So last night we had our monthly meeting of the Willamette Valley Wedding Professionals (WVWP) at Hubbard Chapel. The venue is so cute, and they have done so much work to the inside, it is well worth a look. Their pricing is extremely reasonable too. But what stood out to me from last nights’ meeting was the catering. Iggy’s Catering provided the meal and it was absolutely mouth watering. Even looking at the photos this morning had me craving more!
Ian (the owner) served us yummy roasted chicken under a hollandaise sauce with a slice of tomato and avocado, with a side of pasta and steamed broccoli. For dessert he served a light and fluffy vanilla mouse cake with chocolate shavings and a berry tort. I came away wanting more, and not for a lack of serving size. Just look at it and tell me you are thinking of eating some right now!
The best part is, I have had Iggy’s food several times now and have yet to have something mediocre. Everything Ian serves is absolutely delicious. He has a Hawaiian chicken he served at the Oregon Wedding Showcase this past January that was so good he ran out each day even after cooking more at the show.
If you have a wedding or event coming up soon and are looking for a caterer who has versatility, style, is an eco-friendly catering service, and still delivers a taste that makes your stomach dance with delight, call Iggy’s Catering.
There are many things to consider when looking for a wedding photographer, it can be very overwhelming. Before you go with the first person who has an opening, here are a few things to consider which can help you find your perfect wedding photographer.
With so much difference between the styles of wedding photography, it is important that the photographer you choose has a style you enjoy. While most couples will want a combination of styles, some find that they enjoy only one style, such as photojournalistic or artistic, and so should choose a photographer who specializes in this style. For those couples who like a combined style, consider hiring a pair of photographers who have different styles. There are many husband and wife teams where each photographer specializes in a different style (kind of like our team!). The key is to identify your favorite style or mix of styles and then to look for photographers who use those styles. A photographer’s portfolio(s) should be a really easy way to see their style. (For more information on styles see our blog article)
Once you have established a style you like, then comes the hardest part, finding photographers who are that style and finding out who has availability. Make a list of the top 5 photographers you like whose work is similar to the style you want and request availabilities from each of them. Then, try to schedule consultations with the top 3 of those photographers who have availability. You definitely want to meet with more than one photographer because …
At the consultation with your 3 chosen photographers, pay special attention to the chemistry between you, your fiancé, and the photographer(s). Does he/she/they make you feel comfortable? Are they easy to talk to? Do they easily visualize what you are describing? Do you feel you could spend the whole day with them and still be comfortable at the end of the day? All of these questions are very important because your photographer will most likely be spending a great deal of your special day with you. How comfortable you are with the photographer is especially important if you are looking to have “getting ready” pictures taken. You don’t want to have someone you aren’t comfortable with in your dressing room with you! Be sure to keep notes at each consultation so that you can go back after all of them are done and remember feelings, impressions, and likes/dislikes about each photographer.
Finally, I will mention price. While ideally price would not be an issue, we do not live in the ideal world. Price is important, and should be considered, but it should not be the first thing to shop for when choosing a photographer. It has been said many times before, but your photography is one of the only things that you will have left after the wedding, so getting someone of quality who you are confident will get you the pictures you desire is worth paying a little more for. Really, price should be something that is considered in the background of doing the first 3 steps. If you know you absolutely cannot afford to spend $6000 on wedding photography, then photographers with starting packages of $5000 are probably not going to be in your budget, so look cautiously at their sites. They can give you great information about styles and numerous other things, but they are probably not one you should call for availability when you get to that point. Keep in mind also, however, that many photographers make personalized quotes, so even though their range may seem a bit high or low for your budget, if you really like them it never hurts to ask. (For more information on photography budgets in Oregon, see our blog article)
In several of the last few articles posted, I have discussed the different styles of portrait photography without really describing what those styles are. I hope this article will shed some light on the subject (pun intended) and help you decide which style or combination of styles most fits you.
Traditional studio posed
When most people think of portrait photography, this is the style they are thinking of. This is where you go into a studio, have a solid or specialty backdrop, everyone is positioned around one family member (usually mom) and you all smile towards the camera. Although it has evolved some over the past century as photographic equipment has gotten better, for the most part this has become the staple of portrait photography and is consistent over different types of portraits (family, individual, business, etc.). There are some things which can be added into these types of photos which will spice them up but still keep the essentially a traditional studio shot. Some of these things include instruments, sports equipment, toys for children, or your family pet. This type of portraiture is still the most common, where you are posed by the photographer and they take the portrait of all of you looking at the camera.
