A Photographer’s Guide: Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers

Are you a beginner who is about to photograph your first wedding ever? If so, here are some quick and practical tips from our pros here at Saiaf Films. Being an Armenian Washington Wedding Photographer for almost a decade has helped us develop and streamline techniques and processes with regards to our wedding photography. While the style depends on the photographer’s taste and preferences, knowing the basic tremendously helps in creating a solid foundation for your photography.

1. Scout the venue

One of the most echoed and consistent advice we hear from the pros in the industry—and the number one we also give to aspiring photographers is scouting the location. Nearly every Armenian Washington Wedding Videographer we speak to always stress the importance of this preparation aspect in their imagery. So take it from all of us: Scout it out. Know the venue, the light and the cool spots for photos.

2. Be mindful of the lighting

The key to all photography—perfect lighting. Without it, there would be no images or life, for that matter. All photographers have different approaches to lighting, and there are infinite possibilities and options on how to control and manipulate the lighting in a scene—some provided by nature. Learn off-camera flash like the back of your hand.

3. Master your gear

Another commonly held view by every Armenian Wedding Photography Vancouver we spoke to was that shooters need to know their gear inside and out. The wedding day is NOT the time to experiment with new equipment, try out different settings, or figure out a wireless trigger.

4. Frame it right

Composition and framing come naturally to some. To others, it is a skill that must be learned and refined. There are some things to think about every time you depress the shutter release on the topic of framing. Take a moment to scan the frame before you press the shutter and look for any distractions that could potentially ruin the photo. Nothing is worse than having everything perfect, only to later find out that there are tree branches or horizon lines cutting through your subject’s heads.

5. Let your style exude

It is often said that every Seattle Armenian Wedding Videography and photography you take, even non-selfies, is a self-portrait. Your photographic and videographic style defines your brand image. Versatility as a photographer is never a bad thing, but it might have negative effects on your wedding business. Keep your editing consistent. Find what you like and keep it that way. Showing different editing styles in your website is confusing to couples.

3 Important Points to Consider When Choosing Your Engagement Photo Shoot Venue

Engagement photos are a great way to connect with your photographer and also with each other in front of a camera. Engagement photos are usually a 2-3 hour photo shoot with you and your partner. Between you and your photographer you will need to decide on what location you wish to have your photos taken.

To help you find the perfect location, here are some points to remember from the award-winning Armenian Texas Wedding Photographer, Saiaf Films.

Think About Your Hobbies

Take a second to think about you and your partner’s hobbies. Do you enjoy pottery, golf, hiking, sailing or watching movies? No matter your hobby, it can inspire the perfect location for your engagement photoshoot. If you both love exploring and hiking, you can choose a location that showcases a woodsy appeal, such as among a forest or trails. If you would rather be sculpting works of art out of clay, you can book your photoshoot to take place at your favorite pottery studio. Share your hobbies with your Houston Armenian Wedding Photography to inspire suggestions for great photoshoot location.

A Meaningful Location

For your entire relationship, which locations hold the most meaning for you both? If you are having trouble thinking of locations, it may help to recollect on vital moments within your relationship, such as where you met, where you proposed, or even where you were the moment you knew you were in love. For example, if you are high school sweethearts, have your Armenian Texas Wedding Videographer shot your engagement photos at your high school. Your location has the potential to add personalization to your images.

The Right Timing

Regardless where your location is, your Dallas Armenian Wedding Videography team cannot get beautiful photos without the right timing. If it’s an outdoor location, consider the time of day that will present the best light, and when there will be the least amount of foot traffic from people visiting the spot. If it’s an indoor location, be sure to check business hours or times when there will be a large amount of people present for an event.

Your engagement photos will truly be beautiful if they are captured in a stunning and meaningful location. These are just a few tips to assist you in choosing the perfect setting for yours.

The Pros and Cons of ‘First Look’ Photography

Pondering on the idea of throwing tradition out of the window and having a ‘first look’ for your Armenian Wedding Photography California? Many of our modern couples here at Saiaf Films are more inclined to see each other before their wedding ceremony—but whether it’s for you is just a matter of personal preference. However, to help you decide, here are the pros and cons of having a first look photo shoot.

Pro: You’ll get your portraits out of the way

While sunset wedding ceremonies are popular among marrying couples, the timing of the ceremony may leave your bridal party in the dark with no time and no light for photos. In this case, having a ‘first look’ photography session with your Armenian San Jose Wedding Photographer may be necessary as otherwise, you may miss out on crucial wedding photography time. Basically, with a first look and the wedding photo shoot out of the way, the newlyweds can jump straight into celebrating right after the ceremony.

