Following closely behind ensuring you and your partner have a fun and memorable day is the importance of ensuring you have photos that beautifully, but truly, portray your wedding day.
Choosing your wedding photographer can be simplified by following these few tips.
Find images you love
Take the time to go through hundreds of images. Find a style that you love, while keeping in mind that these photographs are going to last a life time. If your theme is a vintage theme, do you want your photos to also have vintage filters? Will you still like the vintage look in 50 years time? Do you go for a sophisticated and simplistic look that portrays the theme through the contents of the image without affecting the timeless/ageless quality of the photographs?
Find photographers whose natural style is the style that you love.
Decide what is important to you and what you want from your photographer
It’s easy to get caught up in everything photographers are offering and end up wanting a bit of everything instead of all of what is important to you.
If having your entire wedding from the very start to the very end is important to you, look for photographers who photograph the entire wedding. Keep in mind that the longer a photographer stays the more photographs will be captured, therefore look out for photographers who don’t limit the amount of photos they give you. You should then take my suggestion of investing in 2 photographer package allowing the opportunity to tell a much fuller story of what goes on on your wedding day, such as more candid pictures of your guests.
Having a second photographer relieves a large amount of stress, not only on the main photographer, but also on the couple. A common example is when hair and make up, or getting ready, ends up running behind schedule and suddenly the photographer has half the time to do the bridal shoot and grooms shoot, instead of having everything become an even madder rush and adding to the tension by rushing each shoot, the photographers can split up and each spend that tiny bit of extra time on getting extra amazing photographs of both the bride and groom.
Many wedding packages will already include a wedding album, but is this enough for you? Are you going to want to print more photos a few years later, or even many years later? If you are look out for photographers whose packages include hi resolution images which will allow you to print the photographs yourself at a later stage, whether its small jumbo prints or large pieces of wall art.
A factor that I feel is incredibly important is to take into consideration how time conscious and organised your photographer is. Yes your photographs should be incredibly important to you, but at the same time so should spending time with your guests. There are many simple ways photographers can speed up otherwise very time consuming events by having previously gathered additional information. For example, I require a full list of family photographs a couple before I shoot a wedding. This way I have the names of the guests to gather together as well as a list of the exact photos wanted. This saves a great deal of time where we would otherwise constantly be going back to photograph a family photo that was forgotten in the excitement of the moment, or from taking photographs with guests who, as much as you love, you don’t want to have in your family photo collection. By having these scenarios already pre thought of and planned for time wastage is prevented ensure your wedding doesn’t end up running late or your other shoots are cut short.
Would you like your images to be edited? Would you like them to just have the basics such as exposure, colour and contrast adjusted, or would you require more, such as softening and smoothing out skin, distracting backgrounds removed or even having some nip and tucks done to areas where a tight dress can make a slight bulge of skin? How many would you require to have corrected, all of them or just a select few?
Think carefully about what is important to you, make a list and focus on those points, it will save many hours later on where you would previously have spent large quantities of time going through numerous packages, that don’t actually include what you are wanting.
Talk to your photographer
I can’t emphasis this point enough. You and your photographer are going to spend a great deal of time together on your wedding day. Make sure you get along and that you are comfortable with them.
Take the time to sit down with them and have them explain their packages; what they include and what it all means. It is often difficult to include all that the packages offer into a simple flyer or booklet, furthermore, many of the descriptions may seem slightly vague. Let them explain. Tell them what is important to you and see if what they offer meats your needs, or if a custom package needs to be made for you.
Talk about what their turnaround times are and how long after the wedding you can expect to have your digital images, any prints, or any albums.
I would also highly recommend having your wedding photographer do a couple shoot for you before your wedding, especially if you are not 100% comfortable in front of a camera. Among many other benefits this way you know what to expect on your wedding day, you know if your photographer is going to pose you or not, and you know how you get along working together.
Do some research on your photographer
Ask your photographer if you can see a full wedding they have photographed, have a look at one of their actual weddings album designs and talk to some of their previous clients. Remember that the work a photographer displays is often just their best work; you want to know that you will be getting high quality images throughout your wedding day as well as high quality albums after your wedding. Pop a message onto your photographers’ page asking what previous clients think of their work. Were they happy with the images? Were they happy with the album? Were the images delivered on time?
You get what you pay for, as a general rule. With experience and greater recognition comes higher pricing. But higher pricing also generally means better equipment to produce a higher quality photograph, higher quality albums, end products and service. I would recommend seriously investing in an experienced, recognised and exceptional photographer.
However, if you do not have the budget for an experienced photographer, do additional research. Do a lot of it. Do not lower your expectations of the standard of quality of your wedding pictures because you don’t have a large budget. Remember that there are students out there and hobbyist whose work is exceptional. They may not have the experience, and the contacts which are essential to running a successful business, but if you find the right person, they will still have the ability to produce amazing photographs from your wedding day at a lower price.