Lifestyle and candid photographers are very common now. While they are not the same, they share many similar traits. Lifestyle photographers typically will take a subject, put them in an environment and will ask for eye contact while get photos in that setting. For example, when I do outdoor portraits with children I will usually employ a combination of posed and lifestyle photography. I try to take the child to a local park, will get some posed photography in the beginning in the lush greens, then will end at a playground where I only ask the child to look at me and smile when I ask for it. Otherwise I just follow the child around and capture photos of them doing what they love to do, play.
Candid photography is similar, except that there is no asking for eye contact. A candid photographer would take the child to the playground and get photos of them playing on the equipment, but would not get too many photos of the child looking at the camera.
The photojournalistic style has been greatly romanticized over the last 5 years or so. A true photojournalistic style is similar to lifestyle photography, but with a black and white touch and a “did our photographer even show up” feel. When you hire a photojournalist to document your wedding, their job is to observe without interference. If they have done their job correctly, you should see them when they arrive and when they leave, but not really notice them throughout the day. True Photojournalists do not ask you to look at the camera, do not edit much beyond conversion to black and white (besides maybe some contrast adjustments), and are excellent storytellers. You should be cautious to really get a good look at the work of photographers stating they are photojournalists, as it is rare to get a skilled photojournalist. There are many photographers who claim to be photojournalist but are really candid/lifestyle photographers. Photojournalistic wedding photography, is both an acquired taste and a hard skill to master, so if this style really speaks to you be prepared to pay more for a skilled photojournalist.
Artistic portraits are done with some specialty settings. It can either be your outfits, such as Victorian or western dress, lighting, such as all black except for your face, or it can be specialty tones such as sepia or selective desaturation. Any of these elements, and many others, can create an artistic feel to a photography session. All photographers are artists, but each photographer will develop their own style. This is again why it is important to research your photographer and find one whose style you like.
Creating a wedding budget is a very important, and very stressful, step in the wedding planning process. It can also be extremely difficult because there is such a range of prices for wedding services. In no service is this truer than wedding photography. Depending on where you live, wedding photography can start anywhere from $300 to $10,000! So what should you budget for your wedding photography? This is a question that only you can answer, but I hope this guide will help you either choose a budget, or if you have already chosen a budget to know what to expect from a photographer in your budget.
*Oregon Wedding budgets – This guide is geared toward Oregon couples, but the general guidelines can be applied to any area. Price ranges will be different*
Photography Budget: Under $1000
This is a small budget for Oregon. The key to working in this price-range is knowing that the quality of the photographer you will get for this price is poor to moderate. The further under $1000 you go the less likely you will be able to get a professional photographer for that price. A photographer in this range is most likely an amateur, beginner/student, or a part time photographer (meaning they have a job other than photography). If you are looking for professional quality photography, be cautious of photographers in this budget range. Many times they will try and entice you with offers of “all day photography and get all the photos on CD for $600!” What they are really saying is something like: ” I only do this for extra money, I have no insurance, I am not registered as a business, and if something goes wrong you are basically S.O.L.” This isn’t every photographer in this category, but be sure to ask about insurance and if they are a registered business. It is absolutely ok to ask for a federal EIN (employer identification number) and state registry number. If you ask, businesses are required to give this information to you and it is public record to look up the information on the business, so do your homework. You can also check out if the person/business has any complaints with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org). If your budget is in this area then wedding photography is not one of your top priorities (which is ok, photography is not everyone’s top priority!) and you may want to look into photography students or young companies looking to build a portfolio.
Note on Craig’s List: Many times couples in this budget range will post on Craig’s list looking for less expensive photographers. Be careful when receiving responses to see a portfolio or know that you are taking a risk when you go with someone without a portfolio. You get what you pay for!
Photography Budget: $1000 – $3000
This is a good, mid-range budget which will allow you to hire a high quality photographer and receive a good number of pictures. You can get digital copies of pictures in this price range, or you will most likely receive a print credit if a CD is not included. There are a good number of photographers who fall into this range in Oregon so you can expect to hire a professional wedding photographer with a budget in this range. This budget infers you believe photos of your wedding are an investment in your memories. With so many choices within this budget range, it can be difficult to choose. I recommend our article Finding Your Perfect Photographer if you are having trouble choosing.
