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I've looked at just about ALL the photographer's websites that the Knot recommends in St. Louis... and I'm still not any closer to choosing a photographer. 

My fiance and I have finally set a date and would like to take engagement pictures to make save-the-dates. I would like to use the same photographer for both our engagement and wedding pictures (if possible). 

I am looking for QUALITY photographers. Price is not really an issue, but I would not like to spend a fortune. I would like to know if any of you brides know of a GOOD photographer to use. Our guest list is at 275 so we will need a company/photographer with the ability to have multiple photographers. 

I'm also accepting tips about choosing a photographer. I'm very new to the planning process and would love tips like, "Make sure your photography package includes this... but not this..." etc. 

Thanks for the help ladies!!

Re: Photographers

  • edited December 2011
    If price isn't an issue, I highly recommend Zettl Photography and Burns Photography. Both are husband and wife teams and do amazing work. They aren't cheap, I think both start around $4000.
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  • edited December 2011
    As far as tips go, I think the biggest thing is to feel like you "click" with the photographers. Other things to consider are their style, album design, and creative approach. Things I asked about were:

    - what's the turn around time for photos after the wedding? I am getting married in October and my mom wants to use a pic of the family from the wedding for her Christmas cards, so it was important to get them in a reasonable amount of time. One photographer said she couldn't promise all the photos would be done by then, but she would release pics as she edited them and would start with the ones she knew we wanted for Christmas (this was acceptible). Another wouldn't make any promises.The 2 i recommended typically turn proofs around in 2 weeeks

    - - how do you handle formal family photos? - a lot of photographers boast that they don't like posed pictures and prefer in the moment shots. Most moms and grandmas still like family photos after the ceremony. Most professional photographers have a system for making sure all the combos of people are in pictures and getting through them quickly. If the photographer says she'll wing that part, it's a bad sign (unless no one really cares about them)

    - is there anything in the package that I know i don't want? If not, can I make my own package with exactly what i want? - Why pay for something you can't use or don't want. I really didn't want prints. I would much rather have a copyright release of all of my wedding photos and have prints made as a chose rather than having to go through the photographer. I'm sure shutterfly or walgreens are way cheaper or there are groupons all the time for gallery wrap canvases.

    - how many hours are included and what's the hourly rate if we go over? - our ceremony is 1PM and our reception ends at midnight. The package we chose is unlimited hours and is well worth it

    - have you done weddings at our venue? if so, ask to see the pictures - we are taking pictures on the field at Busch Stadium between the ceremony and reception and our reception is at the Zoo. The first photographer we interviewed said she did a wedding at both locations last year and I could look at them online. they were TERRIBLE. I really liked this lady before that and I just couldn't go with her after seeing those photos

    Sorry for writing a book. I hope this helps
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  • edited December 2011
    Wow! Thank you so much for all the tips! These are great tips that I hadn't even thought of. I will definitely be looking into those photographers. I was hoping to find a good photographer that was a little more inexpensive but I want to make sure the pictures are good. 

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I will definitely be using all of your tips!
  • cgeithmancgeithman member
    edited December 2011
    One thing you definitely want to ask about is the editing of the pictures. Many photographers will offer you a CD that's just a dump of all of the pictures they've taken that day, non edited. Or maybe they edit them, but you have to choose 100 of them or something and don't get them all.

    You should also ask to meet with the actual photographer who will be shooting your wedding, and see some of their personal work. The big companies in this area book dates and send whoever is available. So you might be seeing examples of work that your personal photographer didn't do.

    It might also be nice to ask if the photographer can provide any other services for you...like save the dates with your engagement pictures, or a photo guest book.

    I'm not sure how the number of guests has anything to do with how many photographers you'll need. My best friend is a photographer (she's actually on the knot) and we've never needed a 2nd shooter, but she does have one available. We've done lots of large weddings (I help out by holding the sun sahde and handing her different lenses during the ceremony :p) She uses her mainly for the photographer-run photo booth she offers. If you'd like her info, I'd be glad to give it. Obviously, I'm biased, but I think she's fabulous. 
    I agree with the pp about clicking with your photographer. This person is going to be following you around most of the day, so let's hope they don't annoy you or make you uncomfortable!
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  • edited December 2011
    I have two photography companies that I LOVE!!!! 

    One is more affordable, but doesn't have the best website....but their photography is AMAZING, they are a company of two photographers and they both shoot every booking!  http://www.livelaughlovefotography.com Tori and Nicole are great people and take beautiful pictures!!! 

    The other is a husband-wife pair and they actually offer video and photography.  They are pricier!  Their website and blog is super fun. They just changed their company name, so if you see Starry-Eyed Studios places that is why, but they are now called Ten Sixteen Photography http://www.tensixteenphoto.com
  • edited December 2011
    I do not know if you have found a wedding photographer yet, but my web site is www.somethingbluephoto.com.


    Wendy Cooper
  • edited December 2011
    The photographer I am using is an out of town photo. But is FABULOUS. Seriously, the most amazing people ever. They did my friends wedding back home and I will be using them as well. If you dont mind paying a little bit extra for travel charges... Benefield Photography out of Fayetteville AR. (they will travel up here)

    Dale and Meredith (they just got married this year too!!) Benefield are both FAB!
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  • Jenniferm911Jenniferm911 member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    This is the photographer I am using and she is CRAZY good! She has such an amazing eye and attention to the small details--check out her site, I always spend hrs on it and am always so excited to see her new additions and read her blog.  I am getting married in Aug and can't wait!!!  Happy hunting

  • bridetobemobridetobemo member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I'm using Bob Burns  burnsphotoav.org
    He is amazing, He included an engagement shoot and the wedding, all day coverage, him and his wife, and his package is $1500.00 which includes a CD of all of the images and a release so you can print them yourself
  • edited December 2011
    If you're looking for a list of good questions to ask any photographer, check out my FAQs at www.amkarphoto.com (Weddings menu: FAQs). I've compiled a list of the questions almost all brides ask me consistently, and it may be helpful to you too as you choose a photographer! Also make sure that your images will be rights released and in high resolution; some photogs fool you by saying your images are rights released, but then give you super low resolution images that won't look good printed anyway! Best wishes - Amanda

    Amanda M Kar | Amkar Photography | St. Louis, MO | www.amkarphoto.com
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