referrals for photographers

Bring out the best in your wedding party through photos

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

After all is said and done on your wedding day, you walk away with only three things that you’ll keep forever: your spouse, your memories, and your photos. The importance of wedding photography cannot be overstated. As a nationally recognized wedding photographer, I’ve learned firsthand the things that can take wedding photography from good to great, and three ways that you can do to help.

Meet with your wedding photographer & let him know what you want

How To Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Photography

1. Meet With Your Photographer BEFORE the Wedding

I know that during the wedding-planning season you have to meet with everyone from the florist, to the baker, to the candlestick maker, and that the thought of one more meeting might put you over the edge. But let me assure you, this is the meeting will pay the largest dividends.

Here’s why: Being the focal point of every shot for an entire day can feel, well, awkward. Unless you have a background in acting or modeling, it’s completely normal to feel a little shy around the camera. The actuality is that it’s not the camera you’re apprehensive around, it’s actually the person behind the camera. That makes sense if you’ve never met the person you’re trusting to document the most important day of your life! Connecting with your photographer before the event will:

  • Break the ice: so that on the wedding day when you see your photographer for the first time you won’t have to introduce yourself, but instead will feel like you’re seeing an old friend who has come to your wedding to celebrate with you.
  • Personalize your photos: During your initial meeting, you’re helping the photographers to get to know you and your fiancé: what makes the two of you tick, what you care about, and what is most important to you about your wedding day. Your photographers love capturing love; they would not be in the business if they didn’t. By letting your photographers know you as a couple, you are enabling them to capture your love story, not just another wedding.

Your wedding photos should be an expression of you

If meeting in-person is impractical, no worries! It’s 2017, Ladies and Gentlemen. Your initial meet up is a Facetime or Skype call away.

Bonus Tip:  If possible, scheduling an engagement session, bridals, or even rehearsal dinner shoot, will allow you to really get a feel for what the experience will be like when you’re in front of the camera all day.

Good lighting needed for great B/W or color

Good light makes photos great

2. Look For Good Light

Here’s a photographic myth buster: fantastic images aren’t contingent upon equipment, or the subject, or even the photographer behind the camera; fantastic images are contingent on good light. Clearly, it’s the photographers’ job to take amazing images and find the great light to do so, but you can help by asking yourself one question: Where is the light source? As you choose your venue, where you will get ready, where you will take family photos, evaluate the quality of the light and remember these two things:

  • Window light is AMAZING! Not too bright, not too dark, just right.
  • Natural light, as in from the sun, (Halogen bulbs do not count as natural) will make everyone look gorgeous.

Bonus Tip: Be familiar with your venue before the wedding day. Keep good light in mind as you decide where to get ready, where you want to have your first look etc.

Good photo capture the mystery of your love

Great photos let your love shine through

3. Serve Honey!

Weddings are stressful for everyone. And your photographers will wear several hats on your wedding day. I do EVERYTHING I can to help make the day perfect by getting every shot, being everywhere at once, cheerleading and corralling, carrying the bouquet and my cameras; I’ve got to be fun, but also efficient, flexible, but also strict with the schedule. I do this for my brides because I genuinely want their day to be the best. With that said, my suggestion is to be nice. Say ‘thank you’ throughout the day. I guarantee that your photographers will be far more willing to stay a little longer, get that one last shot, go the extra mile editing for the couples who pour out the honey of kindness and appreciation, rather than the stinging vinegar of complaints.

Bonus Tip: Show your appreciation by referring your to friends and family!

Capture the moment through photos

Looking for a creative way to fund your honeymoon or wedding expenses, such as photography? Set up a Honeyfund honeymoon register today.

Photo credits:  Photos copyright by

Bio: Ben Hartley, the lead photographer from Style & Story Creative Team, is part of the team that prides itself on telling your story of your love through beautifully crafted wedding photos. Our goal is to let our creative vision perfectly capture your event so that your joy shines through every photo. Considering ourselves your “Memory Machine,” we strive to capture the personality of each couple in not just the usual wedding shots but the otherwise forgotten moments. After building a relationship with each of our clients, we deliver the unexpected perspectives only possible from photographers who clearly know their subjects.

