10 Steps for avoiding wedding photography nightmares

Not to scare you or anything but …

Honestly? Red flag #1 is the guy was charging just over $800 for a full day shooting, editing and providing product. I suspect that his “weather” issue meant he didn’t know how to adjust for shooting inside and did not have gear that could handle the dim lighting.

Don’t worry, he’s not shooting anymore. He said, “‚ÄėI got so much hassle through weddings that I just stopped doing it.” Uh huh, I bet you did, pal.

So what should you do?
1) Ask your potential wedding photographer to show you complete wedding shoots not just a gallery of highlights of his best shots.
2) Take some time to really look at the photographs. Are they strong inside and outside and in dim light and bright light?
3) Ask how long your photographer has been in business? Do they have a stable, consistent track record? Are they likely to still be in business in a few years?
4) Be careful with the low-budget photographer undercutting most everyone else by 50-70%. Why are they so much less? If they admit to less experience and are still learning the craft and you decide the risk is worth it, give them a try! But don’t freak out when your results are not magazine worthy. There are lots of very talented students out there building careers. We all start somewhere.
5) Ask your photographer if they can provide your venue with a liability insurance binder. If they can’t or look totally confused, they are uninsured. How many legitimate businesses are uninsured?
6) Ask about their equipment and if they have backup equipment. Expensive equipment does not prove ability but prepared pros are ready for equipment malfunction and a lot of us are equipment hoarders. ūüėČ
7) Ask if your photographer has a plan B should she get the flu two days before your wedding or break her ankle hiking. Networking with other pros in the MPPA and PPA, though it costs, provides pros with a source of emergency support in case of an accident.
8) Reviews and references? This is a tricky one. Don’t give a negative review too much weight when other reviews glow. Hostage-reviews are common in this field. A reviewer will post a negative review, never having used the services, and then take it down only when a ransom is paid. Ask your photographer if you can call some past clients. Look at the full body of reviews to get a sense of their approach.
9) Don’t immediately take your friend up on the offer to photograph your wedding as her gift to you. Do you want your friend to work your wedding or enjoy it? Will your friend be a guest first and photographer second? Use caution if you want your friend to enjoy your wedding, dance and especially visit the open bar while also carrying the photography responsibility.
10) Quantity and quality are two entirely different things. Beware the photographer who promises to give you thousands of digital files. Instead, you want a photographer who will sort through and do the bulk of editing for you. Three great pictures of Crazy Uncle Charlie doing his traditional family wedding dance will make you smile. Going through 250 pics of Uncle Charlie will drive you nuts and waste your time. 10 fantastic shots of hair and makeup is better than you having to go through 300. Quantity promises are often just another way of saying, “I don’t want to go through all these files. You do it!”

We photographers can tell you some horror stories. My friend Brittany just reposted a woman asking “which camera should I buy?” She openly admitted to putting up a website using stock photography and boasted that she already has “three weddings booked” and is excited to start her new business!

I saw another one on an online photography forums from a person asking “what settings should I use to photograph weddings?” I just shake my head.

Karen emailed asking for my help to rescue her wedding images. All of her friend’s pictures of the ceremony were “blurry and dark.” I felt bad for Karen and almost as bad for her friend doing her best in a dimly-lit church on a cloudy day. She was clearly in over her head. There was nothing I could do to help Karen rescue her motion-blurred images. ūüė¶

My advice is simple and not surprising. Resist the urge to use the wedding photography category line item as the place to trim your budget. Instead, lose the open bar and choose some chicken and pasta entrees over lobster. Or, trim the 20 minute ride to the ceremony in the tourist trolley.

35 years from now, you will be able to take your wedding album off the shelf and sit in the corner of your couch with your granddaughter showing her how skinny and handsome her grampa was. You’ll be able to laugh at how out of style and classic your bridesmaids’ dresses are. The fact that you had stuffed chicken instead of beef won’t matter at all.

Robin and I would love to help with your wedding but we only have a few 2018 openings left. If we can’t shoot your day, we’ll gladly recommend some of the talented pros in our network to make sure you are in good hands. But 2019 is still pretty open!


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In wedding photography & portrait photography, capture life!

By wedding and portrait photographer Scott Linscott

I like life. I like it a lot, actually. And, as much as I believe there is a place and a need for traditional, posed portraits, my favorites from every wedding and portrait session are shots that simply capture life.

