Tag Archives: wedding photography

Grooms Can Plan Too by Nathan Nowack Photography

Weddings and wedding planning seem to be very bride-centric, but these days more and more grooms are stepping up and participating in the planning process. We’re pleased to partner with Nathan Nowack for this week’s guest post on grooms and the wedding planning process.


We are an award-winning photography studio based in downtown Fullerton, California. With numerous publications online and an award last year from Junebug Weddings, Nathan has been capturing weddings since 2008 with fun as his main goal.  Creating long-lasting images with artistic style, vision, and emotional connection has been a true pleasure for Nathan while he also branches out into holding photography workshops, public speaking, and administration of some online photography forums.  Nathan is also the co-founder of a new wedding blog called www.wedding-bros.com.  This modern day wedding website is centered around grooms and groomsmen, helping with valuable information by listing local vendors, giving advice on attire, to-do’s and not to-do’s, and so much more.  Thank you for reading our story below, “Grooms Can Plan Too.”

“Grooms Can Plan Too”

As a male wedding photographer surrounded by Badgley Mischkas, Alfred Angelos, and pretty pastel florals, it’s nice to see a new trend in the way wedding photography is booked these days.  No, I’m not talking about your “Uncle Bob” bringing his new Costco camera, I’m talking about the groom planning at least 50% of the wedding now. Yes, the groom has now taken a more involved role in planning his wedding and choosing the vendors than ever before.

groom planning a wedding

A groom is doing what? Well he’s not necessarily choosing the flowers or whether they should have gold or silver chargers. From what I’ve seen, today’s weddings have a more casual feeling than the more traditional ones 10-20 years ago. Couples are recognizing that the true focus of their wedding should be on their celebratory union and their two families coming together as one.  More couples these days are also helping to finance their wedding, not just the bride’s parents. Because of this, brides and grooms have more freedom to do what they want, which includes the vendors and venues. This makes the wedding much more involved now, so having two people help out with research just makes sense.

Grooms and Wedding Photography

I’ve been a wedding photographer for many years and have captured hundreds of weddings. During my consultations, the groom was present at least 90% of the time, and was actively asking questions. Approximately 25% of those times, the groom was the one who actually contacted me before the bride. During the meeting, I always ask questions to both the bride and groom, as I feel more confident this way in getting to know them both.  It is refreshing to see the groom’s excitement and involvement as it shows me he really cares about this wedding. This is after all HIS special day too, not just the bride’s.

groom influence in weddings

For wedding photography, there are many styles of photography to choose from. Grooms and brides styles on photography do not always match up.  His preference in style is typically with more vibrant color, contrast, and dramatic lighting, while the brides preference is traditionally a more soft light, filtered images, or even photos captured on film.  This of course isn’t always the case, but knowing what styles are out there is a very beneficial conversation to have first. Hopefully, the groom and bride have discussed what they want before the meetings begins, as it will definitely save time on planning.

Engagement sessions are also a newer trend, as back in the day, early couple’s photos were used for an announcement in a newspaper.  Today, they are full sessions of 2-5 hours that include multiple locations, outfits, and sometimes props. These engagement sessions can include fun romantic picnics in the park or maybe private tours in a professional sports stadium. I’ll let you guess which one the groom chose. In addition to the photography, videography is typically another task the groom is given to research.  Not all photographers do videography, and vice versa.

grooms and wedding planning

Grooms and Wedding Planning

Now photography isn’t the only thing grooms have started to help out with. I think guys have always loved the food and cake tasting, so that is not necessarily new. However, I think that food itself has changed with the addition of gourmet food trucks, specialty desserts, In-N-Out semi-trucks, and custom alcohol menus that have rushed into the wedding market for cocktail hour specials and late night snacks. To my delight, my wife even allowed me to select mini-burger sliders as one of our appetizers 4 years ago.  I also had the pleasure of capturing a wedding recently with a huge selection of craft beers and custom pilsner glasses for every guest.  Yep, all the influence of the groom.

men planning weddings

As the wedding reception marches into it’s final hour, a happy groom leans back with his new wife and enjoys the celebration that they have planned together. The last of the photographic documentation winds down as a few friends and family grab a couple more photobooth memories with superhero props. The mojito bar comes to it’s last call, as the bourbon cherry groom’s cake gets passed out. This groom has helped the bride plan their most memorable day together, and it’s all because he wanted to make their day special, too.