For information, check our website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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You wedding photographer in action
This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Time and time again I am so overly blessed by my clients… whether it be through words, actions, or a physical gift. I have friends and clients saying to me “I really want to thank my photographer for what they did and how they captured us! What can I do for them?” So, I decided I would put together the top 5 things that clients have done for me in the past that made me feel like a million bucks!

Five Ways To Thank Your Wedding Photographer

Wedding thank you toast

NUMBER 5:  Thanking them at your wedding!

Wow, just last weekend a bride and groom got up after speeches and gave the proper verbal “Thank You’s” to all their friends and family for all the work they put in… THEN they didn’t stop there… they literally said to their guests  “You have seen our photographers running around all day and we want to thank Tonie Christine Photography from the bottom of our hearts for being more than just a photographer, but a confidence booster, a dress fluffer and such a joy to work with from start to finish” …

Queue the jaw dropping right there! I was so so so honored to be mentioned by name on their wedding day that I fear I looked like a Miss USA Contestant fanning my dropped jaw… but really, people,… even a hand written note mailed to us after the wedding, or a shout out at the wedding goes SUCH a long way!

Photographing the bride & groom

Number 4: A TIP!

Many people don’t realize how much a tip means to us as photographers! The money that you invest in us is a big deal and we are so thankful you chose US…. but here’s the thing… a tip speaks volumes to us. It says

1.) You value the hard work we do before the wedding, at the wedding and then after the wedding and

2.) It says “We want you to treat yourself to something nice with this tip and not just put it back into your business!”

This means we have the freedom to grab a massage, manicure, or that new top we have been eying and not even feel guilty about it! Not to mention each time I am given a tip, it makes me melt inside. It’s certainly not necessity, but if you feel like your photographer went above and beyond, it’s never to late to mail them a little note and a small tip! I am not even talking about a certain percentage or a package price or what you would pay a server… I just mean whatever is on your heart to bless them with DOES NOT go unnoticed!

Thank you flowers

Number 3: Something Personal.

One of my favorite things to do is scour friends’ Instagram accounts and Facebook pages for things they love, not just Starbucks gift cards, camera paraphernalia or something generic but to really look and find something unique that you see they LOVE! (Of course, it’s not a bad thing to do a Starbucks card as we as photographers frequent coffee shops!)

Knowing that your photographer’s favorite candle came from Anthropologie, or that they eat all the time at a certain restaurant in town near you, or better yet, that they love to display certain colors in their home, can really go a LONG way when buying them a small gift that makes you think of them!

My favorite example of this is a bride of mine last summer who knows I have an undying love for all things black and white and gold… After her wedding day, she literally went back to the boutique where she bought her bridesmaids gifts, and bought an additional black and gold necklace just like  she bought for all of them and mailed it to me with a card that simple read “I felt like you could have been a bridesmaid all day with us, and instead you were working all day. Thank you for being not only our photographer, but our friend” WHOA… queue the tears! (Thanks Ari!! )

Promote your photographer on social media

Number 2: Social Media Shout Outs And Rave Reviews Online Anywhere!

These go a LOOONG way with us as photographers! We send you your gallery of images that we have worked hard on ,and we wait, holding our breath, wanting to either hear back from you via email or see a totally rad post online somewhere! When you tag our businesses (not us personally) on Instagram or Facebook and leave our website addresses when you post wedding photos, your friends and family respond to that! They look us up and they follow us too! This is how we gain our advertising and new clients which leads to my number one gift to give your photographer…

We love referrals!!


Past Clients, we can’t thank you enough for being our clients and when you send us a referral of a friend or two, we know that we did our job and we did it well. It’s truly the BEST thing you can do for your photographer. To simply tell your friends and family about the experience you had with us and what it meant to you!

It’s my hope that my clients NEVER feel obligated to do any of these, and that they flow naturally from our relationship that starts at the consult all the way through the end of your shoot and wedding day that leaves you with great anticipation of seeing your photos when they are done. I am truly and constantly blessed by our clients!

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Bio: For the bride who doesn’t just walk the aisle, but blazes her own trail, Tonie is a Seattle-based photographer who travels to where you are. Her heart desires to work with brides who are not afraid of stepping outside their comfort zone for a dance in the rain, a romp under a waterfall or a blustery day that might put wind in her hair! She isn’t afraid of logistics on her wedding day, and wants to make her photos a MEMORY and not just settle for what is right in front of her. Find out more about her here at

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