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4 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer from San Diego Photographer Marisa McDonald Photography

It seems like just yesterday  I was preparing for my own wedding (OK, really it was like 12(!!!) years ago!). At the time I had just graduated from law school was also studying for the bar exam and wedding planning was a welcome distraction. Good news: I managed to pass the bar AND the wedding was everything I hoped it would be! I still remember reading through magazines, searching the web, reading the forums trying to figure out everything I needed to know to coordinate this once in a lifetime day…and at times it could get quite overwhelming. Let’s be honest…those magazines are a bit much sometimes, am I right?! As someone who’s been there and who now has an expertise to share (photography!), I thought I’d share my top 4 questions to ask your wedding photographer in hopes that it will help someone save a little time and cut to the heart of the matter!

When you ask these questions, I recommend you keep them open ended and just listen and observe to see if your expectations match. You’re trying to find out if you’re a good fit!

#1 Can I see your portfolio?

OK, this might be an obvious one but this is so important! Don’t just look at the wedding dress or the location or other variable elements. Look at the style and quality of the pictures! I often saw wedding magazines recommending that you ask photographers about their equipment. As a person who is not an expert on photography, its unlikely that it is going to mean much to you if I tell you that I have a Canon Mark D IV and a Canon 50m 1.2. But you know what is meaningful?! Whether or not you love the pictures my equipment produces! What do you love about it? Is it sharp? Is it vibrant? Do the skin tones look normal? Are the portraits very formal or very casual or a mixture? Does it look like something you’d want to hang on your wall? If there are nighttime portions of your wedding, be sure that you have seen nighttime/reception work in their portfolio and make sure you love it too! If you are comparing between two photographers, pull up their online portfolios in two separate tabs and flip back and forth. How are they the same? How are they different?

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#2 What are your precautions for protecting the images of my big day?

Believe it or not, sometimes the unthinkable happens and wedding pictures are lost! What are some things you want to hear from your wedding photographer to make sure you never get that devastating news? 1) You want a wedding photographer who works with a second shooter. If one camera or memory card fails, at least there is another one covering your event! 2) You want a wedding photographer with a camera that has two slots for memory cards to write at the same time. 3) You want a wedding photographer with a backup camera. 4) You want a wedding photographer who will immediately backup images to two locations after your wedding.

#3 What can I expect as we work together?

How will we reserve our date with you? When will we talk to each other leading up to the wedding and after the wedding? When will we receive our final images? Think about what kind of communication you’d like to have with your photographer. Would you like to have a contract memorializing your agreements? Would you like to meet with them before your wedding? Would you like to have an engagement session with them? How often would you like to hear from them? Would you like them to play a part in planning your wedding day timeline? When would you like to receive your images?

#4 What is included and what else do you offer?

You’ll want to know how many hours of coverage are included and what type of finished product you’ll receive. Are digital images included? Are prints or an album included? Does the photographer sell additional time or service or products? What are the prices for any additional offerings? Asking about what else the photographer offers should help you understand what is included (and what isn’t)! Its important to understand the full cost of what you want!

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Alright, there you have it! My top 4 questions that I hope will provide some meaningful answers for you as you search for your wedding photographer! If you’d like to consider me for your big day, I’d be happy to schedule a meeting and answer these questions (and more!) for you! I am based in Southern California, but willing to travel! You can read more about weddings with MMP over here!

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San Diego Wedding Photographer: Julian California Boho Wedding at Gorgeous Sacred Mountain

Natasha and Jordan are about to make you swoon! Capturing the story of their love was a huge honor. The gorgeous location and details were just icing on the cake!

As you’re about to see this day was planned to perfection by Taylor’d Southern Events. Sacred Mountain Julian with nothing added would be amazing from the word “Go.” Each area of the resort is full of charm and a beauty that overwhelms the soul. Add to that the breathtaking flowers by JLH Blooms to the perfectly styled elements by CC Vintage Rentals and Feather and Figs and I was absolutely floored. The amazingly unique cake by Eat Your Cake too was divine.

The girls looked gorgeous in their Oleg Cassini gowns thanks to hair and makeup by Jennifer with Buetowful Hair and Nancy at Lip Glam Artistry. And Jordan was rocking his Friar Tux Shop digs.

Of course the best part of all was the love story that was front and center of this whole day ….but second best? The Integrity Stables horses who made a guest appearance for Jordan and Natasha’s portraits!