If you come into our living-room you will see family photos. But, you won’t find any Picture People style studio, static shots of my loved ones against white backgrounds or painted backdrops. You’ll find a few newborn shots on furry blankets but even those include character. The shots we normally choose to print are shots that tell the story of who we are or shots where the setting is tied to memories.

For example, we have a 10×30 panoramic, black and white canvas of this family photo I set up using my tripod during our family vacation this past summer. I purposely set my grandchildren right next to each other fully expecting the 8-month-old to torment the six-month-old. He did not disappoint! Whenever we look at it in the years to come it will remind us of their personalities and our wonderful family vacation instead of a trip to the mall cashing in a Groupon deal.


Yesterday I photographed an 18-month-old little girl on a cold, windy day. She wanted nothing to do with any of my props, baskets or setups and didn’t like me very much either. Mom and Dad looked at me apologetically with not a whole lot of hope for good captures. My advice was the same advice I give to parents time after time, “just let her play until she gets used to me.”

We didn’t end up with any shots of her sitting in my wicker basket, looking at the lens and smiling but what we did end up with is some wonderful lifestyle images that Mom and Dad adore.

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Even¬†in Maine wedding photography, though I am always happy with the more formal portraits we set up and capture, we set our eye on capturing the life moments happening all around us. The hugs, the flower girl running by, the tear on the father’s cheek are unexpected moments that turn into memories.

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Robin and I see life as a gift. Since my life-saving liver transplant on May 7, 2012, we try to remember that each day is a bonus day. I think that is part of what now makes our work with Linscott Photo / Maine Pro Photo unique. When we photograph a wedding or a portrait session, we genuinely enjoy capturing moments and preserving memories even more than setting up the portraits and formal shots that will become priceless wall art. Of course, we do both but we sure do love life as it occurs naturally.


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A Maine Backyard Foliage Wedding

As Maine wedding photographers, Robin and I have photographed barn weddings, field weddings, golf course weddings and church weddings. They’re all beautiful but I think Maine Fall Foliage weddings are definitely my favorite.

Les and Shari are two very laid-back and easy-going people. Their love story began more than 30 years ago as high school sweethearts but then time, life and distance separated them until they found their way back to one another after all these years. They are so very happy.

Their outdoor, backyard wedding invited family and friends and even pets to come together and celebrate with them. It was the first time I’ve ever photographed a wedding where a bridesmaid wore a live boa constrictor around her neck and the bride’s dogs sat comfortably on the bottom of her wedding dress train! No one thought twice about it.

We love being wedding photographers. Today’s weddings are each unique and special. We love the challenge of capturing the personalities of each and every couple regardless of the setting and elements included. But, honestly? Snakes freak us out a little bit. Thankfully our lenses allowed us to steer clear of Draco at this wedding!


Scott and Robin Linscott are professional wedding photographers with decades of experience and confidence. They have photographed Maine weddings and destination weddings from Florida to Maui. Fully insured and fully equipped, the Linscotts are ready to for most any challenge. For more information or to book your 2017 Maine wedding visit www.LinscottPhoto.com or www.MaineProPhoto.com. They are members of Professional Photographers of America and the Maine Professional Photographers Association.

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5 Simple Tips for Taking Better Pictures

By Maine wedding photographer, Scott Linscott

Our society is snapping¬†more pictures than ever before. Almost everyone has some form of camera within arm’s reach at all times. Chances are, you have hundreds if not thousands of pictures on your phone or Facebook page, right?

The fact is, most people would like to take better pictures. That is entirely possible if only people would commit these five, simple tips to memory before snapping the shutter.

1) Use the whole picture area.
Look around the outside of the frame of the picture you are about to take and see how much empty space you are wasting. Could it add to the image and the story? For example, a lot of images have 50 percent blank sky. Consider how you might better use that space. There are examples in the images below.

2) Do not use the WHOLE picture area.
Wait. Isn’t that a contradiction to tip #1? No. Use the whole frame but be sure to leave a bit of empty space near the edges so that you can pop your photo into a frame without cutting off the top of a head or losing some toes at the bottom. Mats usually obscure at least 1/8 inch of your photo all around the edges. These two examples of the same wedding photo illustrate my point.

When matted and framed this little flower girl is likely to lose her foot.

This is the stronger image, using full frame to tell the story of the stormy day, action walking down the path and leaves room for framing options.

