Alabama Wedding Photographer Samantha Alday offers a documentary style approach to photographing weddings. Her fresh and modern images are unrehearsed and capture the true emotions of the day as they actually happen. Samantha commissions a limited number of wedding events each year delivering the most in personal customer service, unique attention to detail and the specific needs of each client.

Friday, January 30, 2009

June 6, 2008 Re-Opened!

June 6, 2008 is now available for booking!!

I know lots of you have called inquiring about this date which until now has been filled. If you've not already secured your photographer, give me a call!! For those of you newly engaged and are looking for a fabulous date in the Spring, June 6 may be the date for you!! : )

Next week I'll also be beginning a new blog series entitled TIPS FROM YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER. I've photographed about 100 weddings now and have learned abit about what works and what doesn't work. I hope these tidbits of info will help you out as well! : )

Look for TIP #1 starting Monday and will follow every Monday for the next few weeks!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sarah and Keith | The Engagement

What do you do on a rainy, dreary day in Fairhope, AL? You shoot an Engagement Session, of course! That's exactly what we did with Sarah and Keith last Saturday at the Fairhope Pier. Yes, the weather was misty and foggy, but they were troopers and the images are fabulous! I asked them were they sure when they said to me, "really, we're up for anything". Scary, but they definitely put themselves in my hands! : ) Fun times for sure with great, natural laughs and energy. I know their wedding will be just as fabulous!

Here are a few of my favs!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No Regrets

A few weeks ago I met a young woman I'll call Jane. We began chatting and she mentioned she had just recently married. You know the only thing I could do next was ask her "who photographed your wedding"? She went on to tell me and share her story abit more. "We had an original budget that just kept getting bigger and bigger so we had to start cutting back. We chose to cut back on our photographer. His prices were really cheap and the pictures are good, but cutting back on my photographer is the only regret I have in all of my wedding decisions."

Jane went on to tell me that there were lots of pictures that her photographer missed, as well as she had to direct him/her in everything. This particular photographer basically wanted to know every single image that Jane and her groom wanted. Her reply to that? "I didn't know what to tell him, I thought he should know that." And because of that, a lot of pictures were not captured. And yes, while communication is extremely important, this is a great example of the differences between a more traditional style of photography and the photojournalistic approach. A photojournalist is a documentor and story teller, not just a photographer. The actual Story Teller of your wedding day.

Jane also said that the main advice she gives to any of her friends now who are getting married is to not 'cut back' when choosing their photographer. "I tell everybody I can!" She enthusiastically declared.

After talking with her I immediately began thinking how I can share her story with you. Why? Because this is a repeat story that I find we are hearing way too often after the wedding day. I know the next two statements I'm about to make are cliche', but they still hold valuable truth!

1. Long after the wedding day is gone, all you have left are your memories and the pictures. Well let me tell ya, the older I get the fewer memories I'm able to find! ; ) Because the wedding day is such a blur anyway, if it weren't for my video and my wedding album, I wouldn't remember anything from the day.

2. You get what you pay for. Period. It's as simple as that. I'm not going to stereotype that and claim that to be true 100% of the time, but I'm willing to bet it's true more often than not. Now I'm not necessarily saying that you have to pay out the wazoo for everything, but make your decisions wisely on how to best use your budget.

Also in thinking of my conversation with Jane, I've come up with a few important points for you to consider when choosing your photographer.

1. First and foremost, actually think about how important is the photography to you? I think you need to decide this first before you actually begin searching for your photographer. Once you determine that value and importance, you can narrow your search for photographers that also express that same value.

2. What is your style? You have a vision for your wedding day event and how you want everything to marry (pardon the pun) to bring to fruition that vision. Don't forget about your photography in that vision. The style of your photographer and the work he/she represents should also represent your vision. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Consider the photographer's style. Is it traditional? Is it candid and documentary? How can you tell? Simply check out their website. Is it fresh and modern or older and more traditional. Does it seem to be 'kept up' and updated frequently? Does it stir emotion in you? That's a silly question, but that's what pictures that tell stories should do for you? Think about yourself in that situation and what emotion your photographer will capture for you on your wedding day? Does the style of the photographer correlate with your style? Does this photographer have a blog (an online journal of recent events)? I strongly believe this is a critical factor. A blog is where you can really learn more about your photographer, see recent events, stay updated on their work, but also get to know them as a person (which I'll also discuss a little later).

4. What products do they offer? Just as your style and the photographer's style should parallel, the products they offer should complete or culminate your vision. Those products should be a representative of their work, their style and your style and be the final icing on your cake (okay, sorry for another pun). Again, I believe that same cliche' applies here: you get what you pay for. If your photographer is of high value and high quality, any of the products they offer should hold that same high value and quality as well.

