Finding a great Wedding Photographer

Finding a GREAT Wedding Photographer….

Written by Janet & Alan Arseneault, Chalet Studio & Portrait Gardens.

Originally appearing in Bridal Confidential Magazine.


“The White Room” at Chalet Studio and Portrait Gardens

Your day and your memories can be all you dreamed…

We have put together some suggestions to help find the perfect photographer to make it even better.

The first step is arranging a time to meet with them and discuss your plans. Here is an important tip: An email or text will simply not give you the information that you need to make the best decision. Just as with your wedding dress, your photographer needs to fit your style and personality. This choice will be how you remember your wedding day… forever! Ensure that your choice of photographer is one that you can see enjoying being with throughout this most important day.

Owning a camera does not make someone a wedding photographer. When it comes to weddings, experience is priceless! Would you ask a friend to perform the duties of a Doctor or Dentist?  Of course not.  Your Photographer, more than any other person is positioned to either help your day be its best, or not. A true professional wedding photographer knows how to deal with, and isolate you from the stress and huge variables of this incredibly fast moving day. All the while capturing unique images that will rock your world! Experienced pros can quickly pose and light a couple to enhance their best features. A pose that may look fantastic with one bride, may not flatter another. Remember that it is not the Camera that creates the image, the photographer does.

A quick jump in the Tub! At Chalet Studio & Portrait Park.

Plan B

What if it rains? If there ever was a day to have a plan b, this is it! What weather mother nature will send you on your big day is a complete mystery. Assuming that you will have perfect weather could leave you feeling very disappointed. Choosing a photographer who has a studio, and or a backup location will make your day more care free, and fun. Remember, mother nature does not give rain checks.

Backup Equipment

Invest in a true professional who is prepared for anything. When equipment malfunctions (and it often does) a true pro can calmly grab a replacement and continue on. Your photographer should have two to three full frame Camera bodies, spare flashes, high quality lenses, as well as extra power and storage solutions as a minimum. The last thing that you want to hear is excuses related to equipment failure. An unprepared amateur could leave you with nothing but regrets.

The first look, an unforgettable moment in the White Room, Chalet Studio and Portrait Gardens.

The Fun Factor

Choose a photographer that you love being around. Your comfort level around them will have a huge impact on the images that they capture of you. Remember, this is the day that you want to love remembering.

Photojournalism doesn’t capture it all…

Photojournalism is always  part of a wedding day, but there is so much more. Great photographers give direction for a reason. The right combination of lighting, composition, angles, spontaneity, posed candids and most of all, expression, will capture you at your very best!

Friends and Family celebrating you

Think about it. Everyone that you care about is there, for you. This is the perfect time to create images with the people that you love. Creating these images quickly, in a fun way is one of the trickiest parts of a wedding. Be sure to ask prospective photographers if they will capture family images for you. These images will prove to be priceless to you and your family as time goes by.

Timeless black & white with the “Castle Door”, at Chalet Studio.

Keep it timeless

Trends are fun, but rarely last. Look for a photographer that offers a classic shooting style and you’ll always love your images. Opting for something trendy and you might regret it in just a few years. Your images should be a gorgeous reflection of the wonderful day that you had, and stand the test of time. Truly awesome images look great even without Photoshop effects or digital tricks.


Invest in an experienced photographer who will deliver your dream with a smile. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” applies very well to wedding photography. An investment starting at around $2000 for a full day event coverage is to be expected. Remember that of all of the purchases that you’ll make, it is this one that gives you the memories of it all.

Sarah, pictured on the shores of Monterey Bay California.

How many photographers?

After photographing over 1500 weddings we can say that two photographers are better than one. So much happens so quickly, making it a huge task for one person to capture it all. The second photographer offers another unique point of view throughout the entire day, capturing so much that would be otherwise missed.


Be sure to reserve enough hours of coverage. You might think that the bridal dance may be finished by 9pm, but there are no guarantees. Many of the greatest fun moments will happen later on in the evening at your reception. Don’t rely on family and friends to be there to capture them for you. These great, once in a lifetime moments deserve to be done with a professional touch.

Remember you only get one chance to capture it all. Choosing the right photographer will allow you to relax and truly enjoy your day.