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Ask A Pro: Family photos are priceless

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Stephanie Uptmor | Photographer and owner | Imagine It Photography | Cleveland

What is the most important thing to get right when photographing a lifecycle event?

The most important thing to get right is not just one thing. Getting fantastic shots of the ceremony/main event is vital, but also the family groups. They may be together for the first time in years. These photographs are often priceless in years to come.

How can photography be used in unique ways?

Photography can bring people together. We photographed a wedding once where the bride and groom gave strict instructions to all their guests – that they had to have a photo taken with someone they did not know in order to get a drink coupon or some other treat. The laughs and the hilarious combinations of guest posing for their pictures was wonderful. It kept up all through the reception and was such a great way to have people meet each other.

What is often overlooked?

Making sure to work closely with the guest of honor, whether it’s a bride, groom, child or parents, etc. Find out who is important to them. Be sure to photograph mom with her best friends, or the bride with her favorite teacher. The guest “who should not be missed” is not always the obvious guest. If we want our clients to remember the event as it was, it’s important for us to capture it in the perspective of our clients.

Are there any current trends to note?

Everyone is loving the more “candid” look of images. We often hear this from our clients. Again, this goes along with having a good eye and anticipating the moments.

When should families begin planning event photography?

Most photographers, but not all, are limited to one event per day. So if you know your style and what you want in a photographer, booking early is advised. We book most of our events a year or more out.

How should families go about choosing the right photographer for their vision?

When looking to hire a photographer for your event, be sure to look at several so you can see and be aware of the different styles, not only in photography, but in editing the images. Do you like your pictures overexposed, dark and moody, or more natural to the way the day looked? Do you want your images to be trendy or more classic? Of course all those details matter, but also liking and getting along with your photographer is important. You may be spending a full day with them. So, be sure to correspond and even meet them while making your hiring decision.