Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photography Blog by Trifon Anguelov Photography

1090 Clark Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94040 | (650) 930-0743 | http://www.trifonanguelov.com


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Elegant Asian Wedding at Memorial Church in Stanford University


Memorial Church in Stanford University is such an amazing location for weddings. Had the privilege to photograph Zhouxiao and Haomiao’s wedding. To see all images and read the entire wedding story, check the latest blog article on my website: Elegant Asian Wedding at Memorial Church in Stanford University

Both were amazing and I enjoyed very much capturing the moments. There is so much history and legacy related to this location.

Here is a slideshow highlight from their wedding day:

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA. Many clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area have entrusted us with capturing their wedding days.

To learn more about the wedding photography services we offer and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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Pakistani (Islamic) Wedding at Santa Clara, CA


What a wedding Daniah and Ali’s Pakistani had few weeks ago in Santa Clara, CA. Both were simply amazing in the pre-wedding session as well during the ceremony and reception. Their wedding story and highlights are also posted on my website: Pakistani (Islamic) Wedding at Santa Clara, CA

It was a pleasure to be around these two so much in love souls. Congratulations on their marriage and I wish them many happy years together! Like a wedding photographer, I cannot be happier and honored to be their photographer. Love is awesome!

Here is a slideshow highlight from their wedding day:

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA. Many clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area have entrusted us with capturing their wedding days.

To learn more about the wedding photography services we offer and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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Why Hire a Second Photographer For Your Wedding


Bride and Groom First Dance in Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, CA

Bride and Groom First Dance in Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, CA

Hiring a wedding photographer to take photos during the ceremony, reception and party afterwards is a no brainer. It’s a must if the bride and groom would like to have the wedding moments captured. And the wedding photographer can guide and pose the couple on How To Look at Their Best on Their Wedding Photos.

The wedding photographer is the person would will use its talent and vision to create stunning and amazing wedding images.

Brides also have an option to hire a second wedding photographer who will team up with the primary photographer for additional coverage. There are numerous reasons for why a bride might want to add a second photographer (also called second shooter) as well there are lots of benefits of doing so.

But first, let’s mention the disclaimer: There will be no extra efforts or meetings required to hire a second shooter.

The responsibility for screening, hiring and processing the images from the second photographer, lays entirely on the primary photographer’s shoulders.

Many primary wedding photographers already have second shooters in mind and have been working with them in the past. This collaboration guarantees styles and equipment matching. So now that we know, there are no extra meetings and efforts required for the bride, let’s see what the benefits are.

1. Getting Different Compositions and Angles:

The primary and secondary photographers would be looking for, capturing the wedding moments from different angles which mean you would get many more differently looking photos. Both photographers would be also used a different perspective and lenses, so you would receive both wide-angle and zoomed into shots.

You will be able to see both the entire scene as well the individual images of key people in your wedding.The different compositions and angles would allow you to have much more interesting images in your wedding album later.

You would also have another benefit of having both primary and secondary photographers complement each other rather than capturing the same scene and moments from the same angle.

2. No Additional Interviews and Paperwork:

The secondary shooters are contracted by the primary photographer under his own contract so there is no need to interview and contract them on your own. This will save you precious time to meet additional vendors and planners. It is one less contract to read and sign and vendor to coordinate it.

DIY Decoration at Romantic Backyard Wedding in Livermore, CA

DIY Decoration at Romantic Backyard Wedding in Livermore, CA

3. Consistent Look and Feel:

Because you will contract the primary photographer, he or she would be primarily responsible for editing all the images (both from the primary and secondary photographers). You can expect a consistent look across all images (brightness, sharpness, colors, etc) which mean all images would be processed with the same effects and workflow.

Style (feel) would be the same as well. The primary photographers usually would pick a secondary photographer who matches their style (candid, photojournalistic, modern, fashion, traditional, etc) so you can be guaranteed your images would have the same style as well.

Related: Wedding Photography Styles Explained

4. Documenting Everything:

While the primary photographer is focusing on the bride and groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen during the wedding, there is a lot more happening: Grandma crying from joy, Mom and Dad gasping in excitement, guests reacting to bride’s and her father walking down the aisle, etc.

There is more than the bride and groom on each wedding, so having a second photographer allows you to have these moments documented as well.

5. You Get Undivided Attention:

A single photographer has to focus on all the moments during the wedding, plus capture the decorations, flowers, details as rings, dress, shoes. This means that he or she has to switch its attention between you (bride and groom) and these other shots that needs to be staged and photographed.

A second photographer usually takes these off the mind and shoulders of the primary thus freeing him to focus its undivided attention to you. You can be assured that no single moment would be missed while you would have wonderful images of your flowers, decorations and bridal artifacts.

6. Capture More Moments:

There is a limited time allocated for a wedding. A single photographer can only capture so many moments of the wedding, but add an additional (second) photographer and you would double the images captured. Which means there will be more to choose for your wedding album and prints later.

Wedding Reception at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

Wedding Reception at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

Also there are few extra benefits from having your primary photographer bring a second shooter to your wedding:

  • The primary photographer would find and hire a second shooter who matches the style and look consistent of the primary, so the look of the final images set would be consistent
  • Primary and Secondary would most likely be using the same or similar equipment (camera body, lenses, lighting techniques) so there will be no image quality differences between the images taken by both
  • Both photographers would have worked together in the past and know to supplement each other and not stepping on each others toes

Related: How To Prepare For Your Wedding Day

Conclusion:

Hiring a second photographer is a great idea. It allows you, as a bride and groom, to have more moments from your wedding caught. Your wedding photography coverage is limited in duration, but there are so many moments and events happening.

Adding a second shooter to your package will not only allow your primary photographer to focus on you (the bride & groom) coverage but would also allow you to see how your family, relatives and friends have experienced your wedding. These reactions and emotions will happen and you can have them documented as well.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA. Many clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area have entrusted us with capturing their wedding days. To learn more about the wedding photography services we offer and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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50 Money Saving Ideas for Your Wedding (Part 1)


Wedding Details at Cinnabar Hills Golf Course, San Jose, CA

Wedding Details at Cinnabar Hills Golf Course, San Jose, CA

Weddings suppose to be fun. But ask any bride and you will hear about the frustrations they have experienced while planning their weddings. The reason: Hard to stay on budget.

Only if every bride could have unlimited budget for her wedding to fulfill the dreams of the most spectacular and perfect wedding. Wouldn’t be great to get all a bride might wish for, without having to think about how much would it cost? Not having to make any trade offs.

Sure. It would be great, but the reality is that almost every bride has a wedding budget. Which means hard work is required to plan and have a wedding that stays on budget. So now we know what causes  the frustration many brides have.

As a San Francisco Bay Area wedding photographer, I talk to many brides before and after their weddings. The ways how they all approached and solved this problem are different but a common theme emerges: Almost all of them found a way to compromise on one or other item, some on all items, for their wedding. And the most common way I heard over and over was: money saving ideas.

Frankly, bride’s ingenuity is impressive. The creativity deserves to be shared, so here comes the GUIDE! I hope many brides and their families would find it helpful. The following Part 1 of this guide, is the first part I am publishing to present 50 money saving ideas. The rest of the two parts would be published soon so be sure to subscribe to my blog and come back to read the rest of the ideas. If you would like to learn more about the topic, consider reading my other guide: How To Spend Less on Your Wedding

So let’s get started.

1. Get All Inclusive Venue:

Search and pick a wedding venue that has tables, chairs and linens all included into their price. This way you don’t have to rent these from another company. Prices for all inclusive venues is much cheaper than renting the venue and the chairs, linen and tables separately.

2. Spend Less on Shoes:

You can find cheap wedding shoes instead of going for high-end designer shoes. Chances are not so many people would see them anyway under your long wedding dress. Apart from saving ton of money, picking shoes which are more comfortable to wear would also save you from sore feet and blisters at the end of the wedding day.

3. Skip The Garter & Bouquet Toss:

Gone are the days when people believed in getting a piece of the wedding dress would bring them good luck. It was popular in the 14th century, but in today’s 21th century many couples choose to skip this part and save money. Both are basically throw away money.

 

Wedding Decoration at San Mateo, CA

Wedding Decoration at San Mateo, CA

 

4. Borrow a Veil:

Have a friend who got married recently. Ask her if you can borrow the veil for her wedding. Many would be happy to let you use it for a day and would even offer you once you share the big news with them. Don’t be shy. Ask around.

5. Shop Aboard:

Next time you visit Mexico or other foreign destination, check out anything you might need for your wedding. Shoes are less expensive there, so why not combine fun (vacation) with saving money. Store the shoes in your closet until your wedding and use the cash you would save on your honey moon vacation.

6. Save on Taxes:

Many wedding items can be bough online from states which don’t collect sales tax. Every dollar counts, so look online for deals that would save you money. Minnesota does not tax clothes, while in California you are expected to pay up to 9.5% sales tax. If you wedding dress costs $1,000 for example, this is $95 for you to keep.

7. Be Your Own Florist:

Using seasonal flowers and ribbons for a hand-tied bouquets will reduce your floral arrangements bill. Lots of ideas online, plus any craft store in your area would have the materials. Recruit someone crafty to help you with this or do it your self on the day before the wedding. You will be surprised how easy it is.

8. Use Flowers Wisely:

Feel like killing fresh flowers by trowing them around is a waste of money. You don’t have to and would save you money if you use fake flowers to make your bouquets. Fresh flowers from your local grocery store can still decorate your tables and cake.

 

Wedding Desert at Saratoga Country Club, Saratoga, CA

Wedding Desert at Saratoga Country Club, Saratoga, CA

 

9. Trim The Guests List:

A seat and meal for every single guest on your wedding costs your money. So be smart and practical. Cutting down your guest list to your immediate family and close friends would make your wedding more intimate. Not to mention the savings you would get. This is by far the biggest saving you can get for your wedding as accommodating, entertaining and  providing meals for your guests is the largest expense you would have.

10. Tie The Knot Off-Season:

Many wedding venues are in high demand and command higher prices during the wedding season (June – September). Having an off season wedding off season translates into immediate and significant savings. Venue prices are up to 50% cheaper off season compared to the pick time of the wedding season. On a $10,000 venue, this is up to $5,000 of savings.

11. Buy and Resell Instead of Renting:

Renting linens, centerpieces, flatware, plates, paper lanterns and lighting, and spotlights for uplightingcan cost cost you lots of money which you will never get back. Some brides buy all these for a reasonable price and then resell them to revover most of the value. It will save you lots of money which you would otherwise be giving to the leasing company. Buy and resell, instead of renting everything.

12. Skip The Extra Fees:

Many stores would have an extra “convenience” or “delivery” fees. Be careful and plan ahead as this is just another way these stores are making extra money from you.  If your wedding cake store adds a delivery fee for just few miles from your venue, opt to pick it up by yourself and save on these fees.

13. Skip The Limo Drive Home:

If you must have a limo to bring you to the ceremony and to the reception venue, consider skipping the pick up from the reception to your home. The limo service charges by the hour, so one more trip would cost you more. How hard would be you and your husband to get ride home but your friends or designated drives.

14. Simplify Your Invitations:

Skip the extra ribbons, belly bands or anything excessive in your invites. This just adds extra weight which means more postage to mail them. For a 200+ person wedding, this extra postage you have to buy adds up quickly. Settle down on a simple invitation only.

15. Make it Simple Rehearsal Dinner:

If you must have a rehearsal dinner (many couples choose not to and rather save the money for as well), consider ordering pizzas instead of catered meal. Save your money for the wedding day meal instead.

 

Bridal shoes at intimate DIY wedding in Benicia, CA

Bridal shoes at intimate DIY wedding in Benicia, CA

 

16. Consider Used Wedding Dress:

Instead of buying a new dress consider getting your dresses at a wedding consignment store. You can find a quality dress which can be cleaned and altered to fit you perfectly for almost 1/3 of the original price. Look around and see what’s available in your area before you visiting a bridal dresses store.

17. Choose Non Bridal Salon For Your Dress Alteration:

If your wedding dress needs alterations, look for an independent seamstress instead of a specialized bridal salon. In most cases they would do the alteration for less money than a specialized bridal dress store. Remember, all specialized bridal stores overcharge for their services, just because they can and there is so much demand. Be smart  shopper and save your money for what matters more to you.

Conclusion:

This is the end of Part 1 of the 50 Money Saving Ideas for Your Wedding guide. I will be post the remaining two parts to complete the overview of all 50 ideas. You can access the rest of the parts, from the links I will post in each guide (yet to come…). Consider reading this guide, for additional ideas on Wedding Tips for Brides From Photographer’s Point of View.