Photography Budget: Over $3000
This is a high budget, inferring you consider your wedding photography one of your top priorities. You will be able to hire an excellent photographer and build a package to suit your desires. You can expect some sort of digital files, whether that is a high resolution CD or a DVD slide show, in this price range. Also an album is most likely to be included at this price point. There are a good number of photographers who fall into this price range in Oregon, so finding a photographer in this price range should not be too difficult.
If you haven’t set a wedding photography budget yet, I hope this is helpful information which will help you decide which budget range you want to be in. If you have set your wedding photography budget, I hope this information helps clarify what to expect from a photographer in your budget range.
There has been quite a bit of debate recently about copyrights and who needs them, so I thought I would address it here. I will start by defining usage rights and copyrights so we are all on the same page. Usage rights are rights granted to an individual by an artist to use something for a specific purpose and for a particular period. Ok, now that that legal definition is out there, what does this really mean for your pictures?
Photographers who print your pictures typically give you usage rights in the form that you are allowed to own and display the picture for your own personal use, but nothing more. Photographers who offer digital images with your pictures are about the same, you can display it and have it for personal use only. Photographers who offer digital images and allow you to print offer you a bit more. There are a ton of variations to rights, far too many to cover in a blog post, so I will go over what we offer with our digital images.
Also, by keeping the general copyright, the photographer is the one who will deal with copyright issues such as a picture being stolen off the internet. So, for example, if you put your pictures up on the web and someone downloads your picture and uses it in an advertisement, then you would let the photographer know and it would be their responsibility to legally go after the person who did it. If you owned the copyright, then it would be your dollar being spent to sue the person/company who did it.
And therein lies the biggest difference between securing usage rights and copyrights (besides the large cost difference to you). If you wish to obtain the copyrights, then it is your responsibility to say who, where, when, and how your photos can be used, and it is also your responsibility to seek legal action if your rights are violated.
While this may be an appropriate option for a few people, most of you will not want this hassle. It would mean that every time your photographer wishes to use your photo, you would have to sign another contract giving them the ability for what they want to use the photo for. For the average person, this means a call from your photographer at least 5 times per year, one for each bridal/photo show they go to where they would like to display your picture, a call when it is time to print new marketing materials, a call each time they wish to show your beautiful photos to a potential client…the list goes on.
If the photographer gains permission to put your photo on their website, or you put it up on the web, it also means a call to your lawyer and possible court costs if and when you or your photographer notice someone has used your picture on their website without your permission, all on your dollar because you are the copyright holder. It would also be your responsibility legally to respond to each and every one of these calls because it is (usually) in the contract that you will respond in a timely manner. Also, expect to pay 2-10 times what you would pay typically for prints or a digital image if you want the copyrights. This is partially because of registering the copyrights with the federal government. This has varying costs depending on how you do it, so be prepared to add this cost in as well.
So, as stated earlier, securing copyrights is usually the right option for very few, as most people do not want all the hassle that copyrights come with. For the majority of people, knowing they can show off their pictures and, in purchasing the CD, can print as many as they wish to give away to friends and family is all they are looking for. Typically, the average user will not use their photos in a way that would cause problems if the copyright is held by the photographer so it is unnecessary for you to take on the added cost and responsibility unless you have special circumstances.
I believe where most of the push for copyrights has come from is people who run into not so professional photographers who do not give a courtesy call when they want to do a big advertisement. My brother ran into this when his senior picture was plastered, poster-sized around our local mall and he only found out when some of his friends started complementing him on his picture. While there really was no harm done, and I am sure the photographer meant none when he did it, it angered my brother enough that he called the photographer. The photographer apologized and took down the pictures to be nice.
Most reputable photographers (which this photographer was, he is still one of the premier photographers in our area for senior pictures, proving even the best make mistakes sometimes) will call clients before using their photos in such a large way. It is just good customer service. One more reason it is good to find a photographer you like and build a relationship with them. It then keeps their records up to date if they should ever need to contact you, helps you and your family relax when you need photos done, and opens the door for more communication so misunderstandings don’t happen as often.
Like you, and most people I would assume, I like having family portraits around and know that they play an important role over a lifetime. You would think that as a photographer that I would have at least a new portrait every year, but like everyone else, I too have failed to make the time in the past. Sadly, life rarely gives us the time to even think about needing a new portrait, let alone being able to call around to photographers, schedule a session, and get one taken.
There are many reasons to get family portraits done: they chronicle the extremely fast growth of our beloved children, they give us something to put on our Christmas cards, and as I and my extended family recently found out, they give us a way to look back and remember.