To learn more about Nathan Nowack Photography, visit his websites, www.nathannowack.com and www.wedding-bros.com.

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The Wedding Album: Selling It and Loving It by Mhari Scott Photography

Mhari Scott is a professional photographer based in the Pacific Northwest, specializing in wedding photography and photojournalism. She has been shooting since 2001, making the decision to focus on weddings in 2007. Her years of experience have made her realize the importance of wedding albums for her clients. We’re pleased to partner with Mhari for this guest blog post on how to love to sell wedding albums to your clients.


When I started out my wedding photography business, I was not a very albums-focused operation. I made the assumption that my clients would be more interested in taking their DVD of images to a photo lab themselves, now that the magical age of digital photography was upon us and allowed for that sort of thing.

Although I did offer albums as an option on my pricing list, I didn’t promote them in any way, and only one couple out of 90 in those first three years ordered one. At the time, I thought I was saving people money – that I was giving them the gift of DIY-ing to their heart’s desire.

Do I need a wedding album

Then I read an article saying that 95% of couples hadn’t done anything with their DVD of wedding images when interviewed five years after their wedding. It was still sitting in a drawer somewhere, just another stressor on their ever-lengthening to-do list. The thought that there could be drawers all over the country that hold thousands and thousands of dollars worth of wedding images in them, hidden away, seemed like an unfortunate misappropriation of funds (to put it mildly). This is not even to mention all the memories that could be lost when these couples find out their DVD has started to degrade over time.

So I set out to re-evaluate my business model and to come to terms with the idea of having to “sell” something to my clients. I realize that, theoretically, I’d been doing this for years: after all, I’d been selling them my wedding photography services. I hadn’t, however, been selling them something they hadn’t already come to me in search of. This was a huge stumbling block for me, as I can spot a salesman from a mile away and loathe those interactions.

how to sell wedding albums

I mean… wedding albums – the really high quality ones – can be a bit of a hard sell. They’re beautiful, but they’re a hefty addition to what already amounts to a serious investment in a luxury service. When you’ve budgeted $3000 for wedding photography and you find out that an album will add another thousand dollars, it’s very easy to say ‘no thanks’ in the interests of maximizing your current wedding budget. And, as a business already vying for such a big percentage of their wedding investment, it’s easy to apologize away the price tag and immediately agree with the first conjecture that it’s probably not something they’re interested in.

That said, EVERY married couple that I’ve shown my high-end albums to have stated how much they wished they’d invested in something like it when they had the chance. Even those to whom a thousand dollars is a huge amount of money.

professional wedding albums

I can only speculate as to why, but my guess is that we grow more sentimental as we travel through our lives. The more challenges we face with each other and the more the romance and passion give way to stability and routine, the more we want to look back and remember how we felt when we looked at the future with bright eyes together.

It’s not that we can’t do this with our dvd or flash drive of images, but it’s that most often, we don’t. After all, 700 or 800 images take a long time to peruse. Even if you only spent five seconds looking at each image, it would take you over an hour just to briefly look at them all! This makes it an endeavor that, with a busy life and the commitments of a growing family, you have to consciously schedule time for.

wedding photography sales

On the other hand, when your favorite 75 images are printed in a book that is a pleasure to hold, takes only seconds to pull off the shelf, and requires almost no time investment to re-live your favorite moments and replenish your appreciation of each other, it is enjoyed again and again for a lifetime – repaying its initial investment in spades.

So, to all the wedding photographers out there that hate promoting your albums, I encourage you to come to terms with your fear of selling. Make your albums something you’re excited about and share that enthusiasm with your clients. It doesn’t matter if they’re not interested in one at the get-go. Most couples nowadays aren’t thinking about the long-game when they’re planning their wedding. They’re thinking about place settings and bridesmaids’ dresses and DJ’s and honeymoon plans. Give them the chance to see their future selves in your enthusiasm about these beautiful books.

Even with the most glorious albums and all the enthusiasm in the world, some people will still say ‘no, thanks.’ And some might regret it while others might DIY their hearts out. But by being confident and enthusiastic about the value and the quality of your product, you will help more clients walk away with something that makes their photography investment really valuable for the long-haul. Because, after all, that’s what marriage is all about.

selling wedding albums

Mhari Scott is a wedding photographer based out of Portland, OR. To see more of her work, please visit www.mhariscott.com, or visit her blog featuring highlights of recent sessions.

