Working with a photographer to capture The Big Day

Educating clients about what to expect on their wedding day is a key practice for photographer Ifong Chen, who is celebrated for her beautiful, in-the-moment photography.

click to enlarge Working with a photographer  to capture The Big Day
Photographer Ifong Chen

“For my couples, I always meet them in person, chat with them, make sure my style is what they’re looking for, my personality is what they’re looking for,” she says. “I always suggest having an engagement session. They know what I’m looking for, they know I’m going to make them dance on the street! Squeeze in! Tight hug! They know certain things I’m looking for, they’re laughing. The engagement session is a big plus for me as well as for them because they get tons of beautiful photos to display at the wedding.”

Chen recommends setting aside an hour and 15 minutes on the wedding day for photos. “Twenty minutes only gives you snapshots,” she notes. “We are all kind of nervous in front of the camera, so it takes a couple of minutes to forget the photographer is there… The time to catch an image is quite fast, but the time to catch a moment requires some time.”

"The time to catch an image is quite fast, but the time to catch a moment requires some time."

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And she wants p ides to loosen up. “Don’t worry about your dress! It will get a little dirty — don’t feel like you have to hold your dress. Swing your skirt!”

And Chen says that sometimes she notices an irresistible opportunity and implores the couple to be with her in the moment. “Please trust me! Just give me three minutes, and I’m gonna take five pictures… and see what’s magical comes in.”

Chen’s wedding photos include all sorts of posed and candid shots. “I’m going to capture all the traditional style, to make sure the older generation will have something beautiful to send out. But about 70% is in creative, very cool styles. That way I’m making three or four generations in the family happy in different ways.”

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Anne McGregor

Anne McGregor is a contributor to the Inlander and the editor of InHealth. She is married to Inlander editor/publisher Ted S. McGregor, Jr.