~Is a Photojournalistic Wedding Photographer Right for my Wedding?~

Traditional vs Photojournalism?

Every wedding album has the highly staged group photos. You know the ones where everyone is lined up in a perfect row based on their height; or the photos where the wedding party is positioned in a variety of semi-awkward poses? Well, thankfully, there is another option that requires many less staged pictures. Are you breathing a sigh of relief already? Are you a bit camera shy or just don’t want to miss the party? Then please keep reading 🙂

You should seriously consider hiring a photojournalistic wedding photographer. This approach to wedding photography minimizes the number of posed shots that are taken during the wedding day (but still accommodates Grandma’s need to have a couple of special pictures with the bride and groom). For those who are completely unfamiliar with the benefits of hiring a photojournalistic wedding photographer, here are a couple of highlights:

  • Photojournalistic wedding photography allows the bride and groom to enjoy more of their day! Instead of having to spend an hour or two posing for photos, this process might only take 20-30 minutes. The means more time to interact with guests, and more time to bask in the glow of your big day.


  • A photojournalistic wedding photographer is an expert at capturing the spirit of a wedding. While posed photos will help you remember who your bridesmaids and groomsmen were twenty years down the road, they don’t always capture the essence of the married couple or the unique aspects of the wedding.


  • A wedding, much like everyday life, cannot be scripted. And oftentimes, it’s the unexpected moments that are the most memorable and precious. It’s these moments that photojournalistic wedding photography is best-suited to capture. After all, you and your fiancé are a one-of-a-kind couple…shouldn’t your pictures reflect that?

~A bit about the Owner~

Hi, my name is Samantha Crawford!

Mr and Mrs (524)_pp

I am a wife and a mom of three, two boys and one furbaby :P.

When I am not behind my camera or juggling between phone calls, household duties and my “4” kids lol, I enjoy reading, learning new things and the sudden rush as I plummet down the first drop of any roller coaster. I also love listening to music and dancing; my heart belongs to rock and country thanks to my dad and grandmother and I have a life long passion for singing and playing piano.

 My specialty is in Wedding and Portrait Photography. My style is a beautiful mixture of both photojournalism and traditional styles of photography that centers around my love for storytelling, only using photographs instead of words.

You’ll find a mixture of candids, portraits, details and emotions in my galleries. I love to capture the energy in the moment, the intricate details, the emotion in your eye, the happiness in your smile and the love you feel, at the exact moment I snap the photo. Natural light is my favorite to shoot in, and helps when capturing candid, natural reactions. I also love to pose my clients from time to time and I am always open to any photo ideas you may have as well!

My goal is to create a relaxed, pressure-free environment for you and your family, capturing you in a natural and spontaneous way and making your experience fun and comfortable. My ideal clients are excited to be starting a new chapter of life together and starting a family and are in need of a down to earth, trusting professional photographer that can give them the high quality photography they deserve, at an affordable price. Someone who can capture them for years to come as their family grows.

Since opening my business in 2011, I have photographed a few hundred weddings, portrait sessions and events. My clients love my easy going personality and my ability to relax them and capture true candid emotions. I would love to chat with you today about your next photography session!

Click to chat with me via facebook!

~What I bring with me to a portrait session~

Besides some fun and creative ideas for pictures and my relaxed and calming personality, I have with me my Canon 5d Mark III, a few lenses, typically my Canon 28-300mm and 50mm, along with a lens critter to help grab kids and doggies attention. See some examples below of photos I used the lens critter in to capture their attention.



~What I bring with me to a Wedding~

For Brides: If you request pre-ceremony pictures, I will bring my HUGE emergency kit and leave in the back of my SUV. Here’s just a few things I keep in it: Tylenol, allergy pills, tissues, pens, paper, bobby pins, nail clippers, tweezers, deodorant, vaseline, wet wipes, baby powder, sunscreen, disposable razors, lip gloss, hairspray, chapstick, eyedrops, tums, Pepto, a couple of phone chargers, lint rollers, bleach pens, wrinkle releaser, safety pins, clear nail polish, q-tips, super glue, straight pins, scissors, and even extra earring backs and necklace clasps.

Seriously, if you forget it I probably have it. All the medicine is travel-sized and individually wrapped. I also have a bridal hanger and 10 bridesmaid/groomsman hangers should we need them.

Lots of preparation goes into wedding planning on my end. Besides cleaning equipment, charging batteries and packing up, I print out your wedding details questionnaire and formals list, and attach them to my super awesome clipboard that has pens, scissors, paper, a mini paper fan etc inside.

For equipment: I bring my Canon 5d Mark III, my 100mm macro lens if my bride wants detail shots, my 16-35 wide angle lens, my beautiful prime lenses, 50 and 135, along with 2 zoom lenses, one mid-range and the other a long range. I bring 2 speedlights if I need them for the reception, along with a LED Light.

~Mary and Jesse~

Mr and Mrs Kreager (285)

Mary and Jesse had a beautiful church ceremony with lights that lit the wall behind them with colors to match the flowers and bridesmaid’s dresses. Once the ceremony had ended, the wedding party gathered outside the church doors, preparing for the newlyweds to make their grand exit. As they stepped outside, Mary and Jesse were greeted by a swarm of bubbles and cheers of congratulations. Then the bride and groom rode off in style with their ’68 Chevelle that Jesse and his dad had spent years restoring.

The bridal party met at Paper Mill Island where there was a beautiful little park for us to explore and take pictures in. Mary and Jesse were awesome to photograph, completely willing to pose however we suggested. The bridesmaids were all too excited at the idea of having the groom lay across their laps for one photo! Once we were done with formal photos, we all joined the party inside The Red Mill Inn.

The rest of the evening was spent dancing and just enjoying good company, as any wedding should be. As toasts came to a close, the maid of honor/younger sister to the bride surprised everyone by singing and playing the ukulele in honor of the new addition to the family! The last surprise of the night came from the bride, who had a special cake made to be an exact replica of the ’68 Chevelle Jesse had worked so hard on. It was presented along side their wedding cake when it was finally time to dig in and grab a slice! It was a beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple!


Wedding Day Timeline Examples

Wedding Day Timelines

Below are 2 sample timelines regarding Wedding Day Photography.

The first timeline is a traditional wedding timeline where the bride and groom do not see one another until the ceremony.

 Click here to view Traditional Wedding Timeline   

The other timeline includes a first look, where the bride and groom share some alone time before the ceremony and have their formal photography done, along with the bridal party formals all prior to the ceremony.        

Click here to view Wedding Timeline with First Look

Questions? Did this help you plan your day? I would love to hear from you!

~*Featured* Location; Syracuse NY~

I’d LOVE to share one of my FAVORITE places to take pictures in our area!!

Thornden Park is a beautiful park in the Syracuse area just past the hospitals off Ostrom Ave.

It features a gazebo and arches filled with vines and flowers in the right part of the season, a waterfall, brick paths and stone benches, as well as an amphitheater and playground.

The fee to reserve the location within the park of your choice; Rose Garden, Lily Pond, Amphitheater is just $40 for up to 4 hours and reserves that area for you, your family, and your photographer for the times and date on your permit. Anyone else can be escorted off the property.

Please enjoy some of the pictures captured from the lovely Thornden Park.

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~Why You Need An Album~

Why Digital Images are Not Enough

I got to thinking earlier this year about all the lovely weddings I have shot since 2011 and how few people have ordered an album at the time of booking or come back after their wedding to order an album.

One of the first questions people ask when looking for a
wedding photographer is if they offer all the digital images
from their wedding. In fact, many couples plan to only
purchase the digital images and aren’t interested in anything

By only purchasing the digital images, you’re putting yourself
at a huge risk of losing your photos in just a few short years.

There are two scenarios that continually happen. In the first scenario, the image files sit on the storage device, forgotten. Life gets in the way. The wedding album never gets made.

The second scenario is the bride and or groom begins a layout and then realizes that they are in over their head, don’t know what they are doing or the design process is too time consuming for them to finish. So they stop and again, the images are forgotten.

Even I am guilty of having a hard-drive and external hard drives
full of photos of my kids and family that I simply haven’t
had time to order prints of yet.

This is why I believe that a professional wedding album
is very important. Even if you never do anything
except store it in a closet, you’ll still have images to look
at and enjoy years from now with no additional work

I hope that some of my clients did put together their own albums and had fun doing it but I have spoken to quite a few who just never have found time to do it. I want my clients to have something gorgeous to treasure forever and to revisit with their kids and grandkids.

