Justin & Gina's Big Horn Mountains Engagement Session

Justin and Gina joined us in the Big Horns for their engagement session! We chased the light all the way until the sun went down! Their session exemplified who they are as individuals, and who they are as a couple. They enjoy the Wyoming outdoors, and the beauty that our great state has! Justin took Gina and I to one of his favorite riding locations, and even brought along the atv's. I sent through a mud puddles, had them lean and reach and kiss on the back of them! It was a beautiful summer evening in the mountains! I am so excited to be their Wedding photographer next summer! After working with them for their engagements, I have no doubts we will be able to cover a wonderfully beautiful wedding! 


Why Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer

Why Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer?


Let’s be honest. Weddings can get pretty expensive, especially considering today’s tough economy. If you’re getting married, it’s likely that you’re looking for any way possible to save some money, or score some great deals.  One of the ways some couples consider saving money is to have a friend, or family member photograph their wedding instead of hiring a professional photographer. Nowadays, digital cameras are everywhere, and everyone becomes a photographer. Is this a good idea? Well, you are the only one who can make this decision, so we outlined a few of the reasons why WE here at PhoenixPhotos believe that you should leave your wedding photography to a professional photographer.

Top Ten Reasons To Hire A Professional Photographer for you Wedding Day.

#1 – Experience: During  the course of a wedding day, many of the most important moments only happen once – for instance, the exchange of the rings, the first kiss and first dance. The biggest factor to take into consideration, by hiring a professional wedding photographer you have their reputable photography experience, which reassures you that you will come away from your wedding day, with high quality images to show your kids, and grandkids. Portraits that will stand the test of time. These are not events that will happen again, or get replayed, it is important to have a photographer there you can trust to document the shot – on the first try.

#2 – Knows What Shots To Capture: There are tons of photographs to capture during the course of entire wedding day, with some being more important than others. A professional photographer will know those shots by heart (rather than having to look at a list) and ensure that all the important moments of the day are documented for you. This skill takes time, and experience to develop and can’t be taught overnight, so if it’s the first time your photographer has shot a wedding, (or even the second, third, or fourth) the photographer will likely miss a bunch of key shots you'd want. Its important to add that we do provide a list or moments to capture, and review it with our couples, this helps us know who/what is vital to you for your wedding photographer to capture. In consultations, I go over how our studio will not know Grandpa Larry for Arkansas that was your best friend growing up... We won't know those relationships if we just showed up to take pictures. Planning your wedding event takes time, skill and expertise. 

#3 – Ability to Anticipate and Catch Split-Second Action: This somewhat goes hand-in-hand with the previous reason, but takes it just a step farther. Not only will a professional photographer know the shots that need to be captured, but the professional photographer will be able to anticipate the action, and put themselves in the correct location for the best angle. Though weddings don’t move as fast as sporting events, they do move quickly and the photographer needs to be observant, ready, in the right place – with the right lens on at any given time. If any of these things are missing, your portrait will be missing too.

#4 – Posing & Coaching: To obtain great portraits of couple’s, the photographer needs to have practiced it many times. If you have ever had an inexperienced photographer take your picture, you probably felt stiff or even silly. Most importantly, you may have felt like you didn't know what to do, or how it looks.  This is likely because you didn’t receive much coaching. The inexperienced photographer may have been too overwhelmed with operating the buttons on the camera to make sure you were positioned in the most flattering way. We pay attention to these details to get the best photograph. The dress, the hair, the flowers, the rings, your faces - all will be positioned accordingly.

#5 – Lighting Skills: Advanced lighting skills are critically important to good wedding photographs. That’s because many of the venues where couples get ready or hold their receptions are very dimly-lit, often times to create a special atmosphere. A professional will have the skills to shoot in even the darkest of light, where an amateur may struggle to get a usable frame or something in focus. Hiring  a professional photographer assures that they have the knowledge, and equipment to achieve your desired portraits in any given circumstance, even low-light situations. 

#6 – Organization of Group Portraits: This is an area where a professional photographer can add value to your wedding photographs. These are important photos for many couples since weddings are often the only time the entire family gets together in one location. It can be very hard to successfully organize and arrange a large group of people if you haven’t done it before. Can you see everyone’s face? Are all the people there? And is the arrangement orderly and well constructed? And what about the people who have started drinking already and are feeling a little tipsy, distracted and are not following directions? A professional can anticipate, and execute these images well. They also have a skill set that can offer advanced options to create the picture perfect image in editing and post processing procedures.

#7 – Wedding Etiquette: During a wedding day, there are some things that a photographer just shouldn’t do, like walk right in front of the main aisle during the ceremony. Faux-paus like this won’t ruin your wedding, but they can raise your tension on an emotional day. A professional photographer knows the “does and don’ts” throughout the day, and can make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. They can also assist in the flow of your day by providing expertise to your wedding moments.

#8 – Post Processing and Editing: After a wedding, it is common to come home with hundreds of images to import, sort, edit and then export. It takes a significant amount of time to do this, and a professional photographer has a process for dealing with this many images at one time. Also, the professional photographer is skilled in editing, and create the portrait in the digital darkroom from RAW image data, at the same time, making sure all the files are backed up in multiple locations so your wedding memories are safe and sound.

#9– Equipment: Nowadays, everyone has a camera. Even cameras with really high “mega-pixels” as is the buzzword for most consumer grade products. And most cameras capture nice pictures given the right lighting situation, or when people are standing totally still. But what if the light isn’t good? Or what if the people are dancing? Rather, professionals worry about things like autofocus abilities, ISO levels and noise capabilities. These are some of the factors that allow us to catch sharp photos, in dark settings, even without a flash (which may not be allowed for your ceremony in many churches). In addition, there are big differences between consumer and pro lenses. While they look nearly identical, pro level lenses often let in 8 to 16 times more light than consumer zoom lenses. And that can be the difference between getting sharp, bright photos – compared to dark, blurry ones.

#10 – Access To Pro Level Photo Labs and Album Companies: There is a huge difference in the quality of the prints, and albums a professional photographer will have access to in order to showcase your wedding photos compared to a consumer. Nearly all of the premium album and print companies reserve their services to a professional photographer, leaving amateurs with more automated, and less premium, albums and photo books. Our studio is color calibrated to provide the optimum outcome. We also offer UV protection on our images, so that over time, they will not yellow like Grandma's had. This guarantees your images and memories are able to stand the test of time.

Step Into My Office

We finally have everything unpacked and organized from the show this past weekend! We are in love with our new desk, and chair for the studio office! Check out the beautiful model Maryann Lugan whose stunning on our studio walls!   We have enjoyed all our clients, models and friends over the last few years! It's now fun to display some of those memories in our studio to share with others! 


Welcome to my office!  



We are  #wyomingproud. We are #Wyomingstrong. 

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It's All In The Details

We have a beauty overload in our living room right now! Tonight we pieced together our floral pieces and accent decor for the Expo this weekend. I can't get enough of how beautiful this color scheme is! Please come out and see us, 1 to 4pm on Saturday Jan. 14th.