Wedding Photography Secrets


Creating elegant, romantic wedding photography for clients is no easy task, but then again, neither is choosing the right wedding photographer. Where do you start? What questions do you ask? What should you look for in a wedding photographer?

There certainly is no shortage of opinions online today about wedding photography, or for that matter anything, but who are you going to listen to? Having spent the past 20 years photographing weddings, I have learned (sometimes the hard way) all of the little things that go into making wedding day photography run smoothly so that we can capture all of the gorgeous, romantic images from  your day. Another thing I’ve learned is that an informed, educated client will generally make the best decision for their needs and in the end be happier with the results based on an informed decision.

It is for this reason that we spend a good bit of time at the initial consultation informing brides of the top things to consider when looking for a wedding photographer, so that they choose the right photographer for them. These considerations are important no matter which photographer a bride chooses, because professional wedding photography is a significant investment and in the end, the client should be thrilled with the photographer and the results. As experts in wedding photography, professional photographers, in my opinion, have an obligation to help the bride navigate this process so that we ensure that we both are a good fit for each other. With that being said, below are a couple of secrets most photographers may not tell you, but should be considered before deciding on your photographer. If you would like the full list of all 5 secrets, just simply contact us through our contact page here and request the 5 secrets info sheet.

1. Your Photographer Can Make or Break Your Entire Wedding Day!

Believe it or not, the photographer you select to photograph your wedding can make or break your wedding day.  Why?  Because you will typically spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than any other professional.  The personality and professionalism of your photographer is critical to how smoothly and romantically everything goes for you on your wedding day.  Your photographer determines this by the way they help you plan your wedding, the way they treat you and your loved ones, and the way he conducts himself throughout the day. Weddings are very dynamic events and having someone with years of experience that knows how to handle challenging situations and still capture great photos is something most brides don’t consider, but should.

2. Photographic Style – Are They Emotional Story-tellers?

This is really important, if you are looking for photographs which will be PRICELESS to you for years and years to come! Only a professional wedding photographer with years of experience will know where to be and what do in order to capture the romantic moments on your wedding day as they naturally happen.  Again weddings are very dynamic and for the photographer it is much like a chess match where the photographer must be 2-3 steps ahead of what’s going on in order to NOT INTERFER WITH THE EMOTIONAL ROMANTIC FLOW OF YOUR DAY and also know how to properly capture those romantic moments for you. That only comes with many years of experience, and should be evident in their work.

A Wedding Portrait

I received a call from the publisher of a magazine recently who had run across this image and wanted to feature it in a story they were writing. Since I was pulling the image up and tweaking it a little for publication, I thought I would share. I thought this was a really cool image from Nick & Sarah’s wedding and probably the one I would pick if I had to select a single image from the day to tell their story.


What is the value of a memory captured in a photograph?

We recently received a thank you note from a bride we had the privilege of working with last year. This was not so much a thank you for photographing the wedding, it was however a fresh perspective on the value of the images we captured. She shared that over this past year their families had lost two grandparents and the images we created had been so special and appreciated in a very different way! The experiences of life from newborn babies, first birthdays, high school graduations, weddings and everything special in life, pass by so quickly and all of those and more truly should to be captured and enjoyed. The answer to the question is Priceless! The memories of grandparents who are no longer here to live life with us, speaks to the value of relationships! This is one of the most rewarding parts of the work we do. With the pace of life these days, we all need to remember to, not only stop and spend time with those we love, but capture those memories to enjoy for years to come!

Shelly & Victor – Wedding Sneak Peak

What a gorgeous day, at the historic Wagner House in downtown Clayton, for Shelly & Victor to tie the knot. Sometimes it’s hit or miss with November weddings, but it was great day temperature and weather wise for their special day.

We truly enjoyed being able to photograph Shelly & Victor’s wedding and loved the setting, which made for some gorgeous images. It’s always fun photographing a wedding at a venue for the first time and seeing what unique images you can create for the bride and groom. The staff at the Wagner house was fantastic to work with also, helping with anything we needed.

It has been such a unique opportunity, going back 5 years to Shelly’s sister Ashley’s wedding and seeing how they leaned on each other make it through the their big day. It was evident how much they love each other by the words & tears shared during Ashley’s toast. Ok, enough mushy stuff! Shelly, Victor, we truly hope you two have a long happy, life together, and enjoy this sneak peak of images, as there are many more to come!

Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1004 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1025 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1086 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1110 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1116 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1119 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1133 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1216 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1234 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1252 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1258 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1322 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1327-Edit-Edit-Edit Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1370 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1432 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1446 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1468 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1478 Shelly_Hilliard_Wedding-1487

Now that she’s married…Shelly’s bridal

What a beautiful bride and dress! Those two elements along with the fantastic location setting, culminated in some gorgeous, elegant bridal portraits for Shelly (and mom – who gets the wall portrait 🙂 ). I love shooting a new location, especially one as gorgeous as the historic Wagner House in Clayton, NC. It’s challenging yet fun to study the natural lighting offered up at each new location we shoot. This place did not disappoint, if you know what you’re looking for, with large windows inside, for soft diffused lighting along with some great front porch lighting with perfect soft, indirect light coming in from the front of the house, for the porch images. Of course we supplemented with a touch of off camera strobe, but only just enough to compliment the natural light and give a sparkle to the eyes. We even got a little creative with some artistic HDR images at the end. That was really the only way to maintain proper exposure on the house, the bride and the bright sky all at the same time, plus it just looks cool! Stay tuned for some wedding images…Shelly_Hilliard_Bridal_Portraits-1022 Shelly_Hilliard_Bridal_Portraits-1046-Edit Shelly_Hilliard_Bridal_Portraits-1062 Shelly_Hilliard_Bridal_Portraits-1065 Shelly_Hilliard_Bridal_Portraits-1089 Shelly_Hilliard_Bridal_Portraits-1096_HDR Shelly_Hilliard_Bridal_Portraits-1101_HDR



Engagement Portraits – Krista & Daniel

We recently had the privilege of photographing Krista and Daniel’s engagement session. This was such a fun session and the perfect opportunity to get to know our bride and groom and make their wedding day even more relaxed! Krista and Daniel are so much fun and we enjoyed getting to know them. Krista has to be one of the nicest people I’ve met and Daniel has a great sense of humor and kept us laughing.  We’re looking forward to creating some gorgeous bridal portraits as well as capturing the details and memories of the special day these two are planning.  Stay tuned for bridal and wedding photos down the road…..
Krista_Puett_Engagement_Portraits-1008 Krista_Puett_Engagement_Portraits-1049 Krista_Puett_Engagement_Portraits-1060 Krista_Puett_Engagement_Portraits-1095 Krista_Puett_Engagement_Portraits-1078

Kaitlyn & Andrew – Wedding

Gorgeous wedding at Binkley Chapel in Wake Forest. Kaitlyn & Andrew were great to work with and they decided to see each other before the ceremony, which allowed us to create some fantastic images of them seeing each other for the first time (alone) on their wedding day. I love it when couples do this. It creates a really special moment for the bride and groom to enjoy together, and they don’t have to share that “first look” with hundreds of people! I will typically set up far away with a long lens and photograph documentary style so they can enjoy the moment naturally and we simply capture as it unfolds. Of course, setting it all up for great lighting, background and vantage points are the key to making the images look great. Kaitlyn_Averette_Wedding-2111 Kaitlyn_Averette_Wedding-2120 Kaitlyn_Averette_Wedding-2137