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Missed past episodes? Be sure to check out interviews with pros in the wedding industry for tips that you won’t hear anywhere else! If you’re looking for tips that only a wedding photographer can provide, then you’ve come to the right place.
Today, we’d like to share the transcript of the podcast interview with DFW-based engagement and wedding photographer, Timothy Milton. He’s an important member of the Joy Photo and Video team and we know that you’ll benefit from some of the advice that he shares about selecting and working with your wedding photographer. Here are tips that only a wedding photographer can provide!
Bride to Be Podcast Transcript: An Interview with Wedding Photographer- Timothy Milton
Here is the podcast which first aired in January 2022 with these tips that only a wedding photographer can provide. Timothy breaks down all things, from how to find a photographer that you have chemistry with, to the importance of not going into debt! He also has something to say to the DIY-everything brides.
(Please note that we’ve made minor adjustments to make it easier to read. A limited-time offer has also been removed.) If you prefer, you can listen to the episode here.
Host- Jazmin: Hey everyone, welcome back to Bride to Be. As always, I'm your host. My name is Jazmin. Let's just get right into it. Today we are interviewing Timothy Milton. He is a photographer in the Dallas area. So with that being said… Hey Timothy, how are you?
Timothy: I'm doing good. Thank you, Jazmin, for having me. It’s super exciting to be on here!
Host: Yes. I'm so excited to interview you because I think Dallas is its own little gem in the wedding industry and I'm so excited to pick your brain about it. So if you don't mind introducing yourself, just letting our listeners know how long you've been in the industry, and all that good stuff.
Timothy: Yeah, of course. As Jazmin stated earlier, I am a wedding photographer and recently moved to Dallas last year, of October 2020. I'm originally from California (Los Angeles to be exact). That's where I started my journey a little bit after I got married in 2017. So I've been shooting since then, and it's been about four years going on five. And honestly I just really fell in love with it since the first time I got the chance to shoot weddings and pretty much make history from there. So in 2017 I started and then kept going. And I don't plan on stopping anytime soon! Just a little bit about me on a more fun-side. A lot of brides don't know that aside from photography, I'm a huge DC fan. I know I'm kind of skipping but I just want it to be known! I love Marvel; it’s all fun and games, but I am a DC fan. I love cheesecake. And me and my wife just gave birth to our first child last year.
Host: Awww, congratulations!
Timothy: Yes! So it's been a very, very roller coaster ride, but it's just been a blessing. So we're just planning on big things in the future. I just love serving brides and photographing their weddings.
Host: Oh, so is it a boy or girl? I have to ask.
Timothy: She is a girl. (Obviously, because I said she!) Her name is Michaela Milton, and she is one and a half years old. Still a little surreal, not going to lie, still a little nervous. But it's all working out.
Host: Oh, that is so sweet. I have two littles running around so we know how the children situation goes. It's a lot of work, but it's also so precious!
Timothy: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. It's really awesome.
Host: All right. So let's get into the core information for everybody listening because I know that all here here for that. So what have you noticed is trending right now in your space?
Timothy: Well, it's really interesting because it fluctuates. Because there's one perspective on the creative side and what’s trending in the photography realm, versus the brides and what they see as trending in terms of their wedding theme in that essence. So I want to pretty much piggyback off of the brides perspective moreso since that's what we are catering to. So I will say, what the brides have been telling me is that what's trending to them is a dramatic flair. They don't really use the term “dramatic”. They often use terms like “different”, “something special than your ordinary photos that floats around online and are kind of the same.” So when brides come to me, they usually book me or consult with me based on the different lift that I present. And I call that look the dramatic style.
I would say the trendy side would be the dramatic style. The brides that I tend to interact with want something different, want something that is non-traditional. There's something of a flair that will move them in a different way than their loved ones, or maybe friends' pictures that they saw. Honestly, all photos are amazing. But some brides do have a preference. And I believe the trend, on my side at least, will be the dramatic style.
