wedding photographer

Wedding Photography Demystified

A Conversation with Krista Barcstone

Most of us don’t know much about DJing, floral arrangements, or how to officiate a wedding, but chances are we’ve taken more than a few photos in our life. Now more than ever, capturing a memory is only a click away.

We have become accustomed to recording everything with our phones. So used to snapping shots of anything and everything, it’s easy to be unaware of how much goes into becoming a professional photographer, let alone an outstanding wedding photographer.

Luckily Krista Stone of BarcStone Photography knows all about what it takes to not only capture the special moments of a wedding celebration but how to crop, edit, and transform those captured moments into treasured works of art.

PNW Weddings had the chance to chat with Krista about her career, how she approaches her work as a wedding photographer, and get her thoughts on what couples planning their wedding should be aware of when choosing a wedding photographer.

Krista’s career in photography began on a whim. Once her daughter was born, she began taking photos to commemorate her growing family, starting with a film camera and then transitioning to a digital camera borrowed from a friend. She began getting compliments on them and soon entered a photo contest. After winning the competition and seeing her work published for the first time, she knew she had a knack for it.

Krista has spent the last 20 years perfecting her art and building her photography portfolio. She’s developed her expertise in shooting in all kinds of environments and editing in a variety of styles.

Along the way, she’s encountered more than a few misconceptions about the role of photographers at weddings. She has graciously helped us break down a wedding photographer “job”. While we can see why couples get sticker shock when shopping for wedding photographers, it often stems from them not understanding that the 6-8 hours for the day of shooting is a tiny fraction of the time and expertise investment of wedding photographers.

As the wedding date gets closer, Krista sends each client a questionnaire to gather information on topics like the first look, sunset photos, etc., as well as their photo editing preferences like overall coloring, style, and touchups.

Throughout the months leading up to the wedding, Krista makes herself available for her clients for any questions or concerns they may have. She encourages them to reach out and never sets limits or charges extra based on how much her couples communicate.

What to expect when working with a professional photographer

While couples are searching for the perfect wedding photographer match, the photographers are searching for their ideal clients. Krista explains that advertising and building her online presence help attract potential clients. She typically receives inquiries through her website, BarcStone Photography.

Before she gets an introduction to potential clients, they’ve already had the opportunity to learn more about her, her business, her style, and portfolio and review what a wedding photography investment looks like with Barcstone Photography.

When couples are interested in learning more or chatting with Krista, the best way to get in touch is through the contact form on her website.

When filling out the contact form, potential clients need to provide some preliminary information:

Most Importantly – Wedding Date – First things first, is she available?

Next – What type of session are you looking for – Krista, along with a few other professional photographers, form such strong bonds with their clients that many come back to her over and over to capture life’s special moments such as newborn photos, yearly family portraits, and senior portraits.

Krista, in particular, considers engagement sessions incredibly important for her work with couples. The engagement session allows Krista to meet her clients and vice versa. This is where she learns their editing style and what they want from their photographer. Often engagement photos are the first step to the beginning of a lifelong relationship

Krista prefers to keep this introductory phase low-key, responding to potential clients with a few questions to ensure she’s the right fit for each couple. If she isn’t, she takes it upon herself to find an appropriate wedding photographer referral.

Feeling like her clients are the right fit is critical for Krista, who prioritizes connection over the number of weddings she works.

As the wedding date gets closer, Krista sends each client a questionnaire to gather information on topics like the first look, sunset photos, etc., as well as their photo editing preferences like overall coloring, style, and touchups.

Throughout the months leading up to the wedding, Krista makes herself available for her clients for any questions or concerns they may have. She encourages them to reach out and never sets limits or charges extra based on how much her couples communicate.


Much of the work on the day of is obvious – taking thousands of photos to capture the magic of the occasion. But for professional wedding photographers like Krista, there’s so much more going on behind the scenes. Much of this is work that her clients don’t necessarily anticipate. She explains that her clients are often surprised by the physical lengths she’ll go to get the shot – climbing up a ladder, laying down on the ground, shuffling through snow, whatever it takes.

Krista mentions that many people don’t realize that the clicking of the photos being taken is only a fraction of the challenge of a photographer’s day-of duties. The in-between times are where a lot of the artistic genius of stellar wedding photographers like Krista shine.

