Monday, July 19, 2010

Wedding Photography Inside with Avalon Portrait Studio

We all want important life moments — like getting married — to be perfect. We’re featuring the Wedding Professionals who are dedicated to making Cheryl and Wayne’s October wedding with Wedding Wishes  --- a dream come true.

Last week I met with Steve Twist, owner of Avalon Portrait Studios, joining us was  his studio partner Alicia Hayes. The goal was to get an insight for all you engaged couples out there on what the Wedding Photography business looks like from their point of view.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A:  The challenge in today’s Wedding Photography business is the notion that anyone with a digital camera can take your pictures for your wedding. “The CAMERA doesn’t take the picture!” Alicia quickly chimes in. “It’s way beyond the correct lens exposure.” Steve shares that: “You only get one shot to capture the moments of a couple’s wedding day; you have to have lots of experience to overcome the obstacles of the day: weather, malfunctioning equipment or a situational obstacle.” Both Steve and Alicia stress the importance of their experience behind the camera in hundreds of weddings that gives them the knowledge to the memories of your day.

Q: What are a few mistakes engaged couples sometimes make when choosing their photographer?

A: The current economy positions PRICE as the primary decision at the top of the list. The result is that today’s Wedding Photographers are very sensitive to their prospective client’s economic situation; many have developed creative finance arrangements. Steve reminds us “what you take home after you swallowed the cake and danced the dance is the images your Wedding Photographer captures of your day.”  Your wedding celebration is not the time to worry about price.

Q: What things should a couple look for, look at, when selecting a Wedding Photographer?

A: Do you and the Photographer have good rapport? You don’t have to be BFFs, but you must feel comfortable planning to have them be central to your wedding day. Do you get along? Does the Photographer understand you and what is important to you as a couple? Have you reviewed the Photographer’s body of work? Look through everything you can, including wedding styles quite different from yours. Do you see friends or acquaintance in those pictures? Ask them about the Photographer? If you are still unsure, ask for referrals from current clients.


Q: What is the one thing a couple should splurge on when booking with you?

A: Both Steve and Alicia immediately respond with a “wall portrait!” After the albums have been looked at, shared with family and friends and begin gathering dust on the coffee table, a beautiful portrait of the two of you, on the wall, is something that can be enjoyed daily.  They also love doing custom-designed albums for their wedding couples; “they are completely beautiful keepsakes.”

Q: What is the worst story you have heard about a mistake someone in your industry has made?

A: “Oh, that’s easy!” says Steve. “We hear so many stories about professional photographers treating brides and grooms rudely and disrespectfully.”  Or, even worse, explains Alicia --- someone they have never met shows up to “do” the wedding.

Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in contracts with their photographer?

A: Many couples are really intimidated by the contract, but it is very important because it clarifies all the expectations of both the couple and the Wedding Photographer. The contract details everything thing that you are paying for. The contract also spells out the entire payment schedule, the details, the deliverables and logistics.

Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?

A: “I want to assure them that they can trust us,” declares Steve. “Your wedding is the most important day you have ever had.” We encourage the couple to relax, quit posing, and to have a ball”

Thanks for your time, Steve and Alicia. It was fun getting to know you better.

Steve has photographed brides and grooms and their weddings for 24 years. Alicia has worked with Steve for more than 10 years. I have had the pleasure of working with Steve and Alicia at a number of professional wedding industry events. It is impressive to know that the team at Avalon, including Becky, has worked together for years. This is the second season Avalon Portrait Studio has been selected to photograph the Wedding Wishes couple.

2667 Alamo Avenue
Chico, CA 95973
for appointments: (530) 891-3442

This interview is part of a series that will include many of the Wedding Professionals who are a part of the 2010 Wedding Wishes event.

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