What to Look for in a Wedding Photographer

Posted by on Jan 20, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What to Look for in a Wedding Photographer

Dear Engaged Couple-

 You may not know this, particularly if this is your first marriage, but turf wars occasionally develop between the wedding photographer and the wedding officiant. 

Actually,  tensions between a wedding photographer and wedding officiant are probably inevitable.  After all, the photographer wants to capture the very special moments that comprise a wedding—and many of those moments happen during the service.  I mean really, wouldn’t it make for a great shot—the mother of the bride wiping away a tear as Dad walks his little girl down the aisle?   Or, how about a front-on shot of the bride and groom as they exchange rings?

The problem is, the wedding officiant feels it is his or her duty to protect the sanctity of the wedding service.  Large, conspicuous cameras, especially flash cameras, detract from this sanctity.  After all,  Isn’t this supposed to be a holy time in which a loving couple exchanges vows before God and family and friends? A clergy/officiant friend of mine complained that a wedding photographer leaned his camera lens on my clergy-friend’s shoulder during a wedding service so that he could get a close-up of the couple as they said their wedding vows.  COME ON!  I ask you, what was the gathered assembly watching—the couple, the photographer, or my clergy-friend’s red, angry face?   

As a wedding officiant, I always yield to the desires of the bride and groom as regards the parameters of the photographer—but I do give my opinion if they ask for it—no flash during the wedding—definitely no tripods on the center aisle and no cameras in the immediate area of the service. 

Believe it or not, despite what I have just said, I count many wedding photographers as friends—one of them is Jenny—Jenny McQueen, out of Richmond, but serving the Charlottesville area as well.  Here are some questions I asked her for use in this blog posting:  My questions are in black, her answers are in purple: 

·         Do you use flash when you photograph weddings? Why or why not?   We don’t use flash during the ceremony. I love natural light and use it as much as possible.- it really captures the essence of a moment!  During the reception, we will use flash if necessary. A flash is just one of the tools in my kit to make my clients look as beautiful on camera as they are in real life.


·          Are there parts of the service you will NOT photograph because you feel that the photos may be too intrusive? (i.e. when the MOB cries) We feel it out by the situation. Sometimes, I will take just a shot or two, then step back and let the clients enjoy their moment.



·         What do you wish wedding officiants knew about the job and goals of a wedding photographer?  We’re not trying to intrude! I really don’t want to cause a scene at the front of the church, or draw any attention to the fact that there is photography going on. Our goal is to make the Bride and Groom happy and give them memories they will cherish for the rest of their lives.


·         Is there anything I can do as a wedding officiant to make your job easier? Most officiants know this, but one message I’d love to share is to step aside during the first kiss. That way, the photos of that first moment as husband and wife are just of the two of them. It’s something very small that makes a big difference; it’s the difference between a nice picture and one that will be framed and hung above the mantel!

·         Do you feel that photographs are better than video and why?  I don’t feel they are better, but they are very different. Photography accomplishes something that video can’t (and vice versa!). What I love about photography is that it can catch something otherwise missed. It’s like a firefly in a jar; you’d be lucky to catch a glimpse of something so precious. A photograph allows you to turn a memory into and object, to hold it in front of you, admire it and keep it forever.


Thank you for your input, Jenny.  Jenny’s information by the way:  mcqueenphotography@msn.com; web:  www.capture-weddings.com; phone:


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