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By: Jessica Weinberger

Holly Ireland Photography

We know that picking a photographer is one of the most difficult decisions to make when planning a wedding. So we asked our one-of-a-kind, San Diego Style Weddings photographers some of the most pressing questions that brides might have when searching for a photographer.  We also had a little Q&A with each photographer to get you a peek into the personality behind the camera.

ALTF_Heather_Skip_Cooper

Shadowcatcher Imagery

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: Our best advice that we always give to others comes from the very first wedding we ever did. We were at the rehearsal and the bride was having a conversation with the coordinator regarding the width of the aisle. After going back and forth for a bit, the coordinator said to the bride, “For God’s sake Anita, it’s not rocket science, it’s just your wedding.” Whoa! Skip and I looked at each other and said if we ever respond like that to a bride, it’s time  to be out of the business. Yes, it is rocket science, Anita. It’s the biggest day of your life!  We completely understand that and we will always do all we can to make those dreams for a perfect day come true, no matter how many times we have done it.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: We have seen the addition of drones at weddings which is pretty cool. We have seen a move away from DIY in photography, and a shift away from the overly “staged” images, and a return to more naturally styled images. We love this because it makes your wedding so much more all about you and those special moments that happen naturally.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: Our reviews online say it all. We take our artistic style and combine that with your style for images that say WOW! We are all about you and capturing your wedding day with fun, style and flair!

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Brit Jaye Photography

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A:There are so many great moments throughout a wedding day! It’s really hard to choose just one. The bride and groom’s first dance is particularly beautiful. A lot of times, the unique connection a couple has really reveals itself during the first dance. I love when they go into their own little world. Super romantic.

Q: What is your favorite time of day for you to capture your best work?
A: Any time when the sun is just above the horizon. I love first light, and crisp, foggy mornings. I also love the warm streaming light and colorful skies at sunset. Both times are epic and romantic in their own way.

Q: How would you describe your working style on the day of the wedding?
A: Photo-ninja! We love to stay in the background of your day, capturing all the magic, while you enjoy it! Real fun looks better than fake fun, so we let you do your thing, while we capture the moments. We also have a ‘control-your-own-destiny’ mentality when photographing. So, if we can make the shot even better, we will. If we see a cool shot, we take it. Carpe Diem

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Spotlight Studios

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A: We absolutely love the sweet moments before the wedding with the bride and her parents. When she gets into her dress and they see her for the first time, there is always so much love in the room! And if the couple decides to do a first look, that is a priceless moment that is always full of raw emotion!

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: To always listen to the client’s desires. This is the biggest day of their lives, and to be chosen to capture these moments is an absolute honor. Use their vision as inspiration, and then apply your expertise to capture their day in a stunning and stylistic way.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: Here at Spotlight Studios, we always aim to provide an incredibly personalized experience. We want to get to know our clients’ preferences, styles and personalities so that their photos are a beautiful representation of them as a couple. We know that couples pour their hearts and souls into planning their wedding, and we want to be sure that that same dedication is placed into capturing it.

PaulBarn

Paul Barnett Photography

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given? 
A: If you want your business to succeed, embrace competition, evolve with the years and never, ever stop moving forward.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: Since the end of the recession, large, complex and over-the-top weddings are back. Social media is not just a fun and entertaining platform, but rather, it’s a mandatory marketing tool.  Advances in digital technology have increased the speed and delivery of our images. What was once fast is now instantaneous.

HollyIrelandPhotography

Holly Ireland Photography

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: Have a plan and and then go with the flow. I always go into a wedding or a shoot with a plan, but usually my favorite shots are the ones that aren’t planned, they happen organically.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: Brides and Grooms are expecting photography to be cutting edge. They want the traditional posed photos for their parents, but they really want stunning art pieces that are creative and unique for their home. So, as a photographer, I am always thinking outside of the box for a unique photo idea for each couple.

Q: How would you describe your working style on the day of the wedding?
A: We are a husband and wife team. We love to make the day fun so that the couple relaxes and knows that the photo portion of their wedding is still part of the amazing party they have spent so much time and money planning. They forget they are having their photo taken and are just having fun while getting amazing images.

