Good morning pearlies! We have an awesome Pearls of Wisdom post today! Remember Joy Michelle Photography? She did the UMD real wedding from Monday and she also submitted the amazing ice cream/hot air balloon engagement shoot you may remember from our debut week. I’ve never met Joy in person, but she actually contacted me via Etsy a little over a year ago, and I supplied the boho headpieces for one of her styled shoots that’s been published on lots of other fancy wedding blogs. You’ll see some of those photos below.
After working in the industry for the last 3 years, I ALWAYS tell my brides…there are 2 things you don’t skimp on: photography and hair/make-up. You want to look great and have those memories forever! Joy has been a great supporter of PPB and was such a sweetheart about doing this Q and A. I hope you find it helpful and educational when choosing your wedding photographer…
Is a second shooter a must for great photos? What is the biggest benefit to a second shooter?
I always tell my brides that a 2nd is not a must. I will be there fully covering the wedding as it unfolds and there will be many great images. BUT- I do explain that a 2nd shooter does 3 things:
1 – The 2nd shooter allows for MORE images in your final gallery.
2 – The 2nd shooter allows for coverage in 2 different locations at the exact same time. (Perfect for getting ready photos!)
3 – The 2nd shooter is insurance! Weddings are unpredictable and guests can step in front of the photographer or block a shot at any point in time so having 2 photographers insures the moment is captured.
What is the key to great engagement photos?
There are SO many elements that go into getting wonderful engagement photos but my biggest tip is to find a photographer that you feel comfortable around and trust. when you are comfortable enough to be yourself and have fun, incredible photos are made! And you must trust the direction of your photographer’s vision.
Co-founder of Pink Pearls Blog Michelle (or MiMi as some of you know her), is also a wedding planner. In the past few years, she’s had so many brides wanting her to direct their photographer to copy things they see on Pinterest. What suggestions do you have for brides to make their shoot more uniquely them?
Pinterest is awesome. It really is…for ideas…but not for the end result. Remember when you make a Pinterest board that it is just the blueprint of your idea and vision, and that your photographer will bring to life that vision and add their own creative eye and twist to the day. Asking your photographer to exactly replicate someone else’s day and work is limiting your photographer and also putting them in an uncomfortable position. By all means, share the Pinterest board, but allow for the board to be more of a starting point and remember that you are a unique couple with a unique story and day.
I encourage all my couples to find something unique and different and incorporate it into their day whenever possible.
What is your idea of the perfect wedding timeline so that the best lighting for photos is achieved?
I find that 8 hours (or more) of coverage is best suited when photographing weddings because it allows for much more creativity and is more relaxing on the bride and groom (and bridal party). I think the most important element to think about when planning your timeline is lighting and saving the best lighting for your most important portraits. I encourage my couples to spend the hour before sunset having bridal portraits and bride and groom portraits done.
What is your photography style? What other styles are out there, and what are the differences? (ie: photojournalistic, fine art etc.)
My photographic style is fine art and photojournalistic. I shoot a hybrid of film and digital and really appreciate and emphasize fine art prints and fine art albums. I describe myself as photojournalistic because I primarily shoot organic non-posed moments and prefer to direct my clients as apposed to posing them stiffly. I focus on making my work have a genuineness and real-life feel with a fine art touch.
Some photographers shoot more editorial, high fashion, or specialize in night photography. Each type depends on the look and feel you are going for with your wedding photographs. A high fashion photographer will focus on the gown, harsh angles, and pose you and your bridal party in a more vogue / striking way as opposed to an editorial style photographer who would give more natural posing guides.
Most wedding photographers are a blend of styles so be sure to communicate what you are looking for as well as see a good size sample of their portfolios.
We are noticing a lot of photographers going back to film right now. Can you explain the benefits of both film photography and digital photography?
YES! I’m one of those photographers. I grew up shooting film and it’s how I learned photography. I developed lots of my own black and white film and college and just fell in love with the process. There are so many benefits to shooting film. It forces you to slow down and really see and think before taking the photograph. It yields a unique and specific color and tone rendering that I personally just LOVE. The dynamic range (ability to render blacks and whites) of film is incredible.
I believe shooting a hybrid of film and digital is best for wedding photography. When the light is ideal, film is best. I try to shoot portraits and details in film. And when lighting is limited (like in a reception hall) and I must use flash, I stick to digital. When the two work together, you get the best of both worlds.
What would you recommend are the best places to get your wedding photos printed?
Some great options are Mpix, Minted (for photo cards, save the dates and invites) and artifact uprising. Whatever you do, use a professional lab. It’s the only way to do justice to the images of your big day!
Chrissy and MiMi
Photographer: Joy Michelle Photography