Host: Okay, yeah, that makes sense. And I think you've kind of already answered this in a way. But how do you work with that dramatic style? What makes you unique as a photographer in order to be able to do that?
Timothy: Well, one of the biggest things, and it's really funny, because when I talk to brides I never really talk about how I actually capture them in that look. (Because it's a lot of technical things that brides really wouldn't understand. And I don't want to, you know, lose them in trying to tell them so much about the tech and the specs.) So I would say just for the sake of trying to make it really digestible, the unique style that I bring- dramatic- really comes from the lighting, posing, and the confidence that I build with couples who book with me. So what that looks like is: when someone comes to me and says “we would love to do a dramatic style. But we we are not models who pose like that, and we just want to make sure is that something you can help us with?”
I always tell brides that are listening, even on this podcast, or those who booked me. I will say “Hey, as long as you give me energy, that's all I need. And by energy, I’m talking about being yourself and having fun. Let me do all the work because that's why you hired me. And trust me.” That's the biggest one is trust. So as long as you give me those things, I can guarantee any couple that I come in contact with in terms of photographing (engagement or wedding) that they will have awesome images—because they feel good about it. And I can see it and feel it and we just work off that same energy. So that's what's unique about not only the style, but the experience that I bring to couples as well.
Host: Yeah, I think that's huge as a photographer, is being confident in what you do. And I think that will read off in the brides as well and everybody will be able to gain that energy that you're giving. And I think it just kind of goes back and forth. That's awesome. So how can they contact you if they want to get a hold of you?
Timothy: So, I mean, we live in 2021. You can contact me in all sorts of ways but the biggest ways right now, will be of course email, through my Instagram (you can direct message me through there), also by filling out the form on my website as well. So honestly, I'm just super open to any way of contact. I'm not limited to one or the other. I know everybody has a preference, so I always tell brides that if you have to text me then that's fine. Email me, that's fine, or Instagram. I'm open to all lines of communication. I will recommend those ways.
Host: Okay, perfect. And then we will put your email in the description of the show notes. But do you mind reading off your Instagram handle? And we'll also put that in there.
Timothy: Of course. So my instagram handle is @TDMProductions. You'll pretty much see a headshot of myself. And it's funny because I used to have a mohawk/fauxhawk if that makes sense. It's kind of hard to see on Instagram but you will see I have a headshot there. And then also, you can DM and contact me. We can definitely talk about however you want, you know, whether it’s questions or to hop on a phone call and say hi, I'm super open to it. So yeah, @TDMProductions will be the handle.
Host: Perfect. Okay, I think that sounds great. And like I said, we'll put that in the show notes. So brides, don't worry, we got you. So let's go into what helps brides while they're planning their weddings. (We like to ask these questions to all of our photographers because everybody seems to have a different opinion.) So the first one I'm going to ask you is why does a bride need a photographer?
Timothy: Well, you know what’s so funny about that Jazmin…I actually flip it. When brides and I get on a phone call, I always ask the question “Why do you want a photographer?” It's funny because the obvious answer is “Because it's like, yeah, we want memories like why else?” But it's interesting because the responses that I get from that are usually, “Oh, we want a photographer because we really care about our images being captured like this and like that.” And what happens is that they go into so much detail. That lets me know that they really, really want a photographer that understands their vision…versus a photographer that's on a fly on the wall that doesn't interact or doesn't try to communicate on that end.
It's definitely a reverse thing. But I would say in my defense, as a photographer (trying not to be biased); one of the biggest reasons why brides need a photographer is because this is your wedding day. This is the biggest day of your life. And you want someone that not only captures your wedding, but also documented in a storyline. So when you look through those images, it's almost like you're watching a visual play before you in your mind. So you do have videographers that of course capture the video and you can watch it while it's going. But then you have the photos where it actually triggers your mind to really just close your eyes and you can really take your time visiting your wedding. So that's one of the biggest reasons why brides need a photographer. And of course, the common reason is because that's one of the biggest like investments you will make as well. So if you're a bride listening to this, I will say if you want to fence with getting a photographer, I would highly suggest that you look around. Ask questions and try to get an understanding of the benefits of having one.