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In Wedding Photography, Communication is Key by Brandon + Katrina

Brandon and Katrina Wong are an award-winning husband and wife photography team who approach each wedding with an infectious joy that shines through in each moment and every beautiful photograph. Their work has been recognized by renowned associations such as the Wedding Photojournalist Association, Fearless Photographers and the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers, and we are more than pleased to partner with Brandon and Katrina in their guest blog post on how to communicate effectively with clients to create excellent relationships.


Many budding wedding photographers believe that the key to a great photo is having the right lighting, pose, focus, and other little camera details. While these are all important, of course, there is one tool that is practically essential in the field of wedding photography. Even better, it’s free, and you probably already have it.

What is it? Communication.

This may seem like an incredibly simple thing, but it’s something that’s absolutely required whenever you’re shooting for anyone else besides yourself. Talking to your couple and figuring out exactly what they want will make the process smoother for everyone and also immensely improve the quality of your shots.

So, we’re not going to go over camera or lighting tips in this article. Instead, here’s some tips on how to use communication to become the wedding photographer everyone’s talking about!

communicating with photography clients
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Finding Your Ideal Clients by Alison Yin Photography

Alison Yin Photography is an award-winning wedding photography studio based in Oakland, California. Their style is true photojournalism, meaning they won’t direct their clients or tell them what to do or where to look. This tactic results in beautiful photos depicting real moments. We’re pleased to partner with Alison for her guest blog post on how to find the ideal clients for your wedding photography business.


When people find out I’m a wedding photographer, their first response usually is, “Wow, I bet you see a ton of bridezillas!”  But the truth is, we don’t.  My love of documentary photography is rooted in that I love people.  There’s no way I would have lasted six years as a full-time wedding photographer had I been working with bridezillas or groomzillas.

So, who are your ideal clients?

We work with people who respect and appreciate what we do.  Yes, in part we’ve been lucky to have such great clients find us, but we’ve also worked really hard to conceptualize who our ideal clients are and then target them.  Genuinely liking your clients is key for being able to make good pictures because if they can’t connect with you, how will they feel comfortable enough to relax around you on their wedding day?

finding ideal photography clients

Think about your circle of friends and what qualities make them your friends.  Most likely, you all have a lot of common interests and values, which is why you get along so well together.  Typically, we are attracted to people who are similar to us, which means your ideal clients are also probably a lot like you.  It’s a good exercise to sit down and write out some qualities and interests that you enjoy which you can use as a base for starting to identify who your ideal clients are.

For example, I love being active and outside, I love dogs, and I love a good party.  How does that translate to finding qualities of my ideal client? From that short list of interests, I can glean the following: my ideal clients love to be outdoors and so a good portion if not all of their wedding will be outside, they’re not too concerned with having everything be “perfect” on their wedding day, their wedding priority is celebrating with family and friends.  Your goal in finding these qualities is not to create a checklist to qualify your clients, but rather to get a general sense of the type of people with whom you will enjoy working and who will in turn appreciate your work the most.

how to find photography clients

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5 Tips For Genuine Expressions by Kim J. Martin

Kim J. Martin is an award-winning wedding photographer based in Sacramento, California. She is inspired by couples who allow her to capture them as they really are: ridiculously in love. This inspiration is what drives her to capture authentic moments at each photo shoot. We’re excited to partner with Kim for this week’s guest blog post on how to capture genuine expressions.


My favorite thing about photographing couples is capturing their natural interaction and to have them look like themselves. I always knew I wanted to photograph people this way, but it took me years to really develop my style and figure out how to get what I wanted. There’s lots of things I think of while shooting, but these are my top 5 tips for getting genuine expressions during an engagement session, couple’s session, or wedding day portraits.

Personality Match

First things first, your clients should be people you would become friends with if you met any other way. The more you have in common, both in personality and interests, the easier it will be to get to know them and then be able to capture that in images. This isn’t to say you have to be besties with every single client, but having a good baseline of similarities will set the stage for awesome images. It will also make it easier to warm them up and get them comfortable in front of the camera if you understand their humor and have a good idea of things that would make them smile.

taking authentic photos
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