By Rebecca Padgett Frett
Kay Meyer began her photography business over 20 years ago, fueled by her love of the lens. She still has that passion but finds herself even more drawn to the love her lens gets to capture.
It began as the perfect career for a mother who wanted to spend ample time with her children while also contributing financially to her family and stoking her own creativity. She began with occasional weekday shoots and weddings on the weekends where her schedule saw fit. Two decades later, she is one of the most in-demand photographers in Tallahassee and the surrounding area.
Her longevity stems from the lasting relationships she makes with clients, investing in their lives from weddings to maternity shoots to family photos. Along the client journey, the wedding day is the valuable start of the couple’s path through life together. An experience that never dulls for Meyer.
“Even if I’ve photographed a venue 15 times, each time is different because each couple’s wedding is unique,” said Meyer. “Even with trends and traditions, each couple does, says or has something that makes them memorable.”
As an industry veteran and leader, Meyer has a keen knowledge of just what couples should be looking for when they are seeking a wedding photographer.
- Timeless Style
Filters and effects have their appeal, but Meyer encourages couples to take into consideration if they would still love the look of the photos in 10, 20, 30 or more years. Many couples, knowing it or not, seek out photos that are edited but not heavily filtered or altered.
“When you look at a photographers work, think about how they will look years from now hanging on a wall or in an album,” said Meyer. “Most couples want photos that are more natural because they withstand the test of time.”
- Skill and Experience
Much like with anything you invest in, you want to hire someone who has considerable experience, especially in the wedding industry. Looking at a photographer’s website and social media are solid first steps. From there, Meyer encourages couples to ask the photographer to see full portfolios of the weddings they have shot.
“Ask the photographers you’re interested in if you can view their online galleries from start to finish,” said Meyer. “This will tell you so much more about their experience and style than their 10 best photos on Instagram.”
If you’re still impressed, ask questions such as: “How long have you done wedding photography?” “How many weddings do you do per year?” “What would you do in (insert) situation?”
- Personality Matters
On your wedding day, you want to be surrounded by positive energy only. You want people who care about your happiness and do all in their power to create it. Your photographer counts as one of those people. Within minutes of meeting, you’ll likely know whether your personalities mesh. It is recommended that you meet your photographer in some capacity beforehand, whether over Zoom, for coffee or for an engagement shoot.
“Your photographer should be friendly and personable,” said Meyer. “It’s also important that they know how to have fun and make taking photos enjoyable for everyone involved. Even more so, they should put you at ease with their professionalism and adaptable attitude.”
4. Communication is Key
This tip applies to all vendors, but especially your photographer. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your questions are particularly important when it comes to what’s included in the price and expectations on the day of. Meyer suggests sharing the wedding day timeline with your photographer as soon as possible. This will help them know when to arrive, what shots should be captured when and to keep a reliable pace. Keeping constant communication between photographer and client will lead to a seamless and enjoyable day.
“When talking with potential photographers or your hired photographer, from the start, make your expectations known,” said Meyer. “The client should make their wants clear to the photographer, and the photographer should be clear in what all they are promising to provide.”
- A Helping Hand
Your photographer’s primary duty is to capture all the moments and memories of the day, but what makes a photographer more valuable is the extent to which they care about creating a special day for you.
“I’ve helped with bustles, I’ve helped set food out, I’ve made couples plates and brought them drinks — anything I can possibly do to make their day go smoothly.”