My Ideal Wedding Photography Client

What's your ideal client? was the question that stared at me from my computer as I sat at my desk in Kennesaw Georgia in the USA. I began to reminisce the fantastic client's and couple's weddings I have the honor photograph over the years.

Engaged

Although I love all my couples and have become friends with all of them, I had to be honest with myself and now you as your read this.

Wedding Photography

So my ideal client is 38 to 50 years old. Second marriage, may or may not have children from a previous marriage. They view their upcoming wedding as the most important thing they've embarked on in many years and.....

  • They're open-minded to different photo ideas

  • Love the creative side of photography

  • Delegate all the key parts of their wedding day

  • Love their families

  • Want a custom designed wedding album

  • Love wall art created from their photos

  • Enjoy a healthy lifestyle

  • Totally trust me to capture the day - they can relax!

If you know a couple who fits "my ideal couple" I would be grateful for the referral.

I have photographed weddings at Little Gardens in Atlanta, The Grande, Juliette Chapel, Smith-Gilbert, Omni Hotel, Ponte Vedra Inn and Lodge to name a few. I'm looking forward to my upcoming weddings and shooting at Embassy Suites, East Cobb Center, Marietta Garden Center, Gardens at Kennesaw, The Whitlock Inn, The Magnolia House and The Brickyard.

Are You Recently Engaged and Looking for Wedding Day Resources?

As an Atlanta Wedding Photographer, I speak with lots of newly engaged couples and also other Wedding Vendors. Sometimes I get into conversations with people about On-line Wedding Vendor listings. I often hear "We signed up for XYZ on-line and we've received dozens of emails from vendors that we have no interest in!

Unfortunately it's a side effect of our digital world and the big players are big because they have marketing programs that will automatically send you ads.

Wedding Venues


One of things I've learned, is that the Wedding Venues Near me and wedding vendors like myself are small businesses, that don't have the time and resources to continually market to prospective wedding clients.

Groom Tuxedo Vest

Groom Tuxedo Vest


Modern Maid of Honor

One of the best, little known resources for a Maid of Honor is Modern MOH. Modern MOH have an absolutely brilliant library of resources for the Maid of Honor. From what your responsibilities are to your MOH speech on the big day. The great thing is that they won't bombard you with unwanted advertisements for other vendors you might be interested in. This is a fantastic resource for Maids of Honor and I would highly recommend checking it out.

Victorian Style Door at Wedding Venue

Victorian Style Door at Wedding Venue


Here Comes the Guide

Recently I was talking with Rhonda Eggert at The Whitlock Inn and she shared with me "Here Comes the Guide". I was so surprised when I went to their website and took a peak! It's one fo the best organized and easy to find things, website I have ever used. Beautifully designed, easy to read and an absolute pleasure to spend a little time on. The restricted, vetted vendor list is set up not to be annoying to people who register with them which has got to be a huge plus for the Bride to be. Here Comes the Guide is one of the best resources for todays Bride.

Wedding Venue in North Georgia

Wedding Venue in North Georgia


Basic Invite

If you are looking for a place to set up Wedding Website without being subjected to all the ads that the big ones send you check out Basic Invite. Primarily a great resource for custom and stock designed Save-the Date cards, Wedding Invitations, Baby Shower cards and Holidy cards, Basic Invite offer a free, easy to set up and customize for your needs, Wedding Website. You can add your gift register stores, your awesome Cottrell Photographers Engagement Photos and more. Plus if you do order paper products from Basic Invite you can get a 20% discount by using my coupon code: COTTRELL20

Rings and Invitation

Rings and Invitation


Wedding Photography Under $2,000

I hope you found this post helpful and as one of Atlanta's Best Wedding Photographers under $2,000 please feel free to contact me with any questions.



Bright, Sunny January Wedding at Juliette Chapel in Dahlonega Georgia

Zoe and Brandon got married in the middle of January at Juliette Chapel, Dahlonega. Juliette Chapel is a beautiful country, wedding venue in North Georgia, just a short drive from Atlanta. It was a gorgeous, but cool day and the sun shone the whole afternoon and into the early evening.

Bride and groom prep

Zoe and Brandon got ready in the adequate, but small bridal rooms in the adjacent reception hall, and the atmosphere was full of laaughter and excitement. Brandon and the guys took no time at all!! Zoe, her sister and best friends were being pampered by the hair and makeup artists and took the amount of time that they wanted.


First Look

The couple had decided on a first look, which I carefully orchestrated for them. It was an emotionally charged few minutes which took place outside or the reception hall and right before the ceremony.

