Drone wedding photo at Riverbell Farm

Everything You Need to Know About Hiring A Drone for Your Wedding

Guest blog from Dronethusiast.com

Everyone wants their wedding to be a special occasion – a source of wonderful, happy memories that last a lifetime. And of course, you need a photographer (and/or videographer) to capture those memories so that you can revisit them again and again.

Many couples are now choosing drone photography as a way to make their wedding videos more dynamic and instantly unique. But this technology – and its adoption by the consumer mainstream – is still fairly new, so it’s understandable that you might have questions about what drone wedding photography looks like. Well we at Dronethusiast – the premier source for drone news and reviews online – are thrilled to partner with the Photos by Orion Blog to share some insight into hiring a drone for your wedding.

Wedding family walking on Beach
Wedding couple walking down beach with their family

1. Why You Should Hire A Drone Photographer

As Orion recently covered in more detail, style is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a wedding photographer. Drone photographers and videographers are mainly hired because they bring a unique perspective (quite literally!) to their work.

Aerial photography used to be extremely expensive – it involved hiring not only a professional photographer with an expensive specialized camera, but also a helicopter for them to fly in. Now that drones with cameras are more readily available, their main advantage is that they can provide beautiful aerial photography for a fraction of the cost – and they can do so in areas that a helicopter or airplane can’t reach!

2. Discussion Points

Here are some basic things to ask when hiring a drone photographer:

  • Are you licensed? In the United States, commercial drone pilots are legally required to have an FAA certification. Never hire an unlicensed drone pilot or a pilot who tries to convince you that a license isn’t necessary.
  • Are you insured? Even a skilled drone pilot can lose control of a drone due to equipment malfunction or inclement weather. Such incidents are rare, but you still want to make sure your photographer has liability insurance, just in case.
  • Can I see samples of your work? A portfolio will give you a good idea of the photographer’s style, which will help you see whether or not it matches your vision for your wedding. A good drone photographer will provide stable video with a unique, polished look.
  • Do you provide interior work? Some drones can only be flown outdoors, while others are small enough to be flown inside as well. If you’re interested in interior photographs, you need to make sure that’s something your photographer provides before hiring.
  • What is your availability? For obvious reasons, you need to make sure the photographer you hire is available at the time and day you want your pictures taken.

3. How Much to Pay

Drone photography price will vary by location, by contractor, and depending on the type of work you’re looking for. For photography itself, you generally don’t want to pay more than $500 an hour. For an entire wedding photography package which includes drone photography along with other services, you can often expect to pay between $2000 and $6000 depending on how many photos and what type of video you want.

4. The Hiring Process

The process of hiring a drone wedding photographer usually looks something like this:

  1. Look for a photographer online and find someone who suits your needs.
  2. Reach out to them over Email or phone and bring up your discussion points. An in-person meeting is always ideal if you can manage it.
  3. Choose a photography package and pay the photographer accordingly.
  4. Integrate your photographer into your wedding plan. When do they need to show up? When are you taking your photos with the wedding party? Will you be going through a “Traditional” or “First Look” schedule? Make sure you and the photographer both understand each other’s needs and responsibilities.
  5. After the wedding, you should receive your photos digitally or in the mail at a time specified by the photographer beforehand.

5. Think Outside of The Box

Sometimes what makes your day extra special is your imagination

A good drone photographer can do more than just take videos of your wedding, although this will most likely be their primary role. They can help you create unique memories, taking engagement videos and helping give your online invitations a unique flair. Be sure to think outside the box and speak to potential candidates about what they can do to make your special day even more special.

We hope this article has helped you understand what to look for in a drone wedding photographer and videographer. For more information on the ever-expanding drone industry, visit our website at Dronethusiast.com.

This article is published in conjunction with our friends at Dronethusiast.com. If you are thinking about drones or purchasing a drone it is a great website to consult. Our thanks to Mike and his great team!

Budgeting for your wedding

Weddings are expensive. Let’s face it.