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DA PhotoZ

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot? 
A: This is a tough one! If being forced to choose our absolute favorite we would have to say  that very moment that the bride turns the corner to walk down the aisle, and we get to catch that incredibly emotional and awestruck groom as he sees his bride walking towards him. This moment is also the reason why we are totally loving that “first looks” are becoming more and more popular. There is not a photo that says ‘Awwww’ more than a man in love!

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: The most significant change in the wedding photo side of the industry has absolutely been the social medial aspect of today’s weddings. With how ingrained social networking has become in our generation, unless you opt for the unplugged wedding, you can guarantee that your first few wedding photos will be seen on your ‘Aunt Nancy’s’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter before you can say I Do. More and more weddings are following the hashtag trend, and honestly, we are welcoming the change! Most of our social media and tech savvy couples opt for our Virtual Wedding album, which is the perfect way to showcase your Big Day in HD on all of your social media platforms.

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Mr. & Mrs. Wedding Duo

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A: We adore the photo time with just the couple!  To us, those are the most important photos for the couple to have for a lifetime.  Those are the images that will be passed down through generations and hung on their walls.  We always take special consideration, time and effort into this time with our clients.

Q: What would you ask from a couple in order for you to capture the best photos? 
A: The best way for us to capture a couple’s true personality is for them to be themselves; have fun, relax, enjoy the day, laugh and forget we are even there!  We’ll help with posing when necessary, and we have our  tricks to help our brides and grooms relax and have fun in front of the camera.

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Equinox Photo

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A: The moment the bride walks down the aisle! All the butterflies and stress just melt away the moment they see each other. It’s an honor to capture that! My husband and I always give each other a little hand sign that means “I love you” to celebrate our years together too!

Q: What is your favorite time of day for you to capture your best work?
A: Oh by far, the magic hour! That last 60 minutes before sunset when the light hits the trees and flowers in such a way no photoshop or filter could ever duplicate. It’s so beautiful it’s distracting!

Q: What would you ask from a couple in order for you to capture the best photos?
A: Couples usually choose us because of our use of natural light. The best thing they can do is look at sunset times and also work with us a bit on the timeline. No weddings at noon or 1 p.m. The shadows are incredibly harsh. We’ll make any timeline work, it’s just a matter of finding the right photo locations first.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: We absolutely love what we do. We feel like it is such an honor to capture such an amazing day for our couples. On the day of the wedding, it’s not just about photography, it’s all about making sure the couple has an incredible day with their friends and family. We help with ties, fix makeup and, of course, boogie with you on the dance floor. We also believe in giving back. We live on a horse farm in wine country with two horses, three goats, a dog, six free-range chickens and a not so mini pig! A portion of our weddings go back to dog and horse rescues.

LeighMarie

Leah Marie Photography

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: The best wedding advice that we have ever gotten and given is to plan your timeline and to always plan for worst-case scenarios.  Things happen throughout the day that are out of anyone’s control.  Traffic on the freeway, unforeseen construction, people running late and all of those things become way less stressful when you have planned for them to happen.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: The biggest change that we have seen is that Pinterest has really given couples a voice when it comes to what they want in regards to their wedding day.  From their hair and makeup to their design details and down to the kinds of poses and photography that they want. They are able to search through thousands of fun ideas and inspiration and incorporate any and all of those ideas into their wedding day.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: Couples should pick us as their wedding photographer because of the experience and expertise that we can offer.  With ten years in the industry, we have literally seen it all.  There isn’t any lighting or timeline situation that we can’t handle.  We have perfected the art of being able to get couples to be themselves in front of the camera and know how to get a fun and natural emotion from them within the time constraints of a wedding day.  Plus, with being able to add professional styling to any session we have the ability to turn any location into looking like a set of a magazine.  Plus, we’re super fun and like to have a great time with our couples.

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Stegela Photography

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A: Mother son and father daughter dance. Such special moments!

Q: What would you ask from a couple in order for you to capture the best photos?
A: We like to ask what the couple likes to do for their go-to dates and we love to hang out with them on double dates. We have gone with couples to dinners, bowling, comedy clubs, movies, etc. and we really get to know our couples so on the wedding day, we are just friends with big fancy cameras.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: We not only capture fabulous photos, but really put a focus on telling a story. We don’t pose our couples, but we direct. We allow a story to unfold in our engagement sessions and prioritize being photojournalist on the wedding day. The natural smile, is the best smile!

