Camino Real Ranch

The Arlo

We are Joanna & Brett, husband and wife wedding photographers serving madly in love couples who love living in the moment. Serving couples in Texas, Illinois, and nationwide.

Meet Joanna & Brett

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Wedding Planning

So how is wedding planning going? You have your wedding venue all planned out (and it’s the one you have been dreaming about since you were a little girl!), so what’s the next step? Well you have to ask yourself, what is the most aspects of your wedding that absolutely need to be perfect? Is it the dress of your dreams?

Maybe it is the most beautiful flowers for your bouquet and decorations?  Or you want the best photographs of you and your hubby on your wedding day to look at for the rest of your lives. If you read that and said “Absolutely the photography!” then we absolutely love you!

Almost every couple looks for a photographer right after they book their venue. Finding a photographer is something you definitely don’t want to wait very long on doing, wedding photographers fill up their schedules so fast, so you want to make sure you find one near the beginning of your wedding planning.

So where do you even begin to find a photographer.

Well at this point Facebook as probably had random photographers pop up in your Facebook and Instagram news feeds right? It can be a phenomenal tool to help aid you in your search to find all the vendors you need for your wedding day. The one problem is that there are thousands of photographers every where you look. That is so overwhelming!

This is your wedding, there is so much responsibility and trust that you have to give to your wedding photographer, how do you know which is the right one that is going to serve you? Well let’s give you some important things to look for and ask that will take all of that anxiety away.

The Very First Step

So here is a pretty big question we want to ask you. Make sure you are sitting in a quiet place before you answer this. Ready? I want you to close your eyes and envision yourself sitting in your living room 5 years after your wedding. Fireplace is lit, you and your husband are enjoying a romantic evening at home. You pick up your wedding album and open it. What do you see? What memories stick out the most? How do these photographs look and make you feel?

Ok now that you have taken a little time to think about that, you now have a starting point on what you really want to see from your photographer. So you are ready to go out and start contacting photographers right? I see you are giddy but not quite yet! We want you to be confident in what you want when you go to your meeting with your photographer, so what should you be looking for? Well let’s dive right in!

1. What is their Photographic Style?

The first thing you want to look for when you are looking for your photographer is what their photography style is. So think back to that wedding album you were just looking from your big day, how did those pictures look? Were they very bright and fresh, full of happiness and emotion? Were they darker, a little more dramatic and moody? Those are the two most popular styles you will find in wedding photography today.

These styles are known as “Light & Airy” and “Dark & Moody”.

Some photographers may also shoot their weddings with very bold colors, or very desaturated, with very little contrast. Others love that old fashioned “Film” look, as well as photographing the wedding 100% with off camera flashes. So many different ways to see the beauty of your wedding. When you are researching photographers, save some photos to your desktop that appeal to you the most, and see what their similarities are, this will help aid you into finding the photography style that will capture your day the best.


2.What is their “Why”?

After you figure out the photo style you have in mind for your Wedding, next you definitely want to know what fuels their passion to photograph couples and their wedding day. Is it learning about each couple’s unique love story? Is it growing relationships with couple’s and their families? Does the wedding day experience fill their soul with happiness and excitement?

3.Can you see yourself enjoy working with this photographer?

You absolutely love their reason why they got into wedding photography, so will you enjoy working with them? Ask yourself, what kind of photographer do you want covering your wedding day? Everyone photographer is different. You will find photographers that will want to be your best friend! They will be always be available to answer your questions, as well as be genuinely interested in you. On your wedding day, they will make sure that YOU are taken care of and your day goes exactly the way you want it to go.

That can be overwhelming though for some people. There are photographers who are more reserved and tend to keep communication to a minimum. On the wedding day, they are a fly on the wall and only talk to you for the important moments you need to have captured. Whichever personality works with you best, make sure you figure out what will work well with you on your wedding day.

4. How will your Photographer cover your wedding day?

This is a simple thing to ask and it comes down to what photos are most important to you? When you think about your wedding day, do you instantly think of the portraits of you and your groom together? Do you see those special moments from your ceremony and reception? Is it that one portrait of your entire family together for the first time since you were kids?  Or is it the most gorgeous photos of your dress? The best quality for your photographer to have is someone who can balance all of these aspects and then some. Be sure to look for these certain things in each photographer’s portfolio’s so you can check that requirement off your list.

5. Will your wedding photographer take your Engagement photos?

This is something that is overlooked. Often a completely different photographer will  take a couple’s engagement photos. When you are looking for a wedding photographer, one of the most important things you can do is get your engagement photos taken by them. It is so much more than an engagement session, this is a practice run for you. This is the time where you get to see how your photographers work with their clients. You get to learn their posing style, see how they photograph, and become more comfortable with them. This is so beneficial for your wedding day.