I hope you enjoy all of the romance and gorgeousness of this day. I know I did!

Are you engaged and starting to put together your wedding day team? I’d love to chat about how I can help you capture YOUR love story and maybe even get you in touch with a few of the amazing people who made this day happen! Now booking 2018-2019 weddings! Email marisa@marisamcdonaldphotography.com


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Special thanks to everyone who came together to make this such a beautiful day! 

Planner and Designer – Taylor’d Southern Events
Venue – Sacred Mountain Julian
Florist – JLH Blooms
Cake – Eat your Cake too
Rentals – CC Vintage Rentals
Hair Stylist – Jennifer with Buetowful Hair (IG: @buetowful.hair)
Makeup Artist – Lip Glam Artistry, LLC
Calligrapher/Stationary – Feather and Figs
Bridal Gown – OLEG Cassini
Menswear – Friar Tux Shop
Horses – Integrity Stables
Models:
Bride & Groom – Natasha Rubinstein & Jordan Vettoretti (IG: @uprouteme)
Bride – Jennifer Buetow (IG: @jen.buetowful.hair)
Bridesmaid – Veronika Grechman (IG: @klever)

 

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Julian Wedding Photographer: Winter Elopement Styled Wedding Shoot at Sacred Mountain

Julian, California is a quaint little town East of San Diego that takes you back in time…its full of rustic simplicity mixed with apple pie and thoughts of Fall. Just outside of town lies the amazing retreat of Sacred Mountain, which also happens to THE.MOST.AMAZING wedding venue. The owner is friendly, professional, and overflowing with hospitality. Each area of the resort is full of charm and a beauty that will overwhelm you! Let’s just say this spot would be on the top of my list if I was newly engaged in Southern California!

Add to the amazing venue, a gorgeous couple so in love, a beautiful cake, splendid calligraphy and stationary, perfectly planned and coordinated details and accessories, and glorious flowers and its pretty hard to end up with anything but magical pictures! I hope you enjoy a glimpse into this amazing event and Leslie and Spencer’s love story!

I’d also love to give a shout out to all of the amazing creatives who came together to make this shoot beyond beautiful! I highly recommend each of these vendors as you are filling out your lineup for your big day! Scroll down to the bottom of the post for a full list!

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Venue – Sacred Mountain Julian (IG: @sacredmountainjulian)
Designer/Stylist – Katie Hammond Photography (IG: @katiehammondphotog)
 
Calligraphy – Bloom Stationery Co (IG:@bloomstationeryco)
 
Vows – Sam Allen (IG:@samallencreates)
 
Cake – Sweet Maple Creations (IG: @sweet_maple_creations) 
 
Wine – Jen Maldonado (IG:@winetastingjen)
 
Florals – Studio 2053 (IG:@studio2053_floral_eventdesign)
 
Hair + Makeup – Bridal by Haydee (IG:@bridalbyhaydee and @thebristlehair)
 
Gowns – D’Angelos Couture (IG: dangelo_bridal) 
 
Menswear – Stitch & Tie (@stitchandtie)
 
Models: 
 
Bride & Groom – Lesli (IG:@leslihope) & Spencer (IG: @poinsett78)
 
Bridesmaid – Kaila Cotler (IG:@kcotler)
 
Bridesmaid – Rebecca Jesslyn (IG:@rebeccajesslyn)
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San Diego Baby Photography: 6 month sessions by Marisa McDonald Photography

You all know I offer San Diego Baby Photography but did you know that adorable baby portraits aren’t limited to baby’s first month? I have absolutely fallen in love with these sitter sessions!  I love this age when baby is still teeny tiny but also starting to grow into her personality with lots of cute expressions and fun skills to show off for the camera. Sitter sessions are traditionally thought of as “6 month” sessions but I find they are absolutely perfect a little closer to 7-9 months when baby is sitting independently for long periods of time without toppling over. I provide all of the props, backdrops, and even adorable outfits necessary to create my signature look for these classic sitter sessions. You bring your adorable baby and I bring the rest!

This session was extra special because I was able to document baby’s growth for a family I did maternity and newborn photos for last year! There is nothing like the wonder of watching a baby grow throughout the first year of life…so much changes so fast and it always amazes me! I hope you enjoy this adorable session featuring a gorgeous baby girl and a gorgeous romper from Pooks & Lulu.

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