The ceremony

The ceremony was an intimate affair in Juliette Chapel. With the late winter evening sun streaming through the large windows it could not have been more perfect! During the ceremony the officiant, Reverend James Hamp had the guests and bridal party and the photographers laughing with his quick, witty humor. It was so relaxing with all the laughter and it truly was a beautiful way of involving everyone in the ceremony.


After the ceremony

The reception was in the adjacent reception hall at the venue. They chose Juliette Chapel because because it was a little out of the city, but not too far as to make it a long drive. The ambiance with being in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the ability to totally personalise their day made it so special. It was a relaxed, but not rustic wedding, which meant people could totally have fun without the fear of breaking anything. I love shooting Juliette Chapel weddings because the surroundings are absolutely amazing. All around the buildings are great vistas and and intimate little areas to photograph the Bride, Groom and families etc.


For dinner they self catered which meant everyone got their favorites!!, which was such a great idea. The cake was amazing and created by Chef Pavla of The Bohemian Bakery. The first dance was a good old traditional wedding shuffle, and they finished off the evening with the craziest garter throw and bouquet toss!! Which made it very difficult to photograph as I was laughing so much!!


One of the most memorable parts of the day was the bride and bridesmaids outside in the chilly, January air in their little kimonos getting their photos taken, because it made everyone laugh and the photos came out so beautifully.

Sneak Peak at Zoe and Brandon's Wedding at Juliette Chapel Dahlonega Georgia

I thought I would share a little of Zoe and Brandon's First Look at Juliette Chapel

I managed to keep Brandon far away from the Bridal room where Zoe and her Bridesmaids had spent the afternoon getting ready.

When I first arrived at Juliette Chapel, Dahlonega, Georgia, I took a few minutes to look around the wedding venue in North Georgia to scout out a great place for their First Look. Having got that planned and the logistics worked out I was off to get my gear ready for the day.

Juliette Chapel

The chapel is a beautiful, bright, and airy with lots of windows which could become a problem for the late afternoon Wedding ceremony.

The the winter sun setting rapidly, I set up lights around the chapel to photograph all the special moments that would reveal themselves. I had planned correctly and the sun and shadows were not a problem for the wedding day photography.

Juliette Chapel is a great wedding venue that can accommodate couples on a strict budget with self catering options. Additionally, being one of Atlanta Wedding Photographers under $2000 helps with getting quality wedding day photography on budget!

First Look

Once I had completed all of the getting ready, dress photos, rings, shoes and other details, I went back to Zoe for the "getting into the Dress" photos. Then headed out to the small patio to set up their first look. It was such a great and special part of the day which I photographed and I am sure they'll love forever.


Message me with any questions.

Chris Cottrell, CPP - Cottrell Photographers - Kennesaw, Georgia

Happy Bride and Groom hugging after First Look at Juliette Chapel, Dahlonega Georgia

Happy Bride and Groom hugging after First Look at Juliette Chapel, Dahlonega Georgia

Juliette Chapel, Dahlonega, Georgia Wedding First Look

Juliette Chapel, Dahlonega, Georgia Wedding First Look

5 Fantastic Wedding Venues Near me in Northwest Georgia

I've been lucky enough to photograph many weddings and engagements in Kennesaw, Marietta and Cartersville and the surrounding area. I thought I would list some of my favorites and some of the wedding venues near me that I really respect and would love to shoot at.

The Grande in Kennesaw

The Grande is a beautiful Victorian-style house that stands on 2.5 acres of mature, landscaped grounds. The beautiful, romantic gardens and wedding ceremony areas are perfect! Inside the large victorian-style house are fabulous rooms for receptions that are spaceous and well appointed.

With a large, comfortable bridal suite and a fantastic "man cave' for the groom and groomsman, this all inclusive Grande is hard to beat.

The Dream Room

The Dream Room in Cartersville is ideally located close to town and major highways. The dreamy, romantic ambiance is intoxicating! Fabulously decorated to order and spaceous, The Dream Room has soem of the msot flexible options availalble for the modern bride.

The Bridal Suite is so cute and was recently enlarged so it's even cuter! The Grooms area is perfect for the guys to enjoy the game or watch movies while getting ready for the big day.

Baya and Brea, the owners will make your wedding dreams come true with some of the best values in wedding venues in the area.

The Magnolia House

I am looking forward to shooting my first wedding at The Magnolia House in Powder Springs Georgia this summer.

The house is over one hundred and twenty years old and is absolutely stunning. The lovely rooms are decorated to perfection and offer couples many options to create the perfect day.

The beautiful, immaculately maintained gardens provide the perfect backdrop for your wedding day portraits. I understand that the management team at The Magnolia House.

Stonewall Manor

Stonewall Manor in Cartersville is a grand, elegant Victorian era manor house. I love the architecture here and look forward to shooting my first wedding there in 2019 soon.