According to CNN, the wedding industry is a 53.4 billion dollar market and the average wedding costed about 28,000 in 2012. Those are some crazy numbers, and I’m certain they are only rising. That doesn’t mean that you have to take a second job just to be able to afford your special day. Plenty of brides are on a budget and their wedding days are magical.

I believe that there are two main factors that need to come into play when you’re planning and budgeting for a wedding:

  1. Prioritization
  2. Effort

Wait, what?

Granted, those traits sound quite boring, but they are of utmost importance in my opinion.

What I mean for prioritization is to organize what you want your wedding day to be and then prioritize each component. We also offer 13 exciting hen party ideas in London. Think about all the things you want in your wedding and then place them in order of importance. For example, you have a list like this:

  • Venue
  • Catering
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Officiant
  • DJ
  • Cake
  • Flowers
  • Dress
  • Etc

Then you need to organize them in importance to you. Perhaps flowers are at the bottom of your list and the venue is at the top. Order flower delivery in Deer Park TX. Then list everything else in order, for example:

  1. Venue
  2. Dress
  3. Officiant
  4. Photographer
  5. Cake
  6. Catering
  7. DJ
  8. Flowers
  9. Videographer

For this list, I put the venue at the top because I think that getting married in a beautiful location is the most important thing. Videography is at the bottom because I am not very interested in watching my ceremony video years down the road. Videography is still on the list though, because I put some importance to it. If my budget allows, I will hire someone to make a video. Perhaps the dress isn’t a big deal to you. List it lower. Maybe having photos is really important. List it higher. Once you have your basic list organized, you can really start seeing how much your wedding is going to cost when you start approaching vendors and seeing their price lists.

The second thing that I think is really important in planning a wedding I’m calling effort. What I mean is that the amount of effort you put into your wedding day should give it greater importance in your life. I don’t necessarily mean that you should try to arrange all your flowers or make your own cake, but by all means do so if that interests you. For me the wedding ring I gave my wife was really important. I wanted to make sure that not only did I choose a beautiful ring for her, but I actually wanted it to cost more money than I normally would have spent. I had to work more hours and save more money to buy her ring, but it was so worth it. For the extra hours and saving, I’ve ensured a lifetime of her being proud of her ring and the symbol it stands for. I’m not saying that anyone who chooses to buy a cheaper ring is going the wrong way. When you have your list of priorities, you’ll list what’s the most important thing first and I think you should work extra for that. If you really want your guests to have a great memory of your wedding day, perhaps a DJ who can keep the day upbeat and rocking is your thing.

So really take time to prioritize your list of wedding things by importance to you and then put in the extra effort for the important items on your list and you will be more successful at keeping to a budget and you’ll still have your special day, perfect for you.

Beach Elopement story (Bree and Logan)

I had the good fortune to photograph a special wedding one day in Seaside, Oregon.

IMG_7938It was a summer day on the Oregon coast. Kathryn and I drove from Salem to Seaside one afternoon. When we reached the location very near to the Promenade, we hopped out to find the weather pleasant and peaceful on the beach. When we arrived at the address provided by the couple, we discovered only 4 people, the bride and groom, the officiant and a witness. IMG_8633The easy-going couple had everything planned and all 6 of us walked across the Promenade and onto the sand. When we reached a grassy rise in the sand and the waves stretched out before us, the couple informed us the ceremony would be here. I grabbed my camera and began shooting the ceremony as I have done many times before. The couple were so relaxed as they said their vows that afternoon. IMG_8590When the ceremony was finished, the officiant and witness left the couple to us and we spent the next hour photographing them walking down the beach and standing in the waves. It was so peaceful and simple and we captured many wonderful photos before the sun set that day. I will always remember that wedding and how fortunate I felt to be invited as their photographer.IMG_8625IMG_8543

Secret Beach Engagement

IMG_9541Have you ever heard about a secret wedding engagement? Sure, oftentimes the person proposing willkeep it a secret until they are ready to pop the question, but in the case of one groom-to-be, he thought ahead.

He planned how he was going to propose to his future wife and decided to whisk her away to the Oregon Coast for a vacation where he would propose for her hand in marriage. But that’s not all. He also wanted that memory to be a special surprise for her even on the wedding day!

