This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about the importance of finding the right vendors to work with on your wedding day. While the experience and decorations you see on the day of your wedding is important, having the right photographer to capture all those special moments is also so important!
For this blog post, we interviewed Kristen Taylor of Kristen Taylor & Co, one of our favorite wedding photography companies.
Hi Kristen! Introduce yourself. Tell us about your background.
I’m Kristen Taylor, the owner of a modern wedding photography company that is bigger than I ever imagined it would be and comprised of more talented, kind, and dedicated people than I ever thought possible. And my personal life rocks too, with an awesomely hilarious husband and our sweet and giggly five-year-old daughter. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how fortunate and grateful I am for everything that I have in my life.
I began my career working at a large advertising agency in Los Angeles after graduating from the University of California at San Diego. I fell in LOVE with weddings as I planned my own in 2001, and it was then that I knew that weddings were my true jam.
Describe the service Kristen Taylor & Co provides clients.
With four Lead Photographers from which to choose, a studio storefront, and a full-time production crew, we provide the benefits that come from a larger company (such as efficiency, availability, and teamwork) while still providing the boutique-style of service and the personal interaction of a smaller company. We shoot only weddings because we LOVE them, and we provide a high level of talent, style, customer service, and class.
What inspires your work?
We’re inspired by, actually more like obsessed with, making everyone we photograph look like the absolute BEST version of themselves. We want everyone to see their photos and think, “wow, I looked amazing that day!” Of course all of the emotion and meaningful moments during a wedding day are super important too, and we capture all of that as well.
How soon should a couple book their photographer for their wedding?
Anyone who really values photography should book their photographer as soon as they possibly can so they have the largest selection of available photographers from which to choose. About half of the weddings we shoot are booked a year or more in advance, and a quarter are booked nine months out.
What questions should couples be asking when shopping around?
I believe that couples should select their wedding photographer with their heart and choose the one to whom they FEEL the most drawn in terms of artistic style and personality, rather than choosing with their head and treating the selection process like a job interview. However, asking questions is definitely still a good idea! But, rather than a generic list of questions from a wedding planning guide, here are the ones they should be asking instead…
- Do your cameras have two memory card slots and do you write to two cards when you shoot so that there’s an immediate backup of every photo? (Many photographers don’t, but we ALWAYS do! Memory cards can corrupt without warning and issues can happen during file transfer to the computer.)
- Do you thoroughly back up the files, including a backup to an off-site location and/or the cloud? (Again, you’d think this is a standard practice, but it’s not. This shouldn’t happen but it does, although it never has and never will to us because we have a fail-proof system in place and we’re incredibly thorough.)
- All of the simple questions like “How many photographers are at each wedding?”, “What’s included in the package?”, “Is sales tax included in the price?”, etc., should be explained in the provided pricing booklet so that they don’t even need to be asked. But if they’re not, ask those things too!
What do couples need to think about when booking their photographer?
Be sure to LOVE the style of a photographer’s wedding photos, as that’s the best indicator of how they’ll shoot yours.
View tons of their work (their blog is often a good place!) to check for consistency across every wedding and their ability to shoot in all situations (especially indoors in low-light situations because that’s the toughest).
Feel like you TRUST that the photographer has high standards for themselves and their work, and that they listen and truly care about your wants and needs (readings reviews helps with this).
Finally, know that in most cases you really do get what you pay for. Most of the horror stories I’ve heard happened because the couple hired a cheap photographer, the couple didn’t view enough of the photographer’s work to spot the red flags, or because the photographer had low standards in general and simply didn’t care enough about their clients.
What shots should couples prioritize on the big day? Any they can/should avoid?
This is up to each couple, and every couple is different. We learn A LOT about every one of our couples, we take very detailed notes, and we cater our shooting toward each couples’ needs and wants… because we’re all about making EVERY couple happy. We’ve had couples that felt it was important to do 50 combinations of family formals, ones that chose to have their bridal party photographed for numerous hours at a variety of locations, and ones who just wanted to get a few quick and great posed photos so they could spend more time with their guests during their wedding. We do let them know in advance how their choices will impact their photography (whether positively or negatively), but mostly we listen to find out what is most important to them so we can best make them happy.
Thank you, Kristen, for giving us some insight into your style and what couples should look for when booking their wedding photographer. If you want to find out more about booking Kristen Taylor & Co for your wedding, or see more of her work, find them here:
In studio (by appointment only): 945 N. Main St., Royal Oak, 48067