How to choose the best South Florida Wedding Photographer.
Blog Article on hiring a South Florida Wedding Photographer

How to choose the best South Florida Wedding Photographer.

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When getting married,  how do you pick the right South Florida wedding photographer?  This article will help you with valuable tips.

When planning a wedding, couples will make lots of tough decisions when choosing vendors. But out of the many professionals who will contribute their expertise to the main event, none is more important than your photographer. The question of, How to choose the best South Florida wedding photographer is a question that gets asked often.  Years after you say “I do,” the cake will have been eaten, the flowers will be dried and pressed, but the images of that day will still exist—creating a permanent reminder of every dance, smile, kiss and tear.
Photography is an art form, and every photographer captures an image—sees an image—differently. Styles between photographers can vary greatly. While some prefer journalistic candid snapshots, others adore perfect poses. A picture, it is often noted, is worth a 1000 words. Your photographer is in charge of writing your wedding story in pictures, so choose wisely.

In this article on How to choose the best South Florida Wedding Photographer, I’m going to talk about some important things to consider. 
When choosing a South Florida wedding photographer, there are many factors to consider—beyond just the style of images. If you and your beloved seem to be overwhelmed with choices, sit down together and discuss your expectations of your photographer on the big day. This is, after all, the individual who will be snapping away for the entire day, so a good working relationship is vital. Here are six tips for finding your picture-perfect photographer.

Bride and Groom kiss at their South Florida wedding. Wedding Photography by Jeff Kolodny
This infrared wedding photograph was taken at Broken Sound Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida. If you are planning a South Florida wedding an looking for a truly beautiful place with lush landscape and great scenery then this is a great place for you to tie the knot.  Located in the heart of Boca Raton this location is a photographers wonderland.  I always get incredible photos whenever I work here.  In addition because there are so many great photo spots every wedding photo taken at this place is unique.  You can visit the Broken Sound website here” Broken Sound Country Club, a wonderful wedding location.

 

Establish your budget.
Like everything associated with your wedding, the two of you must establish how much you wish to spend on photography. This number should include your wedding album and other costs, as well as the fees for the photographer. Once you’ve established your budget, it’s easier to sit down with your vendor to go over how they can best meet your needs. Some photographers may be out of your price range, and it’s ideal to understand this up front.   When choosing a South Florida wedding photographer and comparing prices there are several things that you should consider.  On of those things is retouching and how much retouching is or isn’t included.  We retouch every picture and every album picture.  Photo retouching could be done several different ways.  There are filters that soften facial lines or blur wrinkles on a person’s face.  Using these filters is fast and easy.  Of course, fast and easy doesn’t look as good.  We use a technique called frequency separation.  This is a very sophisticated process that involves separating the texture from the color of a photo.  My retouching both elements as separate elements the retoucher could remove lines and blemishes while keeping the skin texture.   In addition to face retouch we also review the photos for distractions.  Red glaring exit signs are removed from photos as well as other unwanted distracting items.

As a South Florida wedding photographer I just LOVE working at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach.
This special bride and groom moment was taken during a wedding reception at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. This luxury venue was recently completely renovated to standards that are beyond breathtaking! As a South Florida based wedding photographer I get to work at so many awesome wedding venues that are beautiful. However, the Ritz-Carlton is not only beautiful it’s also super classy. Honestly, if you are looking to plan a high end luxury wedding you should visit this hotel. Once you walk into the lobby, you will be hooked. You can visit their website here: The ultimate South Florida Wedding Venue  

Find your photography style.
Many couples love journalistic-style photography, which captures spontaneous moments during the day. But you’ll also want the typical formal shots from the wedding for framing. A reputable photographer should have a portfolio that you can review to get an idea of their style and art form. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they prefer to shoot images (digital or film). Also inquire about other ways they may capture images—some may use drones for cool overhead images.

