Today's wedding photographer is a journalist with a camera

Digital photography has enabled almost anybody with an affordable camera to take adequate wedding pictures. But consistently capturing meaningful moments in wedding photos worth keeping requires organization, skill, and style. Like a good story, memorable wedding pictures document wedding engagement and wedding day events as they unfold. Truly masterful wedding photos also create context, evoke mood, and interpret the feelings behind the faces. These pictures may appear to happen by accident, but like a photo feature article, publication-quality wedding images occur only when the photographer is prepared and equipped, in the right place, at the right time, and with the right relationship to the subject. Although digital photography may make shooting wedding photos seem simple, producing wedding pictures worth collecting in a wedding day photo book is a journalistic art form. Unwilling to leave the quality of their wedding pictures to chance, most couples still allocate a percentage of their wedding budget to professional wedding photography. But the wedding photography business has been forced to adjust to the demand created by digital photography for more images, faster results, and unlimited digital access. Today's professional wedding photographer works harder, taking more photos over longer periods, than ever before. Professionals are now downloading wedding pictures to huge digital photography disks while selling fewer wedding day photo books, the most profitable products of traditional wedding photography.

Photo courtesy Kiet Do

Personality Counts as Much as Skill When Selecting a Wedding Photographer

Despite the digital photography revolution, a fundamental feature of traditional wedding photography remains unchanged: the wedding photographer will have closer physical contact with more people at the wedding than almost any other professional hired by the couple or their wedding planner. Although the images on a prospective photographer's website should always show professionalism and style, personal experience or a face-to-face interview with the photographer is necessary to assure a good fit. Like the wedding planner, the wedding photographer will accompany the couple in close quarters, interacting intimately with family members, friends, and other wedding guests. Constant contact and 12-hour days increase the chance of frazzled nerves, so the wedding planner or couple getting married should ask for references and check with other clients if they haven't worked with the photographer in the past. Experienced wedding planners also help prevent conflicts by avoiding unnecessary micromanagement, a common complaint from professional photographers about planners with less experience. An inside view of current wedding photography practices, advanced digital photography techniques, and how today's wedding photographer plans and produces timeless wedding pictures reduces the risk of choosing the wrong person for the job. It also clarifies the complementary roles and responsibilities of the wedding planner and the wedding photographer within the fabric of the wedding day.

Photo courtesy Kiet Do

Course Video Tutorial: 'An Emmy Award-Winner Teaches Contemporary Wedding Photography' (40:51)

Kiet Do, the owner of Kiet Do Photography, is doubly qualified to teach couples and wedding planners about the business of professional wedding photography, digital photography technology, and the application of today's popular photojournalistic style to contemporary wedding photography. On weekdays he is a reporter for CBS-5, KPIX-TV. On weekends he photographs weddings for clients of every ethnicity, budget, and age, employing skills developed over 10 years reporting the news for network affiliates in New Mexico, California, and Georgia, where he won an Emmy Award for news reporting in 2006. Born in Silicon Valley, he is a master of the technology, techniques, and tools of digital photography for weddings. In this course video tutorial, Kiet teaches Members the inner workings of today's wedding photography business, detailing the process of the wedding day and how the wedding photographer fits into its structure, scheduling, and logistics. He also provides practical pointers on contemporary website design for wedding professionals who want to harness the full power of the Internet to begin, build, or diversify their wedding business.

Kiet Do, Emmy Award-Winning Reporter and Photographer

Learn 12 essential elements of contemporary wedding photography and navigating the wedding photography business:

  • Modern photojournalistic style and why's it's here to stay
  • Using the Internet, interviews, and referrals to find the right wedding photographer
  • When multiple and back-up photographers are a must
  • Planning and scheduling the wedding engagement shoot
  • Choosing colors, clothing, and settings to set the right mood
  • How to schedule and coordinate photography throughout the wedding day
  • How to overcome restrictions imposed by a temple or a church
  • Optimizing indoor lighting conditions for candid contrast
  • Outdoor venues that make ideal wedding pictures
  • How wedding day make up enhances wedding photos
  • Digital files, photo books, and why most clients still want both
  • 10 ways to start your wedding professional business at home

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