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Get the Wedding Photos of Your Dreams

Apr 11, 2012

by RadandInLove

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Jamie + Michelle are the duo behind the wedding photography team Rad + In Love. Michelle lives in an A-frame cabin in Los Angeles and loves exploring the city, mountains and sea with her cameras and her bicycle. Jamie lives in San Diego with two dogs, a cat, her husband, and one very handsome baby. She blogs about her daily life on A Desert Fete.

How did you get started in wedding photography?
It all started when Jamie threw herself a wedding in Joshua Tree and asked Michelle to photograph it. Jamie has since joined Michelle behind the lens at weddings, and now they’re both hooked; there’s nothing like the incredible positive energy that surrounds the union of two folks in love.

These days, it seems like everyone is an aspiring photographer. Why hire a professional?
There are no re-dos on photographing the moments of a wedding day, and unlike the cake that you might cut or the booze that fills your toasting glass, you’ll be holding onto your photographs for life. If you hire someone who has experience, and whose work you love, you can trust them to capture the complete story without mishap, in a way that is meaningful to you.

Tell us your tips for choosing a photographer. What’s the most important question a couple should ask their wedding vendor?
You should fall in love with a photographer’s work. Their images should resonate with you, sing to your soul, move you, inspire you, make your toes tingly. Next, check in to make sure you vibe with a potential photographer. You have to like their energy, ya know? If possible, meet up over beverages. If geography prevents this, a chatty phone call can stand in.

How much should couples budget for wedding photographs?
There is no magic number. A photog in NYC will probably cost more than one in Nebraska, and that guy whose work you keep seeing on all the cool blogs? He probably charges a few more pennies than a girl just entering the profession.

Is there a meaningful difference between digital and film? Is film worth the extra cost?
We shoot in both film and digital, and each have their place. Digital lets us take thousands of images, immediately backed up, with beautiful results. BUT. We love the mystery and the perfect imperfection of a film image. It has an unaffected warmth. It has history. If you love film too, it’s worth the extra cost.

If I’m having a destination wedding, should I look for a local photographer or bring one from home?
Wherever you’re getting married, don’t limit your search to one location. You might find a photographer you are head-over-heels about whose lower rates offset travel costs, or one for whom you are willing to shell out extra travel expenses. Also? Photographers are notoriously into traveling. A lot of them will work with your budget if they can get a cool trip out of it!

How can you communicate with your photographer to get the shots you want? Is there an inside lingo or specific terms that are helpful to know?
Words can be misinterpreted, but if you show your photographer examples of what you want and don’t want, you are much more likely to be happy with the end result.

Are there any wedding photography trends you love? Any you think are played out?
We see a lot of fellow photographers embracing a photojournalistic style, striving to capture the story of the day, rather than something phony and staged. LOVE IT!

Is it worth doing the traditional wedding shots, or do you think a more photojournalistic approach captures a wedding’s spirit better?
Though we believe in a photojournalistic approach, there is definitely a place for traditional shots. It is much easier to make sure you walk away with good photographs of your full bridal party, for example, if you set aside time for portraits.

What shots should brides make sure to get?
What is important to you on your wedding day? Is it your $800 Miu Miu shoes? Is it the stunning dessert table that your best friends labored over for a week? Is it the looks of joy and love on the faces of all your friends and family as they witness and celebrate? A good photographer will try to capture everything, but it doesn’t hurt to give her a list of your priorities.

What do you need to know about printing, albums, and negatives/digital files?
This is a big question. Do your research, ask questions, read the fine print on your contract and make sure it suits your needs. (i.e. Who owns the negatives? Do you get a copy of the high res digital files or do you have to order prints through the photographer?) Look at and feel samples of albums and prints before ordering. Know that traditional albums are spendy but archival, stunning, and laid out by a professional. That doesn’t mean a DIY version can’t be a great budget option.

Any other words of wisdom?
Want good pictures? Consider the lighting. Talk with your photographer before you set the schedule and hammer out too many details. Good natural light can make all the difference.

And finally? Do what feels right. And have fun. You are getting married!

More Wedding Posts

3 Featured Comments

  • RockAndHardware

    Cindy from RockAndHardware said 7 years ago Featured

    Great tips! Even though our wedding was a very long time ago (30 years, woohoo!!), I think one of the most important things for us was that our personalities and styles meshed well with the photographer. He knew the shots we wanted ahead of time as well as candidly captured some of the most priceless photos ever. Your photographer is with you all day, make sure you like him or her!!!