 

IMG_9536

IMG_9556Thinking ahead to his wedding day, this groom called me and together we planned a secret photo shoot at the beach. The plan was for him to take his girlfriend onto the sand at a remote Oregon beach and propose to her, but he didn’t want her to know that I was there photographing the event. So I staged a fake beach shoot of a model where I looked like I was taking photos of the model, but I was really shooting right over her shoulder to the couple near the surf.

As I saw the couple on the beach and the proposal happen, capturing their photos from a distance, I thought how amazing it was for me to do business with someone without ever meeting them, because the photos were a surprise for the bride on her wedding day. What a moment to remember!

I love capturing great photos of people and events, but I love the creative opportunities our clients come up with even more. If you have a great idea for creative wedding or engagement photos, please bring those ideas when you come see us!

 

 

Wedding Ceremony at the Oregon Gardens by Photos By Orion

What does a typical wedding ceremony look like?

You’re engaged, planning your wedding, and are super excited to start meeting with vendors. They ask you about your ceremony and you suddenly realize you have no idea how to put together a wedding ceremony! You start to freak out as you add yet another thing to your list of to-do’s that is already a mile long. But…DON’T PANIC!

A wedding ceremony can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Realistically, the list I have compiled below is what happens in a typical American ceremony. Different cultures will change this accordingly. I have tried to keep this list as bare-bones as possible, just the things that are typical and/or necessary, and labeled everything else optional. If you follow this simple formula you can have a ceremony plan in a few short minutes!

Wedding Ceremony Elements

Processionals – where the wedding party and parents of the couple walk in. Typically the parents are seated by ushers or groomsmen/attendants (attendants = the people standing with the couple up front, not the guests) first, then the groom/partner#1 walks in with the officiant, then bridesmaids/groomsmen/attendants walk in, followed by the ring bearer. Finally, the flower girls/grandmas/people walk in just ahead of the bride/partner #2.

žBride/Partner entrance

žOfficiant opening remarks – These are typically short comments welcome, of what makes a marriage work.

žCharge to the couple – This is the remark about the couple coming together seeking a committed relationship and that they are here to take the other person as their husband/wife/partner.

žVows – These are your promises to each other. They can be the same to each other or completely different. They can be repeated after the officiant or read from a paper. However and whatever you choose to promise to your soon to be spouse, this is the important part of the ceremony as it is what will bring you together. Spend time on your vows, be honest and committed to what you say here.

žRing exchanges

žUnity event – (optional) I have included this because about half of all weddings have some sort of unity event. Some examples I have seen are unity candles, hand-fastenings, and sand/bead/candy ceremonies, although this could truly be anything that brings two things together into one.

žPronouncement of marriage – “…By the power vested in me…”

žThe Kiss

žClosing Remarks and presentation of couple – “May I be the first to present…”

žRecessionals – wedding party walks back in reverse order.

 

There are many ways to make the wedding ceremony all your own, but as long as you start with this framework you will be good to go.

Comment below to let me know if I missed anything. These are the elements I have noticed in my wedding photography career as going into a typical ceremony.

Getting started on your wedding photo “Must Have” list

Your “Must Have” list is a very important part of your wedding planning. It not only determines the amount of time you need for your photography, but it also helps you with your timeline planning, with the order of events, with knowing if you need one or two photographers, and if there are other options like bridal portraits that will help you keep your wedding on track and on budget.

The list given below is a general list that I have used to help my clients over the past 10 years plan their wedding day photography. It is by no means completely inclusive, but I have found it helps my clients start the process of making their own list. While the list is written in “Bride and Groom” language, the ideas and concepts can be used for any wedding couple!

For planning purposes, plan to set aside 3-5 minutes per pose/picture on your list. This is a great starting time reference.

“Must have” wedding photo list ideas

Pre-wedding/Getting Ready

Rehearsal area before guests have arrived/details

Prep Shots – Bride & Groom getting ready

The Dress – Hanging or Draped

The Rings – with invitation, bouquet, etc.

