Guest Blog: How to Pick Your Photographer by Yves Mozelsio of YJM Photography

May 24, 2013


We are so excited to start our guest vendor blogging series! Our first blog post comes from Yves Mozelsio, owner and founder of YJM Photography. Yves has been photographing weddings in some of the leading hotel and reception sites for over 25 years. His award winning photographs have been exhibited nationally, at prestigious museums such as the Wright Museum, Magnes Museum, and Spertus Museum. His studio is conveniently located in the Walnut Creek area of Contra Costa County.  Want to learn more about Yves? Be sure to visit his website, and “like” him on Facebook!

Without further ado, here is some valuable advice from an expert on how to select your photographer!


1. It’s important to not get caught up in the sales approach! Ask the photographer to show one or two complete weddings – preferably of the venue that you are getting married at. Typically this will be 500-800 images from a single event, which should demonstrate how professional and consistent the photographer is throughout the wedding day. Since most studios are digital these days, it shouldn’t be a problem asking to see complete weddings. If a couple is expecting to receive 500 images, they should not be disappointed when only 50-100 images are acceptable to them when they look at the proofs. The more images shot on the day, the better! It’s also worth asking when the proofs are be ready after the wedding – Typically it’s 3-6 weeks.


2. Meeting a photographer at their studio doesn’t necessarily mean that the person you meet with is going to be the photographer who shows up on the wedding day. In the contract, I would recommend the name of the photographer be written in, since many studios have more than one photographer. The photographer should also have liability insurance. There are some venues that require this from their vendors, because if anyone were to get injured by tripping on photo equipment, the couple and venue should not be held responsible. Also, it’s not unreasonable to ask how the photographer will be dressing the day of the wedding.


3. Meet with 3-6 photographers, and don’t be pressured to sign a contract.  At the same time, don’t wait until that last minute to hire one. I recommend hiring a photographer 6 months to a year before their wedding. Also, it is perfectly acceptable for couples to contact the studio with any additional questions after their initial meeting, as well as having a final meeting prior to the wedding to confirm details.  I prefer meeting in person at the studio two weeks before the wedding to finalize everything and create the timeline. Once a timeline has been made, I recommend asking the photographer to send you a copy by email, so you can forward it on to your other vendors. This will help to cut down on mishaps on the day of the wedding. The photographer is probably going to be spending more time with the couple than any other vendor on the wedding day, so good communication and compatibility is key.


4. The wedding day is one of the most important moments in a couple’s life. They should feel comfortable enough to discuss anything with the photographer, especially shooting style. Technically if a photographer captures images digitally, which the majority of us do, ask if the images are to captured in the raw format. The raw format is a much better way of working during the editing process, and will lead to amazing photographs. Once raw images are edited, they can be converted to jpegs for simplicity.

5. Lastly, referrals are always a good way of finding a photographer. If this is not possible, the Internet is a good way of seeing if the photographer is respected by the industry. Just because an individual owns a $5000 digital camera, doesn’t necessarily mean that they know how to use it.

 We want to thank Yves for being our guest blogging guinea pig. Keep checking back to the blog to see some posts from other great vendors in the area!