Pro: The romantic photos it creates

First look photos can create candid shots that display your genuine emotions and reactions for having a glimpse of your beloved other in its glorious wedding look for the first time. As an Armenian San Diego Wedding Videographer, there’s something special about capturing that moment you first see one another on your wedding day. And since it involves only the two of you, the moment is not overshadowed or crowded by wedding guests or a rogue celebrant in the background.

Con: It can be awkward

Unfortunately, not every couple is suited to the drama and surprise of a ‘first look.’ While we’ve all seen the beautiful first look photos of the groom crying when he sees his bride for the first time in her wedding dress, not every couple is as emotional or lovey-dovey. This means the first look may be a little awkward, and almost feel forced.

Pro: You’ll calm any pre-wedding jitters

While exciting, weddings are generally very stressful for the marrying couple. For some, seeing one another before the ceremony begins is enough to calm all pre-wedding jitters and relax for the celebration ahead.

Con: Ruins the surprise

Having a ‘first look’ comes with the thought that it perhaps ‘ruins the surprise’ of when the bride first walks down the altar. After a ‘first look’, the groom will have already seen his bride, and therefore the moment she walks down the aisle might not be as emotional as expected. Plus – it may take away many guests’ favourite part of any wedding: seeing the groom’s face when his future wife walks in!

Pro & Con: It’s not traditional

This is 2017 and marrying couples of today are straying more and more from out-dated wedding traditions. For some, seeing each other before the wedding ceremony just ‘goes’ with the tone of their non-traditional wedding. On the flipside, some couples would see this as a con. Traditional wedding practices is still very much seen on many Los Angeles Armenian Wedding Videography and photography, and the idea of the groom seeing his bride for the first time walking down the aisle is here to stay.

4 Important Things You Should Tell Your Wedding Photographer

On your wedding day, your Punjabi San Jose Wedding Photographer will be following you around, they will be there for every important moment, they will see you getting ready, walk down the aisle, be emotional—ugly cry and laugh out loud—and witness every emotion of everyone in your wedding. Even before the ceremony begins down to the post-production, your photographer will be there, so here are some important and useful tips to help them while letting you relax and enjoy your day.

1. The order of the day

What time will you be getting ready and where? What about your groom and groomsmen? Do you need a second photographer to take photos of them, too? A schedule of the day and location allows your Punjabi Wedding Photography California to plan their day, ensuring they are at the right location at the right time.

2. About the Family shots

If you want some family photos or group photos then let your photographer know. Decide on the important group photos you want to have and ensure there is enough time to have these taken. The more people and the more photos you want, the longer it takes, so ensure there is plenty of time. Informing your photographer about family shots allow them to find a good location and backdrop for these pictures beforehand, saving time and making it easier on the day.

3. Family Details

Face sheets can be helpful for your Punjabi San Diego Wedding Videographer for them to know who the key people are, especially if there are a lot of guests in attendance. It makes it easier for your photographer to recognise the important persons and makes it easier when it comes to organising the pictures post-production. If you have guests or family members that have strong aversion to flash lighting, then let your photographer know as well. If there are any awkward family circumstances, then ensure your photographer is aware, too, so they know how to facilitate them during photo shoots.

4. Surprises

Surprises are great for guests and your other half. However, it is also better to let your photographer in on the secret, too. Whatever it is—be it fireworks at the end of the night or a special dance—let your Los Angeles Punjabi Wedding Videography know, so they can be ready to capture it from the best angle. If they know what is coming, they can plan for it accordingly.

The 3 Important Things to Know Before Booking Your Wedding Videographer

Photos only capture so much of your wedding day, and hiring a wedding videographer will help ensure you don’t miss a thing. However, we understand that figuring out how to narrow down the selection can be overwhelming. Here are some tips from Saiaf Films on what to think about before selecting your official wedding videographer.

The Vibe of the Video

The first question to ask yourself is how do you want your wedding video to look and feel? Do you want your wedding video to be more cinematic—a movie that tells the story of your wedding day—or more like documentary style? This choice between cinematic and documentary will serve as a major filter in narrowing down your list. But don’t feel like you have to commit to one or the other. In fact, you’ll be surprised how many videographers today use a combination of both styles in their finished products.