Zipping Dress

Bride Applying Make Up

Groom Fixing Hair

Attaching Boutonnière to grooms lapel

Ceremony

Groom waiting at altar

Church Wide Shot (with & without guests)

Bride walking down aisle ( Side Profile & Front )

Father giving away bride

Groom over the shoulder shot of bride ( & Vis Versa)

Holding hands – Bride and Groom

Bride & Groom Kiss

Bride & Groom Leaving Church ( Receiving Line)

Reception

Reception/Banquet Hall Outside shot

Food Shots (Cocktail Hour, Drinks, etc.)

Shot of each table full of guests

Bride and Groom Hand & Ring Portraits

First Dance

Bride & Father Dance

Groom & Mother Dance

Bouquet Toss

Guarder Belt Toss

Cake Cutting

Bride and Groom Feeding each other

Misc. Guests Dancing

Best Man & Maid of Honor Toast/Speeches

Bride & Groom Toast/Speeches

Centerpieces & Flower/Decorations

Guestbook Signatures

Bride & Groom “Just Married” Vehicle – Driving Away

Thank you picture (if doing one)

Posed Photography

Bride alone

Groom alone

Bride and Groom

Bride and Groom at alter

Bride and Groom with Officient

Bride and Groom kissing

Bridesmaids/Flower Girl(s)

Groomsmen/Ring bearer

Bridal Party

Bride with Groomsmen

Groom with Bridesmaids

Bride with Bridesmaids

Groom with Groomsmen

Bride with flower girl(s)

Groom with ring bearer

Bride and Groom with bridal party

Bride with parents

Groom with parents

Bride and Groom with bride’s parents

Bride and Groom with groom’s parents

Bride and Groom with both sets of parents

Bride and Groom with bride’s grandparents

Bride and Groom with groom’s grandparents

Bride’s parents alone

Groom’s parents alone

After a bridal show: Now what do I do?

Beautiful green and orange bridal bouquet by Stem Designs in Salem, Oregon

Beautiful flowers by Stem Designs

So you just got back from a bridal or wedding show. You have tons of materials from all sorts of vendors and you are on wedding overload! You are probably asking now what do I do?!? If you read our previous article Bridal Shows: 5 tips for couples then you are prepared for this moment and I recommend you skip to step 3 and take a week or two off! If you haven’t read that article that is ok, there are a couple steps to do right away before you take your time off.

Step 1 – Take notes and Sort the materials

When you get home from the wedding show, or very shortly after (hopefully within a day), you will want to clear the floor and dump out your bag (or bags!) of information you received and start going through them. You will want to start separating the information into categories (venues, caterers, photographers, etc.). As you do, take a minute with each to remember each one and takes notes on what you remember. Think about how each one made you feel, a memorable quote or experience at their booth or while you were talking with them, your likes and concerns about their work and how they would work with you, and anything else you can think of. You want to do this while it is still fresh in your mind and when you can remember the most.

Step 2 – Order the categories by which you want to hire first

Next you want to order the vendor types into the order you are planning on booking them. This helps balance your priorities and all your desired pieces. It will also help you in step 4 to stay focused and should make decisions easier. If you need help on when to book there are several helpful articles available online, such as this compiled timeline from MyDeejay. I like this timeline because it gives you the suggestions from the three biggest wedding websites (The Knot, WeddingWire, and Brides.com) as well as the author’s suggestion and why they suggest it.

Step 3 – Take a break!

Now that you are all organized, you deserve a break! Take a week or two off to relax and recharge before you get into actually choosing your vendors. This will not only help you clear your head, but should help you narrow down your choices in each category.

Step 4 – Choosing your vendors

While each couple will approach this part differently, there are a few tips I can pass on here. First is to choose one vendor at a time according to your organized categories. This will let you more easily compare packages/offerings from vendors in this category and will let you deeply explore what you want from that type of vendor. Next, You will want to discuss each type of vendor together and make some choices before you start talking to vendors. For example, do you want a religious ceremony? Do you want the ceremony and reception all in one place? Do you want a DVD or digital files of your picture? How much are you hoping to spend on this category? And many other questions.

