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Five Things You Need to Know About Hiring a Wedding Photographer

Photo: Heavenly Love Studios

One of my favorite things about being a wedding planner is the great vendors I get to meet and work with. We have the rich opportunity to network as professionals seeking to learn about the couples needs and wants. The other week, I was fortunate to sit down with an up-and-coming St. Louis photographer to talk about all things wedding. Anthony Robinson is a St. Louis native who attended McClure North High School (You know you were going to ask.) and then the University of Central MO. His lifetime love of the arts led him to a passion for photography and his success in wedding photography earned him a "2016 Best of Weddings" award from The Knot. As part of our chat, Anthony was kind enough to address some questions that couples have when searching for a wedding photographer.

How a photographer's style should affect who you hire.

"This can be both a hard question and a simple one to answer. Hard because there really many different styles in which photographers can shoot, and within those styles each photographer will have a different eye. The simple answer is,the client really doesn't need to worry about the styles. While you're searching through various photographers portfolios, some images will stick out and others will not. You don't have to know the style name to understand what appeals to you and your fiancee. If there is a photographer, you find who you do like,something they can create. Even if the photographer can't match what you want, they may be able to refer you to a photographer whose style does match your eye. Great photographers generally hang with other great photographers.”​

Photo: Heavenly Love Studios

Why wedding photographers are so expensive.

​"Many more things go into a photographed wedding than just "point, click, deliver". There is the pre-wedding cost of the equipment and the time and money spent on training, and artistic development to make sure the photographer is up to date on the latest trends. The wedding day expense of the staff time which can vary from four to twelve hours depending on your package and travel. After the wedding, there are countless hours of editing, and arranging the shots into a product that will retell the wedding story to the couple. It's these things produced in varied forms and quality by each photographer. Experienced, highly sought after photographers will be higher while fresh new photographers building their business may charge less. At the end of the day what should matter is who can deliver the best final product to you.”

Think about your photos when choosing your venues.

Photo: Heavenly Love Studios

“When it comes to the wedding day, time is of the essence. Work with your wedding planner to create a relaxed wedding day itinerary. Giving the photographer a fair amount of time, allows them to have fun with the couple and get creative, this makes for excellent shots. If possible, find a venue with large windows. For instance, for pre-ceremony photos, a bridal suite with lots of windows allows us to use that natural light. There is nothing like the soft and airy feeling of natural light through a big beautiful window to capture the transformation of a woman into a beautiful bride. This also creates more options for the photographer to get creative with the flash photography as well.”

When couples should start looking for a photographer.

"While a photographer could probably do a wedding with just two weeks notice, you will be lucky to find one who isn't booked. In St. Louis couples normally contact me at least six months out. If you are getting married in June or October, add another six months." Wendy of Inspired Design: "I have my couples start looking for a photographer as soon as they book their venue and have the date set. It is just that important!"

Why using a "friendor" as your photographer might ruin the relationship and your memories.

"There is more to taking pictures than just pointing and shooting. There is a science and an eye to the craft. I can go to the store and pick up a canvas, paints and a brush, but that doesn't make me Monet. It takes years of experience, practice, and a fair amount of talent to be a photographer. Add to that the stress of knowing that you a responsible for someones life-time memories. That is a lot of pressure to put on a friend just because they have a nice camera."

Closing remarks from Anthony...

"I wish every couple could understand that every photographer is different. Their creative eye is as unique as a thumbprint."

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