5 Secrets to Selecting the Right Wedding Photographer

Are you recently engaged and starting to plan your wedding? Have you begun looking for the perfect close-to-home or destination wedding venue and wedding photographer? If yes, my post might help you with asking the right questions in selecting your ideal wedding day photographer.


Secret 1: Connecting

Speak with your prospective wedding photographer on the phone. On your wedding day you’ll both spend a lot of time with your photographer, so it’s really important that you connect and can work together. The phone is the perfect place to have that initial conversation. I offer a free Zoom/Skype consultation to discuss your needs and help you find the right level of photography coverage for your big day.


Secret 2: Style

The photographers style. Look at your prospective photographers wedding portfolio on his or her website. If you like the style ask a few questions about specific images. Questions like, the image with the tears on the brides cheek, how did you shoot that? The grooms boutonniere photo, at what time during the day was that shot? What style do you call this type of image? As a Certified Professional Photographer I will document your day as it naturally unfolds in. I have the skill and experience to adjust you, your bridal party and guests to get the most beautiful, natural looking images possible.


Secret 3: Portfolio

Ask to see a complete wedding day from a previous client. This is super easy to do with Skype or Zoom and you’ll be able to look at a complete day from start to finish and not just a select few of the images that are viewable on a website. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask if the photographer shot the image or if it’s from a second shooter or an assistant. I always share with my couples which images were from second shooters that made the final edits that way they know they are getting what we agreed to when they hired me.


Secret 4: Cameras

What camera system do you use and what’s your favorite lens? Is a great question. Nikon has been my choice of camera systems for many years and I have a selection of cameras. and always bring back up cameras and equipment to weddings. Lenses are super important as the lens directs the image/light to the sensor, which usually means, higher quality lenses produce a superior image.

I have a wide selection of Nikon & Sigma lenses. I always bring some of my specialty lenses from other manufacturers like Sigma (the Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art is one of my favourites).

You should consider the genres of photography on your wedding day. From fashion, with the dress and grooms tuxedo etc., products, using macro lenses for rings, cufflinks etc. and back to products with shoes and of course portraits. Each one looks better when we use the lens designed for that type of photo.


Secret 5: Certification

It doesn’t hurt to ask if the photographer has any type of certification or other supporting credentials. The peace of mind knowing that your photographer has the craft and technical expertise to photograph your big day is priceless. Photography, like a lot of industries, continues to change with technology. Photographers who invest time in learning and continuing education are valuable not only to clients but also to the industry at large. I am a Certified Professional Photographer, CPP and a member of PPA. Being a CPP means I adhere to a strict code of conduct and I am accountable to PPA at all times. I continue to learn new things every day to better serve my clients.


If your prospective photographer checks all the boxes, I’m pretty sure he or she can shoot at any wedding venues, any weather or challenging situations to produce awesome photography that will document your day to perfection.


I hope my post helps you with selecting the right photographer for you both on your wedding day. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

I shot the posted wedding photographs at The Grande in Kennesaw

Rock Spring Presbyterian Church, Atlanta. Although I haven't shot weddings there, some of the photos remind of The Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia and similar to Indigo Falls, Dallas Georgia

Bride and Groom on Rock Spring, Atlanta Church steps

Bride and Groom on Rock Spring, Atlanta Church steps

Smiling Groom getting boutonniere assistance

Smiling Groom getting boutonniere assistance

Happy Bride Twirling in the barn at The Grande In Kennesaw, Georgia

Happy Bride Twirling in the barn at The Grande In Kennesaw, Georgia

Excited, smiling Bride getting ready next a mirror

Excited, smiling Bride getting ready next a mirror

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

Grooms & Groomsman Haircut Mysteries Solved!

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 or long weekend, I pretty much always get my hair cut. The week before we went to New York I was sat in my stylist’s,  Betsy Franklin’s chair getting a purple mohawk - just kidding, my normal hair cut and I asked her a few of questions about the Grooms hair before the wedding, so here’s the first question and answer:-

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."

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.

Chris Cottrell, Professional Photographer based near Atlanta, Georgia