What to Consider when Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

What to Consider when Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

behind the scenes with Toledo Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen PhotographyWhen choosing your wedding photographer, there are a lot of things you should know. Obviously, you want to know how long the photographer has been in business, how many weddings have they done, what past brides are saying about them, and are they insured. But did you also know you should find out what you are getting for your money?

Shopping for the best wedding photographer can be stressful, and everyone charges differently. Many offer a second photographer in their packages. Some even have an associate photographer shooting weddings while they photograph another wedding. Many offer prints or digital files, and sometimes both. Some include albums while others will even give you a free photo booth or save the date cards just for booking their services! This must be so confusing for you to try to figure out!
fall weddings at Wildwood MetroparkThe truth is, photographers will price their services accordingly to what they need to make to stay in business. This varies greatly.  It may depend on if they are full-time photographers supporting their families.  Is this is a side job for them to make extra money? They also take in to account things like their overhead which includes insurance, payroll, equipment, taxes, and advertising when figuring what they charge per wedding.

So What Do You Get for Your Money?

How did you meet your bridesmaids photo ideas
The bride is a school teacher.  She personalized this image by having her bridesmaids hold little chalkboard signs with how they met the bride.

Something to consider when searching for your photographer is how many digital images will you receive?  Most photographers will give you all your photos.  However, others may only let you see a couple hundred of the photos that are taken.  This saves them time from editing them. How many photos did they take? How do they choose what they show you? What do they do with the rest? Does it cost more to get all the digital images?

You also need to know which pictures you get if you are considering having an album as part of your wedding photography package. Make sure you ask who decides on what goes into the album. Do they give you a chance to decide, or do they pick all the images for you? How many pages will it have? How many photos are included on each page? What size is the album? Do they design it for you before or after you see your images? How much for upgrades or more pages or even a special design of the pages? You will want most of these questions answered before deciding on a photographer.

So what are you paying for exactly?

Fun Wedding Photo with a Dinosaur
Wedding Photography Fun with A Dinosaur Chasing the Wedding Party

First off, you are paying for the photographer’s time and talent on the day of your wedding. That’s a given. Usually, the more experience they have, the higher the price. But, that’s not always the case. I’ve seen award-winning photographers who are very experienced and very well liked by their past clients charge far less than some newer photographers. Again, this all depends on what the photographer feels they need to make to stay in business. It comes down to what is right for them.

You are also paying for all the other things that go into preparing your images. We spend hours editing and organizing all the photos that are taken at your wedding. It is nothing for me to take anywhere between a thousand and 1500 photos at every full wedding that I shoot. It can even be more than that depending on where and what you and your guests do.

Then we give you a USB drive, or prints or whatever is included in the package that you choose. Plus, if you order an album, that takes several more hours to lay it out. It also takes several hours to create the DVD montage of your images and to upload them to your online viewing gallery. If you order prints, then we spend more time getting the images ready, placing the order and we take care of the shipping costs. Your wedding images require a lot of post-production work.

Why offer a second photographer?

Downtown Toledo Wedding Photography by Kurt Nielsen PhotographyThere is a big debate in the photography world about having second photographers.  Did you know that having a second photographer is actually a newer trend? While I have several that I can call upon if needed, I have never actually used any of them. In fact, I have only really wished I had a second photographer once. That was the wedding when I had over 30,000 steps on my Fitbit! I didn’t need a second photographer, but at the end of the day, my feet wished I had used one!

What do you get with a second photographer? Did you know that many photographers that have second “shooters” do not even give you anything from the second photographer? So, why are you paying to have them? Who is their second photographer? Do they use the same one all the time or are they scrambling at the last minute to find one?

Many times, the second photographer is used so that the main photographer can take a break. The two photographers may even take turns shooting, especially at the reception. Not all photographers that have second photographers in their packages are this way.  It is a good thing to find out before you pay the extra money in case the second photographer is not needed.

Apples to Apples

Choosing your Wedding PhotographerWhen it comes to choosing your wedding photographer, make sure you are comparing Apples to Apples, and not Apples to Oranges! As I said earlier, every photographer charges differently. In the end, you need to feel comfortable with the person or persons who will be with you the entire day. That means you need to not only like them enough to have them around all day, you also need to trust that they know what they are doing. You want to feel that what they are giving you is the best value for what you will be paying them.