This is the stronger image, using full frame to tell the story of the stormy day, action walking down the path and leaves room for framing options.

3) Don’t chop off legs and hands.
If you need to cut off part of someone’s legs, try not to do it at the knee or ankle. The same is true for arms. Our minds, for some reason, see that as aggressive “chopping” and find it displeasing. If you need to crop, always do it at the halfway point between joints, like mid-thigh halfway between shoulder and elbow. Which is the better image below? Can you also see how the first image does not use the whole space well?


Not good! Cropped at the elbow.

Much better image.

Much better image.

4) Shoot higher or lower.
Probably 99% of photographs are taken at the photographer’s eye level between 5 and 6 feet high. Set your images apart by stepping up a bit higher, especially when photographing people, or lower for a more unique view. In the image¬†below of this sweet, little, girl who is one of the children benefiting from the education provided by a humanitarian organization I volunteer with in Guatemala, I could have stood tall¬†and taken it at my 5’9″ eye level but it would have had an entirely different feel.

Shot in Guatemala. I dropped to one knee to get at her eye level.

Shot in Guatemala. I dropped to one knee to get at her eye level.

5) Think thirds instead of center.
Most people try to center their subjects in the picture (first image in tip#3) but thinking of your photo in thirds makes stronger images. Imagine your frame with 9 grids, 3 across and 3 up, and try to move your subject to the thirds line. For example, my cute dog is off-center in the second image¬†below and the photo is as much about the gorgeous Fall foliage as it is about her. The first image has her centered and cut off. In the second¬†image, the red tree is on the right third horizontal line, her big ears are at about the top third and she is in the bottom left half to third. She’s her adorable self in both images but the bottom image is stronger. (Also notice the same thirds principal at work in the image of the girl under tip #4. Can you also see the difference in the images in tip #3?)


Subject centered



Subject off-center

Your pictures will become much stronger and more appealing just by committing these 5 simple tips to memory and making them your habit.

Happy shooting!

bikeScott Linscott is a professional wedding photographer and portrait photographer based in Maine.  Examples of his wedding and portrait photography can be found on http://www.maineprophoto.com. Examples of lifestyle and landscapes are available at https://www.flickr.com/gp/maineprophoto/aZS7Am .

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5 reasons a USB stick of wedding photos is a really bad idea

by Maine wedding and portrait photographer, Scott Linscott

I’ve been photographing people for almost 40 years. People started paying me for it in 1981. I’ve photographed news, sports, reunions, concerts and album covers.¬†I’ve told stories of factory openings and new babies through my photographs. I’ve traveled across oceans and photographed different cultures. I’ve photographed more weddings than I can remember and I have no idea how many households have my portrait work hanging on their walls.

Some things have not changed. Grandmas still want to buy every photo of their grandchildren and brides still want to be sure I capture the timeless moments of she and her dad, the kiss and the first dance. But one thing has changed so drastically that it sometimes makes me wonder about the future of the art I love. The digital revolution has changed almost everything in photography.

How? People take thousands more pictures now than ever before. Everyone always has a camera with them as part of their cell phone. Good, right? Not necessarily. People now lose thousands more pictures than ever before because they print so few and digital images are easily lost in crashes, glitches and when new phones and computers are purchased.


USB Sticks are lousy art

We’ve moved from printing and hanging our favorites to storing them on hard drives, memory cards and USB sticks. Files are lost amidst thousands of images with file names like IMG-9038.jpg. The digital revolution has impacted all aspects of photography, especially wedding photography, as many brides now want photographers to deliver the files on a USB drive rather than in print and album form. Why is that a bad idea?

  1. You will¬†procrastinate and never do anything your¬†wedding files except dump them into a massive Facebook album. You say you will, but you won’t.
  2. Trust me, no one wants to sit through 1200 of your wedding shots on your laptop no matter how great it was. No, not even your mother.
  3. The dreaded “drive not found” message. USB drives fail. Your images are gone. Oops.
  4. USB drives get lost. They are small and have a tendency to turn up missing.
  5. USB sticks look ridiculous hanging on your wall.

Seriously, you’re spending a bunch of money on your wedding, right? Does it make sense to get a beautiful gown, a great caterer, an awesome DJ, a gorgeous wedding venue and then trust your wedding photography to your college roommate and Groupon deals? Your wedding photos, album, canvases and prints are all that will remain years later.

