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.

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.

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

OMNI CNN CENTER, ATLANTA GEORGIA WEDDINGS

I loved the vastness of the Omni, it's huge! I was there to shoot a wedding fashion show for Impressions Bridal. I got to see tons of wedding gowns, selfie stations, invitations and of course wedding cake bakers. My job was to photograph the behind the scenes getting ready images of the brides and the grooms and then shoot during the afternoon as they walked the runway in their beautiful outfits.


Wedding Photography

The ironic thing was that I truly felt like I was shooting a wedding and did pretty much treat the day like that, except for the runway shots. It was so funny that between the runway shows I took some of the "brides" to a quiet area In the Omni to shoot little tighter than for detail. I wanted to shoot as close to one of my real wedding photography assignments as I could and took time to shoot the dress details to perfection!


Tap on the Shoulder

I had just walked with the "Brides and Grooms" to a quiet area that was flooded with natural light from the huge windows that look to the front of the CNN building. I felt a tap on my shoulder and at almost a whisper a little voice said "Excuse me, could you possibly take some photographs of my bride?" It was the owner of Sweet Elegance Bridal. I looked around, "Of course" I replied without hesitation, and began to use the natural light flooding in from the windows. The bride looked stunning and it didn't take me more than a few minutes to get her positioned and a few instructions later we began creating some beautiful wedding-like portraits.

In the accompanying photos at the Omni CNN Atlanta are gowns from Impressions Bridal and Sweet Elegance Bridal

I haven't shot a full, "real wedding" at the Omni, but would love to if given the opportunity!

Let me know if you have any questions - Chris

The First Dance at Your Wedding

The first dance, a dazzling, impressive display of movement and coordination …well maybe not. I’m not sure if everyone has really bad nerves leading up to the first dance. I can't say that we did as we rehearsed the little routine set to Jack Johnson’s “Better Together” and skillfully choreographed by our dance instructor - yes we did, we got lessons! What a laugh we had during the practice sessions, at one point I thought we’ll never master this little routine. On the evening of our wedding, the entertainment was us, so off we go on this trip around the dance floor, it looked good, people were in awe of us. We went up and down, helping each other along until at one point we missed some steps and ran out of floor with tons of music left playing….ha ha ha!! 

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