Choosing a wedding photographer can be hard; Here’s how to cut through the noise.
Wedding photography can be a difficult and confusing thing to compare. Chances are you haven’t often had to hire a photographer before, so the world of album options, coverage time and various levels of talent and technical expertise can become a maze where it is impossible to compare one photographer to another. Very often one photographer’s packages are apples to another’s oranges. So how can you find the right photographer for you? Here are some tips on choosing a wedding photographer:
Sunset engagement photos rank among our favorites; In a short period of time we get to capture a variety of looks and lighting conditions that add warmth and a nostalgic tone to the final portrait art. While we frequently travel around the region and the country to capture portraits of couples, sessions like this one remind us of the wealth of opportunities right in our own community.
For LaKayla and Dustin’s sunset engagement photos, we travelled to the beautiful rolling hills near Canonsburg, PA to meet the couple at Dustin’s family home. The house sits on a hilltop surrounded by fields and woods, with an amazing view of the valley below.
The southwestern PA countryside never looked better! Shortly, we noticed the rustic porch was bathed in warm sun light.
Sunset engagement photos sometimes inspire our inner JJ Abrams. It’s important to use lens flare only in moderation!
LaKayla was a good sport about trying dramatic poses, even if they were on a sharp rock!
Only the second clear hillside meeting the sky without any branches, telephone poles or wires we’ve ever found in the Pittsburgh area.
The couple’s dogs Trouble and Diesel had their own mini session of sunset engagement photos! Incorporating your pets and common interests always adds to the story of growing love we try to tell in our engagement sessions. In this case, it gave us the opportunity for a special family portrait.
As the sun finally sank below the horizon, we caught one last romantic embrace.
Continuing our series on wedding and reception venues around the Pittsburgh area, today we focus on The Fez Wedding and Banquet Hall in Aliquippa, PA. The Fez offers two different ballrooms, great service, and some special signature touches that make for great wedding images.
Perhaps the most well-known of these special touches is the Bridal Staircase Presentation. A tradition at Fez wedding receptions for decades, the bridal party makes its entrance into the reception by descending a grand staircase into the ballroom. The staff adds to this event by using a good old-fashioned theater-style spotlight to highlight the entrance of the bride and groom and their attendants. They use the same spotlight during the featured dances at the reception, and the effect is quite cool, both in person and in your wedding photos.
In cases of inclement weather, we have been able to create portraits at the Fez using the stonework wall at the covered driveway. It’s a welcome backup location should the need arise!
During our previous Fez weddings, all our couples have chosen to add our photo booth rental to entertain their guests. The Fez has ample space to accommodate the photo booth at either of their banquet rooms.
The Fez offers two banquet rooms; One features colored accent lighting built into the ceiling (shown above), while the other features a second-level balcony that rings the room, usable for additional seating. The Fez wedding team also takes special care to make sure all the little details are perfect.
The Bridal Staircase Presentation and the spotlit dances are Fez wedding highlights. We love shiny, polished dance floors!
In one of the Fez wedding reception rooms, the head table sits in front of the grand staircase, while in the other it spans the dance floor.
In case of inclement weather, the stonework of the covered entryway provides a backdrop for some portraits, while the balcony inside is a perfect spot for a final romantic portrait at the end of the night.
Alison & John’s complete wedding highlights help to showcase the entire Fez wedding experience!
As photographers we’ve had the pleasure of working at many venues in the region, but few offer the indoor portrait opportunities that are available at the Embassy Suites Pittsburgh wedding reception venue. Officially known as the Embassy Suites Pittsburgh – International Airport, this hotel is located in Moon Township. The hotel features a lush green atrium complete with water features that make your wedding portraits special no matter what the weather outside.
Our Embassy Suites Pittsburgh wedding portraits have often centered around the prominent rock waterfall in the center of the atrium. The hotel has projected the couple’s names onto the rock during our previous visits there, and it makes for a very cool addition to the images. The staff has always been very helpful, and we’ve been able to explore photographic possibilities from the elevators to the bar with their help! The ballroom has a large lounge area at its entrance that allows plenty of room for guests to enjoy our photo booth as well.
All of this combines to make the Embassy Suites Pittsburgh – International Airport an attractive wedding venue in the popular summer and fall months, but also a fantastic option if you are planning your wedding during less temperate times of the year.