  • eversolovely

    Ever So Lovely from EverSoLovely said 7 years ago Featured

    Could not agree more that choosing the best photographer for your style is a must! For our wedding we spent the most on our photographer because years from now the photos from our wedding will be the things we cherish most! My husband and I met with several photographers and fell in love with the one we hired. Her personality was what we were looking for and she shot our engagement photos and did our wedding. Not only did we get awesome photos but we made a great friend at the same time which was a great find in itself! :)

  • sadiedesignsca

    Sarah from CAMPandQUARRY said 7 years ago Featured

    There are so many great tips in this interview! I got married last fall and the thing that we decided was most important was the photography. We chose locations that would allow us to have a photoshoot with the feel we wanted and we are so happy with the results. Hiring pro photographers that shared our aesthetic was exactly the right thing to do. And our photographers were so cool that our guests just thought they were more friends of ours. Couldn't have asked for more. P.S. - That shot of the dresses hanging is unbelievable! I love the bridal party styles and colours.

85 comments

  • samsnatural

    Sam's Natural from SamsNatural said 7 years ago

    Great article and beautiful photos!!

  • aoisart

    Kia from aoisart said 7 years ago

    Great article! You will always cherish your marriage photos, make sure you get the right photographer!

  • ACupOfSparkle

    ACupOfSparkle from ACupOfSparkle said 7 years ago

    Awesome photos! I kind of want to go back to my wedding day and have more photos...

  • BrokenFingersArt

    Erin Inglis from COLRtheory said 7 years ago

    Those dresses are beautiful

  • kh1467

    Kelly from KikuPaper said 7 years ago

    Fantastic photographs that capture a moment, the connection between two people, the friends and family.... are priceless. Invest in the best photographer that you can afford. (Excellent article!)

  • guziks

    Stephanie from Phylogeny said 7 years ago

    Great interview with lots of great tips! I was lucky enough to have a wonderful experience with my photographer for my wedding, and I'm amazed at how many of the qualities mentioned here were echoed in her work. I met her through a friend in my book club, did a 1 hour engagement photo shoot (well worth the money if it's an option to you, because we got to see how she photographed us and got to see her personality working with us), and then booked her to our "destination" wedding at our hometown... and she traveled from D.C. for it. We had an amazing experience and have a million photojournalistic photos to document our amazing day! Those photographs are worth their weight in gold... or diamonds? :)

  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties said 7 years ago

    Those are all some really good tips. When it comes to the big day, there really are no re-do's when it comes to photos so you want a photographer that not only captures the beauty of everyone at the wedding but also the wedding items themselves likes the cake and the centerpieces.

  • VintageMarketPlace

    VintageMarketPlace from VintageMarketPlace said 7 years ago

    How I wish we had a better photographer at our wedding. I had to ask for certain shots and nothing came out looking how I wanted ;( These are all so soft and beautiful

  • dottywalker

    Dotty Walker from SewThoughtfulBlanket said 7 years ago

    Wow, some really good advice. I love the picture of the dresses hanging up. Good idea. Great article!

  • eyeondesigninvites

    Kay from Tyingtheknotinvites said 7 years ago

    I love these photos they look timeless! Great Story!

  • Angelaladeda

    Angela Lewis from CasualCastle said 7 years ago

    It is so nice and refreshing to see wedding photography that doesn't look like all the other wedding photography out there. Its nice to see creativity. Stunning use of light, and I like the treatment on the shots. Sounds like they live awesome lives :)

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections from KettleConfections said 7 years ago

    I love the rustic elegant quality of your photos - great work!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 7 years ago

    As well as the professional photographer, ask any & all guests who take photos to let you have copies of any you might like to own. Either digital files or borrow the negatives & print your own copies. They're likely to get all sorts of candid shots of other guests...

  • lauraprentice

    Laura Wennstrom from laurawennstrom said 7 years ago

    Not getting great wedding photos are one thing I regret from my wedding. I decided to go super cheap and hired a friend to photography my wedding. There were some pros, like she just gave us all of the proofs to keep, but we had to do our own editing. She wasn't as good as I had assumed, and I was disappointed with the results (but I got what I paid for!) I wish she would have had more experience and courage when it came to taking photos of our very huge families, and say things like "I can't see you Grandma!" or "Let's not take pictures in a sunny field at noon, everyone is washed out and squinting." We had asked my uncle in advance (who loves to take pictures) to take photos of guests for us, as the photographer is often catching the "big moments." He was happy to oblige and it was a fun way for us to see what was happening 'behind the scenes' on our big day!