Even if I wasn’t a Maine Wedding photographer, I am pretty sure I’d still be anti-USB stick. There is just something special about walking into a home and seeing gorgeous photos on display as prints or canvases.

Brides who value their wedding memories see preserving them and displaying them as a top priority. They can’t wait to receive their custom-designed, showpiece wedding album to display on their coffee table. They envision a wall displaying their gallery. ¬†Getting handed a USB stick is a disappointment in comparison.


Scott and Robin Linscott are award-winning Maine wedding photographers who have photographed weddings from Maine to Maui. Linscott Photo and Maine Pro Photo will introduce readers to their approach and style. Through numerous five star reviews it becomes clear that they bring a unique strength to wedding photography.

*Fully insured    * Professional Photographers of America        * MPPA

Now booking 2017 Weddings and Portrait Sessions


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More to Life than Wedding Photography and Portraits

by Maine wedding photographer, Scott Linscott

Robin and I love wedding photography. We love meeting new people and sharing their joy. We enjoy family portrait sessions, senior portraits and photographing children for much the same reason. We feel privileged when we are invited into someone’s life to preserve their memories.

But, there’s much more to life than weddings and portraits. Our photography simply provides an avenue to what matters most to us – making a difference in lives, encouraging people and bringing hope for change.

In December, I will make my second trip to Guatemala¬†to¬†use my photography skills and camera equipment¬†to help communicate the story of AMG Guatemala and all that it is doing in a country wracked by poverty and crime. (read more) When Robin and I went in April, we came home committed to doing all we can to help and support AMG’s work. On this trip I will spend some time on the “Bundles of Love” team delivered Christmas packages of food, hygiene products and toys to some of the 8,000 children AMG is helping.

Our Tanya

Our Tanya

Now, we sponsor a precious little girl through the AMG Child Sponsorship program. Eighteen families in our church are also now sponsoring children through AMG. I know that is making a difference in Oratorio, Guatemala and I think that’s pretty cool.

I’m thankful I get to offer my skills to help AMG in its mission. But, I know from my last trip that I will come home feeling like I have benefited more than those I connect with and photograph.

I am working to fully fund my return so that there is no cost at all to AMG. If you would like to help I have a few options set up:

  1. Visit my travel photography gallery to shop for some new wall art. All proceeds from this gallery will go toward the trip. All excess funds will be delivered to AMG.
  2. You can mail a check made out to “FBC Westbrook – Guatemala Trip” to FBC WESTBROOK, 733 Main Street, Westbrook, ME 04092. ¬†Your gift is tax-deductible. FBC Westbrook is our church.
  3. Give a tax-deductible donation online at FBCWestbrook.com. Be sure to select “Scott Linscott/Bundles Team” as the account

After my life-saving liver transplant on 5/7/12 I came away with a different perspective. I now know that every day is a bonus day, a gift. Each of us can make a tremendous difference in someone else’s life if we will only look beyond ourselves and get involved. I’m thrilled to be healthy enough to come alongside AMG¬†to help even if it’s something small like taking pictures.

We love being paid for wedding and portrait photography but, in so many ways, our volunteer activities, our missions work, pay so many more lasting dividends. There is nothing quite like knowing that you have made a difference in someone’s life.


Such sweet expressions everywhere we turned.


On our last trip we had the privilege of joining with a church for a worship service. We were impressed by how the children were such a large focus of the morning.


Students wait at a locked gate anxious for it to be unlocked so they can come in for lunch and school at an AMG center.


When the gates are opened the children run to their classrooms where lunch is delivered.


After a long dry season an afternoon thunderstorm sets the children to running and dancing in the rain.


Many children work the few tourist spots trying to sell the bracelets and necklaces their families have made.


There is little tourism in Guatemala because of the high rate of crime but there are many beautiful spots.


Barbed wire atop walls and fences is a common sight


Preparing lunch for 800 children at the center next to the Guatemala City Dump where many of the students have come from.



Scott and Robin Linscott are Maine Wedding Photographers based in Westbrook, Maine. They are very active in their church family and like to be involved in their community.

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5 Reasons Wedding Photography is so Expensive

By Maine wedding photographer, Scott Linscott

BOWEN Wedding-7918

Bowdoin College Chapel

Holy cow, weddings are crazy expensive, right? It seems like everyone just adds a zero to or doubled their price as soon as the word “wedding” is mentioned. I hear you. We found the same thing to be true when planning our daughter’s wedding. Order a cake for a retirement party and it’s $200 but say it’s for a wedding? Boom! $400!

