Your Wedding Lasts a Day. Your Wedding Pictures Should Last a Lifetime
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hey! My name is Caitlin from Cait & Co. Photo, and I’m a traveling wedding & elopement photographer based out of Southern California! I’ve been a photographer for what feels like forever, but my wedding business is only about 1.5 years old. I was born and raised in Dallas, TX and I moved to the West coast after graduating college. I absolutely love living here! You literally have the beach, mountains and desert all within an hour or so of each other. It definitely makes my job more fun when I get to travel to all these different landscapes! Also, fun fact: I’m a dog mom to an 8-month-old Golden Retriever named Magnolia! She’s the cutest.
How did you become a wedding photographer?
One of my favorite things about being in this industry is getting to meet new people all the time.
I’ve had a camera in my hand for as long as I can remember! In middle school and high school, I was a photographer for the yearbook staff, then in college, I transitioned into portraits and senior photos. About a year and a half ago I saw that one of the wedding photographers I follow on social media posted about a photography workshop in Joshua Tree. I immediately signed up and that was probably the best decision I've ever made! I ended up quitting my 9-5 design job and went to being a full-time wedding photographer only 2 weeks after the workshop. It sounds so crazy when I say it out loud, but I guess when you know, you know. One of my favorite things about being in this industry is getting to meet new people all the time. I’ve gotten the chance to work with some super rad couples and vendors this past year. It’s seriously been so much fun!!
How would you describe your style?
I like to document things as they happen rather than pose the couple throughout the whole wedding. I want to get all of those priceless reactions and tell their story!
I would say that my photography style is mainly based around photojournalism. I like to document things as they happen rather than pose the couple throughout the whole wedding. I want to get all of those priceless reactions and tell their story! As for my editing style, I would describe it as film-like and timeless.
What is the criteria to follow when hiring a wedding photographer?
When choosing a wedding photographer, you want to choose someone whose style you really connect with. I know some people just want the cheapest photographer they can find and that definitely isn’t the way to go. These photos are going to last forever and be passed on from generation to generation. You want to be in love with your photographer's work! You also want to make sure that you connect with your photographer on a personal level. You’re going to be with this person all day on your wedding day after all!
What are the typical services/packages offered by wedding photographers?
A lot of photographers have multiple wedding packages you can choose from.
I have 3 packages, and I’ve found that my 8-hour package is usually the most popular. Other add-ons that can be included in the packages are an engagement session, a second shooter, or an album.
I would say that couples can expect to pay at least $2,000 for their wedding photographer. It all depends on what you get, where you live and the photographers experience. I live in Orange County and I believe the average cost for wedding photography here is $5,500.
Why do wedding photographers charge so much?
Photographers don’t just show up, take photos, leave and be done with everything. SO MUCH goes into being a photographer that a lot of people don’t realize! Months before the wedding we plan, give guidance and create timelines for the day. Then, on your wedding day, we’re with you for 8+ hours. After your wedding day, we spend days culling and editing all of the photos we took. It’s definitely not a walk in the park, but I love it! We also have a ton of other business related costs that quickly add up including cameras ($6,000+), lenses ($4,000+), camera maintenance ($1,000+), venue insurance ($300/yr), Photoshop + Lightroom ($240/yr), client online galleries ($34/mo), client management programs ($40/mo), paid advertisements, internet, phone bills, health insurance… the list goes on and on!
What is the newest trend in wedding photography?
Your wedding should be exactly how you want it to be. No one should be able to pressure you into doing something that you don't want.
This definitely isn't a new thing, but I think more recently it’s becoming more and more trendy to elope or have an intimate wedding. Maybe the couple is over the stress of planning a huge wedding. Maybe the couple doesn't get along with their family members. Maybe the couple wants to get married halfway across the world where they went on their first international trip together. I think it’s great! Your wedding should be exactly how you want it to be. No one should be able to pressure you into doing something that you don't want.
What is your ideal wedding photo?
My ideal wedding photo would have to be a moment where the couple doesn't even know I’m taking a picture of them.
My ideal wedding photo would have to be a moment where the couple doesn't even know I’m taking a picture of them. A photo where they’re living in the moment and having the time of their lives at their wedding and loving on each other. I want them to look back at the photo and remember exactly how they were feeling at that moment.
What was the most memorable wedding you photographed?
Sarah is 5’4” and Derrick is 6’11”, so for the ceremony, Sarah brought out a custom stool for her to stand on for the first kiss. It was so funny and unexpected!
I think my most memorable wedding would have to be the Hoag wedding in Santa Barbara. The couple was so cute and they were very relaxed on their wedding day. You could tell they just wanted to have a good time! They even did little things to surprise one another throughout the day. Sarah is 5’4” and Derrick is 6’11”, so for the ceremony, Sarah brought out a custom stool for her to stand on for the first kiss. It was so funny and unexpected! Also, before the first dance, Derrick surprised Sarah by singing their favorite song over the mic in front of everyone! Many tears were shed. They also had an oyster bar which I LOVED and thought was so unique!
If you could ask one thing of the grooms and brides that would make your job at their wedding easier, what would it be?
I would say to definitely get a coordinator!! It honestly makes a world of a difference and takes a ton of stress off of the couple and even the vendors. Trust me, you won’t want to worry about anything other than getting married on your wedding day!