Top Wedding Photography Questions to ask your Photographer
Tell me about you & your studio?
Julie is known for her organizational approach to photography on a wedding day, providing the bride & groom with the ability to sit, back, and enjoy the day. No need to stress or worry what needs to happen next. Additionally, Julie always carries an emergency kit for just about anything that can happen. She's sewn brides into dresses, repaired hems and trains, repaired Bridesmaid's zippers and straps, found lost wedding rings (including one that made its way into the lining of the groomsman's jacket), made bouquets when the florist didn't show, put out fires (yes... literally!), treated cuts & scrapes, painted nails, and even sewed up the groom's pants when he bent over and ripped them wide open. Yikes! If you can think it, Julie has seen it happen and was there to help. When you hire Julie and her team, you're not just hiring a photographer. You're hiring a photographer that goes above and beyond to ensure your day is the absolute best it can be. Be sure to read the "Raves" page to hear what others have said about Julie and her team.
2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 - Awarded the Ledger Enquirer's Readers' Choice Award for "Favorite Photographer".
2011 & 2010 - Awarded "Moms' Choice Favorite Photographer" by Muscogee Mom's.
2010 - Awarded "Her Favorite Photographer" by "her Magazine".
2010 - Awarded “Best All Around Photography Studio”.
Traditional Photography consists of posed photography, sufficient time must be allotted to accomplish the necessary images. This type of photography provides you with very formal photographs of all family groupings, the bridal couple, the wedding party, etc. The images may be somewhat predictable, but are also very elegant.
Photojournalism consists of a very loose, unique, candid approach to photographing the wedding event. The idea is to capture as much spontaneity and emotion as possible, without the subject even knowing you are there.
Contemporary Wedding Photography is a natural blending of Traditional and Photojournalism. Your album consists of the Traditional touch, providing the classic, formal, elegant photographs mixed with the story telling, unique, candid photographs of Photojournalism to provide your album with a natural feel. JE Hedges Photography provides our clients with unmatched "Contemporary Wedding Photography".
should I start to look for and book my photographer?
should I start to look for a photographer?
The next step is to determine the style of photography you desire in your album, then research for a photographer that provides that style of photography. Also, look at a photographer's work prior to making a decision. Far too many persons book a photographer on price alone without even seeing a sample. Check out recommendations from the Photographer's past clients. JE Hedges Photography provides numerous Wedding Galleries online as displays of our work. You may also view several sample albums when attending a Bridal Consultation. To view past client quotes or recommendations, please visit our "Raves" page.
shouldn't we have a friend or relative do it instead of a
We want to retain your
services, what is required?
we have a friend take pictures in addition to our professional
providing disposable cameras for our guests at the reception, do
we still need professional coverage?
We love Black & White
photography and Special Effects! Do you offer these
having a formal dinner; do we need to feed the photographer?
Why can't we just copy the proofs ourselves to save money?
do we get the most from our photography investment?
Tradition tells us that the Bride and Groom should not see each other prior to the ceremony service. However, that "tradition" stems from Arranged Marriages... when the couple met for the first time when the groom lifted the veil. With many of today's couples vacationing together, sharing checking accounts, living together prior to marriage, marrying outside of a church, and planning very modern & unique weddings, it's no longer traditional to be traditional.
Stop for a moment and think about why we spend so many months planning a wedding? We want the day to be a special day between the couple... a magical romantic day of remembering the time spent together, gazing at one another, and snuggling into each other's embrace. Therefore, it's quite contradicting that on a day that should be shared between two people, the bride and groom spend more than half the day trying to keep away from one another. In fact, family and friends go to great lengths to ensure the couple doesn't even catch a glimpse of each other prior to the ceremony. Then after the ceremony, family and friends surround the newlyweds and the couple has no alone time until they are in the car driving to their honeymoon... tired and worn out. That doesn't paint a very romantic picture, does it?
