Experts: The Photo Synthesizers
ANDY BEET AND CHRISTINE FERULLO are tremendously curious about you. Was it love at first sight? What music do you enjoy? What are your favorite breakfast foods? No matter how poignant or silly, the answers reflect individual personalities—and the story of a couple’s love. For the duo behind Bello Photography, these essential details allow them to truly connect with the bride and groom. And where there’s a connection, there’s naturally stunning photography.
Before they fell in love in Spain and joined forces, Ferullo honed her photography skills as a journalist, while Beet focused his lens with world travel. After enduring a less-than-stellar experience with the photographer they hired for their own wedding, the pair decided to offer their talents to brides- and grooms-to-be, launching Bello from their home in Mashpee. Nine years later, they’re still going strong, approaching the weddings they shoot with love — and lots of attention
How can a couple narrow down their list of photographers?
Christine Ferullo: You want to make sure that the photographers know what they’re doing technically. A wedding is fast-paced: There are no do-overs, and you can’t miss certain moments. One minute we’re working with halogen lights, then natural light, and then a dark room with multiple sources of light. It’s tricky to maneuver.
Andy Beet: I think a couple first need to ask themselves how they want their wedding captured; then they should find photographers whose portfolios best represent the look and style they like. Even a website can say something about a photographer’s aesthetic. Narrowing the search to the area where the couple is getting married is a good place to start. Seasoned photographers who live where they work tend to know the best spots for photos. Referrals from family and friends can often help narrow the field as well. Ultimately, if a photographer’s images stir something within them, that’s a good sign that they’ve found their match.
Is it just about trusting your gut?
CF: It’s important to see whose personality jells with yours. You want to feel comfortable. Weddings are all about relationships, the most important ones in your life. You want to know that the photographers will give 100 percent.
What’s the most common mistake people make when choosing a photographer?
CF: It usually comes down to expectations—either they don’t communicate what they are looking for or they choose a photographer whose style they don’t like.
AB: Basing the choice on price alone. Everyone has a budget and some photographers will be out of a couple’s price range, but it’s important to keep in mind that after the music has stopped, the cake has been eaten, and the flowers have died, all that’s left are your memories and your photographs. Sometimes it may be necessary to revisit the budget to ensure that you get a photographer with the experience, technical skill, and creativity necessary to document such a meaningful day.
Film or digital? Should it matter?
CF: With the technology today and the pro labs that are available, even if you shoot film the images get scanned and oftentimes the printing is digital. The final product is about the same; personally, I don’t see a difference. I think it’s really important for photographers to stand out, and film gives some photographers a niche; the fact that someone can do true black-and-white is appealing to some. For us, I feel like that part of it isn’t as important as capturing moments. I don’t care so much how I get there — what matters is that what I’m producing for clients has feeling.
What do you do behind the scenes that most people don’t notice?
CF: Taking photos is only 10 percent of what we do. We spend a ton of time in front of the computer editing, processing, and retouching. There’s a lot of work that goes into it that people aren’t aware of; post-production is a huge part of it.
AB: A photography studio is a small business. We have a lot of the same responsibilities that a big business might have — the only difference is that there are fewer people doing the work.
How do you choose a location for engagement or wedding photos?
CF: We actually give all our clients a getting-to-know-you survey — it asks about them and what they love to do together to inspire some ideas. For us, it’s about communicating and building a relationship. The more info we can get about our couples, the more it inspires a session. Trust is a big thing.
AB: We talk to our clients in depth and select a location that is relevant to
their interests and personalities. Getting to know our couples is the fun part of our job. It’s an investment of time on both sides but we think that our clients benefit from this, as we are able to capture images for them that have more meaning. Every couple is different, so we try to tailor sessions to their unique personalities.
Tips: Christine Ferullo and Andy Beet’s expert guide to clicking with your wedding-day photographer.
See the Big Picture
The more time you give the photographers, the better your formal pictures will be. We like at least two hours with our couples, their families, and the bridal party.
Show Your True Colors
We love documenting weddings that clearly reflect our clients and what’s important to them. Don’t do something just because it’s “in.” It’s always best to just be you.
The days leading up to your wedding can be stressful, but in the end, what guests will remember most is how you celebrated. So leave all the worries behind—more love and fun will be reflected in your photos.
Bello Photography, 713 Old Barnstable Rd., Mashpee, 508-539-1039, bellophoto.com.