5. And finally, I think this an important one: Is your potential photographer someone you can have a relationship with? Regardless of any of the above points, if you don't 'click' with them, you just don't click (last pun I promise). Why is this so important? Because your photographer is not just another vendor that you'll only see on the wedding day or maybe not at all if it's a vendor that totally works behind the scenes. Your photographer, like I've mentioned before, is responsible for telling your story that will be with you for a lifetime. Can you trust them with that responsibility? This is a person that you'll spend your wedding day with; will you feel comfortable with them while sharing such an important day? Your relationship with your photographer begins long before your wedding day and will continue hopefully, long after.

So there you go. I hope you don't think that I'm preaching to you that you have to spend a fortune to fulfill that vision and have the wedding of your dreams. I'm also not condemning you if the photography is not on the top of your priority list. But I hope these ideas and tips give you something to think about and are helpful to you so you, like Jane, will have no regrets.

Monday, January 19, 2009

God and Baseball

If you've ever read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I post lots of personal pictures of my family and that I also love the sport of baseball...especially when Joseph is playing. Now what does this have to do with the title of this post? Bear with me; it's coming. : )

This past Saturday my family, including my mom and youngest brother walked/ran in a 5K (all at my mother's prompting I should add). : ) Anyway, Saturday celebrated 22 months since Joseph's leg injury. It was a time there when we weren't sure if he would walk normally again or play the sport he loves to play; much less run in a 5K! (And he made it in about 32 minutes!)

Also, as I post this today, I remember 10 years ago today I was being admitted to the hospital where I would receive a diagnosis that would also change me (us) forever. Crazy to think about my bout with cancer was 10 years ago! Some of the memories seem like yesterday and some of it seems like a lifetime ago.

During the time I was posting about Joseph's injury and progress I received a blog comment from an anonymous poster who sarcastically questioned "what does God have to do with baseball"? I was too raw to publish that quote or comment about it. But for some reason it has come back to my mind over these last few days and I wanted to address it now.

You see, God is in everything we do and without Him we could do nothing. Without Him, we wouldn't have made it through Shelby's birth and her stay in the ICU when her heartrate was too low and the nights we lay awake watching her breathe and listening to her apnea monitor. We wouldn't have made it through hearing those words that no one ever wants to hear. You could have blown us over with a feather when the doctor told us that I had colon cancer. Without Him, we wouldn't have made through the surgeries and the six months of chemo I endured. We wouldn't have made it without Him as we watched our 13 year son lay in a hospital bed for two weeks and have four surgeries to save his leg during that time. Only to watch him go through another surgery a few months later followed by six months of complete bedrest and a year of recovery. I still pray for him usually every morning when I hear him get up and walk down the hall for the first time and I hear the limp in his footstep because his leg is a little stiff in the mornings.

So fast forward to today. Without Him I wouldn't have a beautiful, healthy, soon-to-be 13 year old Shelby. Without Him, I wouldn't be healed of cancer for 10 years now. Without Him, Joseph wouldn't have been able to show us his 'beastly' (his word-not mine) calf muscle last night that he is obviously quite proud of because this time last year he hardly had a calf muscle at all. Without Him, Joseph wouldn't be practicing baseball again this year. So for us, God is in everything we do, whether it be dealing with life altering decisions and/or sufferings, day to day drudgeries and even our baseball. : )

And trust me, I'm not being somber and solemn this morning; I'm celebrating! : )

Hope you're having a good Monday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On Newstands Now!

It's that time of year again for the newest ALABAMA WEDDINGS MAGAZINE to hit newsstands. I'm so excited to have Erin and Jonathan's wedding featured in the 2009 edition. You can see more of the wedding day images on my main website in the galleries section!

Friday, January 09, 2009

2008 Favorites

Here ya go! Favs from the year! I can't believe how fast the year has flown by. Thanks so much to my couples for allowing me to share your day with you and for the new friendships I've made.

I'm looking forward to more new friendships in 2009!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Kristen and Robert

What a spectacular wedding to end the year! Everything was spectacular: the bride and groom, the dress, the details, the location, the get the idea! As I was choosing my blog images I found myself adding more and more to the post! Thanks Kristen and Robert for such an enjoyable day. You guys rock and were tons of fun to spend the day with and to photograph.

The Ceremony: St. Joseph's Chapel
The Reception: Stewartfield
Each located on the campus of Springhill College
Wedding Coordinator: Amy Petruzelli of Spot On Event Planning
Floral: Rosebud Florist

Kristen's gown was amazing!

I love the look of Kristen's father seeing her for the first time in her gown.

Simply stunning.

Kristen and Robert opted for a First Look so we had lots of time for their pictures.

Robert dressed up pretty good, too. ; )

It was a freezing night and this young guest found a way to keep warm. : )

Don't forget the slideshow! Give it abit to load; I told you it was hard only choosing a few pics! ; )

You can see all of their wedding day images in The Online Gallery and use Robert's last name as the access code.