On my wedding day, October 21st, 1995, my husband and I did not have a moment to ourselves until we were driving to Atlanta on our way to our honeymoon... we were tired and worn out from such a long day, most of it spent apart from each other. Prior to the wedding I didn't get a chance to share with my hubby how I was feeling, speak about my excitement and he didn't get a chance to REALLY look at my dress my mother had spent countless hours sewing until after it was dirty from dragging the reception floor. I had been so excited to see my hubby's face as I walked down the aisle, but couldn't remember that moment at all because I could only think about not tripping and falling. When asking him how he felt when he saw me, he said he couldn't remember because he was too worried about not showing emotion in front of our 200+ guests. By the time the ceremony was over, all the bouquets and boutonnières had started to wilt. My mother kept interrupting us during our Bride & Groom photographs wanting to know "How much longer?? Guests are starting to leave!"... so much for romance as we felt rushed, hurried, and made to feel guilty for making the most important photographs of the day. Out of frustration, I cut the session short, a decision I regret to this date as we got very few photographs of the two of us together. Looking back, I wish making all the photographs prior to the ceremony would have been an option for us. Once we got to the reception, many of our guests were coming up to us, hugging our neck... saying they had to go. So, is that how you imagine your wedding day? If not, let’s explore the idea from another angle.
First, understand, this is YOUR wedding and ultimately your decision how photography will be approached on your wedding day. As your professional wedding photographer, in the following paragraphs I will share with you my professional advice and what I have learned provides for the most time for beautiful creative images. However, I am not here to run your wedding day. So listen (or read) with an open-mind but know that in the end, the decision is yours. We make it our commitment to ensure your photography wishes are carried out on the most important day of your life. So sit back, grab some sweet tea, and allow me to share our vision with you. When you're done reading... let us know your concerns and thoughts. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and then let us know what you decide. Regardless if your decision aligns with our preferred method or not, we guarantee we will provide you with our absolute best.
With over fourteen years of experience photographing weddings, we have found that the magic recipe for a day filled with fun, laughter, love, with minimum stress is for the couple to share a "First Look" and complete most or all of their photographs prior to the ceremony. Having this time together diminishes the stresses of the day, without fail. It allows the couple to focus on what is really important... each other. As a result, their love for one another takes center stage and this definitely comes across in the photographs.
When the bride and groom agree to see each other prior to the ceremony, photographs begin three and a half hours prior to the ceremony. Now we do adjust this time if we have small wedding parties and families, but for the average wedding party and family size, we have found 3.5 hours to be the ideal time frame. For example: If the ceremony is scheduled for 6:00pm, photographer & crew would begin at 2:30pm. We start with artistic images of the bride's dress hanging, then the bride applying finishing touches... Mom helping the bride with her veil, bridesmaids helping the bride with her garter, Maid of Honor zipping up the bride’s dress, etc. We head to the groom's room... Dad helping son with coat & tie. Best man assisting with cufflinks... etc. During this time the photographs are mostly candid, without interfering with the natural order of the day.
Three Hours Before: The only two people that I ask to be completely ready are the bride and the groom. The bride's make-up and hair have just been completed and are at their freshest. The groom's tux is freshly pressed and the groom looks sharp. I arrange for the couple to see each other for the first time privately. I want this moment to be special for the couple. I will usually find a private spot on the grounds and get the groom situated. I will then send for the bride. I tell them both ahead of time not to worry about me. I am only going to photograph the first few moments. I will then walk away and let the couple have some time to spend alone.
