How To Pick A Photographer
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but your wedding photos will be priceless.
When you look back years from now on the day you said, “I do,” nothing will breathe life back into your experience like an album of timeless photography.
Making your big day last forever is a monumental responsibility, so make time to research your options and go with a photographer you can trust to keep your memories alive.
North Carolina’s High Country and surrounding communities are home to an impressive variety of professional and fine art photographers, who are talented, educated, experienced, prepared, and ready to give you their best work. They understand how important your wedding day is to you, and they’re up for the challenge.
Not only are these artists well versed in their craft, they offer you a level of expertise that off-the-mountain photographers just can’t match. They know the ins and outs of the community, have worked with the network of other local industry vendors for years, and have captured weddings at most, if not all, of the area’s breathtaking venues.
Putting together a destination wedding can be a lot of work, but it’s made easy when you hire professionals who know their way around. Even if miles of highway separate you from them during the planning process, these photographers are only a call or a click away. They know the best outdoor locations for the images you want to achieve, the best time of day to capture the light in these beautiful spots, and how to show off the glory and the colors of the Blue Ridge in your portraits.
The unique environment, economy, and weather patterns of the High South can quickly throw a wrench into wedding day and photography plans, but local experts have the experience and the insight it takes to get the perfect shot, no matter what.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but your wedding photos will be priceless. Why turn to other photographers when the best of the best are right here on the mountain?
Making the decision to hire a local photographer is just part of the process. The next step is to choose one of the many talented folks. Here’s our advice for finding the right one and things to consider in doing so:
Asking a friend with a nice camera to shoot your wedding may sound like a way to save a few bucks, but capturing the most important day of your life is a responsibility you don’t want to dole out to just anyone. There are plenty of ways to make your budget work for you without sacrificing high quality photography, and it’s totally worth it to spend a little more on what you’ll get from these local experts.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
When it comes to making decisions about your wedding, sometimes advice from other brides is the most helpful way to figure out what’s what. Go online to read about the photographers in the area and check them out on social media. Look for feedback from other clients and ratings in online reviews.
Every photographer has their own style and, while many will offer a combination or agree to the one you ask them to achieve, their best work happens when they’re letting their creativities flow and shooting in the style that best suits their own personalities.
There are many styles to choose from, so figure out what you like and get to know photographers who specialize in that look.
Go for the fine art look if you’re looking for truly dreamy, dramatic, jaw-dropping artistry.
If posed shots of your family and friends are more important to you, look for photographers who tend to lean toward portraiture.
Opt for a pro with photojournalistic style if you’re looking for a variety of candid shots that tell the story of your wedding one detail at a time.
If your heart is set on an album that touches on a mixture of styles, find a photographer that’s versatile and can give you what you want.
TAKE A LOOK
During your initial consultation with the photographers on your mind, ask to look through their portfolio, or a collection of other weddings they’ve done in the past. Browse through galleries that show the whole day from start to finish and think about what you’re seeing — does this style of photography catch your eye? Are they doing a good job of capturing all of the details? Is there a good balance of product shots, posed portraits, and candid shots?
THE WHOLE PACKAGE
High Country photographers offer you an array of services and packages that can meet your needs with items like engagement sessions, bridal portraits, ceremony and reception photography, a CD of finished images, wedding albums, fine art printing, online viewing, and so much more.
Packages often begin somewhere within the $2,500-$4,500 range, although some photographers will allow you to personalize the package you choose to include the products that are right for your experience.
SHARING YOUR IMAGES
Before you hire someone, find out if the package you’re buying includes rights to the images or if you’ll need to pay extra to purchase them. This is an important question to ask if you’re planning to share your photos on social media, post them on the web, or print them on your own. Many contracts dictate that photographers have the right to publish your images or use them for promotional purposes, so make sure you discuss those details if you think that could be an issue for you.
WHAT TO EXPECT
It will take your photographer a lot more time to edit and prepare your images than it will for them to shoot your wedding, so be realistic and try to understand that it may take them awhile to get your proofs back to you. Talk to them about how many shots you’ll get from them, whether or not they’ll be retouched, and how long it will take for you to get them back.
MAKE A LIST
Give your photographer a list of shots you have to have and the people or details you want to include in your photos. Make sure the contract you sign with them gives them plenty of time to accomplish all of the shots on your list.
