Tag Archives: hiring a photographer

jill in action

Finding your wedding photographer – Making your choice

The time has come to make a choice, and if you’re anything like me, it wasn’t an easy one. In part 6 of our “Finding your wedding photographer” series, we will explore the process of making the final choice.

It took me longer to pick my photographer than it took me to pick my dress. I tried to take my budget, my must-haves, and all the other tips we’ve talked about in the series, but as always, it is easier said than done. My photographer, like my dress, was love at first sight, but I wanted to see what else was out there.

ThuVan - At The Park- (69)

So I followed the rules, and played the field. I met with other photographers but to be honest, I was comparing them back to that first one. Jillian Bolender of Focused Photography in Cambridge, Ontario, was excited about my wedding; she shared my vision and willing to work within my budget.


Jillian Bolender
Focused Photography

Meet Jill
Jill called me after a bridal show where I had spoken briefly with one of her associates. She pursued me. This got my attention. She offered to take me out for coffee to meet her. We had a great conversation and I peppered her with questions.

I asked Jill what she would recommend asking a photographer you are meeting for the first time and here is what she suggested. The most important points to ask about is the experience, equipment, and attitude of the photographer. She also suggested you ask about their training and what insurance they offer.

“This is a big one,” Jill told Visual Photo Guide. “Most people don’t even think about insurance… for your photos.  What if something horrible happened and all of your wedding photos were gone?” Focused Photography’s coverage guarantees your money back and also protects your photographs; ensuring that no matter what happens, you will have beautiful pictures. “Not that you would ever want to do this, but we would be able to re-stage your wedding day.”

My fiancé and I were looking for candid, unique, and personal pictures of us and close family. We didn’t want the cliché standard poses and no line ups. Jill got that and I felt like she was excited about it. I got the feeling that Jill shared my vision – I am sure I can trust her to capture our vision of what we want.

DSC_9464-2Jill said that the connection with your photographer is paramount. “Without this personal connection, the couple will in all likelihood be less than satisfied with the experience itself and the finished product. Having a photographer that takes the time to get to know each couple’s personalities and interests makes all the difference.”

It was this connection that sold me on hiring Jill to capture the memories of our wedding day.  My fiancé knew it the moment I told him about her, and each time I came home with another photographer suggestion he said, “Why don’t you go with Jill, you know you love her?”

DSC_7422 bw w flowers col-2What makes a photographer take pictures
Jill and I have been in contact throughout this process, I wondered what made her stick it out with me through changing wedding dates and indecisive moments. What makes a photographer take pictures?

“My motivation comes from many things; one is seeing and hearing how happy my clients are after they receive their photos, it is very rewarding!” Jill told Visual Photo Guide. “Another is the creative juices that flow when meeting with a new couple and hearing of their hobbies and interests and how I am going to incorporate that into their photos to make them unique.” Jill’s goal is not only to make her clients happy but to create lasting relationships.

I believe Jill when she says, “Photography is my true passion, and I feel absolutely blessed to be able to do what I love and have fun while doing it!” I am sure I’ve made the right choice.

Thank you to Focused Photography for the use of all these images.


wedding photographer article 5

Finding your wedding photographer – Does friendship and photography mix?

This is part 5 in our “Finding your wedding photographer” series

One of the ways many couples work a photographer into their wedding budget is to ask a friend to take the pictures. My fiancé and I are on a budget and we considered having a friend or family member take our pictures. However, Visual Photo Guide would advise against this for a number of reasons which we’ll look at in the fifth part of this seven part series.

Amateur isn’t professional
Unless your friend is a professional photographer with the training , skills and equipment to go with it, your pictures will not turn out the same as they would if they had been taken by a professional. Photographers don’t just point and click. They know the angles, composition, lighting, and how to you should hold your head so you don’t get a double chin.

imposter photographer

Professionals have high quality equipment and assistants who keep them on schedule. When you hire them, you aren’t just hiring someone to take pictures but also their camera and lenses. These make a huge difference in the quality of your pictures. And not just the camera, but also their processing equipment. The quality of the paper and the processing equipment professionals use make a huge difference in the quality of the print. The colors are truer, the details are crisper, and the prints will last longer.

You’re photographer isn’t a guest
If your friend is serving as your photographer, they won’t be able to enjoy your wedding. Instead of being able to celebrate your wedding with you your friend will be working that day. While your other guests are watching you take your vows, your friend-photographer will be trying to capture the moment on film. While your guests are enjoying your cocktail hour, your friend-photographer will be off on a photoshoot with you and your wedding party. Your friend-photographer will watch very special moment through the lens of the camera, keeping them from sharing in it with you.

Your friend-photographer can’t sit with his date if he’s taking pictures. If your friend-photographer has kids, then either he’ll need to find a babysitter or have someone at the wedding watch them while he’s taking your pictures, which means their enjoyment is limited as well.. If you ask a friend to be your photographer then they are no longer a guest at your wedding.

Friends don’t boss friends
While most of us would think of the possibility that a bridezilla moment could damage a friendship, most good friendships can survive stressful situations. However, your pictures may not survive a lack of bossing from your friend-photographer. A good photographer tells you where and how to stand, how to hold your head, and will not not let you move until they have a good picture. A friend-photographer may not be able to take control on your wedding day out of loyalty.

If you pick your friend-photographer
These are the reasons my fiancé and I have decided to invest in a professional photographer that isn’t related to us. If the choice of choosing a friend to take your photographer is based on budgetary issues, check our article on how to have the pictures you want on a budget. If you choose to go with a friend-photographer despite Visual Photo Guide’s warnings, treat the agreement as though it were a professional you were hiring. Make sure you share the same vision and that your friend-photographer is clear on what you want. To ensure you don’t miss out on anything, do your research the same way you would if you had hired a stranger.

Part Six: Finding your wedding photographer – Making your choice

[Image credit: Matt Ryallmogmismo]


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