In the “quiet” times, they are, in fact, still working. They’re analyzing the movement of the clouds, calculating the time before the all-important golden hour, and thinking creatively about ways they can harness the weather, their environment, and more to bring an extra element of artistic brilliance to the images they’re capturing.

While personal technology has evolved dramatically over the last decade, the quality of the equipment that a professional wedding photographer provides is by far superior. “There are so many things you can’t do with a phone that you can do with a professional grade camera,” Krista explains while discussing the value of hiring someone who not only has the skills to make wedding photos stand out, but has invested in the tools to make it all possible.

Overall, the work of a photographer on the wedding day is often much more physically demanding and involved than it seems at first glance. There’s a lot of running – to grab supplies, to find the newlyweds before the perfect light passes, etc.

Beyond that though, for Krista, her connection with her clients means that she’s always ready and willing to do what she can to help ease the stress of the big day. From cutting the cake for the bride to supporting with hair and makeup – Krista will always step in where needed to help ensure the couple can enjoy their day.

This commitment to not only find the perfect angle, lighting, and more, but to truly be there for the couple throughout their wedding day, is part of the investment that a couple makes when purchasing a plan from Krista.


Once the party is over and the guests have gone home, the photographer’s real work begins. Krista understands that couples are eager to relive the whirlwind that just happened to them.

As couples and guests are resting and recovering from the festivities, Krista works late to get her clients a sneak peek so that her couples have something to enjoy, share, and get excited about as she dives into editing the rest.

After the sneak peek photos have been sent off to the happy couple, it’s time to edit. For a typical wedding, Krista will shoot between 3,000 and 5,000 photographs over the course of eight hours.

The first step in the editing process is culling through every single one of these photos. Removing duplicates or images with blurry or obstructed subjects.

Once she has a final set of unique images, she goes through and edits them – enhancing the colors and visuals to suit the agreed-upon style. Krista will also talk with her clients beforehand about their image editing preferences, including things like teeth whitening, editing out minor blemishes, etc.

Editing is, in fact, the most time-consuming part of the process by far. Krista often spends around 60 hours per wedding during this stage of her work on a wedding. Her attention to detail and desire to have the time and capacity to truly focus on each client’s event drives her to keep her schedule light.

While many photographers shoot weddings each weekend and edit multiple projects simultaneously, she tries to schedule only one or at most two weddings per month.

This enables Krista to focus entirely on each wedding couple, giving herself ample time to complete this editing stage and get her clients their finished product before moving on to the next event. By limiting the number of weddings she shoots, the couples that do end up booking with her also get the added bonus of receiving their wedding photos faster than photographers with more clients on their plate.

All of Krista’s wedding packages include at least 500 or 600 fully edited images, but she’ll add in extra if there are more photos worth highlighting.

“I’ve given out over 1,000 images. If the image is not a duplicate and it’s a good image, they get it,” she says.

For Krista, it’s not about the money or the number of clients, but about her love for photography and her connection to her couples that drives her – she wants to make sure they have as many beautiful mementos of their special occasion as they possibly can.

By focusing 100% on one client at a time, she’s able to keep her turnaround time short – aiming to get each client their final deliverables within two weeks from the wedding date.

At the end of the day, Krista has often spent up to 80 hours on a single wedding. The term wedding investment when talking about photography isn’t just about the dollar amount assigned to whichever package you choose with your photographer. The term “investment” obviously applies to the couple planning their wedding regarding how much of their budget wedding photography will take up. But it also applies to the wedding photographers’ time investment that they have to budget when working with their clients.

Krista understands the challenge of budgeting during a wedding when there are so many major purchases to make, but she has seen too often couples who expect a family member or friend to informally capture the occasion, only to be disappointed by the quality of the photos. Not to mention the pressure it puts on loved ones to be tasked with such an important job instead of enjoying the moment themselves.

“If you’re going to expect someone to capture this moment and allow your guests to enjoy your wedding, hire a photographer. You’re going to get all the shots you want, and you’re gonna be super happy,” says Krista.

A professional wedding photographer can make a world of difference when it comes to preserving the memories of the day for years to come while allowing the newlyweds and their guests to celebrate stress-free.