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

The Three Most Important Things to Think of When Planning Your Wedding

About a week ago I sat down tointerview local bridal boutique “Impressions Bridal” and the manager Sheilah Barnhart. The interview was part of a project I started early in March and will most likely take me a few months to complete, however we’ll talk about that at a later date. 

After our interview had finished I asked a question “In your opinion what are the three things a bride to be should be aware of as the wedding planning process starts?”

Sheilah didn't answer me right away, she stopped and thought for a minute and then said “I think a bride has to find the absolute right dress. It’s got to be comfortable, look beautiful and make the bride look and feel like a million dollars on the the big day. . Next, the photography, these are memories that are being created on that day with family, friends and loved ones. The day needs to be captured and an album created so as husband and wife they will have the images of the day forever. Thirdly, (with a huge smile on her face) the band or DJ have to be the best!  If there’s a celebration there needs to be something to get people up on the dance floor and have a good time and it’s those great times that people will always remember.”

Sheilah Barnhart is the manager of Impressions Bridal, Kennesaw Georgia.

Chris Cottrell is a Professional Photographerbased in Kennesaw, near Atlanta Georgia


The right dress
Chris Cottrell - Photographer
Wedding Reception Dancing

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