We set up two cameras at a non-obtrusive distance; one camera on the bride and one camera on the groom. On the count of three, we give the groom the OK to turn around and the bride the green light to walk towards the groom for their First-Look. As soon as the Groom turns around, the magic begins. I capture his face as he sees his bride for the first time, and her face as she sees him. I record the intimacy of the two just as they come together. Almost every time I watch it happen, I get a little teary-eyed. Often times, the Groom gets teary-eyed too. Grooms are much more relaxed during this private moment then they would ever be standing in front of a congregation of 200+ guests, clinching fists, trying not to show emotion. Needless to say, I have taken some of the most incredible images of this special moment between the soon-to-be husband and wife. It's a moment that is impossible to duplicate when they are at opposite ends of a long aisle with guests standing in the way. We then leave the area, allowing the couple to take their time sharing thoughts, feelings, and it's the perfect time to exchange wedding gifts if they are planning to do so.
When the couple is finished with their private moment, we capture images of the bride and groom alone without distractions from family members, bridal parties and guests. The emotion from their intimate first meeting carries over into the photography session with them. We spend the next hour leisurely walking around the property where their wedding will take place, using locations we might not be able to use after the ceremony because tables, chairs, or guests are in the way or no available light due to the sun setting.
One Hour and Forty-Five Minutes Before: I ask that the immediate families and wedding party be ready. Imagine, everyone's flowers are fresh and all makeup is still beautiful. No one will look like they’ve been crying in the portraits… you know… the peeled tomato eyes.
I photograph each side of the family and bridal party individually, including:
I would then do the same for the groom's side. I ask each of my couples how many of these traditional shots they want to do ahead of time and the types of posed photographs we cover are completely up to the couple. The previous example is what most people ask for.
Forty-Five Minutes Before: I photograph fifteen minutes of any additional photographs the bride and groom may desire. Most couples want to include spouses of brothers and sisters and their children. Then it's up to the bride and groom if they want to include aunts, uncles and cousins. If there are special request images, such as godparents, sorority sisters, or special friends, they should arrive at the same time as the extended families. Once completed, I send the couple to the dressing rooms to hide from guests until ceremony start time. This also allows me and my assistant time to set up equipment to cover the ceremony.
After the ceremony, you now have the opportunity to run through your bubbles, birdseed, or etc. immediately outside the church or venue, allowing more of your guests to participate in the activity for photographs, creating a true "Send Off" to the reception. By getting to the reception so quickly and keeping your guests from waiting on your arrival, you can save money by skipping the cocktail hour and lowing your bar bill. However, if you decide to keep the cocktail hour, how great is it that you get to enjoy the cocktail hour too! One of my favorite weddings was a couple who completed all of the bride & groom formals, family, and wedding party photographs prior to the ceremony. After the ceremony, the couple enjoyed a beautiful bubble send-off from the church into their limo. While everyone headed to the reception, the limo carrying the couple, followed us to the bride & groom's favorite romantic location... hole #9 on the golf course. We already had the couple's formal traditional poses out of the way.... so this time lent itself to a beautiful, intimate, and loving candid session between the couple. We then arrived at the reception shortly after.
Of the over 500 couples we've had complete all of their images prior to the ceremony, not one has ever regretted it. Getting to the reception to celebrate with their guests instead of posing for formal portraits was important to them. Brides who were nervous felt a sense of calm after they saw their groom. Grooms have told me that it didn't change the overwhelming feelings they had as the bride walked towards them down the aisle. It saved the couples's time because we weren't trying to track people down for photographs after the ceremony. Many couples enjoyed the fact that they could have a private candle-lit dinner between the two of them while the guests enjoyed the cocktail hour... allowing them to then mingle with the guests during dinner.
There's other ways to approach photography also. We've done sessions where we only photograph the couple and wedding party prior to the ceremony and do all family afterwards. We've done sessions where we photograph the couple with all of their family & wedding party prior to the ceremony, then do the couple afterwards. There are many ways to reduce the wait time your guests will experience waiting on you to arrive at the reception.