USB’s, DVD’s and other memory sticks may not even work in 5/10 years!

You must have an album!

The Luxe Album is a contemporary flush mount wedding album. It is a wedding album designed for those who want elegant simplicity, but not austerity. Cover materials are available in animal-free leatherette, classic linen, or Japanese fabrics, with various photo option displays for the front. Available in several formats, the inside covers are decorated with your choice of Japanese-patterned accent fabric. Finally, the album is handsomely presented in its own matching storage box.



I only offer professional, high quality albums made
with archival inks and papers that are created to last for
generations with proper care.

I want the memories of your
wedding day to be seen and enjoyed by your family for years
to come. Don’t risk losing your memories. Make a beautiful album one
of your priorities. I promise you will not regret it.

~Wedding Day Coverage Recommendations~

There are many things to think about on your wedding day. Below are my recommendations for planning your wedding day photography and two sample timelines. Below is a traditional wedding timeline, at the end of this blog is a sample timeline with first looks prior to the ceremony.


Coverage Options and Suggested Length of Times:

 ~Detail photos of your dress, jewelry, shoes etc~ 15-30 minutes

~Getting Ready of Bride/Bridesmaids~ 30-60 minutes

~Bride-Side Family Formals~ 15-30 minutes

~Getting Ready of Groom/Groomsman~ 15-30 minutes

          ~Groom-Side Formals~ 15-30 minutes

~First Looks~ 15 minutes

~Ceremony~ 15 minutes to 1 hour

~Family and Bridal Party Formals~30-60 minutes

~Bride and Groom Formals~ 15-30 minutes

~Reception Coverage~ 2-4 Hours

Allow more time than you think you need to get ready! It’s better to be safe than RUSHED! View a sample timeline below!


~How Often Should You Schedule a Photo Session?~

So much goes on in the course of a year that it can be difficult keeping up with all those special occasions. And just as quickly as they came, they’re over. Events like baptisms, birthdays, graduations, or other parties can happen so fast that you might not remember most of the day and all those happy memories just slip away. That’s why hiring a photographer for these specific events can be so beneficial! We capture the memories so you can focus on the fun.

It’s always nice to hire a photographer for special events that only come once a year but what about all those moments in-between? Documenting your family’s growth can also be an important job for a photographer.

Think about scheduling at least one photo session for each of the following age groups:

Blog Post_5 Chart

Not to mention, professional photographs of the family make great gifts for relatives! Holiday themed photographs are always a big hit, whether they’re Christmas, Valentines Day, Halloween or maybe just some fun seasonal photos!

~The Perfect Location~

There’s a great deal of planning that goes into portrait photography. Once you’ve found the perfect photographer, it’s time to think about things like outfits and props and locations! Here are a few tips to help you decide on the perfect spot for your on-location photo session.

Choose a Meaningful Place

You want your portrait to reflect who you are, whether it’s a photograph of your whole family or just you! The best way to help your photographer is by choosing a location that you have an emotional connection to. It could be a place you like to go to be alone or maybe where you met your spouse. Choosing a familiar location can also help you to feel comfortable, giving your photos a more natural and relaxed look.

Natural Light

Here at All Occasion Photography, we love using natural light to bring out your natural beauty. The sun provides the best lighting just after sunrise and just before sunset, when the sun is lower in the sky. This is the perfect time of day when the sun’s strong rays won’t cast harsh shadows across your face or cause too much squinting. It can also be helpful to choose a location with some shaded areas nearby, just in case the sun isn’t cooperating.


Consider places that have a variety of different backgrounds to pose in front of. This could be a number of things, such as, trees lining a pathway, a mural, an area with large rocks to sit on or tall grass to play in. The more options, the better!

Quiet Areas

It’s important to choose a location that doesn’t have a lot of activity going on so the main focus of the photographs can be you. Too much commotion can be distracting to both the photographer and the subjects posing. For these reasons, a more remote area will likely give the best results for your portraits.

Everyone has a story and it’s your photographer’s job to capture that story. All these location tips can help to ensure that your photographs reflect your unique personality!