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For Wedding Photography, Forget Saying “Cheese” and Learn to Say “Ease” Instead

Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions that you’ll face when planning your wedding. To help make the decision process a bit clearer, we caught up with Shenandoah Valley photographer, Amanda Shrader, to find out exactly what brides expect from – and look for – when choosing a photographer.

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March 20, 2019

Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions that you’ll face when planning your wedding.  To help make the decision process a bit clearer, we caught up with Shenandoah Valley photographer, Amanda Shrader, to find out exactly what brides expect from – and look for – when choosing a photographer.

Photographer Amanda Shrader

We asked Amanda about professionalism in today’s photography.  After all, since so many of us have a camera smartphone with filters these days, we wanted to know what types of specific advantages truly professional photographers bring.  Amanda says, “Being a photographer and having a photography business are two completely different things. You can say you have a camera, a SquareSpace, and business cards, but that doesn’t make you a professional.  A professional photographer is someone with not only the critical skills of a photographer – such as a creative and artistic eye, plus quality and versatile equipment – but should also bring a business-minded approach to every job.  Successful photography businesses with true professionals require photographers to wear many different hats.”

One of the hats that today’s photographers wear is the ever-changing hat of technological flexibility.  Brides often receive advice from parents and older siblings about photography when many of the key aspects of photography have changed, dramatically, over the course of the last few years.  “Photography has certainly changed, drastically. There are so many different editing styles and styles of photographers.  Social media has been a game changer. Today, it is all about the image, consistency, and style. As a bride, you have big questions to consider:  What style of photography do you like most?  What type of personality are you looking for in a photographer?”, Amanda tells us.

Speaking of questions to consider, what questions should a bride ask of a potential photographer before making the hire?  Amanda had this to say: “Brides should ask the photographer if they are licensed. This is commonly overlooked and is very important when working with venues, legal agreements, etc. You should also ask if their package provides a second shooter. A second shooter is a crucial part of the wedding day.  One person can’t always capture every single moment, so your photographer will likely need help.  Don’t be shy about asking what their process is like and how they prepare for your big day.”

And what about the portfolio?  We wanted to know if brides should ask to see samples of work and what you should be looking for as you review a photographer’s work.  Amanda tells us: “From the photographer’s perspective, we want our clients to know, from the start, what our style is like and we want to feel comfortable in knowing that the prospective client likes our style.  Photographers should direct specific clients to a professional website where samples of work can be viewed before questions concerning pricing or availability even come into play.”

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