Check out some of our images from a recent Embassy Suites Pittsburgh wedding and see what we mean — This place rocks for weddings!
Images of the rock waterfall with the projected names of the couple. Kristy and Reno told us that this was something the hotel did for them on their own; The couple didn’t know it was going to be there. What a great surprise!
There are plenty of locations around the hotel for unique group shots with the bridal party.
Embassy Suites Pittsburgh wedding couples can also take advantage of the several romantic spots in the hotel for artistic portraits.
The ballroom area really looks great with the addition of uplighting. Uplighting sets the mood during the event, and makes your images really look special for posterity as well!
The Embassy Suites Pittsburgh wedding team shows an excellent attention to detail, and it is the details that will define the character of your wedding to your guests!
The glass elevator is a perfect spot for a sexy final portrait of our bride.
The complete highlights from Kristy & Reno’s Embassy Suites Pittsburgh wedding day:
Pittsburgh South Side engagement sessions allow us to stretch our creative muscles perhaps more than any other location that we like to frequent. When we work on portraits in the South Side, we treat the experience as a kind of “photo safari” — hunting around on side streets and in alleyways to find amazing locations. While there are a couple spots we like to stroll past specifically, we never know what we will find! The South Side neighborhood is full of murals, street art and interesting architecture that ensures that every South Side engagement session takes its own unique turn as we stroll along looking for new and interesting angles.
This session quickly became one of our favorites, which may not be a surprise to you if you have read the engagement portraits article in our 2013 Weddings Magazine, where this session is featured. We met Jill and Lou in the heart of the South Side, and immediately found a long brick wall on the side street. We continued deeper into the neighborhoods tucked behind the bars and nightclubs into a romantic world of wrought iron gates, beautiful old doorways atop old concrete stoops, cracked and peeling garage doors, and elaborate wall murals. No two South Side engagement sessions are ever the same. There is so much to discover that every visit there is a thrill, and it is the perfect backdrop to explore with a hip, urban couple who want to take their portraits beyond the more common park setting.
Although this South Side engagement was one of our favorite sessions of 2012, it never made it onto the blog. The couple’s schedule didn’t allow for this session to happen until their wedding was only two weeks away, so the momentum carried us through the wedding day and we shared wedding images but not these gorgeous shots!
With the weather getting better every day and the wedding season soon to be in full swing, we can’t wait to be creating South Side engagement portraits again soon!
Hi everyone! We had so much fun recently capturing in-home portraits of Adalynn that we just had to share! Adalynn is 11 months old at the time of this session, and while she was a little suspicious at first, she soon warmed to the idea of having her photo taken. We’ve always found that young children in particular really respond well to being photographed on “their own turf,” and that’s why an in-home portrait session can work so very well for babies and toddlers like Adalynn.
Check out some of our favorites from the session below, then head over to View Photos to see the entire session!
Kennywood engagement sessions are among our favorite portraits to create. So many Pittsburghers have shared romantic dates, great memories and wedding proposals at Kennywood that different areas of the park hold special meaning for couples. Nick asked Shannon to marry him near the gazebo, so even though it was close to the end of the season when we first met with them, we rushed to capture these Kennywood engagement portraits on Labor Day before the park closed for the fall and winter. We beat the crowds by going in right at opening and had a great time as they toured the park with us, pointing out locations that played a role in their relationship.
Photographing a Kennywood engagement session is a fun adventure for us as photographers and for the couple. We’ve been very lucky that Kennywood has always been gracious in allowing us to come into the park to create these images with our clients. We really can’t say enough about how helpful, friendly and accommodating the staff there has been. Without their kind support, Kennywood engagement sessions would not be possible.
Kennywood is filled with iconic views and hidden gems. On many days, we can create images near the gazebo that look like we have the park all to ourselves. We also have a super secret spot at the rear of the Jack Rabbit where we love to capture couples against the iconic woodwork. The Thunderbolt mural and the Potato Patch are also ‘must-have” shots when we visits Kennywood for an engagement session.
Shannon and Nick’s Kennywood Park engagement session slideshow is now available on YouTube and all their images can be found in their Online Gallery.
Some of their favorites, which they chose at their Red Carpet Premiere tonight: