How to Hire Wedding Photographers


Every year, we get a few brides who contacts our studio, inquiring of options to "REDO" their wedding portraits. It breaks my heart each and every time as I hear their story of why their initial photographer failed them. When you hire a photographer, you invest in their business, time, and talent. What you expect to receive for such investment, is a finished product. With this said, I feel many don't know, or may not be educated on how to pick a photographer that suits you! 

A good photographer will work for their clients. A GREAT photographer will spend tireless hours staying up to date on the latest equipment, continually learning and expanding to curate their skill. We each have our own niche we are experts at, but there is never a photographer who is perfect at it all. It takes time, learning, careful practice, and lots and lots of paitence. Photography for our studio is much more than a "hobby". We run a full service business. Meaning, on any given session, I spend anywhere from 4-6 hours from start to finish...Even if I was only with the client for 45 minutes! 

With this said, Wedding photography is particularly tricky business to be in. There are trends, enormous amount of equipment, hours upon hours of editing, ordering, designing albums, etc. Wedding photographers shouldn't just show up on your wedding day, take pictures, and then deliver them to you! Every business operates differently - and if this is the experience you're looking for, we may possibly not be the right shoe for you! We edit all our images. We take time to meticulously take care of all the details. We polish our skill often, and take endless amounts of extended learning opportunities to better our expertise. When you hire our studio for your wedding, we want you 100% confident you don't have to worry about your wedding photography! 


It kills me when brides have to have a re do! You cannot simply re do all those memories. Why did it not get done right the first time? As I have come to know these couples, the most common reason their originally hired photographer failed them, is because the client didn't ask the right questions. 9 time out of 10, bridal parties are ill-informed on what experience they want to have from their wedding photographer, and more importantly, how to ask what experience they will receive for the investment they spent! It is truly disheartening to have Brides having to spend even MORE money in their first couple years of marriage, trying to capture these precious memories to stand the test of time, long after they said I do.

One of these Brides who has reached out to our studio, allowed us to document her story. Meet our friend Kacie!

"Last year I got married to the love of my life, but unfortunately my wedding photos didn’t turn out. Phoenix Photography made all of my anger, sadness, and anxiety about that beautiful day and those photos go away! She was so much fun to work with, and was amazing at placing us to get the perfect picture. She was open to ideas I had and certain photos I wanted, but had plenty of beautiful and exciting ideas of her own! I am so thankful for her and everything she did for us! Thank you Deanna! I am beyond in love with the photos!" - Kacie

Kacie struggled for an entire year, not wanting to share her images with family and friends to display, not proud of the outcome of hiring the photographer she selected. Once she received her wedding portraits, she realized she missed out on a great opportunity to have wonderful, beautiful portraits of her day. That's when she found us! She contacted us a year after being married, to dress up once again in their wedding attire, and take some portraits of her, and her now husband! This would not replace any memories she has of her day. Instead, create additional to make light of an unfortunate scenario. You invest money into all the details of your wedding day, a wedding photographer will have a trained eye to look for these details, and special moments.

So, by sharing Kacie's story, we'd like to remind that not every photographer, is a WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER. Below we've compiled a list of questions you should ask any photographer you meet for your wedding, and if they don't come back with an answer you like, DON'T HIRE THEM! Save yourself the time, and money, and invest once! Most professional studios allow payment plans, etc to assist the budget-friendly brides! If you have any questions on hiring a photographer, or how to get the answers you need, consult us! We have no qualms about referring professional photographers that will fit you just right! Even if it isn't our studio, we would rather you end up with someone who is your going to be a perfect match for you on your big day! 



Do you have my date available? 
How far in advance do I need to book with you?
How long have you been in business?
How many weddings have you shot? Have you done many that were similar to mine in size and style?
How would you describe your photography style (e.g. traditional, photojournalistic, creative)?
How would you describe your working style? 
What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?
Do you have a portfolio I can review? Are all of the images yours, and is the work recent?
What is your policy for equipment failure, do you have a backup?
Do you edit my images?
Do you shoot in color and black & white? 
Are you willing to communicate with me about specific shots we would like?
Can you put together a slideshow of the images for us to download? Do you have video capturing capabilities? 
What information do you need from me before the wedding day?
Have you ever worked with my florist? DJ? Coordinator, etc.? 
May I see samples of your wedding photography both indoors and outdoors? 
Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? If so, will you have any assistants with you on that day? If not, who will be taking the pictures and can I meet them before my wedding?
Do you have backup equipment? What about a backup plan if you (or my scheduled photographer) are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
If my wedding site is out of your area, do you charge a travel fee and what does that cover?
Are you photographing other events on the same day as mine?
How will you (and your assistants) be dressed? 
Is it okay if other people take photos while you're taking photos?
Have you ever worked at my wedding site before? 
If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?
What packages do you offer?
Can I customize a package based on my needs?
Do you include engagement photos in your packages?
What type of album designs do you offer? Do you provide any assistance in creating an album?
Do you provide retouching, color adjustment or other corrective services?
How long after the wedding will I get the proofs? Will they be viewable online? Download?
What is the ordering process?
How long after I order my photos/album will I get them?
When will I receive a written contract? TIP: Don't book a photographer—or any vendor—who won't provide a written contract.
How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?
What is your refund/cancellation policy?
Do you carry liability insurance?


These should help you find the perfect photographer. Although some of these questions may seem tideous to some, these very questions are answered in each and every one of our bridal consultations, so that you can rest assured you're making the right decision for you! 