Weddings are expensive and takes a lots of efforts and planning to have the perfect one. There are simple tips that could help you to stay within your budget. Most of these tips were collected by talking to brides about the ways they saved money on their wedding and how they managed to stay within their budgets. I am sure there are so many other ways, so if you have a tip, any comment or a feedback, feel free to drop me a line or two into the comments section. I would love to hear from you on how you managed your wedding budget.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on social media (links in the top right sideblock of this blog) or check his latest photography projects on his Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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Tips For Choosing Wedding Photographer


Bridal Preparation at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

Bridal Preparation at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

 Ask any bride or event planner on what they consider is the most important thing when planning a wedding and the majority would mention selecting the right vendors was the most important decision they had to make. A complex and budget constrained event as a wedding requires highly skilled and experienced vendors in order to make it successful. Hiring the wrong vendor can cause the whole wedding to easily become nightmare and very stressful.

While many couples hire a wedding planner to help them with selecting and hiring the wedding vendors this might not be feasible for many other couples. As many couples decide to research, screen, interview and hire vendors on their own, they are faced with an important decision to make: Who is the appropriate vendor to hire? Who to screen and what are the questions to ask? What I should be looking for and how to determine what makes a good or bad wedding photographer?

So many questions and surprisingly there are not easy to understand guides available. I have photographed many weddings in the past and had the opportunity to meet and interview many couples and wedding planners in the past, there were six criteria which started to repeat consistently a wedding after wedding:

  • Availability
  • Cost
  • Photographer’s Personality
  • Photographer’s Experience
  • Photography Style
  • Image Quality

I hope by explaining each one of these criteria and why they are important when selecting a wedding photographer would help any bride or groom looking to make the right vendor’s choice. The criteria are ordered by importance in my view but you are free to probe and eliminate in any order you find applicable to your wedding.

Availability:

You have found online or got a solid referral to a wedding photographer you like. Great! Seems like your search is over.. Well, not exactly until you called the photographer only to find out your wedding date is actually already booked and he is not available. So before you go into deep research of anything else related to the photographer and its style, pricing, image quality, etc, ask the simple question: Are you available for my wedding date?

If yes, great. You just got closer to hiring the photographer you like. If not, you might have to consider other photographers in the area. Unless you are willing to postpone or change the date of your wedding when the photographer is available.

Cost: 

So you cleared the first hurdle of hiring a wedding photographer: Availability. Great! Now hold your breath and tread with caution. You are not there yet.

Before you all get excited about how cool and understanding the photographer is, how exactly he or she matches your personality and photography style taste, there is one important question to ask: Cost. Unless you have unlimited wedding photography budget or willing to stretch your budget or sacrifice lets say food, venue, flowers, etc in order to sign the photographer you like, you might have to make a choice.

If the cost of the wedding photographer is not something you can afford, there is no point to invest more time into pursuing this photographer. Unless you must have it and willing to make adjustments to your budget, or go over budget.

Wedding Ceremony at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

Wedding Ceremony at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

Photographer’s Personality:

Time for the third criteria on the path to hire your wedding photographer. So far you confirmed your date is not yet booked on his / her calendar and the cost is something which works for your budget. I can see you smile and understand how you might breathe easier now. So after phone conversation to clear the first two, you are finally set to meet the photographer in person and talk about your wedding.

Well, good for you. There is nothing more important than meeting and interviewing your vendors face to face. After all, you will be hiring someone who will spend at least 6 to 8 hours with you, will be around when shed tears of joy and excitement, when your father and mother see their little girl or boy take on life on their own and kiss & hug you, when your friends cheer from happiness and you party all night long. So if you are looking for someone who:

  • You can like simply like a human being and get along with
  • You have the feeling understands your needs and you can trust to capture the best moments of your life
  • You think would be liked by your parents and friends
  • You feel like belonging to your wedding

then you need to like your photographer for the person he or she it is. Do they listen and understand what are you trying to say or keep going like a broken record according to their script and trying to push the services and products they can offer? Are they fun to be around or anti-social ignorant to your needs “photography artist” who treat you like you know anything about what you need? Do you get the warm feeling that this is a person you would meet outside of your wedding and have funny and pleasant conversation with? Do you think you can trust that person to deliver on its promises or he or she gives you murky and incomplete pieces of information and vague answers.

