A Good Photographer Out of a Bad Wedding Photography Experience

We’re featuring international wedding photographer from the USA Jody Webster. Jody runs Holman Photography, a lifestyle photography company based in Pacifica, California. Fortunate enough to have photographed in locations all across the world including Europe, Africa and India, Jody’s expert photography journey came from an unexpected place.

Her entry into the wedding photography business is a slightly unusual one.  As a result of a bad experience she had with her very own wedding photographer, Jody was prompted to enter the business.

She has been kind enough to allow us to feature an excerpt from her blog. Here she explains her wedding journey in an effort to help other brides and grooms. Hopefully answering some of your questions in the process, she offers her hints, tips and advice.

Delve into the photography world from the creative from Holman Photography’s point of view…

In the beginning…

“I thought I was pretty clear to my wedding photographer about what I wanted in my pictures. After all, I had been taking photos from a young age, including ten or so weddings of friends – I gave the prints as my gift. So I knew what I was asking of my photographer was nothing extraordinary.

I wanted a mix of black and white and also colour – and some sepia, which I love – lots, and I mean lots of editorial pictures; no misty, ‘Vaseline’ images; a few formals and that was it.

What I got were several albums (ok, one check next to “lots of images”), a good mix of colour, black and white and sepia (another check). But I also got many photos with that Vaseline look (not my style). And yes, formals, but only one shot of my groom and me together! One.

Now, granted, this was pre-digital age, so the cost for film and proofs was higher all those years ago than they are today, but my photographer charged accordingly. And we hired him for the rehearsal dinner, too, so he had landed a pretty good gig.

Like the photographic style? Intrigued by the atmosphere and excitement caught in the image?

The Wedding Secret aims to make the connection between clients and high-quality professionals seamless and immediate. Click on the image that impressed you and go straight to their website to find out more about booking for your special day.

“Unfortunately, what I remember most about the photography experience on my day was taking time to pose (which I hate) in awkward positions – on the ground, on wet leaves and grass – no thanks. I also remember my photographer asking my Maid of Honour if she would care to pose nude for him “some other time” – double ick! So I guess, really, I got even more than I paid for. Who knew I would get a little extra sleaze with my package?!

The upshot of this experience with my own photographer was my realisation that I could do better! Waaay better. And, as a lover of weddings (ok, I am a sappy romantic) and a pretty outgoing personality, I figured this job would be my perfect fit.

So, with some encouragement from my new husband, who gave me my first professional camera and a “go get ‘em” attitude, I quit my high-powered, long-houred, low-reward job as a marketing executive and started spreading word about my career change. To this day, I could not be happier!”

A little advice

“The most important piece of advice I have is to choose a photographer you LIKE. Once you have determined you like their style, and are ok with the price, if you are debating between two, go with the one you like most.

This person will be following you around for hours (often in intimate apparel) and meeting your relatives. You don’t want to dread calling them for any reason, and liking them will make ironing out any kinks in the relationship much easier, should they arise. And a photographer will be more likely go out of his/her way to make you happy if you are easier to deal with!”

You want to make sure you feel total comfortable with the person behind the lens. Spending time with the photographer before the big day enables you to get to know them, their shooting style and general personality. Also, you can get a feel of what it’s like to have your picture taken!

What we’ve learnt…

Firstly do your research. Take a look at their portfolios and scour through the wedding albums they’ve created. This will help you determine what their style is and whether it’s the right fit for you. If you wouldn’t be happy if any of their existing images were you on your wedding day, perhaps have a re-think and search for an alternative photographer.

Secondly, ensure you meet with your photographer of choice. As Jody mentioned, your photographer is going to be within close proximity of you most of the day. They’re going to be capturing you getting ready in the morning and those intimate couple shots after you say your ‘I dos’.

As a result, you’re going to want to make sure that not only do you feel confident and comfortable in front of them, but also that you simply connect and like one another.

wedding photographer

Consequently, an engagement shoot or pre-wedding shoot is a fantastic option. Not only does this enable you to symbolise your forthcoming marriage and show off those rings, but you can really get to know the photographer.

You’ll be given a sneak peek of the style of images you can expect from your big day, whether that’s candid shots or posed photos. They’ll also show the type of editing they specialise in, from natural through to vibrant and colourful. You don’t want over edited images if you don’t like that style.

Find a fantastic range of wedding photographers on our website. You can search via your county and find a professional near you. From experts in candid images to photographers who’ll shoot those all-important group shots, there are options to suit all couples on The Wedding Secret .  

3 thoughts on “A Good Photographer Out of a Bad Wedding Photography Experience

  1. Make a list of important shots you want taken… DO NOT ASSUME YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WILL TAKE THEM
    My daughters first photographer let her down. She in haste chose the photographer used by a friend for her wedding a few weeks earlier. Not sure she did much background checking.
    I was reassured by my Daughter a list would not be needed.
    No pre wedding photos with my daughter and I were even considered, the photo with her father had to be requested prior to the service.
    Her guests were treated poorly and photos in front of a brick wall hastily shot, so many opportunities for group of entire families impossible. Photos for family unlikely to be requested as their own will no doubt be better. She then Dashed off so she could take the Bride, Groom and attendants to picturesque scenery along the River Thames – the Money shots!
    This company travels from Perth, Australia worldwide, their bumpf declaring an experience to dream of, was not our experience and the drab photos outside the reception area in front of the Hotels ground floor bedroom windows a poor show compared to the stunning shots of my daughter and her husband.
    Currently my daughter is happy. I wonder what narrative it will display once they are returned to her. I know several guests who were not asked to gather for photographs and will over time be forgotten. Yet thought highly enough to have been invited for the whole day.
    So again decide what photographs are priorities, discuss with parents if you want help. Make sure the photographer allows enough time to ensure the shots are taken.
    My daughter will never have one of her and myself on the day apart from a very poorly photoshopped picture we both know never happened and will never be displayed. I wouldn’t wish that memory on any mother of the bride, let alone the bride

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