Stonewall Manor works in conjunction with Flavorful Events catering to bring you an elegant, worry-free wedding day experience.

The architecture and surrounding gardens create an ambiance that is hard to describe. The photo opportunities abound here to make and document your wedding day to perfection!

The Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain

Located in the shadow of the mountain, The Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain offer a unique yet timeless experience. Set on four beautiful acres the team works with their couples to create a one of a kind, memorable wedding day.

Working in conjunction with Parsley's Catering The Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain offers fresh, locally sourced and organic cuisine.

Message me with any questions you may have about wedding venues near me or far away!

Chris Cottrell, CPP

Certified Wedding Photographer



Wedding Venue

Wedding Venue

Wedding Venue Steps and roses

Wedding Venue Steps and roses

Bride and Groom Through Victorian-style Doorway

Bride and Groom Through Victorian-style Doorway

Being an Atlanta Wedding Photographer, there are lots of places I would love to photography weddings. One of my recent discoveries is the Whitlock Inn, just off Marietta Square, The Whitlock Inn is a Victorian era grand house and gardens, the internal and external architecture are perfection. The gardens are stunning and would be the absolute memory makers for any Bride and Groom. My meetings with the event planners have been so pleasant and they are super accommodating. As soon as I have photos I will update this post.

Grooms & Groomsmen Haircuts

I got my haircut the other day because I'll be shooting a wedding this weekend! I don’t know about you, but if I know that I have a function coming up, like a family event, invited to a party, shooting a wedding or going away for a holiday - I get my hair cut.


Why is important for a Groom to have his hair cut and styled for the big day?

Betsy Franklin said "Your Wedding photos will reveal if you are groomed or not. Get a fresh cut 1-2 weeks before your wedding day. If your neck and hairline are unruly it will be noticeable in the pictures. If your hair grows quickly, (most men's do) and there is time, ask your stylist or barber for a clean up around your neck and hairline a day or two before." 

Betsy also added "My husband wears short hair and it grows quickly, we were so busy we forgot to schedule a haircut for him. When we look at our wedding photographs it’s the first thing we notice, it just didn't look like him."


Thinking of Trying a New Hair Style?

If you decide you'd like to try a new hair style or something that is not the norm for you, speak with your stylist a few months before your wedding day. That way you'll have plenty of time to change to change back to your old style well before the big day.

Huge thanks to Betsy for answering my many questions, go over to Dyer & Posta's website to see how creative Betsy and the salon are. Have a great weekend, look out for the answers to other “guy” haircut questions soon.


The Grooms Photos

I shot these photographs at The Ponte Vedra Lodge, The Grande at Kennesaw, Smith-Gilbert Gardens, Omni Atlanta, Little Gardens, Atlanta Georgia and The Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida.


Let me know if you have any questions or would like to book a complimentary wedding day photography consultation. - Chris

Clean cut groomsmen getting ready for wedding

Clean cut groomsmen getting ready for wedding

Groom with boutonniere and short haircut

Groom with boutonniere and short haircut

Bride and Groom at the Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida

Bride and Groom at the Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida

clean cute Groom getting help with cufflinks from his Best Man

clean cute Groom getting help with cufflinks from his Best Man

Groom getting ready at The Grande

Groom getting ready at The Grande

Rustic Country Weddings in North Georgia

Looking at my schedule for January and into February and it's looking like a great start to 2019! I was looking at upcoming garden wedding photography assigments later this year.


Rustic Country Style Weddings

I love the relaxed feel of rustic country style weddings. In some ways it makes my job a little easier because there are usually lots of cool, natural bakcdrops that I can pull into my couples wedding photos.

Weather Challenges

With outside weddings and garden or rustic country weddings I always like to have a plan B in place well before the wedding day.

At Jashira and Giovanny's wedding, see attached photos, we had the threat of a major tropical storm. Our plan was to move the reception to the large covered deck at the back of her parents house in Acworth, very close to Kennesaw, Georgia, in the event of a downpour. Luckily everything went off without a hitch.


Fun, as it Happens Wedding Photos

Thinking about their rustic, country style wedding and all of the fun, documentary style photos from Jashira and Giovanny's wedding, reminded me that I have never shot a wedding at a barn - perhaps a goal for 2019!! Or, if you are having or considering a Rustic Country Barn Wedding let's talk!


Barn Weddings

As I am writing this, I'm thinking about a few of the wedding venues near me that are barn wedding venues where I have not photographed weddings yet. The ones I'm thinking of are, Rustix Manor, The Rock Barn, The Farmhouse at 30542 to name a few. I'm sure there are tons of other outdoor wedding venues around here that I may not be aware of.

