceremony and reception space.

A huge thank you to Courtney Smith Photo for asking me to second shoot with her! She's one of the most kind and wonderful people you'll ever meet! 

Main Photographer: Courtney Smith Photo Hair/Make-up: Blissfully Beautiful Bride; Catering: Pappy’s Smokehouse ; Bar: Wandering Sidecar Bar ; Florals: Flowers and Weeds; Planning & Coordination: Style Altar’d, Officiant: Andy Sharp of The Crossing; Decor/Rentals: Exclusive Events and Premier Event Rental; Favors: The Succulent Source, Paper Design: The Dandelion Patch ; Dessert: Cakes by Mary; Calligraphy: Allison Manuel; Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way; Suits: Savvi Formalwear; Bridal Gown: The Ultimate Bride

The Trauterman Family

When I asked Lily to tell me something she liked about her mom she said, "I like it when she sings." I like when Shelly sings, too! She's on the worship team at our church, and was my introduction to the Trauterman family. They're a pretty amazing family. Abby and Bryan just ran the MO Cowbell half marathon! What?!?! Did I mention that Abby is in 7th grade! I don't really remember what I was doing in 7th grade, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't as cool as that.

One thing that was especially fun about this session was, that it's the same location where Bryan and Shelly had their engagement photos done! How great is that?!?! I love finding new places to shoot, and this little park is tucked away out of sight, but almost right around the corner from my house, and I didn't even know it was there! Such a good night all around! 

Erica and Michael's Wedding

I had the amazing opportunity to second shoot a wedding here in St. Louis with Dani Stephenson Photography! Dani is from Wisconsin where she met Erica and Michael. When they planned their wedding, they knew they wanted Dani to come with them, and who could blame them? She was amazing to work with, and her images are so beautiful! It was dream to get to be her second! Sorry, not sorry, that this post is so long, but get a look at those flowers! Flowers for dayzzzz!!! So gorgeous! So elegant! Everything about this day was beautiful!

Photographer: Dani Stephenson
Wedding dress designer: Mikaella Bridal
Wedding Dress Store: Miss Ruby Boutique 
Bridal Accessories: Veiled Beauty 
Brides Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Hair/Make-up:Danielle Style
Bridesmaids Dresses/store: BHLDN ASOS Jenny Yoo Adrianna Papell
Coordinator: Events Luxe
Florist: The Special Event Florist - Tina Barrera
Cake/dessert: La Patisserie Chouquette
Band/DJ:The Charles Glenn Group
Caterer: Butler's Pantry
Invitations/designer:Lauren DeCaprio of Papercut Invites
Videographer: Captured in Frames