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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

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/


Story excerpt from EVMS News Website Page:

A surprise wedding proposal at EVMS

Last week was a whirlwind for Allison Sessions (MPA Class of 2016). Not only did she finish her finals, she got engaged, too. Her sneaky boyfriend — now fiancé — Capt. Robert Best, planned the proposal to take place at EVMS on April 22.  “We actually met in Norfolk last year,” says Ms. Sessions. “He is now stationed in Camp Pendleton in California so that kind of explains the shock you see on my face because I thought he was in California.”  Ms. Sessions explains that Robert arrived on campus earlier in the day and flagged down some of her classmates to learn exactly where she’d be. He enlisted their help to get her in the right spot so the special moment could be captured on camera.‌  She fondly recalls coming out from her last standardized patient case of the day. Her friends told her that their professor wanted to go over the case, so she headed to meet the professor when someone told her to turn around. And there he was.  “I was just so shocked,” she says. “He had my schedule so he kind of knew where I was going to be. He didn’t tell anyone that knew me beforehand because he didn’t want anyone to spill the beans. It was a big surprise. It was so fun.”  Ms. Sessions said her fiancé choose EVMS as the spot to pop the question because she spends so much of her time there. “It also was kind of fun that we both had our uniforms on, so to speak. For both of us, that’s such a big part of who we are.”  The couple is planning an October wedding in San Diego and plan to reside there once Ms. Sessions graduates next year.