Host: Yes, I totally agree. So you mentioned what a bride should look for such as what the photographer's style, like with your dramatic style. Is that all that they should look for? Or is there something else that they should be looking for when choosing a photographer?
Timothy: Well, one of the things that I always tell couples on what to look for in a photographer, is that it's almost like dating somebody. Like when you go on a date, you are like, “Okay, I want somebody that is goofy like me, who enjoys playing video games…” and so on and so forth. So I'm not saying if your photographer doesn't play games, don't book them. But what I'm trying to say is that basically, you want to pretty much hire someone that has common interests like you and in the same lens.
For example, for me, I'm an outgoing, adventurous, super animated. I’m going to get in there and have fun! And I would say that 90% of my couples reflect that. And sometimes I'm really happy to sit back and think like, “Wow, I really have couples that mimic my characteristics.” So it's interesting because that's who we bond with. I would say definitely don't settle with a photographer that only suits high quality photos, but yet they cannot connect with you on a chemistry level. But same as someone who has a great chemistry level but don't showcase high quality work. So it all boils down to what do you prioritize, and how do you view your experience with that particular photographer?
So like I said, all of the couples who I book tend to mirror me. I would suggest a couple that are looking for a photographer to do the same thing. Find someone that mirrors you and shares the same values and vision when you present that to them.
Host: Oh, I love that. Okay, that's really good. So what top three tips do you have in general for brides that you could give us?
Timothy: The first one (and I feel like a lot of vendors will vouch for this) is the wedding timeline. Now, I understand—and we all been there, those who are married. We have been on this journey once and we are new to it. We don't understand anything that was happening. So I always suggest that couples invest in someone like a wedding coordinator. Me, myself, I help brides with planning their timeline. So get with someone that understands and has experience and in weddings to help you with the timeline. So this is a quick example: don't cram everything close together. If you’re doing getting ready shots, don't have your ceremony literally after makeup is done. Because you'll be running around like a chicken with its head cut off—you don't want that! So definitely invest in that. The timeline should have little gaps (maybe big gaps depending on what you're trying to do) so you can have breathing room and the best photos and video. Really take your time. One of the biggest things too, is that I recommend for brides to set aside ~15 minutes before the grand entrance. Find somewhere (maybe in a suite or somewhere off in a distance) with your spouse and just soak in that 15 minutes together before the grand entrance. Really, you know, soak it in and each other. That will be your alone time to just...
Host: …enjoy the moment!
Timothy: Yes! Thank you, thank so much. You said it right there. I've seen it happen a few times, and a lot of brides don't take advantage of that. So that's a huge one. So that's the first one.
Second one is to hire professionals—and I'm not talking about the ones that are just flashy, flashy. I'm talking about experienced—they want to help you and they want to see you succeed. They want you to have a stress free wedding. So wedding planners, photographers, videographers, DJs…the list goes on. So hire pros. I understand the budget might be a little bit high. But like I said earlier, this is your wedding. The biggest day of your life, so you don't want to skimp on that.
And then of course the last one: wedding planning, in terms of that part, if you can hire a wedding planner or even a day-of coordinator, that helps a lot. If you can't do that (or you'd rather not), don't be afraid to ask for help. I've seen brides have family members and friends who are really experts in certain areas of planning, and they would love to help you plan your wedding. So I hope those three tips really helped.
Host: I love that. I love that you said for the brides to just take a minute with their groom or whoever they just married. That’s one we haven't heard before and I think that's actually really important. That's a really big one that you can easily miss because the day is so rushed. I love that one. Okay, so on the opposite end of that, what about some things that bride should avoid?
