A Wedding with My Cell Phone

Wedding with Cell Phone by Natalie ParkerI went to a wedding recently and decided to take only my cell phone.  The truth is I didn’t want to carry a big purse for the DSLR, I wanted to carry a small clutch.

I see tons of people get great phone pictures and figured, what the hell, phone pictures it is!

The verdict?  Meh.  I got a couple of good photos but a bunch of them weren’t great quality as the phone doesn’t shoot well in low light.  Still, I don’t want to be that-person-who-isn’t-the-wedding-photographer running around to get pictures.  I also only really need/like a handful of pictures, not the jillion I’d take with a DSLR.  It makes me wonder whether I should carry a point-and-shoot to these things?

Ha, I can only imagine the look Mr. P would give me if I said I needed another camera.  I may have to carry around my old one.  Now to go see if it fits in my clutch . . .

Scrapbooker’s Guide to Choosing a Wedding Photographer

A Scrapbooker's Guide to Choosing a Wedding Photographer, by Natalie ParkerPictured above: Mr. P and I working with our wedding photographer.  I thought it would be helpful to share my thought process in picking a wedding photographer.

Note: this posts assumes photos are important to you and your wedding.  I always tell people to think about what thing/purchase at their wedding is most important to them and splurge on that in proportion to other things.  For me it was photos.  If you are reading this, you are probably a memory keeper and photos are probably important to you too!

Get someone who can pick up the little details.  I went with someone who was good at getting people and things.  If you scrapbook, you understand how important little details and closeups help you remember and help the design of the page.  The hardest pages to lay out for me where the ones where I had tons of people photos but no detail.  My photographer got details like our centerpieces, my DIY projects, our wedding rings, closeups of hands zipping me into my dress, and much more.

Work with someone who is willing to tailor a package to your needs.  There are lots of photographers out there and you should find someone who is willing to sell you exactly what you want to buy.  Sometimes it will be a package they already have, sometimes not.  Once I decided what I wanted, I emailed photographers initially to introduce myself and find out if they were willing to customize their offering.  If they were and it was in my budget, I set up a meeting.  If not, I thanked them and moved on.

Get the photos digitally.  All of them.  I got every single photo my photographer took on a DVD.  Every single one.  This is what I meant by negotiating for what you want.  At the end of the day, I knew I was going to make my own wedding scrapbook.  I didn’t want an album with 25 pictures in it and I wanted to be able to create gifts for family using the photos.  I paid my photographer for her time and for the DVD.  Keep in mind, not ordering an album and getting a DVD instead isn’t necessarily cheaper.

What do I mean by all of the photos?  Sometimes, a “DVD of photos” in a photography package usually includes 300 or so photos that the photographer picks and touches up.  For most people, that works.  I’m not most people and I’m pretty neurotic about photos.  My photographer gave me the 300 she touched up and then another set of 1000 that were untouched.  I’m so glad I got everything.  Her work was beautiful and there were some moments that didn’t make the “cut” of 300 that I’m glad she got (like the picture of me in the mirror).

Getting a photo DVD is somewhat controversial and that is understandable.  Photographers make money off of prints and albums.  That’s why I paid my photographer heftily for our arrangement.  If a photographer isn’t okay with this, that’s totally cool and it’s perfectly okay for them to stick with what’s good for their business.  I researched a lot of photographers until I found what I needed.

Make a list.  This is good advice for scrapbookers and non-scrapbookers alike.  There are lots of important pictures to get.  Your photographer isn’t going to know who is important to you.  I made my photographer a list of every family photo we wanted to get*.  It was nice knowing at the end of the day that we didn’t forget anything.  Since I DIYed a bunch of elements for the wedding, I listed those too so she could get pictures of the final product.

Strong Communication.  In addition to the list above, be up front with your photographer about what you want.  There were some cliche shots I didn’t want but other things, such as a group photo of all wedding guests, that I wanted to make sure to get.  We planned together when the best time would be to get it.

This is what worked for me and I hope it is helpful for you!  Above all, make sure to get what you think you will need and use.  Don’t get a DVD with a thousand pictures on it if you will be perfectly happy with an album.

*I may or may not have included mug shots of each family member so the photographer could help round people up when it was their time for pictures.

Do you have any suggestions? Think I’m totally of base?  I would love to hear your tips in the comments!

A Scrapbooker's Guide to Choosing a Wedding Photographer, by Natalie Parker

Deleting My Wedding Pictures

Deleting wedding picturesI got your attention with that headline, didn’t I?

I’m talking about some of my wedding pictures, not all of my wedding pictures.

Now that I’m done with my wedding scrapbook, I’m itching to get some hard drive space back.  You see, my wedding pictures took up around 7 gigs of space.

Let’s get this straight:  I still have the master DVD of all wedding pictures from my photographer.  That is in safe storage.  I figure by the time the DVD goes bad I probably won’t be that attached to 7 gigs of pictures.

I don’t need every single wedding picture on my hard drive.  I have every single picture my photographer took.  That means I have six different versions of the same wedding party picture.  Four versions of a large family picture.  You get the idea.

I went through all the pictures, kept the best version of everything and deleted the extras.  I took it down to just over 2 gigs.  Those 2 gigs I’m keeping on my hard drive, my external hard drive, and backed up on SmugMug.

How did I end up with that many wedding pictures to begin with?  I’ll be sharing that and other thoughts about wedding photographers later on in the week.

Two New Wedding Cards

Wedding Cards from Wedding PicturesIt’s wedding season.  I’m working on my wedding scrapbook.  Are you tired of hearing about weddings already?

I never get tired of weddings no matter whose they are.  Truth.  I DVR-ed all of the Will & Kate anniversary specials and am watching them one by one while I scrapbook.

We attended two weddings in May!  I made wedding cards for both of them using my own wedding pictures.  For a complete tutorial, visit my wedding card post.

Wedding card using wedding picturesThe first was for a friend of mine.  I usually make the card match their wedding colors, but I didn’t have the right paper.  Instead, I made it her favorite color!

Wedding card using wedding picturesSecond was my little sister’s wedding.  Her wedding colors were black, red and white.  I did have those – some sparkly black and shiny red to boot!

Wedding card using wedding picturesI made envelopes this time using my Paper Source envelope templates and envelope liner templates.

Wedding card using wedding picturesTwo lovely weddings, two beautiful beautiful brides.

Two weddings.

Wedding Card for Grace

My friend Grace got married recently.  I love any excuse to make a wedding card!

I first posted about making wedding cards last year.  For a full tutorial, visit my original post.

The first (and most fun) step is picking one of my wedding pictures to use.

One of my favorite pictures.

Next, figure out the color scheme.  Grace’s wedding invitation was a pretty mix of brown, plum and pink.

Checking out the color scheme of the invitation.

I decided to go with pink and brown and printed the picture in black and white.

Again, make sure to visit the full tutorial on making wedding picture cards.  Enjoy!

Photo credit: Photo from my wedding by Katherine Bettis.

A Wedding Card for My Friends

You must be asking yourself, is there anything else I can do with my wedding pictures? People like looking at my wedding pictures, right? We’re on the same page then.

I came up with this idea when a dear friend of mine got married last year. I wanted something more special than a store-bought card. I’m a sap. The card turned out great but I didn’t take any pictures of it. I recently attended another wedding and decided to make it a thing every time a friend got married because I like to make more work for myself.

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