If any of these things are not a good match for you, it will show in your photos. You will be stressed out and worrying if you made the right decision. Don’t let a bad decision create more stress than you will already have on your wedding day. A good photographer will help take that stress away!
Side Cut Metropark Wedding Portraits by Kurt Nielsen Photography
For more information about Kurt Nielsen Wedding Photography, including pricing, please visit my website at www.kurtnphoto.com.

To contact Kurt to schedule your FREE Wedding Consultation, please call the studio at:

Kurt Nielsen Photography
5431 Schultz Drive
Sylvania, OH 43560
419 885 7153

Feel free to make comments below and/or share this blog post on your favorite social media site. Pin your favorite images to your Pinterest board!

Read what other brides are saying about me on The Knot
and Wedding Wire!

Bridal Show Survival Guide

Bridal Party Photos at the Stables by Kurt Nielsen Photography

Bridal Show Survival Guide
The Best Wedding Photographers in Toledo Ohio
Congratulations on your engagement!!!


If you are just starting to plan your wedding, or if you are still trying to find the perfect wedding specialists to complete your list, you are probably considering attending a bridal show.  If you have never attended one before, it can be quite overwhelming.  Arguably, it’s even overwhelming to the participants who are there to help you.  But it is also the perfect place to meet and talk with, albeit sometimes only briefly, those wedding professionals who can help you on your wedding day.
Bridal Show Survival Tips by Award Winning Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen Photography

Here are a few tips to assist in your bridal show survival.
wedding invitations photographed by Kurt Nielsen Photography
1.  Pre-Register.  Almost all of the bridal shows now allow you to pre-register for the event.  This will save you lots of time from standing in line.  In addition, many also allow you to purchase your tickets online as well.  Of course, purchasing them online will save you even more time.

stone oak country club wedding photographer
2.  Show Up Early.  Bridal shows are very busy and chaotic.  Arriving early means you will be able to get to speak with the wedding professionals before most of the rest of the brides.  This is especially important when your wedding date is the same date that many other brides also want.  Remember that when booking a wedding professional, it is usually a first-come, first-served basis, so if you know you want to book a particular wedding professional, the sooner you do that the better your chances will be of getting your wedding dream team.

detail shots at wedding ceremony
3.  Print Address Labels.  Almost all of the wedding specialists will have some sort of drawing.  Print address labels prior to attending to save time.  Be sure to include your name, email address, phone number and wedding date.  Not only does this save time, but will spare your hand from cramping!

Church Wedding Photographer in Toledo
4.  Know your budget.  Knowing your budget will save you the embarrassment of hiring someone you will not be able to afford and then have to cancel their services.  Keep in mind that most deposits are non refundable to protect the vendor.  Therefore, it’s better for you to spend that money on things that are necessary and that you can afford.  Don’t waste it on the fluff no one will remember.

Toledo Photo Booth
5.  Bring your checkbook!  If you are serious about planning your wedding, you will want to bring your checkbook.  Many wedding professionals do not accept credit card payments.  Therefore, it is wise to bring your checkbook.  This will ensure you get the wedding specialists that you want from the show.

save the date fall engagement photo
6.  Have your calendar available.  If you wish to sit down and meet with your favorite wedding specialists before booking them, you should know when you are available.  Chances are that they have their calendars with them and can schedule an appointment at the show.

Bridal Party Photos at the Stables by Kurt Nielsen Photography
7.  Bring your posse.  Have your mom, your maid of honor, your bridesmaids, and your fiancee come with you.  Bring whoever will be helping you plan your wedding.   (Just be careful not to bring too many people so you don’t get overwhelmed or confused.)  They can help you decide on things and also help carry the massive amounts of literature that you will receive from the show vendors and also help you fill out the drawing entry forms.

candid photos from a real Toledo wedding by Kurt Nielsen Photography
8.  Take notes, pictures and collect as much information as you can.  There will be a lot of things running through your brain and this will help you keep track of what you like.  Accordingly, there will also be a lot of photo booths that you can try out, so be camera ready!