  • fairyn11

    fairyn11 said 7 years ago

    As an assistant to a wedding photographer for over 8 years, I have some advice. -If you want a specific picture or certain shots during one time, etc. Tell them!!! We can't read your mind and know all your shots so don't be shy. -Look at their work and judge that! I don't mean one album, I mean the website, multiple albums, still shots, etc. -DO NOT BASE WHAT YOU WANT OFF OF A MAGAZINE ARTICLE OR THEKNOT.COM, ETC! This is YOUR day. Why bother living up to someone else's standards of what are good shots to take. -Really talk with your photographer and get to know the work they do so you know totally what to expect. -We love taking cool shots as much as you love getting them so loosen up and live a little even if an idea for a photograph is a bit wacky. -RELAX AND ENJOY YOUR DAY! If you are still, nervous, and otherwise not enjoying your wedding day it will show in the pictures. Loosen up and learn how to be comfortable and natural in front of the camera. There is nothing worse than a stiff pose and fake smile. Ultimately, love what it is you will be getting and know that a good photographer will do their best to make your day look amazing in the pictures (because it is that way anyway!).

  • RivalryTime

    Phil Jackson from NuptialNotion said 7 years ago

    Wonderful.

  • vKnit

    Jane from vKnit said 7 years ago

    Super tips! Thank you for sharing! :)

  • NecessiTees

    NecessiTees from NecessiTees said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the informative tips!

  • messinabella

    messinabella from BandBEstate said 7 years ago

    Great tips!

  • peacesofindigo

    Dawanna Young from peacesofindigo said 7 years ago

    Great advice~

  • dabrascott

    Allison Bratcher-Wescott from dabrascott said 7 years ago

    Fantastic ideas! I am a fan of the informal, photojournalistic style as well. I am shooting a wedding for a couple in October --I just finished their engagement photos-- and I know it's going to be a set of photos that display their personalities more than anything staged ever could. I have their engagement photos on my page and I'm very pleased with them, for sure http://facebook.com/dabrascott -------------------------------------------- Support local artists! :)

  • uniquefabricgifts

    Unique Fabric Gifts from uniquefabricgifts said 7 years ago

    Very good tips! On my wedding we decided we wanted to enjoy every moment of it. Nothing better than good memories! I had a few pose photos but everything else was very informal. The photographer captured every moment as it occurred while we were just having fun. When we received the photos we also enjoyed the things that we didn't even noticed and we had as much fun when we were looking at the pictures as we did in our wedding.

  • WeddingAmbience

    Mel from WeddingAmbience said 7 years ago

    Great article. Wonderful information. Beautiful Pictures!

  • Blingup1

    Hatsuna from Blingup1 said 7 years ago

    good heads up, there should be no "re-do" exist in the big day. Everything captured in the first lovely sight! great article with fabulous pictures and inspiring tips!

  • sweetindependence

    Adriana from sweetindependence said 7 years ago

    beautiful pics!!!

  • TheEverlastingPosy

    TheEverlastingPosy from TheEverlastingPosy said 7 years ago

    What fun photographs!

  • BiomedDesign

    BioMed DB Design LLC from BiomedDesign said 7 years ago

    A good photographer makes a big difference. Nice article.

  • emmashepard

    Emma Shepard from SewWonderfullyMade6 said 7 years ago

    Wow this is great!

  • MelissaKojima

    Melissa Kojima from ArtistInLALALand said 7 years ago

    These really are some of the best wedding photos I've ever seen. Nice tips. Thanks.

  • JasmineLund

    Hannah Jasmine Tucker from TheMiddleButton said 7 years ago

    Love these tips! Thanks so much for sharing. :o)

  • QueenofCuffs

    mary from QueenofCuffs said 7 years ago

    Great points made. I like the deceptively simple and casual picks. Not so easy to do - the people all look so 'in the moment' yet no unflattering looks - beautifully done. I love looking at wedding blogs for the pretty and fresh photography. It is a real collaboration between couple and photographer and a 'must photo' list is an important part.

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 7 years ago

    Beautiful! Love the hanging dresses photo!

  • RockAndHardware

    Cindy from RockAndHardware said 7 years ago Featured

    Great tips! Even though our wedding was a very long time ago (30 years, woohoo!!), I think one of the most important things for us was that our personalities and styles meshed well with the photographer. He knew the shots we wanted ahead of time as well as candidly captured some of the most priceless photos ever. Your photographer is with you all day, make sure you like him or her!!!

