Gary Felton is a Certified Professional Photographer


Tips and hints

Basics on selecting a photographer:

1) A camera does not make a photographer. Just like a typewriter does not make a writer. Here in the Virgin Islands we have many people that charge money to use their cameras that are not “photographers”. You would be better served buying a camera for Uncle Bob and have him shoot your wedding.

2) look at background and training. Are they a member of a professional organization? Are they certified? At present there are only 3 certified professionals in the islands.

3) Portfolios are a great way to view the photographers best work and to judge if their style fits you. But be aware that even an amateur can have a good portfolio. But can they reproduce what you see on a regular basis? In most cases not, as what you see happened by accident. This is something only a well trained pro can do. A good check is to view complete weddings or albums that have been posted online for their brides. This way you can more accurately gage how consistent they are. There are only a few pro’s here on the island that allow you to see this.

4) As in anything, you get what you pay for. Be leery of included photography in packages without being able to see samples/portfolios from the photographer the planners are using. Many times they hire a photographer for $200 and charge the bride $800. So you are not getting an $800 photographer, just a $200 one. Good professional photography is not cheap. With the cost of pro grade equipment and the hours spent after the wedding editing and retouching the photographs, designing albums etcetera a pro will put in another 40 hours of work back at the studio on an 8 hour wedding shoot.

5) if you have never purchased truly professional photography before, you will be WOWED with the results and have something special for generations after the ceremony.

Selecting a photographer and being comfortable with that decision is not easy, but a very important step. It will be one of your largest investments. But a little homework and some looking around will net you photographs that you and your family can truly enjoy for a long time to come.

Tips and hints for better photography on your wedding day.

- Please don’t get sunburned before your wedding. A pink bride is not a thing of beauty. Also don’t forget to put sunscreen on the tops of your feet.

- Don’t be late! Come on ladies, it’s not like you have to decide what to wear. Most of our weddings down here are “sunset” weddings. Most are definitely shot in the late afternoon. This is a good thing because the light is beautiful then. The problem arises if one is late. The sun waits for no one, and shooting in the dark is not fun. Remember the sun goes down much faster here than up north. We generally like to have 45 minutes to an hour to shoot the “fun” stuff for you. After all, great photographs take time. So check the sunset calculator and plan accordingly. You’ll be glad you did. We can provide a timeline for you so just ask.

- Use flat waterproof makeup. Even in the late afternoon you will sweat. This causes you to shine of course, but in the wrong way. Also, bring a hankie to wipe off the sweat. Maybe have your bridesmaid carry some for you and the groom (they shine too). Last but not least, bring a hair brush for touch up in the wind.

- Wind! We have the trade winds here which mean it will most likely be windy. So plan accordingly and think about your hair style and the effects the wind can have on it. Also, Vail’s are nice. But be prepared to dump them in case it is too windy.

- Think about how sandy you may be willing to let your dress get. Unless of course you are doing a church wedding down here. But even then most brides want to have pictures on the beach. We have some fun possibilities if you are flexible on this. We can even do a trash the dress shoot for you. We’re flexible so just ask.

- Shoes. Don’t wear high heels for the beach. It just doesn't work. We have had brides and grooms in expensive dresses and tuxedos go barefoot. After all it is a beach wedding in the tropics. There are some situations where you can wear them for the ceremony, So check with your planner or ask us.

- Play the role. It’s your day of days. You can get away with most anything you want. So relax and enjoy the photo shoot. Be the superstar that you are. It will be FUN!

- Most brides will want group shots done of family and friends. To help speed things along and get the most bang for your buck you need to be organized. Make a list of what group shots you want! This is particularly important for larger weddings. It does not take very long to photograph groups, but it does take time rounding everybody up. So make your list and give it to a friend or family member that is most like a Marine drill sergeant.




Need help? have a question? Send us an email or call us now at 340.774.1922

Memeber of the Professional Photographers of America since 1973

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