*Disclaimer* our studio has no issues referring to other professionals. If during a consultation we feel we are not the best suited for your event, we will be happy to discuss other options with you! Hiring us is very much us hiring our clients as well. We have to have a good relationship, and communication in order to have a successful event. Therefore, if there is a style difference, we can make references to a photographer who might better suit your style!


What to Wear for your Fall Portraits

Many have been reaching out to our studio inquiring what is recommended to wear this time of year! For our area (North Eastern Wyoming) we get a short window for the fall foliage to cooperate with those bright vivid colors. With this said, we recommended deep color tones! Not every individual in your group needs to match the exact same color. Choose an accent color, pattern or simply select a pallet. 


Really great colors for this fall are burgundy, plum wild berry, mocha, mustard, tangerine, and mauve! We are in love with these fall color picks!!  


Don't love this look for your family? No worries! Each individual has their own taste, and style. Taking time to curate your wardrobe will offer you the prime fall portraits your seeking to find. Not sure if what you have picked out goes together? No problem, message our studio with what you have picked out, and we are happy to assist with making suggestions. Most have items right in their own closet that would accent and work perfectly with what they have. Need something new? Our local stores are limited on what they can provide style wise last minute. We do have one Boutique in town that always has the latest fashion trends and color schemes in all sizes. Visit Tin Wagon Boutique for more information on how they can assist in styling your fall portraits. 


One helpful suggestion we offer, is start with moms wardrobe first. Nailing down what mom is comfortable in, and feels most confident in is a great starting point. Design the children, and dads outfit around moms to coordinate them together. More color pallet selections can be seen below:  



Arbuckle Lodge Big Day Wedding Expo


PhoenixPhotos is excited to announce our SPECIAL OFFERS we will be offering at the upcoming Big Day Wedding Expo- Arbuckle Lodge Gillette at the Arbuckle Lodge Gillette on October 20th, 2017 from 5-9 PM! Come say hello, get free goodies, and enter to WIN!!!!

Every Bride will receive a free gift! See our booth!


For this show, enter to win a ***FREE ENGAGEMENT SESSION***

$150 Print Credit to any bride who books a wedding with us at the show!

Lastly, biggest promo of them all - ENTER TO WIN $400 OFF your wedding package (*exclusions may apply - find our more details at our booth*)


Rusty & Sadie Engagement Session

Rusty and Sadie took me out to the family Ranch for their engagement session. We had free reign of the grounds. Our great state of Wyoming is pretty smokey due to all the devestating fires burning in Montana,  but luckily we were able to still see the hills! Rusty and Sadie enjoy the outdoors, and what better way to capture their love, then in the wyoming wide open spaces! We also got to spend time with Bear, their spoiled pup who was able to accompany us for their time with our studio!  


We are blessed to not only call these two clients, but our dear friends! Congratulations Rusty and Sadie! We look forward to covering your big day in 2018!!!! 




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! 





For the next 24 hours (expires 11PM MST 8/4) we will be offering 16x20 canvases for $44.99. This is a 60% savings. Message our studio to confirm your order!

Think - Christmas gifts for Mom & Dad, or Grandma & Grandpa!

This is super competitive with big box store pricing for 200% the quality!!

Miss Kymber turns 4

Little Miss Kymber has to be one of our favorite little girls to photograph! We have been able to work with spunky little Kymber several times over the last 2 years, and every time just gets more and more exciting. Aside from being one of the cutest little girls, I actually get to spend lots of time with her at Little Tykes University, where I'm one of her preschool teachers. This inquisitive, and imaginative bright mind never ceases to amaze me. We decided to celebrate and capture her birthday with some age appropriate fun (who are we kidding, glitter is suitable for all ages)! We whipped out the bottle of glitter, and danced, jumped, threw, and blew it all over the place. I love documenting and creating these special memories with the Rush family. I love that I get to watch Kymber grow year after year, as well as day after day! Enjoy some of our favorite takes from Kymbers' birthday photoshoot! 

Miss E - First Birthday

 I cannot believe how fast these tiny humans grow! Miss E. came to us last July for her newborn session, and we have had the pleasure of seeing her every 3 months for milestone sessions - as part of our baby year plan. She is such a doll, and always treated us with lots of cute baby giggles!  Although I'm super sad she is getting older, I do look forward to capturing their family portraits year after year as she grows!

James and Brandi's Greenhouse Engagement Session

While planning for James and Brandi's session, we discussed a couple creative options to set apart their session from anyone else. I'm so lucky to have such trusting clients with my crazy ideas! I sent Brandi a message asking if she would like to stylize her engagement session with our studio! She was all for it - so we set out to make the arrangements! The goal was to capture their continually blossoming love, in a greenhouse. 

After visiting the greenhouses in Gillette, we fell in love with The Plant Shack Greenhouse located off HWY 59 (By the old sweetheart bakery). Not only do they have the best selection, but also the healthiest, and most vibrant coloration to their floral! 

The greenhouse gave us such beautiful light during their session, highlighting their glowing love and passion. You could literally feel these love-birds love overflowing as we walked through the property. For engagement sessions, we do lots of fun things to get the cute smiles, and the candid shots. Brandi and James were such troopers - and went along with our wild ideas the whole time.

Thanks you two for trusting our studio to follow along, and capture your love journey! We cannot wait for your wedding day!