Camera Cues

Two types of cameras can be used when shooting a video: DV (digital video) and analog (non-digital). Analog was the standard until DV technology became more affordable. Digital produces crisp images where the color and skin tone rendition is flawless. Also, these cameras are significantly smaller than analog, can be handheld and are twice as sensitive to light as analog.

Next decision: How many cameras do you want to have at your wedding? Two or more may seem obtrusive, but one cameraman can’t be everywhere at once. And remember, with two cameras, you’ll get choices of perspectives—you can shoot the father/daughter dance and the expression on your mom’s face, or you can have one camera covering the girls’ getting ready and the other one covering the men’s. The cost of additional cameramen is either a flat fee or prorated, depending on how long the extra coverage is needed.

Tag Team

Wedding videographers like Saiaf Films offer both photography and videography services. Besides a cohesive look to the final products, there are other advantages to getting your photography and videography services from a single company. For example, two people with different agendas may jockey for position or get in each other’s way, whereas two people who work as a team can look out for each other and keep in touch about what’s happening. And with one less vendor to worry about, it’s also easier on you.

Just be sure both products meet your standards—don’t be blinded by ease alone. Moreover, if you want your photos to have a formal feel and your video to be flashy and fast-paced, be sure that the two professionals from the same company can nail both of the styles.

Your wedding video are just as important (if not more important) than your wedding photos. Finding the right wedding videographer is critical in the creation of an action-packed, tear-jerking wedding video.

How to Find the Best Wedding Photographer

Selecting a wedding photographer is an essential part of the wedding planning process, as integral as choosing a venue or finding the perfect dress. But unlike your flowers or catering, the photographs from your wedding live on long after the day. It can be difficult to find a photographer and videographer who match your aesthetic and taste—not to mention someone you trust to really capture the most important moments. Will they take the right shots? Will we work well together? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, our pros here at Saiaf Films have some tips for making sense of it all:

1. Ask around
Word of mouth is one of the most tried-and-true methods of finding a great wedding photographer. Going by the old theory, “birds of the same feather flock together,” friends often share a common style and similar budget. If you loved a friend’s wedding, don’t be shy to ask about their wedding photography experience.

2. Determine Your Style
Try and form a clear idea of whether you are more drawn to the organic aesthetic achieved with film or the crisp, classic style that digital photography offers. Taking the time to browse a photographer’s portfolio can be invaluable to finding the right fit. Are you looking for candid, documentary style or more posed and traditional portraits? If there’s something in particular you’re looking for, focus on a photographer who specializes in it.

3. Do It One Vendor at a Time
Have you found the florist of your dreams? Ask them who their favourite photographers are. The wedding industry is a close-knit community–don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from industry vendors. Another option is to look at their website to see who shot weddings they were a part of. This will not only give you an idea if their styles would match yours, but also if they’re going to fit your budget.

4. Review Their Work
Be sure to ask for three to four full galleries from past weddings. It’s so important to see how a photographer is going to cover a wedding from start to finish. Don’t just look at the highlights in their portfolio (anyone can compile 30-40 great images for their online portfolio). In addition, ask for references. Talk to other couples about their favourite moments with their photographer as well as any aspects to learn from.

5. Agree on Every Detail
There are a few critical things to keep in mind before you sign a contract. Most importantly, when will the photographer provide the final images? Be clear about the timeline so you know what to expect. If you’re getting married in the fall, do you want your photographs by the holidays? Do you envision making large-format prints to frame, or creating a wedding album? All these elements should be discussed and agreed upon in advance so you know what to expect post-wedding.

The Saiaf Films Experience

Whether you’re here because you’re engaged to the love of your life or because you just love beautiful, romantic photographs, whatever brings you here, we assure you won’t be disappointed! You’re in the right place and we’re so glad you’re here.

After being a professional wedding photographer for years and having photographed hundreds of weddings across US, you would think that we would outgrow weddings, right? The reality is, we have seen and photographed it all, and the more weddings we shoot, the more we fall in love to the fairytale-like beauty of weddings. The joy, the excitement, the intricate details, the genuine emotions, the first dances, the portraits that speak the love and devotion that couples have for each other…. we just love it all. Even after having covered countless of weddings all over US, it’s just always humbling to know that people have trusted us with preserving over the most memorable and romantic event of their lives—their wedding. It has been a great honor and privilege to be part of the most precious event of your life and we’re looking forward for more beautiful and memorable moments with you.