SiegelThursdon

Siegel Thurston Photography

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A: We love the moments just after the bride has gotten into her wedding dress and she sees herself all put together and ready for the first time.  The emotions and excitement from the bride and her ladies is amazing.  This is usually a great time for a few cherished photos with the bride and her parents.  It’s always emotional to see the father of the bride see his little girl in her wedding dress before she heads off to her ceremony.

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: Your photographer is a professional and an artist, you have hired them because you like their style and their personality so step back give them the reigns and let them create something amazing.  It’s always ok to ask for a few specific images you just can’t live without, like a portrait in front of those wooden doors you fell in love with, but relax have fun and let them work their magic.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: Honestly we have seen a movement away from so much DIY.  Our couples are picking and choosing the important items they want to make themselves and they are finding quality crafters on Etsy to purchase wonderful products from or find venues that include all the vintage decorations they crave. Condor’s Nest Ranch is a great example of a Pinterest ready venue.  It can be easy to forget how long DIY can take, even with a team of bridesmaids.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: We are a lot of fun to work with as well as excellent photographers.  It is incredibly important to us that we mesh well with our couples because a good relationship helps us get better photographs.  It is natural that nerves are going to be escalated on wedding day and it’s very important that our couples feel comfortable with us because, typically, you are going to see your photographers more than anyone else that day.  An advantage we have is that we are a husband and wife team.  For us this means that we always work weddings together and have been doing so for the past 8 years.  On wedding day we work seamlessly together always knowing where the other one will be and what shots they will be getting like a choreographed dance, this way nothing is overlooked.

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Bubba-Loo Photography

Q: What is your favorite time of day for you to capture your best work?
A: I am a natural light photographer, so two hours before sunset is ideal.

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: Always make sure to get a photo shot list from your couples ahead of time. It will save you tons of time the day of and takes so much stress off the bride/groom trying to remember what shots they wanted because they have them all written down! Also, sharing a Pinterest page with your couples is a wonderful way to collaborate!

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Bob Hoffman Photography & Video

Q: What is your favorite time of day for you the capture your best work?
A: Like most photographers, I love to shoot late in the day in the hour or so before sunset whenever I can.  Realistically though, we don’t always have the luxury of choosing the time of day to shoot.  I also love the challenge of getting amazing results any time of day.  If there is beautiful natural light I will take advantage of it and if there isn’t, I will use reflectors and external flash to make the light beautiful.  No excuses, every couple deserves the best photographs I can create.

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given? 
A: Give everyone your best.  Don’t compromise on quality.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: With many, many years of experience in the industry, I have encountered almost every type of wedding situation out there. This experience is vital to knowing how best to capture those once in a lifetime shots while allowing you to enjoy your day!

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The Boudoir Divas

Q: What is your favorite part about shooting boudoir photography?
A: We love creating an experience that makes a bride feel sexy and gorgeous right before her wedding.

Q: What is the best photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: Don’t try too hard in photos.  The sillier and more relaxed you are, the better the picture.

Q: Why should a bride pick you for their boudoir shoot?
A: We pride ourselves in that we are the most professional boudoir experience you will find.  Our studio is gorgeous and our staff is so kind and talented.

Blessed

Blessed Wedding Inc.

Q: How would you describe your working style on the day of the wedding?
A: Blessed is a team. We pride ourselves on the fact that we not only offer wedding photography and videography, but we also allow brides to use our own Hair and Makeup artist.  This has changed the way our workflow is and slows us to focus on those candid moments that I enjoy so much.

Q: What would you ask from a couple in order for you to capture the best photos?
A: I always highly recommend getting a Day-of-Coordinator (this can be done through us or separate) as having a wedding that is some-what on schedule allows the wedding photographers to focus on the photography and assures the bride and groom that there will be time for all the photos they desire to be taken.

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Clifton Photography

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and give
A: The best advice was to LOVE what you do and your photos will reflect that.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: There have been a few changes in the industry. One of the changes has been that many photographers have gone back to film camera. It was really rare to hear of that 3 years ago, but is now grown a huge popularity.

Q: How would you describe your working style on the day of the wedding.
A: I would describe my working styles as looking for those in between moments. Those sweet romantic emotions that no one really sees, but I do! .

Q: What would you ask from a couple in order for you to capture the best photo?
A: I always ask that my clients to be themselves and to enjoy every moment of their day. Their love will showcase into the best photos!