Three tips for finding a photographer
Aloha and hello! Finding a photographer can be hard, but we’re here to help on your search. I’m here to tell you all the deets and strategies to finding the perfect fit when it comes to your wedding/portrait photographer. A noticeable thing you will see when you look at Mikayla and I’s work, is that we have a dark and moody style. Little did you know, it goes way deeper than that. Photography isn’t just about the photographs. Photography is an expression and extension of the artist, how they see and process things, and basically the inner workings of their noggins.
An artist is someone who invests time and energy into their subject matter (couples, families, seniors, you name it, etc.) An artist slaves over and over and over again until their work is perfect. An artist lives, breaths, and dreams about their work. An artist takes criticism with a full and open heart and is open to change and progression (alright, alright—most of the time. We’re sensitive beings, okay? Our work is our baby and our heart and sometimes takes a while to adapt to change/critique when you’re really close to something and have worked really hard).
Mikayla and I are artists. Starting off, we are both graphic designers. We had to take any and all fine art classes in school. From 3D modeling, to printmaking, pattern studies, color studies, photography, product design, as well as nude drawing (ask Mikayla about her experience 😉 ). We learned how composition worked, we learned concepting, and so much more about the art field and what it takes to be an artist. We learned to sit through hours of critiques and learned to give critiques. We had to study art history and took in the influences of everything from Monet and Van Gogh to the Stone Age of cave drawings and carvings.
We have learned what it takes to be an artist and trust us, it isn’t easy and can’t be learned completely in 4 years alone (still learning here). The amount of stress and anxiety we have been through to get to the point we are today is mind boggling. With that said, our art school and design education has really helped us in our walk as photographers and we are going to give you guys a couple of tips when choosing a photographer. If you want to learn a little bit more about us, check out our about us page.
And at the end of this nifty gifty little list is going to be a huge gallery of Mikayla and I. I mean huge, guys, we’ve been photographed by so many photographers. We really believe that getting in front of someone’s camera helps you understand how our couples feel when being photographed. I think that’s why Mikayla and I strive to make our couples as comfortable as possible because we don’t want to be uncomfortable in front of the camera ourselves, and we’ve experience a vast array of ways/feelings of being photographed.
We’ve had amazing experiences in front of the camera and we’ve had HORRIBLE experiences in front of the camera. We’ve had 1 photographer shoot us to over 15 photographers shooting us at the same time. We’ve had photographers direct us without confidence which creates awkwardness and then we lose all intimacy between Mikayla and I and between our photographers. We’ve had photographers shoot us with too much confidence which comes off as arrogant and mean (or they were just arrogant and mean, who knows).
Alright, this intro has gone on long enough, bring on the tips to finding the right wedding/portrait photographer.
Finding a photographer #1 | Choose a style that reflects your personalities
This is one of the most important steps in finding a photographer. Choosing a style that reflects who you are. You aren’t just getting the photos. You are getting an experience. With someone who shoots somewhat dark and moody like us, your experience isn’t gonna be all rainbows and butterflies. We love intimacy more than anything. We love those moments of quiet, the moments where you just feel safe, secure and just … together.
We obviously shoot happy moments, too. It isn’t all 2000’s emo vibes up in here. But, our approach and style does lean more on the intimate, reflective side of things; capturing you two interacting and loving on each other, sharing quiet moments, etc.. Mikayla and I are drawn to the dark and moody style ourselves when we get our own photos taken. We love dramatic lighting with a huge contrast between light and dark. I love it when the focus is just on Mikayla and I. We’re not a loud bubbly couple. We tend to lean more quiet and reserved. Now, think of the difference between a light and airy photograph and a dark and moody photograph. There’s a huge difference, yeah? That’s how we like to describe the differences between shooting styles. Light is a bubbly, extroverted person compared to dark as a more introverted, reserved person.
Obviously the subject matter (you) is going to reflect what the camera is gonna take. You can create times of quiet in a light and airy photograph and times of bubbly rainbows in a dark and moody. Not only that, there’s miles of stuff in between. You have the natural photographers that shoot with even lighting and minor editing, etc. So the question is, how do you choose?
Dark and moody may not be you! You may be an extremely romantic, outgoing couple, in which I would then suggest a more bright and airy style. Below, you’re going to see a huge difference in styles and moods created from all of these different, but all equally wonderful artists. It seriously blows my mind looking at these different works of art. The subject stayed the same, but we look and feel completely different in every single session.