Once you have narrowed down what you want from each category, then take the first category and read the materials you collected, looking for those elements which you decided were most important for you.

Finally, choose your top 3-5 from each category based on what you want and your budget, and call them for a consultation. This will allow you to get a better feel for them and a personalized quote for your wedding. If you find what you feel is your perfect vendor from these consultations, put down your deposit and move on to the next category. If you are still on the fence and can’t seem to make a decision, move on to the next category and come back to it. The important thing is that you can make the decisions without feeling pressured or frustrated with the process. Planning your wedding should be a wonderful experience. And always remember the experts are there to help you. There are many wonderful planners and vendors out there that can help you along the way.

 

Happy Planning!!

Looking for delicious catering with style? Yes Please!

Chicken and pasta dish from Iggy's Catering

Such good food, my mouth is still singing it’s praises the next morning.

So last night we had our monthly meeting of the Willamette Valley Wedding Professionals (WVWP) at Hubbard Chapel. The venue is so cute, and they have done so much work to the inside, it is well worth a look. Their pricing is extremely reasonable too. But what stood out to me from last nights’ meeting was the catering. Iggy’s Catering provided the meal and it was absolutely mouth watering. Even looking at the photos this morning had me craving more!

Hubbard Chapel in Hubbard Oregon

Hubbard Chapel in Hubbard Oregon. Super cute little church that will hold up to 150 people for weddings and events.

Ian (the owner) served us yummy roasted chicken under a hollandaise sauce with a slice of tomato and avocado, with a side of pasta and steamed broccoli. For dessert he served a light and fluffy vanilla mouse cake with chocolate shavings and a berry tort. I came away wanting more, and not for a lack of serving size. Just look at it and tell me you are thinking of eating some right now!

The best part is, I have had Iggy’s food several times now and have yet to have something mediocre. Everything Ian serves is absolutely delicious. He has a Hawaiian chicken he served at the Oregon Wedding Showcase this past January that was so good he ran out each day even after cooking more at the show.

If you have a wedding or event coming up soon and are looking for a caterer who has versatility, style, is an eco-friendly catering service, and still delivers a taste that makes your stomach dance with delight, call Iggy’s Catering (here is his number so you don’t even have to look, just call now! 503-983-6289).

You can also check out Elegant Touch Catering for some excellent catering services.

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The top 4 things to consider when choosing a wedding photographer.

wedding hands in heart

Your wedding photographer will spend so much time with you, make sure it is someone you like!

There are many things to consider when looking for a wedding photographer, it can be very overwhelming. Before you go with the first person who has an opening, here are a few things to consider which can help you find your perfect wedding photographer.

  1. Style

With so much difference between the styles of wedding photography, it is important that the photographer you choose has a style you enjoy. While most brides will want a combination of styles, some find that they enjoy only one style, such as photojournalistic or artistic, and so should choose a photographer who specializes in this style. For those brides who like a combined style, consider hiring a pair of photographers who have different styles. There are many husband and wife teams where each photographer specializes in a different style (kind of like our team!). The key is to identify your favorite style or mix of styles and then to look for photographers who use those styles. A photographer’s portfolio(s) should be a really easy way to see their style. (For more information on styles see our blog article) For the wedding ceremony choose the endearing and romantic bed and breakfast wedding venue.

  1. Availability

Once you have established a style you like, then comes the hardest part, finding photographers who are that style and finding out who has availability. Make a list of the top 5 photographers you like whose work is similar to the style you want and request availabilities from each of them. Then, try to schedule consultations with the top 3 of those photographers who have availability. You definitely want to meet with more than one photographer because …

  1. Personality

At the consultation with your 3 chosen photographers, pay special attention to the chemistry between you, your fiancé, and the photographer(s). Does he/she/they make you feel comfortable? Are they easy to talk to? Do they easily visualize what you are describing? Do you feel you could spend the whole day with them and still be comfortable at the end of the day? All of these questions are very important because your photographer will most likely be spending a great deal of your special day with you. How comfortable you are with the photographer is especially important if you are looking to have “getting ready” pictures taken. You don’t want to have someone you aren’t comfortable with in your dressing room as you are just in your mens support underwear putting your dress on! Be sure to keep notes at each consultation so that you can go back after all of them are done and remember feelings, impressions, and likes/dislikes about each photographer.