wedding cake cutting gone horribly wrong
9.  Eat before you go.  No one likes it when you are hangry.  There will be small, almost bite-sized, food samples at the show.  But, they are just samples and not enough to fill you up.  It’s a good idea to eat lunch before the show to help keep your mind focused.

champagne toast in back of limo as captured by Kurt Nielsen Photography
11.  Bring something to drink.  You will be talking to a lot of people and your mouth will get very dry.  For that reason, you should bring something that will quench your thirst and keep you going.

red converse wedding shoes with artificial rose and baseball roses bouquet
12.  Wear comfortable shoes!  Your entire bridal show survival could depend on your feet comfort level!  You will be doing a lot of walking and standing.  There will not be any seating areas provided in the venue.  Therefore, it’s important to wear something comfortable and supportive.

fun halloween photo of bride and groom being chased by blow up frankenstein
13.  Don’t get pressured into booking at the show!  There will be many eager brides ready to find the one perfect wedding professional for their special day.  And there will also be many eager wedding professionals ready to fill their calendars with weddings.  Don’t let their overzealous antics force you into a contract that you aren’t ready to sign.

bride being pushed on a tree swing by the flower girls
14.  Have fun!  Don’t forget to have fun at the bridal show!  After all, this is what you have dreamed of and worked for your whole life.

sun's out, guns out bridal pose at real perrysburg weddingIf you have recently become engaged and are looking for a wedding photographer and/or photo booth, I will be at the Sounds of Music DJs Superbowl of All Bridal Shows on Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, January 28 from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. I will be located at The Premier on Heatherdowns.  Don’t forget to stop by and say hi and check out my photography and my photo booth! Here is a map of the layout and where I will be.
Toledo Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen Photography will be at The Premier for the Sounds of Music DJs Superbowl of All Bridal Shows
Use these tips to get the most out of the bridal expo! Happy planning!
Toledo Wedding and Engagement Photographer - Kurt Nielsen Photography

For more information about Kurt Nielsen Wedding Photography, including pricing, please visit my website at  www.kurtnphoto.com.

To check for availability and schedule your FREE Wedding consultation, please call:

Kurt Nielsen Photography
5431 Schultz Drive
Sylvania, OH 43560
419 885 7153

Feel free to make comments below and/or share this blog post.  Help spread the word and pin this image to your Pinterest board!

Destination Wedding – Toledo Wedding Photographer – Ashley and Eric

Destination Wedding

Toledo Wedding Photographer

Ashley and Eric

Destination Wedding - Toledo Wedding Photographer - Ashley and EricAshley and Eric chose Charlevoix, Michigan for their destination wedding in May because that is their favorite vacation spot. This beautiful little tourist town with an actual population of about 2,500 sits between Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix. The rich history can be found throughout the town and especially in the downtown area where the Weathervane Terrace Inn was.  That is the hotel where most of the wedding guests and I stayed.

The Wedding Rehearsal

For Destination Weddings, I always arrive the night before. This ensures that I get to where ever I need to be in time on the day of the wedding. If possible, I try to arrive before the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner and photograph them as part of My Destination Wedding package.  Ashley and Eric’s rehearsal was at their wedding venue, Dhaseleer Event Barn.

The ceremony was up on the hilltop overlooking the beautiful rolling hills of the countryside.  The rehearsal was also on the hilltop which was already for the next day’s wedding ceremony.  The rehearsal dinner was held at the Antrim-Newman Cottage that was rented for the week.  This was one of the cottages where some of the family stayed for the wedding.
fun at the wedding rehearsal groom and his parents walking down the aisle during the rehearsal father of the bride walking the bride down the aisle at the wedding rehearsal wedding ceremony rehearsal at Dhaseleer Event Barn in Charlevoix, Michigan carry out lazagna wedding rehearsal dinner ideas gifts for the parents of the bride gifts for the parents of the groom wine bottle wind chime wedding present that is a wine bottle wind chime watch for the groom's gift from the bride locket necklace Antrim-Newman Cottage in Charlevoix, MichiganCan you guess how many weddings I photographed of the people in the next picture? If you said all three of the couples, you would be correct!
past wedding couples photographed by Kurt Nielsen Photography