Timothy: I love this question. Number one: do not DIY everything! Yes, I understand budget is a concern. Trust we hear that all the time and we're not ignoring you. That's the biggest thing. But DIYing everything can really stress you out. It can cause unnecessary stress, arguments with your spouse and with family members. And then you'll become a “Bridezilla”, that's a whole ‘nother story. But you do not want to be in a position where you're the showrunner. It's just it's going to crumble down and you're not going to be able to keep up with everything. So like I said earlier, hire a wedding planner or someone who has the experience. They will be more than happy to guide you on that. So that's the first one to avoid.
The second one: don't expect perfection. That's a big one. First of all, I have never shot a wedding where the ceremony is going to be on time. I never shot a wedding where the reception will be on time, or even sometimes, the ‘getting ready’. Everything will not fall exactly on the hour that you have written on the timeline. So do not expect things to go that route. Sometimes bridesmaids or groomsmen get delayed, someone's car broke down on the way there…. I mean, there's so much things that can happen. So don't expect perfection. It’s not going to happen. But I will guarantee as long as you have certain people in position then your wedding is still going to be phenomenal so don’t even worry about it.
Host: Yeah, take the pressure off a little bit.
Timothy: Right! So for the third one, I'm just going to wrap this in a bow and put it on top. The third one will be going into debt. You want to avoid going into debt! So even though I know you might feel like, “Well Tim, you know I really want to spend more than I have because this is my big day.” Yes, that's understandable. I get that. But if that means that you have to go into debt, especially if you want to buy a home. I know certain couples have big plans like their honeymoon, buying a house, or get to get that car. Whatever the case may be, just just be mindful and be okay. If you have a budget and you feel that you might not find a vendor that will serve you the best, then you will be surprised. Sometimes I will even encourage brides to actually set up a registry. You can actually set up your own registry through vendors. I have had people come together, and partner together like friends and family, who will actually help you raise money towards your photographer or videographer. So there's many ways using creativity that you can bring things together. So that's a big one. Jazmin, if you ever do a podcast on how to do a registry, then we can see how that can work out!
Host: That’s a good idea! I’ll put that down.
Timothy: It's gonna be amazing. But I will wrap it up and say that if you do have a set budget, don't be sad or embarrassed by it. If you share your story, I guarantee you there are vendors out there that understand where you're coming from. And you'll be amazed how many vendors will be super happy to bless you and to just say “Hey, you know what? I've been there. Let me go ahead and capture your wedding.” There is just so much opportunity. So don't ever have a closed tongue because of that. You'll be surprised.
Host: Yeah, I love that. I think people can get embarrassed when it comes to money or they can be even overzealous and think that they have to have the biggest and greatest thing. But it's all about you and your spouse. That really doesn't matter. everything in between. Everything else is just cherry.
Timothy: Exactly. So no debt!
Host: No, I love that. Well, thank you so much. You gave some very good tips that we haven't heard before. So I think it's very informational to our listeners to pay attention to what you said. You gave amazing advice. So thank you so much.
Timothy: Oh, you're welcome. No problem. Like I mentioned before, there are three ways of contact so you already have my Instagram. You can DM me, or on my website then you can fill the form out or the email. Just make sure that if you do decide to contact me to mention ‘Bride to Be. so that way I know that you came from the podcast. I will go ahead and hook you up. You know, I will hook you up.
Host: Yeah, thank you so much. It was such a pleasure talking to you.
Timothy: All right, thank you as well. Same to you, Jazmin, I appreciate this.
Did you enjoy hearing these tips that only a wedding photographer can provide? Check out more episodes on the Bride to Be podcast to catch up on interviews with other pros in the wedding space, from a newlywed bride to the owner of an event company!
And if you’d like to see more photos from Joy team members, like Timothy, located in DFW then check out some of our Texas engagement and wedding albums here.
[Photoshoot in the spotlight: Jonathan and Cassandra in Dallas, Texas by Timothy.]
The Joy Team