Your Engagement Session
Your engagement session gives us the chance to get to know you personally and get a feel for your personalities and preferences. We aim to make your photos look just like you—to represent you. As you let us into your love story, telling how you met and how you are as a couple, we get to see what makes your love and life together so special – and this plays a major role on how we approach your wedding day.

Getting to Know You
We are not just your photographers, above all, we aim for your trust and comfort with us. Our initial consultation, engagement session, and other pre-wedding interactions will hopefully help you feel comfortable entrusting us with such an important job. The more comfortable and confident you are in us, the more you will be able to relax and be yourself – and the organic joy of those moments is where beauty is found. We surely can edit many things to make photos look perfect, but genuine emotions is not among them!

We would love to cover your wedding! We cover ALL 50 STATES so send us a message below about your wedding and we will get back to you within 2 hours! You can also call us at 1-800-431-9735, we would love to hear from you.
By the way, we cover all 50 states as well, so no place is too far!


South Asian Weddings: What You Need to Know

Marriage is one of the most important events in a person’s life. It is coming together of two individuals, two souls and two families. In the Indian context, the importance and sanctity of the wedding institution can be gauged from the fact that a number of rituals are performed to accomplish it. South Asian weddings are performed with utmost care and in accordance with ancient practices.

Some of the Important Parts of a South Asian Wedding

Pre Wedding Ceremonies

Roka (end of search) – This ceremony marks the beginning of a formal relationship between the families of the bride and the groom. This is a relatively small family tradition to secure the commitment to the relationship. The families involved exchange sweets and gifts (generally traditional clothes and jewelry). This exchange is symbolic of welcoming the bride’s family to the groom’s and vice versa.

Chunni Chadana Ceremony (Gifting of a scarf to the bride)Chunni chadana is similar to an engagement in the western tradition. The groom’s parents and close relatives visit the bride’s house. The groom’s sister or sister in law presents the girl a red sari or suit, as a token of acceptance of the girl in their family. Thereafter, the girl wears the clothes given by the boy’s family. The main ritual of the ceremony is when the girl’s soon-to-be mother-in-law places a red chunni or scarf on the girl’s head and gives her traditional jewelry. The ceremony comes to an end with the exchanging of rings between the prospective bride and groom.

Mehndi CeremonyMehndi is an important pre wedding ritual for Sikh, Hindu and Indian weddings. Mehndi is taken to the girl’s place by the boy’s family. This Mehndi is then applied to the girl’s hands and feet in beautiful motifs. The gifts for the girl with the mehndi also include dry fruits, specifically dry dates.

The Wedding Ceremony

Milni Ceremony – The bride’s family welcomes the groom and his family when the baraat (wedding procession) arrives at the wedding venue. The girl’s relatives offer shagun (a token of good luck) to the groom’s close relatives. It is a ceremony symbolic of the coming together of both families.

Religious wedding Ritual – This ceremony involves the recital of sacred verses from the holy text of the bride and groom’s religion.

In the Hindu tradition, this is called Lanyadaan and Phere, the bride and groom take seven rounds along a small fire. Fire is symbolic of sacred energy and the seven rounds are symbolic of promises made by husband and wife to each other. The Bride’s give her hand into the hands of the groom. This symbolizes that the bride is a part of the groom’s family.

In the Sikh tradition, this ceremony is called Anand Karaj. The Bride and Groom, their families and relatives go to a Gurdwara where sacred verses are recited, and the bride and groom take four rounds around the Holy Book followed by Ardas.

Reception Ceremony

The groom’s family often throws a reception party following the wedding day. It is an occasion, where the newly wedded couple is given a warm welcome by all who are invited at the wedding. A more relaxed atmosphere is observed at the reception and families celebrate the successful completion of the wedding.


We would love to cover your wedding! We cover ALL 50 STATES so send us a message below about your wedding and we will get back to you within 2 hours! You can also call us at 1-800-431-9735, we would love to hear from you.
By the way, we cover all 50 states as well, so no place is too far!


Photographer’s Guide: 5 Ways to Get The Most out Of Photographing Couples

Maybe you’re a wedding photographer who’s just new in Hindu cultures and looking to improve your couple shoots? Or perhaps you just enjoy spending time with people who are in love? Then this blog post is for you!

Taking photos of couples can be a great way to gain confidence in posing and directing your subjects, all of which you can put into practice with your wedding photography, may it be a wedding in Arab cultures or Sikh cultures.