When your photographer shows up to your room where you are getting ready, you don’t have that awkwardness that you had the first 15 minutes of your engagement session. That relationship between you and your photographer has already been formed and you know exactly what to expect from them right when they walk in the door!

6. Do you get 1 or 2 photographers on your wedding day?

When you are looking at any photographers investment guide, it is super important to note how many photographers will be covering your wedding. We strongly urge you to have two photographers covering your wedding. This is so important at the beginning of the day as one photographer will be covering the bride getting ready, while the other one is covering the groom getting ready at the same time. There are situations where one photographer may miss a key moment, having two photographers give you the confidence that all of those special moments will be captured.

One thing to remember when looking for your photographer is you want them to have a very good relationship with their 2nd shooter. A lot of photographers will hire a 2nd photographer last minute to help them cover their weddings. That means they have little to no experience working together. This often that leads to poor communication and 2 completely different mind sets on how to cover your wedding. This can result in a loss of quality and a lower photo count for you. So make sure that your photographer has a well established relationship with the photographer they will be working with on your special day.

7.How will your photos be delivered to you?

   After your wedding day, you want to know exactly how you are getting your wedding photos right? Will you be getting the Hi-Resolution digital images? These can be given to you in a variety of ways. The most efficient way is with a online photo gallery. This is a beautiful way to display and share your images of your special day. It is also a very quick way to download your images to your computer or phone. A lot of photographers will also use online photo galleries as an easy way to get the prints you need to hang on your walls. Other photographers may bring you into their office for a big reveal, having some of the best moments of your day printed out for you to see and purchase.

Also make sure to ask what kinds of rights you get with your photographs. Some may only give you the rights to having the digital files, but no printing rights, others may not give you the rights to full resolution files. Those photographers tend to have a cheaper cost for wedding day coverage, but intend to only sell you prints.

Bonus Tips!

Make sure you get a wedding photographer that SPECIALIZES in Weddings! You want someone who pours their life and their soul into their couples, leaving other forms of photography to the rest of the photographers in the world. Think of it this way. If you have a problem with your hearing, do you want to go to a general Doctor or a Endocrinologist? The Endocrinologist who specializes on hearing loss!

You want to make sure your wedding photographer offers prints and from a professional printing lab. After your wedding is over, the first thing you know you are going to want to do is get prints of your beautiful photos. You want to print these photos to put over your fire place, to put on your mantle, to gift to your family, and so much more. The very last thing you want to do after the investment you made in your wedding photography, is have poor quality prints made at a department store.

Photographers work very hard to have relationships with the best print labs in the country. They will of course be more of an investment than the generic print labs you will find at the department store. These photos will be on display in your home for many, many years. You want the print quality that will not age and will look brand new after being on your fireplace for many years.

I know this was so much to take in and you may not even know what to expect a photographers response to all this would be.  Let us show you what we would say!

Hey everyone, we are Joanna and Brett!

We have photographed many different types of subjects during our careers, but we have absolutely fallen in love with serving our couples. Being a Husband and Wife photography team, we know how incredible it is to take the biggest step of our lives to marry the one that god created for us. We know that the photos we take will be shown to your children, and your children’s children. When they look at your photographs, they won’t have to ask if Grandma loved Grandpa. They will see your expressions, they will be able to feel that love and know what you two were feeling that day. Capturing that emotion for someone means the world to us and we know just how much of a responsibility that is, so we put our full hearts into each and every moment we have with you.

The one thing we love the most is  getting to know our couples on a personal level and creating lasting relationships with them. So many of our couples have become very good friends that we spend a great deal of time with months, even years after their wedding day. We love helping you plan your wedding. Joanna always gets texts saying “What do you think about my bouquet?” or “would this be a fun idea for a dance with my nephews?”. We want to love on our couples as much as we possibly can! Our Couples always have access to us whenever any questions about their wedding day comes to their mind.

We have absolutely so much fun working with our couples during their engagement session. That is thee best way for them to learn our posing system, as well as see how well Joanna and I work together. Being a husband and wife photography team gives our clients the best wedding day experience possible. We know exactly how to communicate with each other and work so well as a team. We come into your wedding day with a game plan tailored to what you want and how to expect your wedding day to go. We absolutely love getting hands on and help make the wedding day run smoothly.

We deliver High Res images to our clients in a beautiful online gallery, as well as your own personalized Mobile app! We also have teamed up with one of the best photo print labs in the country, WHCC, to give you the best photo print options available.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. We are so excited for you as you begin this journey to finding the photographer who is going to have the honor of capturing your special day!

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