Bride and Groom cutting their wedding cake at The Breakers in Palm Beach.
Check out this wedding cake!  If you are looking to tie the knot in Palm Beach then take a trip to The Breakers.  This is the ultimate luxury South Florida wedding venue.  Palm Beach is considered one of the wealthiest towns in the country.  Walking the streets of Palm Beach you will pass the most expensive luxury stores and shops in the world.  At the center of Palm Beach you will find The Breakers.  Trust me, you can’t miss it!  You can actually see the hotel when you cross over the bridge into Palm Beach.  I can’t event begin to describe how beautiful this South Florida wedding venue is.  I’m actually lucky because I’m based in Boynton Beach which is a short drive from Palm Beach.  The Breakers pastry chef at the hotel actually made this wedding cake.  Visit The Breakers website here: A luxury wedding venue in Palm Beach

Discuss image rights and usage.
A photographer owns the copyrights to his or her images. Many couples, however, love to post their images to social media or on their wedding website. While posting images is fine for snapshots taken by guests with personal cameras, professional shots are a different ballgame. Before you post any photos, inquire about how you may (or may not) display purchased images. Remember…purchasing an image does not equate to the ownership of that image. Always discuss the copyright! By following the times in this article on, How to choose the best South Florida wedding photographer you will be in the best possible position to make an informed decision. 

Wedding Picture taken at The Addison in Boca Raton.
This reaction wedding picture was taken at The Addison in the South Florida town of Boca Raton. Reaction photos are a very important part of wedding photography. During the toasts it’s obviously important to capture the people giving the toasts. However, getting the bride and grooms reaction to what is said is also important. In some instances the couple isn’t very reactive to what is being said. The wasn’t the case with this couple. Because with wedding photography you can’t actually hear what is said. However, by capturing hand jesters you can certainly convey the impact of the toasts. The Addison in a very unique wedding venue. It’s a beautiful place that is know for the best cuisine. If you are lucky and get to attend a wedding at The Addison you are in for a very tasty treat. As a South Florida wedding photographer I always look forward to working at this awesome venue.  To learn more about The Addison check out their website.  The Addison of Boca Raton

Schedule a meet up.
Couples need to personally mesh with their photographer, and there needs to be a mutual respect between all parties. Trusting your South Florida wedding photographer to capture the best memories of the day is very important.  I always suggest doing an engagement photo as a way to determine how you photographer directs and poses couples.  In a photography sales meeting personality is important, however what a photographer does while holding a camera matters even more.  Discuss any reservations or boundaries that you may have for photographs. For example, if it’s not ok for your photographer to capture ‘getting ready’ shots of the bride having make-up or hair done, then set that boundary.

Bride posing for a picture at her South Florida Wedding.
As a South Florida based wedding photographer I’m always looking for interesting ways to create images that are unique. Using when most people see a piano, I see a double reflection. A glass table top, double reflection, Spot lights shooting from the ceiling? To me, those are hair lights. This shot taken at The Riverside Hotel was taken just outside the main ballroom.  The glass table that is usually used for guest place cards became the surface for a double reflection. When reading this article on,How to choose the best South Florida wedding photographer. I would suggest you make a list of things to consider.

Get details in writing!
Before you make any agreements or pay any up-front fees, get everything in writing. A reputable photographer should have no reservations writing up an established agreement or contract that includes costs and other details.

Boca Raton Wedding Picture taken at the bride and grooms First Dance.
Man, I love wedding photography! I love shooting weddings because as someone who has worked shooting so many different types of photos in all different types of environments I get to apply my entire skill set to weddings. When I was in college I shot mostly models, ok college girls from around the Adelphi University campus. By experimenting with the camera,  I learned the building blocks of Posing and Lighting. Then after I graduated, I learned photography as a movie filmmaker. After college I moved to LA and became a photo-Lab tech. During this time I learned product photography and news photo-journalism. While in LA, I attended UCLA and learned Food Photography from one of the best food photographers in Los Angeles. I also got a job working for the Los Angeles City Fire Department shooting crime scenes and accidents. (Ok – Shooting burned out buildings and unfortunate people has nothing to do with shooting weddings.) So aside from the LAFD photography I find that I get to use all my skills at a wedding. During the course of photographing a wedding I became a Portrait Photographer, a Product Photographer, Even a Food photographer and in the case of this photo, an action photo-journalist. Boca Raton Wedding.  This photo was taken during the Bride and Grooms First Dance at Broken Sound Country Club in Boca Raton Florida.

