father gives away the bride during ceremony
February 11, 2013

Eleven Things to Know About Your Wedding Photographer


Colorado wedding photography can be tricky! Especially if you are thinking of having a mountain wedding. We’ve all heard the expression “if you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait five minutes” and if you’ve spent much time in the Rockies you know that those summer storms come rushing in quickly or that beautiful crisp spring/fall day can turn into a blizzard overnight.

In addition there are many other considerations when choosing a wedding photographer. We want you to be well prepared when you look at photographers and start making contact with them. Whether you choose us or not, here is a list of some things that you should be thinking about and asking when choosing a wedding photographer.

1. Experience: This can go both ways – have they photographed enough weddings or too many? Are their photos a bit too raw or are they formulaic and cliche? Also weddings can be stressful to shoot. There is tremendous pressure to turn out good work. Can the photographer create great photos under that kind of pressure.

2. Skill: This is a personal pet peeve of mine. Most photographers can shoot outside in nice light, but what if that summer storm suddenly makes it an indoor wedding? Can they switch to indoor shooting without blazing away with on-camera or worse pop-up flash? Can the photographer still make evocative photos on the fly.

3. Equipment: Do they use professional equipment? This isn’t a deal breaker as most consumer cameras are pretty good these days, but the kit lens that came with that camera and the pop up flash can be a problem. Remember that sudden switch to an indoor wedding? Professional lenses by design perform better in low light and that popup flash will make it look like uncle frank was taking the photos.

Stolen moment Catholic wedding Greeley Colorado
4. Style: Is the photographer a traditional shooter, editorial style or somewhere in the middle? Do they shoot a lot of details or work hard to capture the moments and emotions of the day? There is nothing wrong or right with either one. It is your wedding, pick the style that best matches you and the look you want from it.

5. Research: Look at a lot of portfolios. Again, make sure that the photographers style is what you want. After years of shooting most photographers can’t change their look on the fly. Do they make good photos inside and out? Do they offer a free engagement session? Some photographers (including Stark Bellamy) offer this as a opportunity to get to know each other, to make sure that you and the photographer work well together.

6. Meetings: Does the photographer want to meet you and get to know you (see above #5)? Will they meet you at the venue or rehearsal to get a better idea of what’s in store for the big day?

7. Contracts: Does he or she have a contract? Contracts protect you both! Ask to read the contract before signing it. What happens if the photographer gets sick on your wedding day? Is there a back-up plan?
8. Recommend Vendors: Can your photographer recommend a venue, a florist, a dress shop? This can help weed out some photographers. If they have shot enough weddings they should have a go-to list of trusted vendors. If they have come up empty, this may be a tell-tale sign that they may not have the experience required. If you’re looking for the perfect little dress shop, just ask. Stark Bellamy can provide you with a list.

9. Final Presentation: Does your photographer have the ability to deliver your images in a final presentation form like prints or albums? This is an oft-overlooked item when choosing a wedding photographer. Any photographer can hand you a disc of your images, but then what? A good photographer will offer additional services like the ability to fulfill print orders and deliver stunning albums of your images designed to showcase your big day.

10. Flexibility: Can your photographer roll with sudden changes in the day’s plans. In addition to weather affecting the wedding day, last-minute venue changes and delays may also affect the photography. Ask your photographer candidate how they deal with changes and if they can offer examples of how they handled a situation like that.

11. Going to 11: Logistics and details are so important when planning the day. Can you trust the photographer will know when the cake is being cut. As photojournalists – whether it was covering a presidential visit or county fair – Eric and Chris had to know exactly when things were happening to be sure they got the shot.

Hit us up to see how we can work with you to capture your special moments. At Stark Bellamy Photography we want your wedding photography to be one less thing that you have to worry about.


Eric Bellamy
Wedding Photojournalist at Stark Bellamy Photography
Eric Bellamy is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has appeared on the likes of ESPNHS, the New York Times, Denver Post and more. He now focuses on editorial-style wedding photography and portraiture. He lives with his wife and children, and enjoys climbing rock and ice as well as sampling good wine and food in Northern Colorado.