Photos shown were shot in Kennesaw, Acworth and Locust Grove Georgia including The Grande at Kennesaw and a barn in very rural Georgia! Let me know if you have any questions - Chris

10 Questions to Ask your Prospective Wedding Photographer - Atlanta Georgia

Recently I was listening to a photography webinar that was specific to sales and customer service. While listening I started thinking about great questions for a Bride and Groom to ask a professional photographer they were considering. I came up with a really long list, I’ve narrowed it down to the ten below.

Are you available on my wedding date?

If no, don't waste anymore time! you have to keep looking for the right one. It reminds me of a somewhat related blog post I wrote earlier this year Three Important Things…

Will you, (the person you’re speaking with) be the photographer at my wedding?

Make sure that you talk with the photographer and connect with him or her, feel comfortable asking for what you want. Communication on your Wedding Day is very important. Look here for more info Atlanta Wedding Photography Additionally, you may want to make sure that all of your “special shots” are taken care of and not missed by a message not getting to the right person.


What camera system do you use? Do you have back up cameras in case of a malfunction?

You may want to make sure that your Wedding Day Photographer has professional grade cameras and lenses plus back ups. With the big names Nikon and Canon, there are other fantastic professional cameras being used, ask see samples of the work they have produced with their preferred system. Additionally, it’s might be a good idea to find out if they use a lighting system for evening or low light situations.


Are you a technical photographer or creative, what’s your style?

Ideally you need a photographer who is technically proficient and also creative - let’s be honest the great wedding photos are the ones that capture the emotions of the day and are exposed correctly, composed correctly and processed correctly. Documentary or Photo-journalistic styles may be your choice, or you may need a more traditional look. I like the idea of a combination of a more formal look for the family and documentary style as the day unfolds. It’s also important that your photographer has the ability to talk with you both, your family, wedding planner and other vendors during the day to ensure that every opportunity to capture great photos as the situations dictate are taken advantage of.


How many years have you been photographing weddings?

You may also ask about product and fashion abilities, as there will be rings, shoes, cufflinks, cakes, flowers, a Wedding Gown, Tuxedos etc. to be documented that have nothing to do with the people that will need to be photographed on the day.

Can I see samples of your wedding, engagement, portrait, and wedding day details photography?

Along with this question you should confirm that all of the images you are being shown were taken by the photographer you are speaking with. Look for a complete wedding day start to finish, also if you are having them take care of your Engagement Photo Session, check their engagement photography to avoid disappointment or misunderstanding.


Do you have liability and equipment insurance?

I know it’s rare, but things can go awry, All vendors should have insurance to cover the what ifs. Some venues require all vendors to have insurance coverage - check well before your wedding day.


Are you a member of a professional association?

It’s so important nowadays with technology spilling into the creative arena that your photographer keeps up with the ever changing technological improvement and uses them to creatively capture your day. In the USA the Professional Photographers of America based in Atlanta, GA are the oldest and largest association specific to photography in the world.


Can you stay longer if the reception runs later and how much would that cost?

Very important to establish this up front rather than on the day. Make sure that your contract clearly says what to expect if the wedding runs later that planned.


Do you have any type of certification or education in photography?

A certified professional photographer will have the ability and competence to shoot your wedding and produce great images without you having to worry how things may or may not turn out. Also, consider asking about post-wedding processing of images, does the photographer do it or is someone else responsible for that. Be clear about your expectations for the photography, on-line galleries, wedding albums and wall art etc. Always ask what’s included and what’s an additional cost.


The photos shown with this post are taken by myself at The Grande in Kennesaw, Little Gardens, Atlanta, Rock Springs Church, Atlanta and Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida. I hope you found this helpful. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have - Chris


Chris Cottrell, CPP (Certified Professional Photographer), British born Wedding and Portrait Photographer based Kennesaw, near Atlanta, Georgia USA. Available worldwide for near-to -home or destination weddings.


chris.cottrellco@gmail.com on IG @cottrellandco, FB cottrell & Co. Photographers or www.cottrellphotographers.com

Smiling Bride surrounded by Bridesmaids at Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida

Smiling Bride surrounded by Bridesmaids at Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida

Groom & Groomsman share a laugh at Rock Spring Presbyterian Church, Atlanta Georgia

Groom & Groomsman share a laugh at Rock Spring Presbyterian Church, Atlanta Georgia

Bride Getting ready photos at The Grande in Kennesaw, Georgia

Bride Getting ready photos at The Grande in Kennesaw, Georgia

Wedding rings photograph in rustic window at Little Gardens, Lawrenceville, Atlanta Georgia

Wedding rings photograph in rustic window at Little Gardens, Lawrenceville, Atlanta Georgia