Why is everything so expensive? Are vendors just taking advantage and inflating their prices or is there a reason prices are so steep? Some of these 5 reasons that wedding photography is expensive may also apply to other wedding vendors.

  1. CODB is key to pricing, no matter what the business.

What is CODB? Cost of doing business. Every self-employed business owner understands that if they do not charge enough to cover their costs of doing business they will not be in business long. Your wedding photographer has numerous costs to cover. Robin and I spend about $1000 a year just on association fees and liability insurance. Photographers that run studios outside their homes have to pay additional rent and utilities to keep their doors open, even during the slow season. On top of that add the cost of photography gear, computer equipment and editing software, equipment maintenance and replacement. (We spend $800 a year in March to have our Nikon camera bodies serviced, checked, adjusted and repaired before wedding season hits just to make sure they are in top shape.)

2. Photography gear is expensive!

It is not uncommon for Robin and I to arrive at a wedding with at least $12,000 worth of gear and we could easily double that. Professional level photo gear is understandably more versatile than consumer level gear. Without getting into technicalities of ISO and image noise, I can tell you that our gear is able to handle darker wedding chapels without flash that¬†the very nice $1000 digital cameras cannot. It is not uncommon for us to spend $2000 on a single lens. Why? They can better handle poorly lit reception halls. We are ready to set up off-camera lights on portable stands if needed¬†with high-powered¬†flashes on remote syncs. We can bounce light wherever we need it. We bring at least two camera bodies, backup batteries and all we need to keep shooting should we experience equipment failure. It’s never happened but we’re ready for when it does. No, it’s not the camera that makes the photographer but it’s silly to deny that top-level equipment, in the hands of someone who understands how to use it, makes a major difference in results.


Windows open! Who cares about hair now? No one!

3. Your wedding is the tip of the iceberg.

You may think you’re paying someone for 6-8 hours to show up and photograph your wedding. For most of the higher level pros, that is far from true. The photographer who simply offers you files on a USB stick might spend a bit more time than that but the full-service professional who provides you with quality wall art and custom-designed, professionally-produced showpiece albums that will become more valuable with each passing year, spends much more time than that. It is not uncommon for Robin and I¬†to spend at least 50 hours on a single wedding by the time everything is complete.

4. Supply and demand.

Simple, right? Supply and demand affects pricing across the board. Your top photographers are in demand for a reason. Their schedules will book up a year or more in advance. It’s the same with wedding venues. You are not going to have any luck booking a Saturday wedding at the gorgeous inn on the coast if you wait until three months before wedding season.

5. Education and experience.

If you are wanting to book a photographer with education and experience, it is going to be more expensive than trusting your wedding to your friend with the nice camera or the mom who has been taking pictures of her kids and is now launching into wedding photography. I see those people in online photography forums asking which lenses to rent and talking about being nervous. It makes me nervous that people are trusting them with their weddings! Wedding photography is so much more than snapping photos. Wedding photography includes vision, planning, time management and people management skills. It includes knowing where to look to catch the father-daughter moments and the pictures of the flower girl and bride. Experienced and educated wedding photographers are not wondering what lens to use or what ISO setting or shutter speed to shoot at. They are not shooting 2500 images hoping to improve the odds that they will catch some great shots by chance. Educated and experienced wedding photographers make photographs while others take photos.

Good wedding photography is expensive. You need to decide if the expense is worth it to you. Are you planning to display wall art? Is it important to you to be able to flip through an album someday with your granddaughter at your side? Or will you do little more than post your pictures on Facebook and throw the USB stick in a box somewhere and eventually lose track of it while it becomes obsolete and new technology replaces it? (I recently had a woman ask me if I could get her images off a floppy disk! Um, no.)

Of course, we believe there is nothing more valuable than your photos. Your photos are the only thing your kids will look for when they plan¬†your 5oth anniversary celebration. Of course, I’m going to encourage you not to use your photography line item to squeeze your budget because I see it as an investment that will pay dividends for years to come.

Your memories are priceless.


Scott and Robin Linscott are Maine wedding photographers at Maine Pro Photo.  Linscott Photo  is based in Westbrook, Maine but the Linscotts have photographed destination weddings from Maine to Maui. They have been married for 32 years and are still best friends.

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