Capturing Memories for a Lifetime



Photography provided by AJ Studio

In the years to come after a wedding – after the planning, the decorating and the stress are over – there is one thing that captures the bliss and excitement of the day: photography. As a couple settles into their marriage, celebrating anniversaries and their life together, there is nothing more priceless than the ability to look back at images of family, friends and moments from the most important day of their relationship. 

Choosing the people responsible for capturing these all-important memories is a tough decision. Couples are not simply hiring a company to perform a task, they’re hiring people who will provide them with something tangible to look back on fondly and memories to revisit for a lifetime. 

Unfortunately, this is where many couples, in an effort to save money, will cut corners and sacrifice quality images to fit a budget. Additionally, couples that feel uncomfortable in front of the lens might worry about the quality of images no matter the price tag. 

Angela Sampson and Jaime Bristow, co-owners of AJ Studios, say these are just a few of the things they run into as wedding photographers. They add that couples should search for a photographer who is passionate about what they do. Like any profession, a photographer with a passion will strive to work harder for results than an unmotivated one. 

“We are two best friends who have carefully chosen our extended team of lead photographers and videographers,” says Bristow. “Our team must be passionate about what we do and be of the highest quality.” 

The duo focuses on the personal side of photography – they know what’s at stake when photographing a wedding, and they’re invested in ensuring they’ll provide images that will grace the walls and photo albums of a couple’s home for a lifetime. 

“We don’t just want to get to know the bride,” says Sampson. “We want the bride to know us. We encourage them to friend us personally on Facebook so they can feel like someone they trust is by their side on their wedding day.” In this sense, the team provides all the comfort and care that a family member or friend would, without the risk of winding up with poor quality images. “If you spend less money, you can expect less quality,” Bristow warns. “Your photos will be a memory of one of the most beautiful days of your life, so choose carefully.”

 When hiring a photographer, couples often forget they’re paying for years of experience and knowledge alongside an experience that is comfortable and carefree, allowing them to gain the best photos possible without interrupting the enjoyment of their special day. This can be a much tougher job than many realize. 

“Weddings are exhausting to shoot,” says Sampson. “The eight to 10 hours we are with you require continual mental and physical effort. We scarf down granola bars and energy drinks to keep us going.” The price of a photographer is not just about buying their time for the day: expertise comes with a higher cost and a higher return. “Consider if your photographer seems genuine,” says Sampson. “Do they love what they do? If they love what they do, they will work hard for you. And, of course, consider their experience and their portfolio.” 

When the right photographer is hired, photographs of the wedding day are priceless. The right photographer, according to Sampson and Bristow, should make couples feel at ease while being polite, professional and prompt. 

“Not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera and it is our job to make you feel that way,” says Bristow. “They should expect unique, creative ideas. Each couple’s story is unique and we want to capture that for them.” 

As the culture of wedding photography shifts from formal and posed images, photographers are challenged to determine the style and direction each couple’s images should take. This means taking the time to get to know the couple and working with them to better understand their expectations and ideals for their photos, as well as what makes them most comfortable in front of the camera. “The photographer will be with you, by your side all day, and so you want to feel comfortable,” says Sampson. “If you’re uncomfortable, it will show in your photos.” 

In the end, the wedding day is about ensuring the couple is as happy as possible, not only with the photos but with the process of taking the photos as well. “We personally meet with each couple we’re going to work with so that we make sure we address all their concerns and meet their expectations,” says Bristow.  

AJ Studios is located at 12 West Benson Street, Cincinnati, OH 45215. You can reach them at 513.491.3747, email them at photography@ajstudiollc.com or visit their website at www.ajstudiollc.com.