Wedding Spotlight: Chandra’s Collection shares tips on picking your photographer

1401969_10151966873402891_556372252_oFor as long as I can remember I have had this thing with wedding photography. You would find me on Pinterest searching wedding photos/blogs when I should have been studying for finals during undergrad. Photography is everything in a wedding- it is the only thing that will capture every moment of the big day. I came across Chandra Berns’ (now Yarter) photography through one of those blogs. Ironically, we went to the same college and she looked insanely familiar. I came to find out later it was probably because she’s a triplet! So I’m sure I came across either her or one of her sisters around campus. I love her photography style- very organic and beautiful, every photo she shoots looks so natural and the tones are gorgeous.

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She has been blogging for David’s Bridal for a while now with great tips for Brides and sharing some of her experiences when planning her wedding. I’m so excited that Chandra was willing to share a post from the DB site with TSS readers- since I know a lot of y’all are currently engaged and planning your wedding! What’s better than getting photography advice from a professional photographer who obviously knows her stuff?

Here are Chandra’s tips!

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Can I just start off by saying how much I love my job?  I’m a wedding & portrait photographer (www.chandrascollection.com) and I spent this past weekend shooting Lauren and Garrett’s lovely, rustic and romantic wedding. Getting to capture one of the most important days in a couple’s life is one of the most amazing things…well, pretty much EVER. You can call me a little bit of a underlying, nerdy-adrenaline junkie if you want to, (no hard feelings) but there’s just something about the pressure of capturing moments that only happen once in a lifetime that I love & thrive off of.

One of my favorite parts of shooting a wedding is catching the “behind the scenes” little details – from what the bride used to get her glamorous look to something as simple as the bride & bridesmaids dresses placed in fabulous lighting.

I’m obsessed with everything in a wedding – from the little details to the crazy wedding party, the bride and groom completely head-over-heels for each other and everything in between.

There are many important things that go into planning your special day, but one of the TOP things that can make or break it (in my opinion) is the photographer you decide to hire; or lack there of. And no, I’m not being biased, promise!

There are a few tips I can give you when it comes to helping you find the perfect photographer for your wedding day:

1). Do they have a website? Yes, you’re probably thinking “everyone and their momma now-a-days seems to have a website.”  – but, you would be surprised at how many people actually don’t have one. Even if a photographer is just starting out, the fact that they have taken the time and effort to display their work can mean leaps & bounds in professionalism. How they choose to represent themselves in a business aspect can be a plus or minus later down the road for you.

2). Do they offer you a contract? I can never express this enough – and when I was just starting out, I had no clue how important a contract really was, but if they don’t offer you a contract – don’t book with them. Plain & simple. That means if they just happen to change their mind on a whim and head to the beach for some fun in the sun with their buddies instead of shooting your wedding day, they can TOTALLY and LEGALLY do that & you will be left crying in your fluffy wedding dress on the bathroom floor faster than they can say “Sayanora Suckers!”. Without a contract, nothing is binding them to you and your wedding day.

3). Don’t depend on a “family friend” to shoot your wedding. Good gosh, I pretty much cringe and shrill every time I hear that line from a bride. The photographer inside of me wants to jump out and say “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY IN YOUR LIFE!” I bite my tongue though and let them do what they want. But really, I do cringe. Every single time. Brides seem to think saving a little bit of money will be worth it in the long run, but it’s usually the complete opposite. I can’t tell you how many times brides have come back to me AFTER their wedding day asking me to try to re-create something for them because their “family friend photographer” was a complete dud. My heart sinks every single time for them. You want those keepsakes to remember the most amazing day of your life, forever.  So, save yourself the heartache and book with a professional.

4). Get to know your photographer! If you have time before your big day, try to meet up with them and catch their vision – it will make your wedding day a little less nerve wracking knowing you are in good hands. And since it won’t be your first time meeting them, you will most likely feel more at ease in front of the camera on your big day.

Finding the photographer who is open to fun ideas is a big plus! You always want to be able to show you & your friend’s sense of humor throughout your photos!

Well, my beautiful brides-to-be….I’m hoping you will take some of these tips into consideration for your special day! And better yet – perhaps I will be working with you sometime in the future. Until then, come and join me on Chandra’s Collection Photography Facebook fan page – I do lots of giveaways & fun stuff! Until next week, stay sweet!  Ciao!

You can follow Chandra’s Photography on Instagram, Facebook, and/or her Blog here.

Special thank you to Chandra for sharing these tips and contributing to The Southern Statement’s Wedding talk. Y’all check her out!

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