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It’s that time of year! Lots of wedding proposals took place over Christmas and New Year’s so couples are now on the hunt for a great venue and team of vendors for their special day. There are many websites and Pinterest boards that like to give advice to brides on what to look for when hiring their wedding photographer. But your decision can be really be based on one question that I wish more clients would ask but often do not.

Here’s the question you want to ask.

Can you send me a link to a full gallery from a wedding?

That’s all there is to it. One simple question that will tell you more about your wedding photographer than any other. At the end of the day you will want to know if they can perform from start to finish. Often wedding photographers are chosen based solely from their portfolio featured on their website or the photos shared on their blog. But let’s look at the numbers.

Typical blog post = 30 photos
Typical amount of photos delivered for a wedding = 750 photos
Percentage of photos featured on the blog that were delivered to the clients from the wedding day = 4%

Typical wedding photographer website gallery = 50 photos
Typical amount of photos taken during the year by active working photographer = 50,000
Percentage of photos on their website versus photos taken during year = 0.1%

Yes you are seeing that correct. Just 1/10th of 1%. The photos on their website are really just a very tiny fraction of what the photographer is shooting throughout the year and a blog post is only featuring approximately 4% of the entire wedding.

Wouldn’t it be important to see the other 96%?

Looking through an entire wedding gallery will also help you understand if the photographer can handle shooting photos both indoors and outdoors. Some photographers are very good at shooting with natural light, others that might have been studio trained are great with indoor controlled lighting. However a fantastic wedding photographer is someone that can handle any lighting scenario that is tossed at them. If you paid extra money for beautiful uplighting during your reception you want a photographer that can capture the fun of the party while also showing off the room ambient.

By looking through an entire wedding gallery you can also compare the photographers work to other photographers you are considering for the job. Not all weddings are necessarily created equal, some more elaborate than others and the photos might show that so be sure to not be swayed by the wedding decorations. In other words focus on the photos not the decor.

These days many professional wedding photographers use the cloud to deliver photos through innovative online galleries such as Pixieset (which is what I use), ShootProof, Zenfolio, SmugMug, and Instaproofs. By asking to see a full wedding gallery you can also get an idea of how those services look. While there are other ways of delivering files online such as Dropbox, the services mentioned above are especially designed for photographers to share photos with their clients and make the experience much more enjoyable.

In conclusion, while there are other important questions to ask a photographer before investing in them the most important one in my opinion is to see a full gallery from a wedding. Looking through their portfolio or blog is nice and might give you some ideas if their style is the kind you like. But choosing a photographer from photos based on less than 1/10th of 1% of the photos they shot during the year would be like judging a book by it’s cover.

Re-posted with permission by author/photographer January 2, 2015

For all the amazing BRIDES & GROOMS that were expecting to see me tomorrow (February 28th, 2016) at the VOW BRIDAL SHOW, I am sorry but I will not be at the show due to other commitments.
I will be at the Show Bride on March 6th at the Chesapeake Marriott & The Bridal Show at The Yacht Club at Marina Shores on April 24th.
Please note if you are interested in booking with me I only have a couple dates left for the 2016 Wedding Season and am now booking into the 2017 Wedding Season.
We had a busy 2015 covering over 40 weddings so stay tuned for some exciting wedding blog posts in the near future. 2015 took Sean Holder Photography all over the East Coast (Virginia, DC, Pennsylvania and Connecticut) and an incredible week-long wedding in Jamaica. I also had the opportunity to do some training with Cliff Mautner (Nikon Ambassador & listed as one of the top 5 best wedding photographers in the world).
We usually book up the most popular dates at least one year in advance, so to take advantage of the most incredible coverage and collection pricing make sure to book early and reserve your date.
In 2017 we will be reducing the number of weddings so you definitely want to be the couple that doesn’t miss out on us capturing one of the most important days of your life.
Also, keep a look out for the world-wide release of an amazing book by the band Metallica, written by the AWARD Winning author Matt Taylor. Sean Holder Photography photographed some of Metallica & Armored Saint on their early Master of Puppets Tour in 1986 and my images will be featured in a this awesome world-wide book release later this year, making Sean Holder Photography’s images a part of Rock History for one of the most influential bands in rock music.

Wow….this is really an exciting time for Sean Holder Photography.  Summer is almost over, kids are going back to school and Sean Holder Photography is getting ready for the plunge into the final quarter of the 2015 wedding season.

We are already seeing a really really big spike in pre-bookings for the 2016 wedding season, here it is only the end of August and we have surpassed our booking goal by a long shot. We can’t believe almost half our 2016 season is already booked. So if you are still searching for your wedding photographer don’t wait much longer. We still have some awesome dates available. Take a quick minute to call, send us an email, do a Skype or Facetime session or lets just meet for coffee. Let Sean Holder Photography capture your big day!!!

This October I will be heading to New Jersey to train under one of the WORLDS TOP WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS – Cliff Mautner, the awards he has received over his 35 year photography career is daunting to say the least.  This guy know how to see light and is going to be teaching me what has taken him years to learn, master and perfect. This is really exciting to be able to learn from one of the worlds best in a 3 day intensive hands-on lighting and skillset course from sunup to sundown. Mr. Mautner is not only an incredible wedding photographer, and teacher, but he is also a Nikon Ambassador and an all around amazing photographic artist and genuine authentic and nice guy.

So get ready 2016 Brides for some exciting stuff coming out of the camp of Sean Holder Photography.

Check out some of Cliff Mautner amazing work at his website: http://www.cmphotography.com/