The Wedding Day

The next morning, I met Ashley at Panache Hair Studio in Downtown Charlevoix.  This was where Ashley had her hair done by the owner, Beckah.  Panache’s apprentice Laura did Ashley’s makeup.
wedding hair comb Panache Hiar Studio Charlevoix bridal hair accessories happy bride at Panache Hair Studio Charlevoix make up by Laura at Panache Hair Studio wedding eyelashesAfter the hair salon, we headed back to the cottage where Ashley was staying. I took a few shots of Ashley’s jewelry, shoes and her DIY wooden flowers bouquet on the front porch of the nautical themed rental cottage.
wedding shoes that match the bride's bouquet morganite and rose gold wedding bands it's your day wedding and engagement rings do it yourself wooden flower bouquet wedding day jewelry diamond drop earrings for the bride it's your day ceramic tile ceramic frogs for your wedding day navy blue pink paradox london peep toe shoes navy blue satin bridal shoes do it yourself wooden flower bouquetAfter a quick food run to get the bride a little something for lunch, I headed over to the cottage where the groom and his family were getting ready.  The groom’s tux was from Ticknors Men’s Clothier.  His blue socks with pink flamingos and palm trees fit Eric’s personality to a tee!
Ticknors Men's Clothier Navy Blue Tuxedo groom's shoes and belt men's watch from Citizen bloody mary in the morning gift for the groom socks for the groom help for the groom as he gets ready groom and his mother beach pillow

The Wedding Venue

After the groom was ready, I headed over to Dhaseleer Event Barn where I met up with the bride. Ashley was ready to finally put on her wedding dress from Atlas Bridal Shop. The venue had a little room hidden away from the reception area where the bride was able to finish getting ready and still be hidden away from the wedding guests that were arriving.
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The Wedding Ceremony

Finally, it was time for the ceremony to start. Of course, it had been absolutely beautiful all morning. When it came time for the ceremony to begin, the skies got cloudy and the wind began to pick up. It was definitely chilly up on that hill! The groom’s uncle performed the short ceremony. After the guests threw their flower petals at the bride and groom, they scurried down the hill and into the rustic barn where the reception was held. The bride and groom and their immediate families stayed back to get a few photos.
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The Wedding Reception

After our photo excursion to downtown Charlevoix, it was time to head back to the barn for the reception. We stopped outside to take a few more shots then headed in for the party. The grand entrance was followed by dinner. The bride and groom chose to serve pies from Grand Traverse Pie Company instead of cake. Their dances were in reverse order. They started with the groom dancing with his mother. Then the bride danced with her father. Finally, the bride and groom had their first dance as husband and wife. Gregg from Bugbee’s DJ Plus kept the crowd dancing all night long. The couple even had a special guest sing Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” to them. Dhaseleer Events Barn Charlevoix, Michigan Dhaseleer Events Barn Ticket Booth bride and groom's grand entrance signing of the wedding license log wedding centerpieces michigan berry pie from Grand Traverse Pie Company Grand Traverse Pie Company Cherry Pie custom wedding cake cutter mother of the groom dance mother son wedding dance father of the bride dance dancing with your father at your wedding father and daughter wedding dance shall we dance happily ever after the first dance for the bride and groom a kiss for the bride wedding celebration a little slice of pie dhaseleer Events Barn Wedding receptions bride and mother of the groom dancing bugbee's dj plus keeps the party going kids at a wedding gregg from Bugbee's DJ Plus in action the groom on the dance floor Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville last dance of the nightCongratulations Ashley and Eric. Thank you for allowing me to capture the memories of your wedding day!
the best day everyFor more information about Kurt Nielsen Wedding Photography, including pricing, please visit my website at: www.kurtnphoto.com.

To contact Kurt to schedule your FREE Wedding Consultation, please call the studio at:

Kurt Nielsen Photography
5431 Schultz Drive
Sylvania, OH 43560
419 885 7153

Feel free to make comments below and/or share this blog post on your favorite social media site. Pin your favorite images to your Pinterest board!

Read what other brides are saying about me on The Knot
and Wedding Wire!