Finding a photographer #2 | Choose a photographer that compliments your personality
This is one that is just as important as the first step. Think about it this way—you are going to be spending a crap ton of time with your photographer(s). From consultations, to engagement shoots, to various meetings, to the wedding day itself; you are going to really get to know this person (or people). Why would you want to spend all that time with someone you really don’t click with?! This is why Mikayla and I’s business model focuses on real connections with our clients. Mikayla and I are obsessed with our cats and The Office, we’re relatively laid back, and really enjoy a good laugh. If you have an animal, Mikayla probably wants to see a thousand pictures (and probs hold it and hang out with it). If you listen to any metalcore at all, I will talk your ear off. Our personalities need to jive with one another in order for us (and you) to best click. This helps tell your story best and makes you feel comfortable and totally yourself being captured.
We are guaranteed to talk about literally everything but photography within the first 30 minutes of meeting you. For us, it isn’t just about the photographs—it’s about you. It’s about learning about you, learning how you interact with each other, why you like each other, what your favorite TV show is, who inspires you, etc. All the things. We want to be friends so freaking bad. We want to mini golf with you, we want to go out to dinner, we want to get to know you, because we are all human beings. If you do not click with us, how are you going to let us in? How are you going to fully open up to complete strangers? We don’t want to photograph complete strangers. There’s no intimacy, and there is no connection. That is why finding a photographer that compliments your personality is huge.
We truly do discuss if every couple we meet with clicks and there have been times that we’ve actually steered couples in another direction because we knew we weren’t what they were ultimately looking for. We’re not in this to book weddings and sessions. We’re in this to be the correct fit for our couples and aren’t afraid to tell them that if they feel any hesitation whatsoever, they can say no! We won’t be offended or hurt, because we one hundred percent understand and applaud their choice to find the correct photographer for themselves.
Finding a photographer #3 | Choose a photographer that knows what they are doing
As an artist, we are always learning. We will go to mentor sessions, we will go to workshops, we practice on each other, and we’ll even drag ourselves outside in the freezing cold just to practice and learn something new. We have been in the wedding business for around 6 years now and have learned the ins and outs of the wedding day, the planning, the client experience, etc.. We know what to expect, and we can help predict what’s going to happen and know how to react in certain situations (because we’ve been through it before).
We’ve become timeline ninjas and can help guide your wedding day schedule like a boss. When we help couples make timelines, we’re not worried about ourselves, we’re focusing on the couple. Our number one goal is to make every couple have the most stress-free day, where they’re in the moment and aren’t focusing on timing, where things are, etc., and we know how to help you achieve that zen. We’ve seen tons of different things not go to plan on a wedding day, have learned from them, which helps us anticipate if they’ll pop up again, and if they do, we’re prepared for them. We have learned how to utilize light in the worst possible situations (hellooooo Ohio winter, spring, and fall, canned lighting, and horrible other venue lighting). We’ve even had a 18 person wedding party, a 14 groomsmen, 9 bridesmaid wedding party, we’ve even had a freaking golf cart flip over on 2 drunk groomsman directly following the ceremony, and the list goes on an on (unfortunately for our sanity lol). So when you’re finding a photographer, look for these situations in their portfolios and how they’ve handled them.
We’d like to think that we’ve seen it all, but, I’m sure someone else is gonna surprise us one of these days all over again.
It’s super important when finding a photographer to see consistency in their work, too, so if you are doubting the abilities of your photographer, ask for a full wedding gallery or a blog. Typically, we love to share wedding days or engagement sessions with future couples so they can really get the full picture of what we do and how we work. It showcases how a photographer tells a story, what they capture, how they interacted with the light and with their couple, and helps you get a general low down of the flow. Honestly, if you do your research/creeping, meet with your photographer(s), have conversations with them, be honest, and get a real feel for them, you’ll no doubt be confident that your photographer knows what they are doin’ and is the right fit for ya!
Like we’ve stated a zillion and one times now—implementing or considering these tips to finding a photographer will change your experience and journey of working with a photographer. There are so many different flavors of photographers out there and only a few of them are the right one for you!
So now enjoy a vast array of different styles from different artists of Mikayla and I. I can’t believe the talent from all these artists. Give them a follow and be sure to like their work!
Planning your own wedding, or need additional help finding a photographer? Think we might be a good fit? Or just in need of some rad photographers to grab some ‘za with and socially distance hang (we even do virtual coffee dates)? We shoot everything from elopements to pizza. Shoot us a message and talk to our cats (aka the office administrators) for more information! Now booking for 2021 and the beginning of 2022.