Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Tom Tracy

3/24/2008 (7 years ago)

Catholic Online (

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (Catholic Online) - It is a Friday night before a two-wedding weekend I have coming up in South Florida and my camera bag is packed, batteries charged and I am taking it easy because I will be on my feet at least 8 hours both Saturday and Sunday.

FOR YOUR SPECIAL DAY - Tom Tracy is a professional wedding photographer based in West Palm Beach, Fla.

FOR YOUR SPECIAL DAY - Tom Tracy is a professional wedding photographer based in West Palm Beach, Fla.


By Tom Tracy

Catholic Online (

3/24/2008 (7 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Best I can tell, both my couples are entering Jewish-Christian interfaith marriages with a rabbi presiding at beachfront resort ceremonies.

Like a lot of my clients, the couples started their search for wedding vendors by Internet, probably in conjunction with checking out resorts and considering word-of-mouth advice. One client is an American couple working in London, and they found me online and booked me after several phone and e-mail exchanges. Then we met in Florida just before Christmas for a beach engagement photo session -- a great way for photographer and couples to break the ice and set the stage before the big day.

My other couple is a referral -- I shot the bride's older sister's wedding a year ago, and this family in particular likes me. Last week I was sitting in their kitchen in Fort Lauderdale eating scrambled eggs and bagels before we shot that couple's beach engagement session -- just one week before the wedding!

Get to know your photographer

Any way you can get to know your wedding photographer on a personal level and brief him about the wedding details is a good idea. (It also doesn't hurt to make sure he gets fed well the day of the wedding.)

These days, it's all about the Internet and online resources, but a substantial number of couples planning a wedding still put high value on word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals when choosing churches, locations and wedding vendors. Otherwise, future brides are sitting down at the computer or with the wedding magazines combing through the expanding number of wedding vendor portals and online advertising vehicles.

Discuss the price tag

Then comes the hard work of deciding what you want from your photographer and how much you are willing to pay. We hear of photographers charging as little as $500 and as much as $30,000.

Whatever you do, make sure you have a clear understanding of exactly what you are getting when you sign up. Know who will be shooting the wedding, the timeframe that the shooter will be with you, and exactly what products and services you are getting. Whenever I hear someone complain about a wedding photographer experience they had, I wonder how much of it is really a function of the client not having understood the arrangements, or conveniently not remembering.

Check past work online

Most couples approach their search first with a general style of photography they want, and the Internet makes it easy to see samples of the work and read the photographer's bio, as well as see testimonials, custom wedding book designs, movie slideshows, online proofing and specific places that photographer has worked.

Having working in a particular venue is good, but not necessary for a photographer. My couple tomorrow was for some reason extremely interested in knowing that I like and enjoy working in their resort location, and I assured them I did.

Book well in advance

Don't wait to check if he or she still has your date available, as some popular wedding dates are booked over a year in advance. Call and schedule a phone conversation and then a sit-down if possible to review photo packages, pricing and the products.

Customizing your album

A lot of couples today simply want to pay a photographer to shoot the event and hand over the images on a disc. Photographers don't like that scheme for a variety of good reasons, and there are surveys which show those pictures almost never become part of a true wedding album. Today, the trend is to utilize digital technology to create a custom-designed, coffee-table style or flush-mount book.

Communicate well

Once you have hired your photographer, treat him or her like a part of the event, like family, and make sure he or she is on the inside track the day of the wedding.

I always tell brides who ask my advice that the single best thing they can do is get in that dress and be ready for pictures a little early. It always pays off in terms of more and better photos. Likewise, running late and being hurried never fails to diminish photo opportunities and create stress for the photographer and yourself.

(Tom Tracy is a wedding photojournalist based in Palm Beach, Fla. His website is


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Marriage & Family

Christian bakery continues to refuse to pay $135,000 fine to lesbian couple over a wedding cake Watch

Image of Melissa and Aaron Klein.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Melissa and Aaron wanted to fight all the way for their religious views, including ignoring blatantly and intentionally the imposed fine for not baking the lesbian wedding cake. In response to the statement made by the spokesperson for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and ... continue reading

7 things husband secretly love about their wives Watch

Image of What men love about their wives!


Men can sometimes have trouble opening up about their feelings and thoughts. Most men want to tell their wives what they really, really love about them, but find the words hard to say. If your husband is not giving you words of affirmation but shows you his feelings in ... continue reading

Top 4 ways to serve God Watch

Image of Serving God.


We look at our fellow Christians doing missionary work abroad and wish we could impact people's lives as greatly. Well, God is everywhere and His children are all around us - we can serve without even leaving the country. The best service is rooted at home, in giving ... continue reading

Dear Sweet Mamas: A powerful and emotional open letter to the mothers of the Oregon shooting victims Watch

Image of


Several reports stated that the gunman who killed nine at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon specifically targeted Christians. Although the motive behind the shooting has yet to be verified, one victim's father relayed his daughter's story that they were asked ... continue reading

Pope Francis met privately with gay couple during U.S. visit Watch

Image of Yayo Grassi pictured with Pope Francis


Reports reveal Pope Francis' historic visit to the U.S. included a private meeting with a gay couple, prior to his meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and her husband. WASHINGTON D.C. (Catholic Online) - Another unexpected event has been revealed from the pope's ... continue reading

'The Luckiest Man on Earth': 36-year-old father dying with 40 tumors finds happiness in faith and God Watch

Image of Image from The Paul Moore Foundation.


Paul Moore was diagnosed with kidney cancer and 40 tumors were found in his body, with some in his skull, yet the 36-year-old husband and father of two believes he is one of the luckiest men on Earth. His faith in God made him realize he has no time to waste on ... continue reading

Planned Parenthood under fire as House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings continue Watch

Image of


During the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Tuesday, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said that she has never heard of any incidents in her organization where a child has survived a botched abortion attempt. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Victim of severe burns tracks down loving nurse 38-years later Watch

Image of Nurse Susan Berger holds infant Amanda Scarpinati (WTEN-TV).


Amanda Scarpinati always turned to an old photograph of the unnamed nurse holding and comforting her after a surgery she underwent as an infant. To Scarpinati, the woman was a good and sincere "friend" through difficult times in her life, particularly when she was ... continue reading

Parents discover heartbreaking note from their 6-year-old son following his death Watch

Image of Leland Shoemake (Facebook).


Following the sudden death of 6-year-old Leland Shoemake, his parents returned home to discover the heartfelt note their son left behind for them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Leland Shoemake was only 6-years-old when he contracted a rare brain infection caused ... continue reading

Kansas police officer gives bike to homeless man after hearing man's inspirational story Watch

Image of


Roeland Park Police Department makes headlines again with more heartwarming news. An officer was called to check on a suspicious man in Sweeney Park on September 22. However, instead of finding a man worthy of arrest, he found one with an inspirational story. LOS ... continue reading

All Marriage & Family News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 3:1-10
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 7-8
1 [Song of Ascents] From the depths I call to you, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 10:38-42
38 In the course of their journey he came to a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 6th, 2015 Image

St. Bruno
October 6: Bruno was born in Cologne of the prominent Hartenfaust family. ... Read More