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ask the experts


A picture is worth more than a thousand words, especially if it’s of your wedding.

Wedding day photographs are important, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have them to share with your grandchildren one day. And although practically everyone these days has a digital camera to capture all the mishaps and stolen kisses of everyday life, it’s important to get some professional pictures taken.

The big day goes by in a blur, but if you pick the right photographer and pay attention to some useful tips, your memories on film will be clear and permanent.

ask the experts

doug keese of artisan style photojournalism
504-861-6062 | artisanstylephoto.com

How much of a bridal budget should be spent on photos? I think it really depends on the couple and how important photographs are to them. Someone recently pointed out to me that a couple’s wedding album is generally the first family heirloom for a couple, so how much is that really worth? Most of my couples devote a large part of their budget to photography, and it typically ranks in the top items of importance for them.

How many photos should a couple have taken of them on their wedding day? As many as possible! I’m a huge fan of the couple seeing each other beforehand. You can get so many more fun and stylish photos of the bride and groom beforehand, and that’s what it’s all about. Otherwise they’re usually just left with the couple of photos on the altar after the ceremony.

What has been your most positive experience so far with wedding photography? Well, there are quite a few. We recently started hosting “image release parties” at the studio. About three weeks after the wedding the couple can invite about 10 people to the studio and we project all the wedding day images on a 90-inch projection screen. This allows the couple to relive the entire day together with their close friends and family. Just hearing and seeing the reactions of the parents and grandparents as some of the images flash on the screen is priceless to me. And when you get a big hug and tons of thank yous at the end of the party from those people, to me, that’s what this job is all about.


ask the experts

george kuchler of gk photography
504-737-5557| gkphotography.com

How does wedding photography compare to other types? Wedding imagery is all about the details. I don’t mean just photographing tight shots of the garter at the hotel or the back of the dress. My brides expect more creativity from me.

The detail work I have experienced in food and interiors and been proven a big factor with my weddings. I see all aspects of the wedding in its true light – the way the bride had it in her mind – and now it’s my job to capture all of her efforts and create her a beautiful magazine-style album she and her husband can cherish forever. Anybody can shoot a bunch of candids, but to enhance emotion of an image is talent.

What do you enjoy the most about wedding photography? The people; my people! I believe each photographer’s style and personality is matched with each client. I have been blessed to get the best clients in town! My brides like to laugh, be a little crazy and have a princess experience with a rock star attitude.

I have taken peoples’ first image of life and sometimes their last photograph. This industry makes me appreciate my own experiences by living through other’s.


ask the experts

david tompkins of david tompkins photography
504-738-7944 | davidtompkinsphotography.com

How involved in the process are you? I’m very involved in it, from start to finish. Most brides and grooms don’t really know what they want until they come into the studio, and then I guide them through it. A lot of young couples think they want photojournalism (non-posed “candids”) but then they usually change their minds when they see a mixture. I like to mix all the types together.

What kind of lighting do you recommend? Double-lighting! It means you have a flash on your camera, but you also have a radio-controlled flash that’s off-camera, so it’s coming from two angles. Otherwise there will be very little detail.

I also would recommend matte, not shiny makeup.

What else should brides know before the big day, in terms of photography? Lighting in photography is everything!

They should look at entire weddings that photographers have photographed – not just the few good pictures from the wedding. It’s very important to look at the entire wedding to see if you like a photographer’s style.

My philosophy is that I do “classic and traditional,” photojournalism black and white, and I mix them all together.

Also, everything is retouched, if it needs to be. Many charge extra for retouching, but I don’t.


ask the experts

beebe tran of studio tran
504-258-7260| studiotran.com

What kind of packages do you offer? We offer one package as of right now that consists of seven hours of coverage and a few items. All albums and portrait sessions are á la carte – this allows the clients to pick and choose what items they want. It’s [their] preference depending on what albums they may want or what they want to spend on their wedding photos/albums.

Do you offer the couple the rights to the photos? Our clients do have the rights to their photos with all
our services.

What sort of lighting and makeup is best? I use a combination of natural light and flash photography. We can photograph all types of makeup. Nothing really surprises us when it comes to wedding makeup.

How many photos should a couple have taken of them on their wedding day? We have no set number, but there are usually 600-1,500 images.


ask the experts

trent spann with images by robert t.

Do most couples know what they want, or do you usually guide them through the steps? Most couples already like the style of photography I shoot when they pick me to be their wedding photographer. We spend time together during their engagement photos and the formal bridal portrait. Spending this extra time helps me learn more about them and how they act with each other.

What sort of lighting and makeup is best? Soft light is my favorite and airbrushed makeup is also my choice. Airbrush makeup, I believe, is a little more even and natural, and soft light – like that from a window – gives a soft natural glow to the brides. There are times that a harsh direct light will give a very dramatic look, but I love the soft light look the best.

What do you enjoy the most about wedding photography? I get to spend time with the couple when they start their life together, and the friendship we build will last a lifetime. I tease my brides that when we meet we shake hands, but after the wedding is over I get a hug, because I’m part of the family.

I think that’s what I love the most: sharing the feeling, tears, laughter and the happiness. Wedding photography is a fast-moving event, kind of like sports. Always look for that one shot to tell a story. Try to keep your eye open for that net shoot. Make sure you plan to do the group shots of the families in a timely matter, so as to not take up too much time from the wedding.


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