Welcome to Ivey Weddings
My name is Chris Smith. I photographed my first wedding in 2005. Since then I’ve worked with hundreds of families, making brides and grooms shine, and immortalizing family moments through my camera. One thing that sets me apart as a wedding photographer is my ability to shoot with empathy and love for families on such an important day. I have the privilege to see your wedding through the calm of the storm, in a way that you are not able to see it. My camera is my crutch and my guide, and although you feel the pressure to have everything go perfectly, I have the honor of capturing what IS, for you to relive whenever you choose.
I have had the privilege and honor of hundreds of families welcoming me into their hearts. As a photographer, I am truly blessed by the trust I am given, by the people I photograph, who give me a glimpse into their souls. My style has been described as editorial, with the true story in mind, but the ability to create magic within your day. My goal is to be a memorable, yet unnoticed, part of your wedding. Whether we are creating a scenario or posed image, or I need split second timing to capture the perfect moment, I’ll be by your side through the day. I look forward to helping you begin your lives together as husband and wife.
Master Photographer of Off the Vine?
Ivey Photography was built by a team of photographers working together since 1977. Chris is a Master Photographer, a designation earned by years of hard work and dedication to the art and science of photography. Through his training, we have built a new team of associate wedding photographers. We call our newest division Off the Vine. Yes, it might be a silly play on words using “Ivey”, but we think it tells the story of a staff who has been trained by the best, and who Chris trusts implicitly to capture your wedding. The difference is defined best in terms of experience, but also in perspective. Every photograph made by any photographer has a little piece of that person in it. Our backgrounds, our training, our perspectives on life and love, are all different. When you book our Off the Vine team, you are getting a fresh approach and a younger perspective. When you book Ivey Weddings with Chris, you are getting a seasoned professional, and a more mature point of view. Neither is right or wrong, and no matter the price or experience level, one may prove to be a better fit than the other. We invite everyone to come in for a consultation where we can get to know you, and give you a chance to decide which coverage team is best for you.
How to Choose a Wedding Photographer
There are books written on the topic of choosing a wedding photographer, but from our point of view, we thought we could offer you some advice on the subject. Even if you don’t book an Ivey Wedding or Off the Vine coverage, we hope this list of suggestions can help you in your search.
- Wedding Budget – The average wedding in the US costs $27,000 (www.costofwedding.com). Photography should range from 10-20% of your wedding budget. The average full time studio wedding photographer in Dallas, TX charges $2950. The average home based wedding photographer charges $2375. The studio photographer generally offers a wider array of services and products, along with a retail storefront and camera room, which accounts for the difference in price. The top end of the wedding photography market is about $15,000 in the US. Some international and destination photographers can run north of $25,000. At Ivey Photography, we offer a range of prices from $1500 – $7500. Our Off the Vine coverage team starts at $1500, while Ivey Weddings starts at $2995. Of course just like anything else, you can pay less than the market average by booking a start up or beginner photographer, or even find a friend who can give you their time for free. In rare instances, that works out. Most people we talk to regret spending less because it meant they took a short cut on the only part of their wedding that they get to keep.
- Wedding Photographer Style – When you’ve looked at other wedding photographers, you’ll notice a few trends in today’s wedding photos. Here are just a few styles you may notice other photographers leaning toward.
- The “natural light” photographer. Their images are generally lit by available light without the use of strobes, flashes or hit lights. They are dependent on “sweet light” for their most beautiful images. Natural light images are often the ones our clients favor the most. The light is how we are used to looking at each other and there is nothing artificial about it to distract us.
- The “flash” photographer. Every image has a tiny little shadow in it from the flash that is constantly on their camera. Every person in the images looks great, but there is something slightly artificial about it.
- The “photo journalistic” photographer. This is perfect for couples that want to be left alone and have everything be candid and natural. These images are often most effective for the ceremony itself, and the party portion of the reception. When the magic is happening, the photojournalism approach works great.
- The “fashion” photographer. Every image is perfectly posed, and every detail is in order. The images have a catalog quality to them, but what you may not like is that when done with only “the pose” in mind, they can lack a certain emotion or spark.
- The “traditional” photographer. Even though traditional can be a bad word in photography, weddings do have a ceremonial quality where a more traditional approach can be pleasing. This is especially true when it comes to the pre-wedding and post-wedding formal photos. Just be careful here that you don’t overlook creative ways to make the traditional moments fit your personal style.
- The “editorial” photographer. When you can find a photogarpher that combines a little piece of all of the above, you’re in business. One of the things we pride ourselves on is being flexible and prepared for any situation. The last thing you want is a photographer who doesn’t understand lighting for a reception because they only “shoot available light” photos. On a given wedding day, there may be 15-25 different lighting conditions, a variety in weather, and an infinite number of background and location choices. The “editor” will know which choices honor your style the best, all while working with the conditions presented to produce the best images possible.
- Personality – Once you’ve narrowed down a style you like, and you’ve honed in on a budget, you should interview several photographers to see which ones you mesh with the best. Do they empathize with any family dynamics you have? Do you have anything in common such as a hobby or college? Do you know common friends or other points of reference? Do you laugh at their jokes? Do they understand and can execute your vision? It can be difficult to pin down exactly why you get along and have a good feel for a wedding vendor, but you’ll know it when you find it.
- Bride and Vendor References – Ask your potential vendors for references from past brides, venues and other wedding vendors. Are they respectful of the other vendors? Do they meet deadlines and deliver products on time? Can they show you an entire wedding, and not just produce their best images on a website?
Dallas Fort Worth Preferred Wedding Photographer
If you are visiting venues in the DFW Area, be sure to ask for their preferred vendors list. You will find us featured at the following fantastic wedding and reception sites:
The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas
Stonebridge Ranch Country Club, McKinney
The Dallas Arboretum, Dallas
Aristide Event & Conference Center, Mansfield
Walnut Creek Country Club, Mansfield
The Rose Chapel, Ft Worth
The Belltower Chapel & Gardens, Ft. Worth
Temple Shalom, Dallas
Bella Woods Events, Midlothian
Awards and Accolades
Chris Smith, PPA Silver and Gold Medal Winner, Photographer of the Year 2017
Chris Smith, PPA Bronze Medal Photographer of the Year 2016
Chris Smith, PPA Gold Medal Photographer of the Year 2014
Texas Star Award for Best Event Photography 2010-2012
Wedding Wire Brides Choice Award 2010-2017
Although our family portrait business is in Midlothian, TX, our wedding coverage area reaches far beyond Ellis County. Over the past 5 years, we photographed from Celina Dallas, Fort Worth to Austin and Weatherford to Tyler. For the most part we photograph weddings in the immediate Dallas and Fort Worth area. We are available to photograph your wedding anywhere in the world.
When you’re ready to start the decision making process to choose a wedding photographer, we invite you to come by the studio for a complimentary consultation.
Call 972-723-2464 to schedule an appointment.