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 7 years ago

    Such great tips. I am no where near getting married, but I have always been thinking about a photographer. It is such an important thing. If money is to be spent, it will be on photography.

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm from baconsquarefarm said 7 years ago

    Beautiful photo's and great article, thank you. Our son is getting married in August so I'll share these ideas and link with our son's bride to be. :)

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 7 years ago

    Love articles about wedding! :)

  • shellsherree

    Shell-Sherree from ShellSherree said 7 years ago

    Great suggestions - years ago, I was bridesmaid for a wedding where the photographer lost a couple of rolls of film {before the digital photo age!} and the bride and groom had to dress up again to re-shoot. {Lucky it wasn't the entire bridal party.} And it just wasn't the same, of course. Hiring a professional one can trust is so important. Your work is beautiful!

  • cottonage

    cottonage.com cottonage.com said 7 years ago

    Fantastic photos and great articles!

  • katrinaalana

    Katrina Alana from KatrinaAlana said 7 years ago

    Great tips on sourcing for a wedding photographer!

  • stylesbychanel

    stylesbychanel from OnnyWear said 7 years ago

    Nice photos, thanks for sharing your advice!!

  • IronCurtainSteamPunk

    Izabela Murawska from IronCurtainSteamPunk said 7 years ago

    The photos are realy great. On my weeding I also had an professional photographer and I don't regret it! It makes difference!

  • SenoritaJoya

    Dorottya from SenoritaJoya said 7 years ago

    Great images! :)

  • dollmeat

    dollmeat from ALABcraft said 7 years ago

    Great tips,very useful

  • Nikifashion

    Natalia from Nikifashion said 7 years ago

    awesome article!

  • Nikifashion

    Natalia from Nikifashion said 7 years ago

    Wonderful pictures!

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 7 years ago

    Awesome pictures!

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 7 years ago

    Beautiful pictures!

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka said 7 years ago

    Beautiful photos!!!

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 7 years ago

    Great post!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 7 years ago

    Great tips, I always love the more natural style of photographs as opposed to a 'posed' photo. I think they just capture the spirit of the individual more!

  • jelenamirkov

    Jelena from CeruleanBird said 7 years ago

    I really enjoyed looking at these pictures and also pictures on the blog, they really bring to life the moment

  • twentytwotwenty

    twentytwotwenty from twentytwotwenty said 7 years ago

    I couldn't agree more about how important the photoraphy is....lasting memories captured forvever. Lovely photos!

  • sianykitty

    Siany from sianykitty said 7 years ago

    great great idea, I wish I read this articles before I choose my wedding photographer.. after going through a wedding, a good photography should probably be one of the most important aspect of your party

  • mintmoose

    Katrina from mintmoose said 7 years ago

    There are so many people out there with a digital camera and photoshop who set up facebook pages in hopes of someone throwing some money their way when they have no experience. Hopefully these tips encourage people to really look at photo examples before deciding, and not being afraid to talk about what they need. Great post!

  • MaJentaDesigns

    MaJentaDesigns from MaJentaDesigns said 7 years ago

    These are all very useful tips! it definitely is all about what style you like, and also feeling comfortable with the photographer - as you want to feel natural around them, in order for your smile in your shots to feel natural too

  • deodorantshop

    Deodorant Shop from deodorantshop said 7 years ago

    So pretty! Love the color pallette

  • thehappycouple

    Brianna from thehappycouple said 7 years ago

    These tips are all so true. For me getting good photos was the most important thing. I think it's reassuring to know that you're confident in someone's work and that you'll have great photos to look back on.

  • VintageHoneysuckle

    Lana Manis from VintageHoneysuckle said 7 years ago

    I really like all of the shots shown in this article. Traditional wedding poses are nice to have, but I love the candid shots!

  • eversolovely

    Ever So Lovely from EverSoLovely said 7 years ago Featured

    Could not agree more that choosing the best photographer for your style is a must! For our wedding we spent the most on our photographer because years from now the photos from our wedding will be the things we cherish most! My husband and I met with several photographers and fell in love with the one we hired. Her personality was what we were looking for and she shot our engagement photos and did our wedding. Not only did we get awesome photos but we made a great friend at the same time which was a great find in itself! :)

  • Dstello

    Dstello from Dstello said 7 years ago

    Beautiful article! :) Love it!

