Choosing A Wedding Photographer with emilie inc, Part One

Cairn Events is so excited to welcome Emilie of emilie inc as a guest blogger for a three part blog series featuring tips on selecting your wedding photographer! Emilie’s first post (below) discusses different photography styles, and why it’s important to choose a photographer who works within that style.

We are so lucky to be able to work with Emilie on a regular basis, and know that her expertise in the wedding photography business will be a great help to all of you planning weddings out there! Thank you, Emilie, and enjoy!

From Emilie…

You’re planning a wedding, wahoo! If you’re one of the lucky ones to be working with Heather, you’re in great hands. She’ll help guide you through the planning process, offering suggestions on trusted vendors and ensuring an enjoyable experience throughout. We hope we’ll have the lucky chance to have you over to talk photography. But just in case we don’t, I’d like to offer some tips on selecting your photographer in a three part series.


Just like so many other parts of planning the big day, the first step is to find out what photography style resonates with you. What catches your eye when flipping through bridal magazines? Your friends’ Facebook or Pinterest feeds?

Our style is photojournalism, which is borrowed from our newspaper roots and means we work very hard to capture the authenticity of the day as is with a fly-on-the-wall approach. You won’t see us stepping in to direct or alter the action of your day; we strongly believe your wedding day story is about real moments and relationships that are timeless and void of trends or gimmicks. We will pause to capture formal portraits of the families, bridal party and newlyweds, yes, but 80% of the day is unstaged.

Fashion or fine art is another style that lends itself to wedding photography and focuses more on the beautiful clothes, decor and creative details of the day with some of the action, too. Portraits or posed imagery is more prevalent in this style, and the real difference is in the finished images which are touched-up and toned to perfection looking like something you would find on the pages of a magazine not necessarily in real life.

When I think of traditional wedding photography, “old school” is the phrase that comes to mind. It’s a considerate process of deliberately photographing the wedding. Emphasis is not placed on moments or artful portraits, as described in the styles above, but on well-exposed (often with the addition of artificial light) events of the day. The photography checklists you will often find on wedding planning websites (bride walking down aisle, father giving away bride, bride and groom kiss, etc) remind me of how traditional wedding photographers work, with limited room for outside-the-box creative freedom.

Lastly, a point worth mentioning is the wide variation in the post-production of digital images. In contrast to using analog film chosen for its desired grain or color shift, all digital images have a standard gray cast on them that need to be run through an editing software application like Lightroom, Aperture or Photoshop. In this way, photographers have the flexibility to experiment and adopt a post-production style. Look for consistencies when shopping for your photographer, and be aware of trends that may feel dated a few years down the line. For instance, in the late 90s, spot coloring was a popular trend. In the mid 2000’s, it was overlaying textures on images. Today, folks are loving the instamatic or soft-focus look found on Instagram.

Next up: Determining your photography budget

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