If you choose not to see each other prior to the ceremony, we begin photography about two and a half hours prior to the ceremony. We always begin with the bride. In case guests arrive early, it's the groom who is having his photographs made and not the bride out and about. We photograph the bride's formal images, then bride with bridesmaids, and then bride with family. We send the bride back to rest in the bridal suite. We then photograph the groom's formal photographs, groom with groomsmen, and groom with family. The goal is to be completed with the photographs 45 minutes prior to the ceremony so we can put away all professional lighting and equipment before guests arrive. We then photograph the entire ceremony. Once the ceremony is completed, it takes about ten minutes to re-set up all of our lighting and equipment. It's important to communicate with all of the wedding party and family to return for photographs after the ceremony. We've witnessed many times groomsmen heading to the bar, bridesmaids lay down their flowers somewhere, the flower girls and ring bearers are ready to get undressed, and Uncle Frank will swear no one told him he was needed for family photographs. All of these situations add up to delays in getting you to the reception and a frustrated couple.
Once we have everyone needed seated and ready, we start with the bride & groom with the bride's parents, then add siblings, spouses, & children. We then add grandparents and extended family. We do this for the Bride's Father's side of the family and repeat for the Bride's Mother's side of the Family. We then do the same photographs of the couple with the groom's parents, then immediate family, groom's mother's side, and then groom's father's side. Depending on factors such as divorced parents, divorced grandparents, and how quickly everyone returned for photographs after the ceremony, the family photographs can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. Once all the family photographs are completed, we send family to the reception to entertain guests until the couple arrives.
We then move on to photograph the bride and groom with the Flower Girls & Ring Bearers, then with Maid of Honor & Best Man, and finally with the entire wedding party. This portion of the photographs typically takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending upon how many creative poses you desire. Some couples want many fun photographs of them with the wedding party. Others are fine with one simple photograph of everyone together. The time spent making photographs of the two of you with your wedding party is completely up to you and something we'll review prior to the big day.
FINALLY it's time for the couple's photographs. When you decide not to see one another prior to the ceremony, the Bride & Groom's photographs go from being the first pictures we make to being the last photographs we make before the reception begins. Hair, make-up, and flowers may not look as good as they did when you first got ready three hours ago. Tables, chairs, and guests (with all eyes on you making your photographs) may now be in the way of areas you had in mind for creative photographs and the sun may have set, leaving no available light for photographs outside. Keep that in mind when making your decision. You are making a significant investment in your wedding photography and the Bride & Groom are the most important part of that equation. We take our time with the bridal couple to ensure we are providing you with the same intimate, unique, creative, and fun poses you fell in love with displayed in our work. Allow for around 30 minutes for this process.
Some couples decide to get the family & wedding party photographs completed, get introduced, then while the guests are eating, sneak away for their 30 minute bride & groom private session. This works well if we have an area to photograph the couple away from the guests. As you can see... in total, "after ceremony" photographs can take anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.
You will have paid a lot of money for your wedding and your photography. Use your photographer's time to the fullest extent. When I am photographing a wedding, if I have time to be creative and play, my clients are the ones who benefit. It's really not bad luck; in fact it makes perfect sense to see each other before the ceremony. It's not a superstition; it's a super situation that you can use to your advantage. Make this choice and I guarantee that your photographic experience will be enjoyable and your wedding day will be less stressful. However, whether you decide to see each other or not, the decision is yours and we can't wait to get the two of you in front of our lens!!! :)
Do you have references from past Brides you have
Do you have Insurance in case something
JE Hedges Photography has all three types of insurances and can provide proof of the policies should your wedding venue or hotel need copies.
Do you have a Satisfaction
We absolutely guarantee you'll be THRILLED (not just "satisfied") with your photographs and our service. If you aren't, for any reason, we will either do whatever is necessary to see to it you are THRILLED, or we will cheerfully give you all your money back. No hassles, and no hard feelings either. If you're not THRILLED, we don't deserve to have your money. Call today and allow Julie to introduce you to a new photography experience!
How do I submit my Engagement /
Wedding Announcement to the newspaper?
contained within this website are copyright protected, registered with the United States Copyright Office. We take our copyright very seriously. Reproduction in any form
is strictly prohibited.