Working with a Photographer by Christian Oth
January 14, 2010

We work with so many great wedding photographers on Style Me Pretty. In fact, it's the gorgeous photographs that really give Style Me Pretty life, so it's an understatement to say that finding the right photographer is beyond important. So important in fact, that we've asked one of the world's best photographers, Christian Oth, to stop by and share some of his tips for getting the most out of your relationship with your own photographer. And the information that he sent us, is so valuable. So worth printing out, bookmarking, saving or whatever else you do to that must-know info that you stumble upon. Today's feature is a total keeper.

For those of you that don't know Christian....ummm, how do I possibly give his work justice. Christian and the photographers that work with him are genius. Their images are so good they'll easily make you cry, make you laugh, make you wish they were hanging on the walls of your home. Oh and did I mention that he's also cute and has an accent. AND he just might have won the award in my head for best wedding photograph on the planet. So without further ado, here's Christian Oth!

christian oth photographers

image by Christian Oth, a collaboration with Jung Lee from Fete

Communication between the bride and the photographer is key to capture those stunning, meaningful images that last a lifetime. In this two-part discussion, we’ll discuss the icebreaker questions to build a relationship of value with your photographer, (because conversations make relationships, and result in better pictures), and wrap up with Do’s + Don’ts that are helpful for taking pictures at every event.

Conversations Make Better Pictures

Booking your wedding photographer isn’t another check off a Wedding To Do’s List, never regarded again until the wedding commences. A conversation needs to turn into a relationship, so the photographer “knows” you better for your wedding photography, and takes the most meaningful pictures. This holds especially true for photographers who specialize in photojournalism or a hybrid version of photographic styles.

Regardless of whether the relationship is a direct one: couple to photographer, or through an intermediary such as a wedding planner or mom, the key element is dialogue. The couple, and others involved with the wedding, all want her day to be as magical and memorable as the photographer would like to capture it. There are three questions that a photographer has about you, before the most meaningful shots are achieved at any wedding: Who Are You?, What Do You Look Like?, and What's Your Style?

christian oth photographers

by Michael Falco for Christian Oth Studio

Who Are You?

Get to know each other, do it by an in-person meeting, if you haven't done so already. If your schedules don't allow, at least skype or google chat to communicate with each other. During this face - to face the photographer can get to know your personal style. So much is communicated non-verbally. Are you a graphic designer, a real estate lawyer or an acrobat? Discuss how you met your fiancée and simply tell the photographer a little about yourself. Ask the photographer how he/she got into this field. Discuss your wedding and talk about the details, both of a visionary and logistical nature. Give the photographer a sense of who you are and what you want as a person. Photographers need to know, in advance of your wedding, how, where, who, and what kind of shots are expected to be captured on the day.

christian oth photographers

by Christian Oth

What Do You Look Like?

Definitely do an engagement photo shoot with the photographer. It's great for you to get to know the photographer, and it's best for the photographer to take your best angles. Remember, photographers are visual people, they need a visual reference of yourselves to take great shots. If you can't do an engagement photo shoot for whatever reason, send the photographer some pictures of you - individually and as a couple, as the more information shared with the photographer, the better the results.

What's Your Style?

What's your color scheme, your wedding theme, what will it look like--in seasonal colors? What is your personal style, both everyday, and for your wedding? Will you have a salsa band or Yo-Yo Ma perform at your wedding? Will there be a groom cake at the rehearsal dinner? Will you come in with a pony? I've seen it all. Photographers and their crew need to know these details before the wedding. Obviously, not everything, but the more, the better. It gets the photographer as excited about your wedding as you do. A lot of these details get fleshed out in the planning process and by the time the wedding comes around, another pow-wow with the photographer is on the to-do list.

christian oth photographers

image by Shawn Connell for Christian Oth Studio

How do we handle this at my Studio? We seek out communication with the clients, because we recognize that for all weddings, it’s the human connection expressed at weddings that make the most moving photographic images. This personal meeting is a must. It's the one that is hardest to schedule, because most couples get very busy with family and last minute planning details. So, I always push for at least a phone call, a video chat or a short in person meeting going over the final details. Trust me, this last meeting works wonders in the personal relationship. If for nothing else, the photographer who you might have booked a year ago gets a good refresher just before your wedding.

Often, a wonderful confluence of the factors mentioned above occur at destination weddings, achieving the best photos. Since they tend to be multi-day engagements, the photographer has time to scout the locations, plus, get to know the family and special relationships between the couple and their loved ones.

christian oth photographers

image by Shawn Connell for Christian Oth Studio

We work with brides and a coterie of talented wedding planners, acting as conductors of the orchestration of elements that help make the documentation of the wedding day flawless. We know how timelines affect the photography, regardless of scale the wedding may be. For high-end weddings, no matter how hectic the bride’s schedule becomes, the photographer must still get to know her better to take the best photos. All weddings are moments of one’s lifetime—how many chances do you have to get it right? That’s why these conversations between the photographer, bride and wedding planner build relationships well before the wedding day, and make things picture-perfect.