Take your time to probe this in-depth and trust your gut feeling. If you don’t feel good about it now, the chances are that later you will not only not going to feel better about this person but you will also feel sorry for choosing it.

Photographer’s Experience:

And here we are. Availability: checked,  Cost: checked, Personality: checked. Seems things are going smooth for you after all. Lucky or simply you are so good at picking vendors. Time to check the next criteria: Experience.

Why does experience matter you might ask. Well, your wedding photographer would provide an important service on your wedding and 99% of service based activities are mastered by practicing. Like a swimmer who wakes up at 4:00 am every morning and swims for miles in order to perform at its best, or like an actor who rehearses its act over and over and performs in front of live audience night after night, the practice makes it better. There is no pill or app for wedding photography experience. Skills are learned and perfected over long period of time, so if the photographer you are considering has little or no experience with weddings at all, you might be making a big mistake.

No or inadequate experienced vendor will stumble when faces with fast paced and challenging event like a wedding, might miss important moments of your wedding, or might not know how to capture your beauty and emotions in a pleasant to look later way. So don’t underestimate the importance of previous experience. One more reason not to hire uncle Bob for your wedding.

Wedding Reception at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

Wedding Reception at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

Photography Style:

We are getting closer to narrow down to the right photographer for you. I can feel your excitement already. So what’s next? It’s something which cannot be easily explained in words as photography is a visual art: Style.

Like the latest fashion trend or designer clothing. I am sure this is natural to every bride. The feel, look and mood of each photo is either matching or not matching someone’s visual taste. Some like highly saturated colors in images, so like more mute and washed off colors. Some like the sunny and dreamy look of golden sunlight while some like more well-defined and contrasting transition between highlights and shadows. As the saying goes: The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. No right or wrong. You have to like the photography style the photographer has and can show you examples of from his or her previous work.

You will receive lots of wedding images and if you order, a wedding album with your favorite wedding moments captured forever. There is no way to change these images later. Either you pick the right photographer for its style or you will spent plenty of time after your wedding hating your wedding photos. Make the right choice!

Image Quality:

Congratulations! You have navigated successfully and feel pretty good about finding the wedding photographer you think is right for you. Before, go ahead and sign the contract, there is one more thing to consider: Image Quality.

The easiest way to see how your images might look is to visit the photographer’s portfolio and see the most recent examples of his or her work. Are the images in focus and you can see the details clearly? Are the people in the images have accurate skin color and don’t look orange like pumpkins or green like zombies? Are the images clear of distractions like partial body parts and are they aligned without tilted horizons and trees?

As this is very subjective criteria, again apply your own judgement. The chance is if you like the past photos most likely you will like the images from your wedding too. If not, try to explain your expectations. You need your wedding photographer to listen and explain how he or she can make them happen. If you feel like being convinced politely that this is not possible or doesn’t make sense, ask for explanation. After all, you will be the one looking at your wedding images over and over. You have to like them from the very first look and even years pass by.

 

Wedding First Dance at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

Wedding First Dance at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

 

Conclusion:

Selecting wedding photographer for your wedding is a time involving and step by step process. It requires time and energy to get it right. There is also not a one way to do it, neither there is a one wrong and one right way of doing it. It’s similar like a buying a new car or picking a dining place for Friday’s night. What might work for some could turn out to be completely not applicable for others.

The six steps I listed about are just few of the criteria to focus on when picking a wedding photographer. The point is that better educated and armed with knowledge brides are more likely to make the right decision that the one who decide to “roll the dice” and trust the vendors would do the right thing.

You also need to be aware of the ways not to fall prey to wedding photography scams. For more on this topic, make sure you read the two parts guide on How To Avoid Wedding Photography Scams:

I hope this article helps brides in their planning and selection of vendors. If you are looking for additional information on how to plan your wedding day, make sure to read my Wedding Photography FAQ Guide.

If you found this information useful  and think your friends could benefit from it, please share it by using the multiple sharing options on the bottom. Agree, disagree, have comments or feedback? Think I am missing a point or two or three? Drop me a line in the comments section and I will consider adding it (with full credit to you, of course).

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a premiere wedding and events photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area, CA. To review his portfolio and most recent work, visit his website.