What are you looking for in a photographer? A great personality? Killer candid shots? All-inclusive packages? Houston wedding photographer Catherine Smeader of Catherine Smeader Photography is sharing all her tips for sourcing the right photographer for you and your partner in today’s Q&A. Keep reading for her advice plus hear what makes her cry at weddings and get to know her love of unplugged weddings. Happy planning!
Photo // Catherine Smeader Photography
What do you find most inspiring when it comes to wedding photographs?
I am most inspired by my couples that I have the opportunity and honor to work with. I am inspired by their commitment to each other, the love they share, how they show their love and by their energy. Not all clients are the same, so therefore, I can’t photograph each and every client the same way. Some show their love in a romantic way while others are silly or goofy. Some are more reserved and don’t show affection as openly. So my inspiration comes from both their individuality and togetherness as a couple.
Also I draw inspiration from the surroundings and the environment. If their wedding takes place at the beach I may incorporate seashells or sand into my imagery or any other elements that will remind them of their wedding day and where it took place. I also love being inspired by their wedding details. Couples select certain details for a reason and it very often shows their friends and loved ones who they are as a couple, and I love being able to highlight that in their wedding photos. I try to incorporate as many details throughout the wedding gallery as I can!
What do you think is the most important thing to look at when selecting a wedding photographer?
When initially looking for a photographer, it is a good idea to have in mind what kind of style that you like. You may prefer moody and dramatic or perhaps you like light and airy. Looking through websites and Instagram at different photography styles will help you narrow down your preferences, and from there, you can start to look at photographers who have that feel. After that, I think the very most important thing to look at when selecting a wedding photographer is whether or not your personality is a good match or clicks with the photographer. Remember you will be spending a lot of time with that person – basically all day! You want to make sure it is someone that you have fun with, that can put you at ease if you are feeling nervous or unsure, you can easily ask questions to, can make you laugh, knows when to take charge and when to just let the moments pass, etc. My own wedding photographer made me cry on my wedding day. He obviously was not a good match for my own personality! That is why I strongly suggest meeting the photographers that you have narrowed it down to in person. Spending some time with that person will give you a feeling one way or another.
What photography trends are you loving in 2019?
It is not a new trend for 2019 but I love unplugged weddings. I think it is one of the best decisions you can make regarding your wedding ceremony. It warms my heart when I see all the guests engaged in the ceremony instead of behind their iPhone or camera. Let the photographer do the work so the guests can fully enjoy your day.
Tell us about your favorite awe wedding moment captured.
Wow that is such a hard question! I am not sure if I can narrow it down. I do know that at every single wedding I cry when the bride walks down the aisle and during the first dances!
What advice do you give to couples when deciding on their wedding photographer?
I would tell couples to trust their instincts when choosing a wedding photographer for their wedding. Again, it is so important to meet the photographers they have narrowed it down to in person. Let’s say that there is a photographer that is very popular, that has photographed their friends’ weddings and was suggested by other vendors. If the couple has met in person with that photographer, but it just does not feel right (for any reason) my advice would be to keep searching. Just because a photographer may be right for their friend or someone else, it does not mean they are right for them. You will know once you have found the right fit. Do your research and ask specific questions about timelines, how they approach photographing a wedding day, what they do when challenges arise during the day, how they handle the day differently if it rains, and various other questions that will help clarify if they are the best person for your day!