The Vendor Vault: Victoria Isabel Photography

YOU MAY STICK THE TOP TIER OF YOUR CAKE IN THE FREEZER, HANG ONTO A PIECE OF YOUR BOUQUET & PRESERVE YOUR GOWN – BUT WHEN THE RECEPTION ENDS, THE ONLY TRUE MEMORIES THAT ARE FROZEN IN TIME ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHS.

Victoria Tate, professional photographer, dog mom & capturer of all things beautiful explains why she began the business, the importance of getting fabulous photos and how to ensure an incredible variety shots from your big day:

VICTORIA, HOW DID YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY?

V: When I first picked up the camera, I was photographing varsity wrestling for my high school. When I got to college, the fun followed, but I went from photographing guys in singlets to men in uniform. I never grew up or even went to college thinking of being a photographer. I honestly didn’t know the “job” existed and just assumed you were “born into it.” However, in Spring 2012, a couple asked me to take their engagement photos and from there I was hooked. Even though my love for sports photography continued, my obsession for couples and love stories became incomparable. That very same couple asked me to photograph their wedding and of course I said yes. It was crazy because I had zero idea of what I was doing and not going to lie, I had never attended a wedding up to that point. I researched, watched YouTube videos, read blogs, and more. On the day of the wedding, some things happened and for some reason I loved taking on the stress instead of the bride having to deal with it. At the end of that day, I knew this is where I wanted to be. That feeling of helping someone for an entire day and taking on their stress made me feel alive. I love the fact that I get to spend months helping someone prepare for this amazing day then on that day, help carry their dress, fix their veil, give the groom a confidence boost, hand him a napkin to wipe down his sweaty palms, laugh, cry, and celebrate the new Mr. and Mrs.

SPEAKING OF THOSE SENTIMENTAL MOMENTS – CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE WHOLE “UNPLUGGED WEDDING” CONCEPT & WHY BRIDES SHOULD CONSIDER IT?

V: This is major in this industry. An unplugged wedding is when you are asking your guests {usually in a cute way by displaying a sign that you took time to make} to put away their phones, cameras, and any form of technology. When the couple is requesting this, they are asking for one simple thing: respect. It’s only for the ceremony, so that’s 30 – 45 minutes of zero gadgets… piece of cake. The reason why this is so important is because as the photographer and videographer, we are PAID to be the ones to capture the big day, not you.

Sure you want to get some photos and post them on social media to get those “likes” and “hearts” but is it really worth ruining a photo over?

As the appointed crafter of those moments, we expose an image so the lighting is perfect. Your flash goes off and now it’s just a white screen of nothing and overexposed. Getting that epic down the aisle shot of the first kiss? All of a sudden Uncle Leroy decides to step out too far into the aisle and block all the action. This is what an unplugged wedding solved. Zero electronics = zero distractions.

HOW SHOULD A COUPLE DECIDE IF THEY WANT AN UNPLUGGED CEREMONY?

V: The biggest thing with this is the amount of guests and the size of the ceremony location. Do you have a lot of guests that are in their twenties and love social media? Yup, then have an unplugged wedding because you KNOW they will focus more on their followers then you. From experience, the older generation is just as bad, especially family members. They bring their “fancy” cameras, iPads, and cell phones. They try and take pics of their “babies” and think that since they are family the sign doesn’t apply. Well, if you know that your guests have multiple electronics, then stop them from getting them out before it’s too late and they’ve ruined the job of the ones you paid for.

HOW SHOULD A BRIDE LET HER GUESTS KNOW THAT THE CEREMONY IS UNPLUGGED?

V: There are multiple ways to get this point across. Of course, the most common way is to make a big, attractive sign at the entrance to the ceremony. MAKE people see it as they enter and draw their attention to it. Something that I suggest is to also put the information on their wedding website. The Knot and WeddingWire have phenomenal templates and have multiple spots where “unplugged wedding” would look good. Lastly, make it a part of your invitation sweet. Whether it’s on the accommodations card, simply placed on the invitation, or on the RSVP, it can be made known elegantly.