  • myvintagecrush

    Kathleen from myvintagecrush said 7 years ago

    Great tips!

  • 27thEmpireGallery

    Jesus C. from 27thEmpireGallery said 7 years ago

    great article :)

  • RadandInLove

    Jamie and Michelle from RadandInLove said 7 years ago

    thanks again, etsy team, for having us! we had so much fun with this interview. thanks for the kind comments, and love hearing all the additional tips! so much good advice! xoxo j+ m

  • karensopencloset

    karen from karensopencloset said 7 years ago

    Love the article :) And wonderful tips !!

  • bedouin

    Nicole from Crackerjackarma said 7 years ago

    soft and dreamy ~ so pretty ~ we were married 25 years ago in Vegas by an Elvis impersonator ....I'll leave your imagination to do the walking through our photo's!

  • GeeZees

    Stephanie Morris from GeezeesCustomCanvas said 7 years ago

    amazing!!

  • sadiedesignsca

    Sarah from CAMPandQUARRY said 7 years ago Featured

    There are so many great tips in this interview! I got married last fall and the thing that we decided was most important was the photography. We chose locations that would allow us to have a photoshoot with the feel we wanted and we are so happy with the results. Hiring pro photographers that shared our aesthetic was exactly the right thing to do. And our photographers were so cool that our guests just thought they were more friends of ours. Couldn't have asked for more. P.S. - That shot of the dresses hanging is unbelievable! I love the bridal party styles and colours.

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    AJ Marsden from OnlyOriginalsByAJ said 7 years ago

    Have fun! Best advice I got for my wedding pictures and they look great :)

  • CraisinRain

    CraisinRain said 7 years ago

    A lot to think about but great tips. Thank you!

  • yqsl66

    Ada Ada from idajewelry66 said 7 years ago

    Those dresses are beautifulThank you!

  • lensedaft

    lindsay lindsay from ThePaisleyWindowpane said 7 years ago

    yay, Rad + In Love!

  • TheCustomQuill

    TheCustomQuill from TheCustomQuill said 7 years ago

    Wonderful, great ideas!!!!! : D

  • designlab443

    Tracy from designlab443 said 7 years ago

    I love weddings, what a fun job!

  • NicoleNicoletta

    NicoleNicoletta from NicoleNicoletta said 7 years ago

    really beautiful photos!

  • BayMoonDesign

    Kathy Lindemer from BayMoonDesign said 7 years ago

    Great ideas!

  • knitella2011

    Esra Asoratti from Asoratti said 7 years ago

    great tips and lovely photos :) xx

  • BossStudios

    BossStudios from BossStudios said 7 years ago

    The photos are wonderful! Thanks for the tips!

  • sandboxcastle

    H Wang from sandboxcastle said 7 years ago

    I love wedding photographies- I agree- I love the photojournalism trend - brings out the true story and real emotions of the day :3

  • mirabellamorello

    mirabellamorello from mirabellamorello said 7 years ago

    Wonderful photos of these weddings!! It is so important that the mood of the photos match your wedding! We were the luckiest couple ever in that one of my husbands friends did our photos and she did an amazing job! She is a very gifted amateur and I don't recommend this route for everyone, but she probably should be doing this for a living! The "feel" of all of the pictures was just perfect and we were so comfortable with her because she is our dear, dear friend (just that tiny bit more dear to us for having captured our special day just the way we wanted!)

  • pasitorkkeli

    Pasi Torkkeli from TorkkeliJewellery said 7 years ago

    Very nice tips for someone like me, who happens to make THE CHANDLER- face in every photo that has been taken:D

  • jpspringfiel

    Pearl Springfield from ZoeGraceBlooms said 7 years ago

    Great perspectives on photography! As a relatively new Etsy shop, I appreciate some fo the thoughts you share. Thanks!

  • pinkpoppies1991

    Pink Poppies from pinkpoppies1991 said 7 years ago

    Oh these are so beautiful! It's great to see some non-cheesy wedding photos!

  • AlishaBaird

    Alisha Scicolone from AlishaBaird said 7 years ago

    Amazing!!!

  • CarinaMary

    Carina Mary from FishPunk said 7 years ago

    I would love to know how people handle the photographer situation if they are eloping. Would it be strange to spend the money on a professional photographer?

  • ArtDecoDiamonds

    ArtDecoDiamonds from ArtDecoDiamonds said 7 years ago

    I think the photos are fantastic!

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