Post # 17
I voted neither. Both are good but each have downsides that I wouldn’t want for myself. Ely Brothers has a lot of movement and creative framing, but the colors are a little dark for my taste. Amanda also has good composition but her focus is out of control and she’s blogging way too many blurry photos, so I wonder what the rest of the wedding album will look like. She also has some excessive graininess in a lot of pictures which makes me think she was fighting low light conditions and didn’t have the proper equipment to handle it.
If I HAD to pick one, I would go with Ely Brothers. I agree with PP that they seem to have more technical skill and are as creative as Amanda. But I would keep looking/wait for responses from other photographers.
Post # 18
If I had to pick I would choose Amanda. Even though I find some of the focus too soft and I’m not a big fan of her style, I feel like she captured the emotions and the people better overall.
I feel like Ely’s photos were all of…things. There were literally one or two where I felt connected to the person in the photograph. While I do appreciate the more “artsy” photography, my wedding was not something I wanted done in that manner.
Also, wtf was with that pic of the groomsmen where it looks like the guy is going to pat the groom’s crotch? lol
Post # 19
Thanks for all the opinions ladies! I’m still torn. I’m going to get more info from each and look at entire weddings before I decide.
Post # 20
What kind of feel do you want for your wedding? Also- what environment are they shooting in? As PP’s have stated, photography is a really personal thing.
What’s an example of a shot that you really love (from any photographer)? Maybe that will help us in deciding whether or not these two photographers are for you.
For example, some ppl are pointing out the Ely Brothers have too many pictures of things, I for one find this beautiful- but other people don’t.
What do YOU like?
Post # 21
Depends on what feel you want, what style you lean towards. I’m a professional wedding photog btw.
They’re slightly different styles. I’m a very, VERY technical photographer who also adores emotion. However, I am a modern, no frills, practical girl and I’m not really frou frou. For that case, I find Amanda too Style Me Pretty / romantic for me. Her out of focus photos drive me nuts – my personal rule is that the eyes need to be in focus. If eyes are not in focus I do not consider it a technically perfect photograph, and for that reason alone, I would not hire her. Her photos are pretty, but they appear very generic – I can find them all over Style Me Pretty, it is hard for me to find a unique point of view, but I can see that she appeals to a certain bride who loves that look. She also cuts heads off at weird parts of the images, but does so less than Ely Brothers.
Ely Brothers are more edgy, but I’m not a fan of them chopping heads where it is unflattering. The top notch photographers I have learned from tend to favor including at least the hairline, else you run the risk of making the people look bald. However, they have a consistent control over their lighting, and in fact it’s easy to tell that they actually do not over photoshop their photographs – I disagree with whoever said that their lack of photoshop is worrisome. A great photographer does not need photoshop, and for that matter alone, Ely gets higher technical points from me and they seem more experienced.
Ely also gets a lot more natural moments in their portfolio. Amanda is more posed and trying to get into magazines. The reason why Ely’s lighting appears darker is because it looks like they shoot more indoor settings, and have a very good understanding of directional lighting. The school in which I’m taught, that is actually the correct way of lighting things, it adds drama and definition to the photos. If I ONLY had these two choices, I’d pick Ely hands down for better technicality, more diverse settings, and understanding of getting candid moments, and an interesting point of view.
I would recommend that you meet both and also look at full weddings that occur in similar settings as your wedding. Also get a feel for how they communicate to you.
Post # 22
@Shockolate: Ely Brothers are the more talented, moments focused photographers. Amanda is a completely different style – lots of detail shots, bright (overexposed) portraits. Styled shoots (like that first one showing on Amanda’s blog) don’t tell you anything about how they’ll handle a real wedding. Amanda’s reception work is not at all strong, and she has some weird editing issues too as I scroll through her blog.
It wouldn’t even be a question for me as a professional wedding photographer – Ely Brothers. There’s so much more energy and skilled use of light in their images.
Post # 23
I liked Ely brothers more. They were more original and exciting to me…not the run of the mill photos you see everywhere. But if you want to stay with the romantic photo, I’d go Amanda.
Post # 24
I just found out Amanda didnt realize I was from another state and has a wedding on the 6th, so cant travel to shoot mine anyhow. I am still unsure and would love any input on photographers anyone would recommend.
Post # 25
Another photographer vote for Ely Brothers. We have a similar style so he gets my vote. 🙂 The other one has way too many blurry photos.
Post # 26
I would meet with them before booking any wedding vendor- especially your photographer! Remember, you have to spend your whole wedding day with them!
Post # 27
I think photography is such a personal thing (once you tick the obvious technical boxes of course). I would really think about the style, colours and tones you want for your wedding photography. Do you want more candid moments, a documentary approach or do you want beautifully flattering portraits? Is your wedding predominantly in natural light, or will there be a lot of time indoors or in the evening? There’s no point in picking a photographer that’s perhaps technically more skilled than others, if you don’t like their style in the end. If you’re really at a loose end, I would start by going through websites like Style Me Pretty and searching for photographers in your area (or those willing to travel) and then choosing ones you like the look of.
Post # 28
Agreed. I vote for Ely Brothers.
Amandas editing and shooting style make me think she wants to be featured on sites like SMP, but her focus seems off a lot (her DOF is super shallow, so even the slightest bit off is noticable), I also noticed that her real weddings have barely any ceremony photos. Her blog posts focus mainly on the details, and not about the actual couple.
I also get the feeling she’s relatively new, her facebook fanpage has 278 likes.. Ely Brothers 2,716.