Imagine Your Perfect Wedding Day Photographed by Cottrell Photographers

Can you imagine the most perfect Wedding of your dreams? I have everything organized and under control, there’s no stress as I, deftly begin to document your day.

My wedding day photography packages start with a complimentary consultation that’s most often followed by an Engagement Photo Session. I really enjoy these as they allow us time to get to know each other and discuss your wedding venue and day in a more relaxed setting.

"We love all the photos! and Chris was such a fun photographer to work with. I would highly recommend him to any other couple getting married!" - Anna Cowart

I arrive early on your wedding day and by then I have usually contacted your other vendors to see if there’s anything I can help them with to make the day run smoothly. My first thing is to start in the bridal suite with getting hair, makeup shots and all the laughs as you start the day with your friends and family.

 Professional Photographer, wedding photography, documentary wedding photography, destination weddings, certified professional photographer

The groom and groomsman are my next stop and I shoot them getting ready, messing around just being guys I guess! If the situation is right I usually take them outside and get some fun, stunning photographs of him with his best friends.

Then I take a little time to shoot your wedding gown, shoes, the rings, cufflinks, flowers, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and any other details that you would like to have part of your memories of the day.

 Professional Photographer, wedding photography, documentary wedding photography, destination weddings, certified professional photographer

Back to the bridal suite to get the final touches of getting ready, getting into the dress and all the help you’ll be getting with that. I also like to document you with your Mum, sisters, close friends and really capture the love and closeness of your wedding day.

If a first look is on the cards this is where we do that part. I’ll work with you both and the event coordinator to really make this a special part of your day for you both to remember and enjoy.

 Professional Photographer, wedding photography, documentary wedding photography, destination weddings, certified professional photographer

On to the ceremony, I usually speak with the Minister or officiant before hand to make sure there are no restrictions for you. Being a very quiet and unobtrusive photographer, I quietly get all the details, rings going on to fingers, tear drops on the guests cheeks, the worried groom’s expression, First Kiss and more.

Z&B-Cottrell223.jpg

I love the first alone moments as a married couple. We’ll go off alone for about 20 minutes, catch your breath! and then we'll create some awesome portraits of you both. These images will be your first heirloom art for your new family…I love this part!!

 Professional Photographer, wedding photography, documentary wedding photography, destination weddings, certified professional photographer

"Our pictures are beyond perfect! Chris is an amazing artist/photographer. I am so pleased. They are so beautiful. Everyone loves them! Thank you." - J. Lopez

The reception and the first dances, cake cutting, speeches and bouquet toss will all be confidently photographed as the evening unfolds. I love to create different looks for your Wedding Reception guests and often work closely with the DJ or band to pull off something unique for you.

Sadly, all good things come to an end! Happily though I’ll cover you leaving through confetti storms, bubbles, sparklers, bird seeds or what ever your guests throw at you both for good luck!! I’ll end with you leaving in your vehicle.

 Professional Photographer, wedding photography, documentary wedding photography, destination weddings, certified professional photographer

Every wedding I shoot includes a professionally designed, custom wedding album and an online gallery.

There are only a certain number of weekends available for me to shoot weddings each year. As you can imagine, being one of the few PPA Certified Professional Photographers, (which means I adhere to a strict code of professional conduct ensuring satisfaction and I'm accountable to the organization at all times), as you can imagine my weekend schedule can get filled up quickly.

The next step is to click the “See if your date is available” button! It doesn't cost a penny to check. Once we have established my availability I'll put together a photography package that you'll both love because it will be uniquely you and just what you have been dreaming of for years.

Your wedding day is all about having a wonderful time with your favorite people. You don’t care about formalities, or the little things that often don’t matter – you just want to have an awesome time with your favorite people.

If this sounds like you, and you don’t think I’m a total crazy Brit (or maybe you do and you like it!) then get in touch!

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

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

Is it Okay to Use Windows in Wedding Photos?

I say yes! I love to use window light inside the rooms where the Bridal party is getting ready. When I’m photographing weddings my couples are often amused at some of the things I’ll do to get an awesome photograph. Like this one where I asked Derek to lean upon the window - on the inside. I then said “wait there”, I ran outside to the other side of the window and got this photo which I love. I hope you do too. I was photographing Simone and Dereks wedding at Little Gardens Wedding Venue in Lawrenceville, Georgia. The Bride and Groom getting ready shots are so important as they are the images that often start the wedding day celebrations. 