One thing to consider, however, is that this might be the first time for a couple to have their photos professionally taken. If you’re more familiar with photographing models, then you’ll be used to them knowing what to do in front of the lens. A couple, on the other hand, might be awkward and not as aware of how they’re coming across on camera.

Below are some tricks of the trade that we at Saiaf Films have learnt over the years in photographing Sikh cultures engagements and weddings. Producing images that both you and your client love should be the ultimate goal and it isn’t that difficult once you know how.

Plan Plan Plan

As with almost all forms of photography, having a solid plan in place is the key to success.

While spontaneity can be great for photos during the shoot, you should have an idea of where you’re going and what you’re going to do in a particular location.

Your planning should also consider the time of the day in relation to your location. This will ensure you make the most of the available light. Obviously, you can’t guarantee this especially if you’re shooting outdoors. However, choosing a location with nice shaded areas or colourful backdrops will mean you’re prepared for almost anything.

Brief Them About What To Wear

A common mistake with engagement shoots is when your couple shows up in completely contrasting outfits.
When you photograph a wedding, you can pretty much guarantee that men will be wearing suits and women will be in a white dress. There are obviously exceptions to this but generally, they will be well matched on their wedding day.

However, an engagement shoot is completely different, unless you brief them about what does and doesn’t work ahead of time. Try to avoid bright contrasting colours as these will dominate your photographs and distract from the couples lovely interactions. We also suggest advising your couples to avoid wearing big logos which can also be distracting and problematic.
Instead, you should think about getting your couples to choose more neutral looking outfits. Show them examples of your previous shoots which have really worked and inform them that this will produce the best results for their photo session.

The Poses

When you hear the word pose you might think of a rigid, robotic looking photo but it doesn’t have to be that way.
A certain pose or suggestion to your couple can just be the starting point which eventually leads up to that natural interaction between your couple.

• Walking
• Kissing
• Whispering
• Cuddling

In order to get a natural look and feel to the images, you want the couple to forget that they’re being photographed. May your engagement sessions be in Arab cultures or Sikh cultures, make your couple feel at ease by being warm, personal and fun towards them.

Wedding Photography 101: Tips to Handle the Photography AFTER the Wedding (Part 3)

Now that you are fully equipped for before and during the wedding, here at Saiaf Films we give to you some more tips and insights on how to handle the wedding photography AFTER the wedding.

Don’t Shy Away From Using Black-and-White

The beauty of shooting digital, and especially in RAW, is that you can convert your files to black and white later in the post-production process. If you have trouble seeing contrast, you can even shoot the whole wedding in black and white. This really simplifies the photography as you don’t get distracted by colour, especially with hindu cultures, which is known for having the most colourful weddings. You can then convert them to colour in post-production. Black and white conversion can be particularly helpful with the unpredictable lighting you get as a wedding photographer. It isn’t a substitute for bad photography, but it can definitely make an emotional photo pop.

Express Deliver

You might have included in your contract that the photos will be ready within 8 weeks. However, the quicker you can get the photos edited and delivered to your couple, the happier they will be. It shows you care about their wedding. It is also a great reason for them to refer you to family and friends if you are going above and beyond their expectations.

Learn From Every Photo Taken

The absolute beauty of digital photography is that you can shoot and shoot and shoot. It might be tempting to delete images that don’t work right away, but we strongly recommend to just hold on it. There is plenty of time for scrapping out poorly taken imaged in post-production. You don’t need to add another job on the wedding day. Additionally, you have to think that images can be manipulated in the editing, whether that’s cropping or sharpening slightly. If you find that a photo is a poor shot, look at it closely and realize where you went wrong to help you improve.

Ask Couples for Their Referral

Once you have delivered your photos to the couple and you know they absolutely love them, ask them if they know anyone else who is getting married and have they booked a photographer yet. Referrals are a great way to acquire bookings as their friends have often seen you working at their wedding. They also then get to see the end result in the form of wedding photographs.

A great way to keep your couple happy after the wedding is to send them a few preview images. They might be expecting this if you have discussed it in your contract, but if they’re not it can be a great surprise. Just drop them an email telling them how much you enjoyed their wedding and give them some indication as to when the final images will be complete. This is a great way to keep them in the loop. Additionally, they will likely share these images on Facebook or with family and friends which can be great for referrals.

Honor Traditions

Weddings in sikh cultures and arab cultures are quite traditional, so listen to what your couple wants to achieve with their wedding photos. With such colorful cultures, you may need to exert a little more effort to make colors pop and look more vivid in still images.

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