I know, ladies, he’s not too shabby to look at on the other side of the lens, either! Today I’m so excited to have my dear friend Steve Depino (you might remember him from this post) visiting the blog to give some first-hand tips from the photographer’s point-of-view. I’ve known Steve for years now, we’re from the same hometown & we have a mutual friend who introduced us and through the years have kept in touch. Steve is a GREAT guy and just a fun person to be around – did I mention he is one of the most talented photographers I’ve ever come across? Seriously – I used to go check out his blog when looking for inspiration for my own wedding, and even as far back when I was daydreaming about the day I could start planning.
I did a mini interview with Steve in hopes to provide all of you with some valuable advice, so here we go:
Professional wedding, event and celebrity portrait photographer for close to 10 years.
How you got in to the industry:
I started out as a staff photographer for a local newspaper. I covered anything from baseball games to bake sales in a given day. I didn’t make much money at that job so as my friends and family members started getting married I would start taking photos during their weddings and give them those wedding photos as gifts. My business grew from those experiences.
Your top tips for the bride in planning for her wedding day photos:
Find the right photographer for you: It’s great to have recommendations from a friend but be sure to meet or at least speak with your photographer. You want to see if your personalities and vision for your wedding photography mesh. After hiring them, tell your photographer why you are hiring them. It might be their creative style of portraits, their unobtrusive style or maybe their personality. I find these little notes very helpful so I know what the client is looking for on their wedding day.
Do an engagement session: If at all possible, do an engagement session with your photographer. You will get a good feel of the way they work, therefore you will be more comfortable with them and ready for your wedding day photos. You will also get some amazing photos of you and your fiance that you can use in numerous creative ways for your wedding and beyond.
Give your photographer a realistic amount of time to work: Only giving your photographer 10 minutes in between your ceremony and cocktail hour to fire off amazing photos of you and your new family usually isn’t going to be enough time to even organize those photos let alone shoot them. Make sure you allow enough time between the ceremony and reception (or beforehand) to capture the photos that are on your “must-have” list.
Cut down your group photo list: This part of the day can be a high stress point for both you and your photographer. You want to get your photos done, your cheeks are in pain from all your fake smiling and you want to get to the creative photos you really paid your photographer to take. Your photographer is stressed because they are on a count down to cocktail hour and want to deliver great creative images for their clients. So try your best before the wedding day to put together a group photo list on paper. If you look at your list and say to yourself “boy this looks like a lot of group photos” chances are you are right. Try to combine some your groups down to a more reasonable number. Once you have gotten your list down make sure those people know that they are going to be in photos. A good time to tell them is during your rehearsal dinner. It will be fresh in their minds the following day at the wedding and should cut down on tracking people down for group photos.
Let your photographer be the photographer: I always let my clients suggest locations that they think might be good photographs but I also love going off the beaten path to capture images. So keep an open mind when your photographer makes a suggestion of a location. They are probably seeing something very different from what you are seeing right in front of you through their camera. Reassure yourself during the shoot that you hired a photographer who takes pictures you love, and trust them to do that job on your wedding day. You may not believe what great photographer can do with with a location that at first glance might not be what you consider beautiful.
Steve is located in Guilford, Connecticut and has been featured in Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Billboard, Rangefinder, Modern Bride and has taken photos for the NFL among many celebrity shoots. For more information on Steve, visit his website, blog, or Facebook page.