I’ve been able to get very creative with shooting Brides, Grooms and both Brides and Grooms together using reflections, shooting through antique windows and decorative windows etc over the years. There are a few examples in my wedding gallery click here  Wedding Gallery

Contact me with any questions about wedding photography here Chris Cottrell

 Professional Photographer, wedding photography, portraits, business portaits, people, family photos

BEAUTIFUL RAINY DAY ATLANTA WEDDING AT LITTLE GARDENS

If you love Garden Wedding Venues then you’ll adore this Atlanta, USA wedding spot!

Simone and Derek got married at the gorgeous Little Gardens Venue, Lawrenceville, Near Atlanta in early March 2018. It was planned to be outdoors in the back garden, however, Mother Nature did not cooperate at this wedding. With beautiful flowers and music and a super cool atmosphere, the rain did not stop anyone having a blast! - particularly the Wedding Party.

Getting ready

Simone got ready in the bridal suite with her sister, Crystal, and Mother, and there was such an exciting vibe. Time was tight as the weather and traffic slowed the journey down. She wore a beautiful white gown with tons of intricate detail and looked so. She then walked with her Father in to get to the ceremony. The family and guests were ready, waiting and watch along with the groom and best man as they made their way to the altar.

Derek got ready in the Grooms Quarters with John, Best Man and Simone's Dad. He wore an awesome looking vera wang tuxedo, with a black bowtie and shirt, and looked really dapper. The groom traveled to the ceremony in his Chevy truck which is pumped up with a super-charged Corvette Engine and transmission - he got there fast - lol!

The ceremony

The ceremony took place on the venue grounds under the covered porch area in front of the waterfall and pond. The ceremony area had a really cozy feel even though it was raining on an off and a little chilly, which was so perfect because it was an intimate gathering. The wedding ceremony began with Simone’s brother Matthew, who's an opera singer, singing as the bride and her father walked into the porch area. All eyes were darting from the Bride to the Groom as they stood nervously in front of the Minister and I carefully photographed their emotion-filled wedding ceremony.

Simone and Derek chose to have their wedding at the Little Gardens Venue because it’s close to where some of their relatives live and a 6-hour drive from their home in Florida. Little Gardens Venue was the perfect destination wedding spot for them.

I loved this destination wedding so much as even with weather challenges they had a contingency plan. I really enjoyed photographing in somewhat challenging conditions and creating images that will be lifelong memories.

If you’re getting married and looking for a creative, experienced, people loving, seriously funny British wedding photographer, get in touch. Here are a few of the photos!

Vendors

Catering: http://www.suburbanposhevents.com

Venue: http://www.magicweddingvenues.com

DJ: http://www.Spectrum-ent.com

Attire: http://www.verawang.com

 

 Professional Photographer, wedding photography, portraits, business portaits, people, family photos
 Professional Photographer, wedding photography, portraits, business portaits, people, family photos
 Professional Photographer, wedding photography, portraits, business portaits, people, family photos
 Professional Photographer, wedding photography, portraits, business portaits, people, family photos

How do you Know What to Wear on your Wedding day?

What do you wear on your wedding day? For the Groom, probably a dark color 3 piece suit, the traditional look always stands the test of time. White shirt, nice tie or bowtie in a a color that matches the Wedding theme color scheme. I think the more traditional look, although sometimes a little stuffy looking does appeal to a lot of people and therefore should keep everyone in the family happy.

On to the Wedding dress. I always feel badly for the Bride, it is such a huge responsibility finding the right dress. It’s got to please everyone in the family, be the right style, not too old fashioned, not too modern in fact the wedding dress has to be prefect!

If it were me choosing I would go for comfort first, then looks. I must admit I do look at the little details that are put into a dress - I should, being a photographer I suppose, but I am often held in awe at the detail and the amount of time that was devoted to creating the perfect wedding dress and all for one day that will be captured forever in photography. 

 It's becoming more common nowadays and I do somewhat agree, dress smart, more relaxed and go for a nontraditional wedding and I think that’s great. Bottomline, it’s your day, design it around what you both like, feel good about, and most of all enjoy the day!

Chris Cottrell, Professional Photographer, Atlanta, Georgia

Found the Right Wedding Dress