A little about Eric Butler

I was born at a very young age in Fairbanks, Alaska. Growing up, my parents taught me how to fillet salmon and wrestle grizzlies. And I did my own laundry! By age 15 I got bored with all that and retired to sunny San Diego to finish high school. San Diego’s weather was too nice for me so I returned to my homeland to attend the University of Alaska. I changed my major like 27 times and finally ended up with a BA in Economics and a plethora of minors. Yes, I said had a plethora (name that movie!). It was at this time I met my amazing wife, Michelle. I won’t make any jokes about our meeting other than it was at a bowling alley while drinking Kilian’s Irish Red. We just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary and have two beautiful children, Adam and Sarah. I truly love my family and look forward to watching my kids grow. My son starts high school this fall!

In 1995, Michelle I and moved to Nashville where I attended Vanderbilt University and received a Masters in Business Administration. Over the next decade I worked at a few great companies including Blockbuster (yes, THAT Blockbuster), Pizza Hut, and Elizabeth Arden Red Doors Spas. It was a lot of fun and I made good money, but it wasn’t my truly calling. I was always dreaming of great things

Which is why I’m with you today. I started Pixel Dust Photography in 2010, and worked my first weddings in 2011. Later this year Pixel Dust will celebrate taking photos at its 100th wedding. I’m so happy to be able to celebrate such a special moment with my couples!

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life!”

That’s my mantra. When I’m behind a camera at weddings I’m in my Zen moment, like a kid in a candy shop. Weddings are EXACTLY where I want to be.

Thank you for allowing me to share a little about myself. There’s more, but I won’t bore you with any more. Unless you want to talk about Mexican food or the Arizona Cardinals!

 

My Photographic Style

My style ranges from fun to romantic to traditional and classic, with a smattering of the edgy stuff mixed in. As we plan your special day we’ll talk about the types of pictures you prefer. Some couples want a more traditional style, while others ask me to do some fun stuff. Most like a mix of everything. It’s your wedding! Don’t be surprised if I ask about jumping and goofing off. Whatever you would like to do. And if you bring sparklers for your grand exit, we should definitely spend a few moments making sparkler swirls or my famous LOVE picture.

Regarding colors and styles: I’m big on natural light and neutral skin colors, with a few of those light and airy photos mixed in. My online galleries will give you a good sense of the styles used at my weddings.

 

The Wedding Photography Experience

Three things are important to me. Communication, planning, and details. As we get to know each other you’ll find that I excel at communication. I’ll send simple texts to let you know I’m on my way  and will always provide quick responses to your questions. As we get close to your wedding we’ll have a venue tour to start the planning process, including the types of formals we’ll take and the events of the evening. Creating a list of formals in advance of your wedding ensures we’ll capture those big moments.

I believe the quality of pictures is a function of three things:  time, light, and enthusiasm. Here’s what I mean:

Time: For most weddings I need between an hour and an hour and a half. It generally depends on whether or not you would like a “First Look” picture and if we can take family and wedding party pictures prior to the ceremony. It’s my hope to allocate 15 minutes to family, 30 minutes to wedding party, and 30 minutes to the bride and groom. I will always work with my couples and the venue, DJ, and caterer to meet the evening’s timeline. My #1 goal is to get you to the party on time!

Light: The best light is in the hour leading up to sunset. Arizona’s light can be harsh, so pictures taken mid-day will not have the same look as those taken twenty minutes prior to sunset. Cloudy days help, but those are generally more in the fall. Spring weddings, especially April to June, will be clear and bright. As you plan your day and set a time for your ceremony, consider how light will impact your wedding formals. For most weddings, a scheduled ceremony start time two hours prior to sunset is ideal.

Enthusiasm: It’s all about people being there and being ready. And, happy to have their picture taken. Let’s have fun!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is included in my wedding photography package?
    All wedding packages include a one year password-protected digital online gallery, full resolution images on a USB flash drive with print release, and print credits for purchasing products through your online gallery. Full coverage wedding packages include an engagement session, albums, and a variety of products.
  • When will I receive my wedding pictures?
    Within a week of your wedding I’ll post a Sneak Peek of your wedding pictures, a collection of about 75 of the best images from your special day. Most weddings are completed within a month or two. I will keep you updated on my progress as I proceed through the wedding season.
  • Most photographers don't share pricing, but you do. Why?
    It takes a lot of time and resources to plan a wedding, so by sharing my prices and packages I am hopefully making your life a bit easier.  
  • Are my wedding pictures secure?
    Within 24 hours of your wedding all images are backed up to an external hard drive. Within a few days your images are backed up to an offsite cloud service.
  • Do you use models in any of your wedding pictures?
    Never! Many people in the wedding industry have recommended I have what we call a “styled shoot” and advertise those pictures as if they are from real weddings. I simply won’t do it as I don’t feel it’s honest and ethical. Every picture you see on my website and in social media is of real people, just like you. As you interview photographers, ask to see full wedding galleries. I’m proud to share mine!
  • How many pictures do you take on a typical wedding day? How many will I receive?
    For most weddings with one photographer, between 2,000 and 3,000. A second photographer adds around 1,000 to 1,500. I am very generous in what I provide my couples. Most weddings will receive between 700 - 1,200 final, edited images.
  • Are your second photographers experienced?
    All of my second photographers are experienced professionals who have shot many of their own weddings.
  • What does the second photographer do at your weddings?
    I recommend a second photographer for weddings with over 125 guests or a change of location between the ceremony and reception venues. A second photographer will take pictures of the men getting ready, wedding decorations and details, and guests during the cocktail hour. During the ceremony and reception, the second photographer will most likely take candid pictures, while I focus on taking key pictures from your checklist. You will LOVE having a second photographer at your wedding!
  • When should we take our engagement pictures?
    Most couples sign a contract with Pixel Dust a year or so ahead of their wedding. We can take your engagement pictures at any time. If you plan on using the pictures for your Save The Date mailing, plan to take your engagement photos about nine to twelve months ahead of the wedding.
  • I’m getting married in Sedona. Is travel included?
    Wedding day travel is included in most of our wedding packages. Weddings that require an over night stay or are 175 miles from the Phoenix area will required one or two night stay. For weddings in Sedona, Flagstaff, Prescott, Payson, and Tucson I’m generally able to avoid overnight stays.
  • We can’t wait for you to take our engagement pictures. How long does it take and what location do you recommend?
    Most engagement sessions are around two hours. Popular locations include Desert Botanical Garden, Old Town Scottsdale and the LOVE sign, and Scorpion Gulch. HOWEVER  (Are you sitting down?), I’m one of the few photographers around that will not charge extra to travel to beautiful places like Sedona and Jerome with my wedding couples (if you do the driving). Last year I had two engagement sessions at Disneyland. I can’t wait to go back!