When you find the right photographer for you, meet with them in person and get to know them before the big day. Chances are, they’ll be by your side every step of the way, from the preparation to the exchange of vows and even the after party, so make sure you’re personalities work well together.
Consider hiring the same photographer to do your engagement session, your bridal portraits, and your wedding day. The more they get to know you, the better they can capture your best moments the way you want to remember them.
Jonathan and Bonnie Burton, a husband/wife team of award-winning photographers, combine creative forces to skillfully capture the unique story of your wedding day. All of the details, romance, excitement, and fun are artistically documented in a mixture of color, vintage, and black and white images. Wedding collections begin at $4,200 and include a gorgeous, custom designed Queensberry wedding album, complimentary engagement session, online image gallery, custom Album APP for mobile devices, digital files with permission to print, and two professional photographers - Jonathan and Bonnie. 828-266-9889
Ellen Gwin Photographer
Ellen Gwin Burnette is based in Boone, North Carolina. She is a graduate of Appalachian State and specializes in wedding and portrait photography. She strives to bring creative, natural, and comfortable coverage of your candid moments to capture, document, and preserve your memories for more than a lifetime. Her favorite moments involve laughter when those captured are truly themselves! Every event, no matter the size, age, or weather, is approached with great energy, insight, and professionalism. 336-978-2613
Jean Morée Photography
I have had the pleasure of photographing well over 100 weddings since 2007 in numerous states and settings, but especially love weddings in the High Country of North Carolina because of the absolute beautiful surroundings unique to this area. I am a long-time member of the Professional Photographers of America. I strive to provide a pleasing photography experience, high quality images worthy of display, a diverse product line, and exceptional customer service. 828-278-8228
Joy Davis Photography
Joy and Ryan Davis make a remarkable “wedding day team." The pair are no strangers to true love, for they have their own remarkable, modern day fairy tale. They adore their jobs because they get the chance to share in the glorious celebrations of other people’s lives. The Davis' work hard to develop a close friendship with their clients, because they feel that is the best way to get those intimate shots. The Davis’ have a remarkable talent for getting right into the heart of the moment to capture a visually stunning image. An image that allows a person to relive an entire day through just a single photograph. 828-729-3046
Matt Powell Productions
Matt Powell Productions has 15 years experience in international documentary photography and video storytelling. Our wedding photography and films are a timeless collection of fine-art telling your story; highlighting what is most important to you. We focus on capturing the essence of your location and the character of you and your guests. We approach photography with a sense of fun and adventure, utilizing natural light and documentary techniques to capture emotions and natural beauty. 828-773-1311
Michelle Hrin Photography
Michelle Hrin is an award-winning photographer who would love the opportunity to capture your story. Her goal is to preserve your memories from the little details to the big moments and everything meaningful in between. Your smiles and your glances on your wedding day, your friends and your family surrounding you, the laughs, the tears of joy, and the fun! She loves giving her clients the best service through getting to know them on a personal level. She wants your photographs to tell your story for generations to come. 828-302-7572
Pixels on Paper
Pixels On Paper is Misty & Ryan Case, a married couple who’ve been photographing portraits and weddings for over 10 years. They compliment each other in style, temperament, vision, and creativity (read: they are talented and fun). The couple believes in using their talents not only to capture special events, but to create beautiful heirlooms that go beyond selfies and snapshots. They are also extremely focused on creating strong relationships and friendships with their clients and usually go on to take portraits of their wedding clients’ children and most other milestones long after the wedding is a memory. 336-990-0080
Tracy Brewer Photography
I love weddings and I love photographing people. I would be honored to be chosen to document your love story. I work to give my clients lasting memories that they will cherish and pass on to future generations. I also offer interesting products that can showcase your wedding photography in beautiful settings. I photograph families and couples in Banner Elk, Boone, Blowing Rock and the surrounding areas. I was raised in these beautiful North Carolina mountains that I still call home. I have an amazing husband who supports me in all my dreams. He is truly my best friend. We have one furry “child” named Josey. Please visit my website to see examples of my work. 828-260-1984
Born and raised in the High Country, wedding, engagement and lifestyle photographer Jessica Maceda loves to follow couples as they set sail on a journey through life together. As Wayfaring Wanderer, she and husband Cody Maddox team up to document wedding day adventures all across the area and offer a free-spirited approach to freezing life’s most epic moments in time. 828-773-8764