  1. Price

Finally, I will mention price. While ideally price would not be an issue, we do not live in the ideal world. Price is important, and should be considered, but it should not be the first thing to shop for when choosing a photographer. It has been said many times before, but your photography is one of the only things that you will have left after the wedding, so getting someone of quality who you are confident will get you the pictures you desire is worth paying a little more for. Really, price should be something that is considered in the background of doing the first 3 steps. If you know you absolutely cannot afford to spend $6000 on wedding photography, then photographers with starting packages of $5000 are probably not going to be in your budget, so look cautiously at their sites. They can give you great information about styles and numerous other things, but they are probably not one you should call for availability when you get to that point. Keep in mind also, however, that many photographers make personalized quotes, so even though their range may seem a bit high or low for your budget, if you really like them it never hurts to ask. (For more information on photography budgets in Oregon, see our blog article)

A comparison of photography styles. Which style is right for me?

Couple Kissing in vineyard

Which photographic style is your favorite?

In several of the last few articles posted, I have discussed the different styles of portrait photography without really describing what those styles are. I hope this article will shed some light on the subject (pun intended) and help you decide which style or combination of styles most fits you.

Traditional studio posed

When most people think of portrait photography, this is the style they are thinking of. This is where you go into a studio, have a solid or specialty backdrop, everyone is positioned around one family member (usually mom) and you all smile towards the camera. Although it has evolved some over the past century as photographic equipment has gotten better, for the most part this has become the staple of portrait photography and is consistent over different types of portraits (family, individual, business, etc.). There are some things which can be added into these types of photos which will spice them up but still keep the essentially a traditional studio shot. Some of these things include instruments, sports equipment, toys for children, or your family pet. This type of portraiture is still the most common, where you are posed by the photographer and they take the portrait of all of you looking at the camera.

Child in swing, portrait from Photos by Orion

Lifestyle photography is great for kids and families!

Lifestyle/Candid

Lifestyle and candid photographers are very common now. While they are not the same, they share many similar traits. Lifestyle photographers typically will take a subject, put them in an environment and will ask for eye contact while get photos in that setting. For example, when I do outdoor portraits with children I will usually employ a combination of posed and lifestyle photography. I try to take the child to a local park, will get some posed photography in the beginning in the lush greens, then will end at a playground where I only ask the child to look at me and smile when I ask for it. Otherwise I just follow the child around and capture photos of them doing what they love to do, play.

Candid photography is similar, except that there is no asking for eye contact. A candid photographer would take the child to the playground and get photos of them playing on the equipment, but would not get too many photos of the child looking at the camera.

Photojournalistic

The photojournalistic style has been greatly romanticized over the last 5 years or so. A true photojournalistic style is similar to lifestyle photography, but with a black and white touch and a “did our photographer even show up” feel. When you hire a photojournalist to document your wedding, their job is to observe without interference. If they have done their job correctly, you should see them when they arrive and when they leave, but not really notice them throughout the day. True Photojournalists do not ask you to look at the camera, do not edit much beyond conversion to black and white (besides maybe some contrast adjustments), and are excellent storytellers. You should be cautious to really get a good look at the work of photographers stating they are photojournalists, as it is rare to get a skilled photojournalist. There are many photographers who claim to be photojournalist but are really candid/lifestyle photographers. Photojournalistic wedding photography, is both an acquired taste and a hard skill to master, so if this style really speaks to you be prepared to pay more for a skilled photojournalist.

Artistically desaturated bride by Photos By Orion

Artistic portraits can add a little class to your portraits.

Artistic

Artistic portraits are done with some specialty settings. It can either be your outfits, such as Victorian or western dress, lighting, such as all black except for your face, or it can be specialty tones such as sepia or selective desaturation. Any of these elements, and many others, can create an artistic feel to a photography session. All photographers are artists, but each photographer will develop their own style. This is again why it is important to research your photographer and find one whose style you like.