How to Pick a Knoxville Professional Wedding Photographer / Videographer #4: Why Do Professional Associations Matter?

Picking a wedding photographer, wedding videographer, or wedding cinematographer is simple, right?

 

You go to a bridal show, find one with the right package price and a great deal, a pretty booth with pretty pictures (or movies) and sign on the dotted line. You get to go home happy you saved a lot of money and check wedding photographywedding videography, or wedding cinematography off the wedding planning list until you end up following up for the free engagement session or maybe a couple of weeks before your wedding to make sure you’re on the same page.

But that’s not how it’s supposed to be!

It’s supposed to be so much better than that! (Can you tell we are passionate about this?!) In this blog series, we will share... (click for info about the series)

In this blog series, we will share exactly what to look for, how much to pay, what to ask, and essentially how to go through the process of picking a wedding photographer / videographer / cinematographer. First, it’s important to go over some important characteristics and why they’re important!

Don’t assume all wedding photographerswedding videographers, or wedding cinematographers are the same!
Knoxville-Wedding-Photographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Videographer_Knoxville-Wedding-Cinematographer_Worlds-Fair-Park_Downtown-Knoxville

The artistic images are often the most powerful and memorable wedding photographs.

What you are actually paying for could be much different from your expectations (especially after reading this series). Here are eight (potentially surprising) secrets about the field of wedding photo/video/cinema:

  1. Not all of us are professionals.
  2. Not all of us do this as our full-time job.
  3. Not all of us care about the art of photography.
  4. Not all of us keep up with trends and the market.
  5. Not all of us are active members of professional associations.
  6. Not all of us design the experience our clients have.
  7. Not all of us educate our clients on the benefits (and drawbacks) of different media for images.
  8. Not all of us share our success by giving back to those in need.

We will cover why each one of these characteristics is relevant to you with different posts—so you don’t have to take it all in at once!

What are professional associations and why do they matter?
Knoxville Professional Wedding Photographer - Award Winning Knoxville Wedding Photographer | Professional Photographers of East Tennessee | Knox Wedding Creative

This image from a Knox Wedding Creative engagement photography session was the top-scoring image at the 2014 Professional Photographers of East Tennessee annual image competition. Not only does it symbolize quality for brides looking for their wedding or engagement photographer, the competition provides critiques to the members so they may refine and improve their photography skills in the future.

There are a handful of local, regional, and national professional associations that wedding photographers / videographers / cinematographers can be a member of, each of which are fairly unique. Why do they matter though?

First, members of local professional associations are regularly surrounding themselves with other quality professional photographers / videographers / cinematographers—some of which have more experience, some less, but all have the goal of becoming better at their craft.

These members of local guilds also have strong relationships with other quality professionals who often work together for clients to create fantastic experiences. In the event of an emergency or failure (especially in the wedding industry), this local network of quality professionals is a huge benefit to clients of professional association members. If something terrible happened (knock on wood) to your wedding photographer / videographer / cinematographer and they aren’t an active member of a local professional association, you may be “up the creek without a paddle.”

Another reason these associations matter for you is they often hold competitions with professional judges and give out awards to the best work. If you see that a wedding photographer / videographer / cinematographer has won awards from a professional competition, you know they have experience, offer high-quality services, and their work was independently deemed to have been better than their peers / competitors.

Lastly, you want your wedding photographer / videographer / cinematographer to be actively involved in such an organization simply because their membership is almost symbolic they have most of the other characteristics of the best wedding photographers / videographers / cinematographers we’ve mentioned in our other “How to” articles on hiring photographers / videographers.

What this means for you:
Knoxville Professional Wedding Photographer - Award Winning Knoxville Wedding Photographer | Professional Photographers of East Tennessee | Knox Wedding Creative

“The State of the Estate” was the top-scoring image in the Commercial – Architectural category in the 2013 PPETN competition. When searching for your wedding photographer, make sure you recognize a variety of skills in your wedding photographer. You’ll get a greater variety of quality images—in this case your venue will be photographed beautifully as well.

When looking for your Knoxville professional wedding photographer, look for one that has an active membership in a professional association. Members of these local, regional, and national associations provide you these benefits:

  • Continuous improvement in knowledge and application of skills and techniques
  • Community of quality professionals to learn and ask questions with
  • Quality and skilled backup photographers in case of emergency
  • Independently reviewed competitions and awards (signal of quality)
  • Consistency in quality images
  • Symbolic embodiment of the characteristics of the best in the industry
Wedding Tips Series

Part 1: Where You Get Ready Matters
Part 2: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 1 (Why Hire a Professional?)
Part 3: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 2 (Why Does Full-Time Matter?)
Part 4: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 3 (What is the ‘Art of Photography’?)
Part 5: How to Pick a Wedding Photographer or Videographer – Step 4 (Why Professional Associations Matter)

Stay tuned for more great tips by getting social with us!

P.S.: Want to customize your wedding photography or cinematography experience?
Click to setup a free consultation with us and we’ll start designing your wedding ASAP!

Do you have any additional advice or suggestions for other brides about the value of hiring a photographer or videographer who is a member of a professional association? Share them in the comments below!

 

The Bleak House – Knoxville Wedding Venue Open House – Spring 2014

One of the joys of ramping up for wedding season is meeting with brides at the open house of a Knoxville wedding venue. For the wedding vendors, it’s actually an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the venues and each other’s company while we aren’t focused on working a wedding. Most of wedding season, we see each other at the weddings we work but rarely can stop and talk very long.

We’ve been lucky enough to attend many of 2014’s open houses and shows, including at Dara’s Garden/Rothchild Catering & Conference Center, Whitestone Country Inn, Crescent Bend House and Gardens, The Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm, The Reserve at Bluebird Hill, Fox Den Country Club, The Pink Bride Bridal Show, The Bridal and Beyond Show, Women Today Expo, and Belk – West Town Mall (we think that’s it!).

This weekend, however, we did something a little different when the Bleak House opened their doors to show off the property to couples looking for a space for their wedding, reception, or special events and parties. The Bleak House was putting on a “staged wedding” for brides to get an idea for what their wedding might look like, and we took lots of pictures—especially of the gorgeous floral arrangements by Melissa Timm Designs. In addition, The Gilded Gown and Savvi Formalwear teamed up to put on a brief fashion show to display some of this year’s trends in formal wear. Lastly, a delectable spread of quality foods were prepared and shared by Bradford Catered Events. Click here for a full list of vendors at the Bleak House!

If you are still looking for the perfect wedding photographer to capture your once-in-a-lifetime moments or would really love a movie produced about your love story and wedding day, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll help you reserve your date! Enjoy the pictures below 🙂

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative

The Bleak House was beautifully decorated by Melissa Timm Designs with floral displays in all shapes and sizes.

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative

This delicious cake with raspberry filling on the inside, as well as the large display of foods (not pictured) were provided by the wonderful folks at Bradford Catered Events.

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative

These beautiful floral centerpieces and rental items are a small sample of the variety you can get with Melissa Timm Designs.

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative

Melissa also decorated the “Romeo & Juliet Balcony” at the Bleak House with arrangements that were draping over the rails beautifully.

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative

All of the lovely wedding gowns and dresses pictured were provided by the Gilded Gown.

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative

The Gilded Gown offers more than just wedding gowns!

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative

The sharp menswear in the Bleak House fashion show was provided by Savvi Formalwear—with locations in West and East Knoxville.

Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative Knoxville Wedding Photographer - The Bleak House by Knox Wedding Creative