Wedding photography

Freed Photography began in 1997 when Blanken chose to become partners with Neal Freed. Since then, Freed has been featured in the Washingtonian every year as best photographer.

“We are a full service studio,” Blanken said. “We have graphic designers on staff that help couples put their wedding albums together; having 1,000 pictures to go through can be a daunting task.”

Blanken said that Freed understands they are creating a family heirloom with wedding photos. “You could have a cool picture of the back of a dress, but that’s not what’s important at the time,” he said. “You should focus on what will be important 10 years from now.”

Blanken said that whether a couple is getting married at the Four Seasons, Ritz, Fairmont or a backyard barbecue, people are what make a wedding. “The energy and excitement that transcends through the whole crowd, that’s what really makes it special,” he said.

“Brides and grooms need to go out there and have a great time,” he added. “Most great weddings I’ve been to the bride and groom have a great connection.”

Freed also enters weddings with the thought that it’s not just another weekend. They take their clients and events seriously and enjoy making brides and grooms feel special. Of course, D.C. is a unique place to marry.

“Obviously, the architecture of D.C. is really fantastic, there’s great foliage multiple times per year and we get all four seasons,” Blanken said. “It makes for a great destination wedding.”

Blanken said that most wedding horror stories happen with photography and they work to eliminate that. Freed Photography tries to eliminate those pitfalls and helps couples go into photography with a positive experience.

He also added that brides should choose a place to be photographed that is dynamic and can be shot at different times of the day.

“I think if you’re afraid of flying by the seat of your pants and making things up and rolling with the punches, then get out of the wedding photography business,” Blanken joked. “Some things don’t go as planned and for the most part, if someone runs late or there’s rain, sun or wind blowing things the wrong way, just deal with it.”

Freed typically does about 200 to 300 weddings per year, as well as bar and bat mitzvahs and other social and corporate events. The company has taken pictures for a few local rock bands as well as Congressmen and other D.C. businessmen and influential people.

The best advice Blanken could give to brides who feel lost or confused about choosing a wedding photographer is that wedding photography is like life---you have to find your balance. “Too many posed pictures aren’t good, too many candids aren’t good,” he said. “Flexibility is also really important.”