Planning a Capital Region wedding: photographers

lauren wedding engagement photo troy sign

"All of her pictures captured our quirky personalities, and we still looked good!"

By Lauren Hittinger

Lauren and George are planning a wedding in the Capital Region, and they're chronicling the planning process here on AOA. Last time we heard from them Lauren was picking out a dress. Next up: the photographer.

When my fiancé George and I first started planning our wedding, we made a list of the few things that were most important to us. Two of the items were things we could take on ourselves: having a wedding that involved our family and friends, and being true to our fun personalities.

The other priority: to have a quality photographer who takes amazing photos. It wasn't an easy task to find someone we loved while sticking to our budget, but we eventually did it.

Our considerations

lauren wedding katherine wright photography

To make the wedding photographer decision, we considered the technical skill, style, personality, and price of each photographer.

Technical skill
In terms of technical skill, you would be surprised how many people are selling wedding packages who really aren't up to snuff with their skills. Sometimes it's hard to see when their website only shows the best, highlighted images, but I made sure to always look at a single wedding's gallery. If there were blown-out images (where it's way too bright in spots), focus issues, or just bad composition, those photographers were immediately off our list.

Sometimes it's hard to see when their website only shows the best, highlighted images, but I made sure to always look at a single wedding's gallery. If there were blown-out images (where it's way too bright in spots), focus issues, or just bad composition, those photographers were immediately off our list.

Photographic style
Photographic style, on the other hand, is pretty subjective. Beyond obvious red flags, it's really just personal preference. There are some photographers who go for a more vintage look, incorporating things like lens flare into the photos. Other photographers do a lot of post processing to make everything seem sort of surreal and saturated. There are some things I hate, like black and white images with a single object in color. But if you like a style, and the photographer has good technical skill, then go for it!

Personally, I like really clean images that do not have too much obvious processing. While we were looking for some traditional shots, I'd also love some modern photos of us standing out in the field. Really, I just want us to look attractive and happy in our pictures.

Since your photographer is going to be following you around your entire wedding day, it's also best to have someone with the sort of personality that clicks for you. I know I am going to be a bit of a nutcase on my wedding day. I'm an extremely emotional person, and I'm also a bit type-A. Let's just say that emotions will be running high. Finding someone that puts me at ease is priceless.

Speaking of price, the cost of the photographer is no small consideration. We are spending a significant chunk of change on our wedding, with our original estimates in the $10k range. But when you divide that up to cover food, drink, the spaces, dress, etc, etc... there's not much left to go around. Even though photography is very important to us, we just simply couldn't afford to spend anywhere above $3,000 at the absolute maximum.

And, like any part of a wedding, that means passing on some options. For example: I absolutely love the work of Elario Photography. I don't know how I originally stumbled upon them, but I've been spying on their work, on and off, for years. They make every single bride look so glamorous and beautiful and have an eye for photos that are modern, but not overly trendy. In terms of skills and style, they are spot-on to what I love. Unfortunately, their prices are a bit outside our budget. (But if you have any interest in weddings at all, you should definitely go drool over some amazing ones on the Elario blog.)

Our choice

lauren wedding engagement photo b&w

After considering a range of local photographers -- and lusting over many a blog post of fancy Saratoga weddings and elegant events in Albany -- we found ourselves coming back to someone I already knew: Katherine Wright of YTK Photography. I met her when I used to work at The Arts Center and even took a few photography classes with her. Katy obviously knows her stuff when it comes to photography and has shot dozens of gorgeous weddings.

Before I even had a chance to ask Katy about her wedding packages, she offered to gift us engagement shots! I guess it pays to have talented friends. After we got our engagement photos back from Katy, we knew she would make a great wedding photographer. All of her pictures captured our quirky personalities, and we still looked good!

Katy herself also has a wonderful way about her, and I know she'll calm me down on our big day. The wedding packages at YTK Photography are very reasonable and fit within our budget.

I am so excited to have Katy shooting our wedding pictures. As the months tick closer to the wedding, everything is getting more real. Before you know it, I'll be sharing our actual wedding photos!

Lauren writes about shopping, crafting, and living well on a small budget at The Thrifty Ginger.

More of Lauren and George's wedding planning:
+ Planning a Capital Region wedding: the dress
+ Planning a Capital Region wedding: catering
+ Planning a Capital Region wedding: the venue


Nice ad for YTK Photography.

Linda Conley is another great photographer based on two weddings she's done for my family. Not too many of those corny shots that most of today's weddings end up with.

Lovely pictures!

Linda Conley is great. Very friendly, very professional and very reasonably priced. She did my wedding and we love the shots she took.

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