This month, my uncle who was in his late 50s passed suddenly from something that his doctors had missed even a couple days before his passing. He left behind a wife and 5 daughters as well as 3 siblings and numerous nieces and nephews. As I was preparing a slideshow presentation for showing at his funeral, I was saddened to see how few of pictures we had of him. Now my uncle was not the type of person who liked to be in front of a camera, so it wasn’t a total surprise that the number was less than his age, but what caused some unnecessary pain for his family was that he had no pictures from when he was with his ex-wife and his two oldest daughters. Even his daughters did not have many photos of them with their father. I was unable to represent them in the slideshow and it seemed unfair and silly that he did not take one hour of his time each year to get photos of himself with his family. It doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, but for so many of us we just don’t give it a second thought as we go through our lives.
So remember, don’t get pictures for yourself, get family portraits for your children and grandchildren. Life is so unpredictable that you never know what situations a fresh family portrait will come in handy. And if nothing else, it gives you the satisfaction of knowing your loved ones will always be able to remember you. You are special and unique and should exist in photos, even if only for your loved ones.
In Loving Memory of Richard J. Webber, Jr. May 1952 – March 2010
Photos By Orion has been in many wedding shows and events, including the Oregon Wedding Showcase, for many years now. Over the years I have developed some tips for couples who are going to a bridal show about how to get the most out of your trip. While these tips are geared toward couples who are just starting their wedding planning, most of the tips will apply to couples in any stage of planning. Also, while the examples are mainly for photography, the concepts can be applied to any wedding vendor.
I hope these tips will aide in your wedding planning!
Research – It is always good to do your homework, and a bridal show is no different. About a week before the show, you will want to check out the show’s website and see what types of vendors will be at the show. You also will want to sit down together and decide how much you of your wedding you will want to do yourselves and what you want to trust to the professionals. Keep notes and make a list of the professionals you are looking to hire. Then prioritize your top three types of vendors you want to visit at the show. This will give you a good road-map for traveling through the show.
Bring a notebook and Address labels – When you go to the show, be sure to take your notes and some extra paper to take more notes as you go through the show. Take notes on elements you like or don’t like (for example: I like black and white photos, I don’t like pictures of the bridal party jumping, etc.) as you walk through the show. Also, have address labels printed out before the show that have your name, phone number, email, and wedding date on them. This will help you sign up at booths quickly and save your hand from cramping!
Walk before you talk – You will want to make a round through the whole show before you stop to talk to any vendors. During this walk through, take your notes, get some good ideas about your likes and dislikes, and make notes on which vendors look interesting and which don’t. Many shows will give you a map or list of the booths when you register, which gives you a really good way to mark booths to visit or booths to pass by.
Visit your priorities/favorites first – Once you have finished your once around, then visit vendors you marked as interesting which are in your three priority categories first. Talk with them, ask any questions you have about their area of expertise, and get a feel for if you could work with them. Keep notes, collect information, and most importantly have a good time!
Be willing to sign with a vendor for a great deal, but don’t sign unless you are sure – When you are first starting your planning, take time to consider everything you take in at the show. There will be many show deals and inevitably some vendors who will try to hard sell you to “sign today.” (Can you blame them? This is their livelihood after all) I am definitely not saying you shouldn’t sign with them, but to be sure they are who you want before you sign. I know I (and my fellow photographers at PBO) have high quality work at a good value for your money, but I am not for everyone. I would never want you to sign with me to “get the deal” and then feel like you were pressured or cheated in any way. Professionals are there to make your wedding day smooth and easy! If you are within 6 months of your wedding date, then booking at a show to get the deal is a much better idea because (theoretically) you have already done your homework on what you like/don’t like and what each vendor needs to bring to your wedding, making it much easier to know that “this vendor” is the one for your wedding. The wedding industry is all about relationships, so like any relationship you should never rush into it.
I really hope these tips help you make the most of any bridal show you attend. And for any brides in the Willamette Valley, I hope to get to meet you at the Oregon Wedding Showcase in October!
Welcome to the new PBO and SYP blog. We are integrating both blogs in order to bring you more informative and inspiring posts. I don’t think that we could have do this without the help of peptides, they (besides their sponsor) helped me to get trough tough times when I was fighting anxiety, which started with me having 2 blogs.
Over the next few months we will be converting our old posts to keep all those great posts you love, like copyrights vs. print rights, how to prepare for a family photo session, and great places to get photos around the Willamette Valley, as well as new posts on topics like “What rights do I have when I purchase a CD from my photographer” and more!
Please continue to enjoy all the articles we have to offer!