PLEASE DISH ON A SITUATION IN WHICH TECHNOLOGY RUINED A WEDDING DAY MOMENT?

V: PRAISE THE LORD this has never been an issue for me and the weddings I’ve shot. Sure, you can’t stop everyone from getting their phones out, but when they have seen a sign, they at least try to be sneaky about it. I always like to call those people out though by capturing a photo of them because my wandering eyes always notice the screens. I’ve taken phones from kids and put them down and I’ve asked that cousin with their nice camera to take mine while I sit and adore. As for weddings I’ve been to as a guest, wow! I always take my camera, however, I’m always aware as to where the photographer is and I don’t keep it out the whole time and I don’t record a thing. One instance that I will remember forever is a very close friend’s wedding. The photographer was set up for the most romantic first kiss as husband and wife. Then, right as the groom took his bride for the perfect dip, grandpa decided his phone could do better and stepped right out in the middle. LUCKILY, I snagged the shot phone free. THE FIRST KISS. What are people thinking?! Another wedding I was at, I was sitting and taking it all in, I took a second to glimpse at the photographer and in that moment I saw a kid get excited about something on his phone and knock the camera guy over. Just no.

WHAT FACTORS SHOULD BRIDES CONSIDER FOR THE BEST WEDDING PHOTOS?

V: Time of day and timeline are everything. This 100% goes with tips to make the day easier on us photographers. Weather, it’s important – but we can’t predict, control, or fight it. Rain pics can be solved with cute umbrellas, hot days can be solved with shade, and late at night shots are assisted with flash.

Now down to time and timeline. These are huge. Ceremonies done too late in the day cause everyone getting to the reception fast which means zero time in between the ceremony and reception for the recessional, group shots, family formals, and private portrait time… not to mention time spent traveling from ceremony to reception and also wherever you wish to have your photos done.

If you have the ceremony too early then the sun will be beaming and your reception might end at an awkward time, but you’d definitely be guaranteed your coverage. Below are what WE as photographers would see as the perfect wedding day…


11:00 Bride Starts Hair and Makeup
12:30 Groom starts getting ready
1:00 Bride puts on dress!
1:30 Arrive to Church
2:30 Ceremony
3:15 Ceremony Ends
3:20 Recessional/Thank You’s Begin
3:40 Recessional/Thank You’s Ends – Family Formals Begin
4:00 Family Formals End – Bridal Party Group shots Begin
4:30 Bridal Party Group shots End – Private Portraits with Bride and Groom Begin
5:00 Private Portraits with Bride and Groom Ends
5:15 Reception Introductions
5:30 EAT, DRINK, and BE MARRIED!
6:00 Toasts, Dances, Games, and more!

SCHEDULE TIPS: BRIDES, ALWAYS SHOOT FOR STARTING BEAUTY AT 10:30 BECAUSE SOMEONE WILL ALWAYS BE LATE. SOME BRIDAL PARTY SHOTS CAN BE DONE BEFORE THE CEREMONY IF THE BRIDAL PARTY IS READY ON TIME.


ANY ADVICE FOR COUPLES ON MAKING THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOB AS STRESS-FREE AS POSSIBLE?

V: If you’re a bride and you’re wanting to have your private portraits and other photos taken somewhere that isn’t the ceremony or reception, then PLEASE find that spot ahead of time. Like, weeks ahead… MONTHS. Do not throw this onto your photographer/videographer last minute or the day before or give them extra homework. Also, PLEASE let us help you schedule your wedding day. Personally, there’s a reason why all my brides have told me that their wedding day was the most comfortable wedding day. Lastly, if you plan to have a fast paced wedding, with everyone getting ready in different locations, ceremony/reception distances away, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get a second shooter. Photographers have lists of second shooters who are ready to help out and even though it may cost you a little extra, would you rather know you have the full day captured or risk rushing around and missing something? Don’t put yourself in this position. It’s not worth it.

CONTACT VICTORIA

MMW VENDOR SEAL: THIS VENDOR WAS ACTUALLY USED BY MEG IN REAL LIFE.

{images: victoriaisabelphotography.com}

meg's modern weddings FLOWER

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