Back up plans are important.
Life happens to the best of us. Be sure that your photographer offers a back-up plan if he or she falls ill, has a family emergency or any other personal conflicts that affect your wedding. Ideally, another photographer should be assigned to the event, but if your photographer is a solo act…you may want to look at other options before signing on the line.

A fun and creative engagement photo taken on a South Florida Beach.
I believe every recently engaged couple should consider doing an engagement shoot with the wedding photographer they have hired or are considering hiring. Why? It the best way to test your photographer. I don’t mean to test in the sense of giving your photographer a test regarding camera knowledge. By testing I mean learning how your wedding photographer behaves when a couple is in front of the camera. While a photographer may know how to pose, the question is, Can the photographer explain how to pose in such a way that the subject owns the pose? Sure a wedding photographer can say, turn like this, or stand like that, but it the couple doesn’t feel like they are being natural the pose will look awkward and the face expression won’t look natural. By doing an engagement shoot a bride and groom can get a great idea of what it’s like to work with a particular photographer. In addition, by doing an engagement shoot you can assess the photographers creativity. The picture in this post was taken at a beach close to Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.

Of all the vendors the two of you will hire for your wedding day, the photographer is the most important. Images from your wedding day will be the visual story of the big day, and they will be passed down for generations. After years of marriage, you will look back on those images and reminisce at the joy, the laughter, and the tears. Be sure to find the right photographer to preserve these precious memories. 

Bride and groom having a laugh during a wedding toast.
As a South Florida wedding photographer I have shot weddings all over the area. However for this wedding I had to get on a plane and fly to Stowe Vermont. I’ll post a link to this wedding in the future.

Check your potential photographer final images.

Anyone can get nice wedding pictures if the take enough pictures of pretty brides and attractive grooms at weddings.  Form experience I can tell you that sometimes an awesome shot just appears in-front of the camera lens.  Sometimes everything just goes perfectly and the perfect shot is made.  However to be a true professional wedding photographer the photographic skills need to go much deeper than just being lucky.  I have never been to a wedding in which everything happened perfectly.  I have gotten plenty of lucky shots and captured awesome moments that have just unfolded right in-front of me.  However, in my mind as a top notch photographer, those easy shots don’t earn my keep as a professional South Florida wedding photographer.  The measuring stick I use to determine my value as a photographer is based on me getting those really difficult shots, and making the complicated decisions that result in beautiful images.  For example, having the ability to create beautiful portraits against a back-lit ocean or shooting portraits in the shade agains a brightly lit background.  When your photographer has the ability to solve these types of problems the result will be beautiful images frame after frame.  If you photographer can’t solve these problems the result will be washed out backgrounds and dark faces. The question is, did you potential photographer want a washed out background?  If the photographer doesn’t have to skill-set to deal with bright background then they will most likely say, yes or blame the environment.  I recently read a post from a bride who complained that the lighting on some of the faces was spotty or had heave shadows.  Her photographer told her, well I can’t control the sun.  Well actually a really skilled photographer may not be able to actually move the sun but they could deal with sun on a face by using a flash or turning the subject in another direction.  My point is this, as someone who is hiring a South Florida wedding photographer, how can you check the finished work?  Simple, every photographer should have an online client gallery.  I know we do.  Just ask your potential photographer for the password to several online galleries.  Tell the photographer you want to see an entire finished wedding. By doing this you will get to see every photo that gets delivered to a couple.  Don’t expect every shot to be awesome, the photos should be well exposed, (Not too bright and not too dark) they should be in focus and with good composition.  By seeing a complete finished gallery you will be able to tell if the photographers portfolio includes a good representation of the work or you are just seeing to lucky shots that happened to unfold in-front of the lens.

I hope this article on, How to choose the best South Florida wedding photographer was helpful.  I will add to this blog post as time goes on because the wedding and event industry is always changing and evolving. I wrote another article on wedding photography tips that you may find helpful as well.  Here is the link: Wedding Photography tips for brides.

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