I am not writing this article because I am a photographer (and trying to “sell” myself to you), I am writing this article to help you decide YOUR wedding photographer. This is your big day and choosing your wedding photographer can be a daunting but very important task. You need to make sure that the photographer you choose is best suited for you and your fiancé. Once your wedding day is over, it’s over. The flowers have been taken by your guests, the venue is a skeleton of the dream it was the day before, the champagne has either been sprayed into oblivion or drunk up… The only things you are left with as a reminder that YOU ARE MARRIED is your spouse, your rings and your photographs. These are historical heirlooms that hopefully in time you can look at and they immediately transport you to that time, that place, the instant butterflies or a nostalgic smile. This is what wedding photography is all about.
I have been asked a few times “Who would you choose to be your photographer…”. My answer has always been “wouldn’t you like to know” but in all seriousness it changes on a weekly basis! There are so many many unbelievably talented photographers out there! (:
So here we go…
A photographer is like an artist. Actually we are artists. We all have our own style be it traditional, quirky, creative, documentary or more fashion styled posing you need to match your style with the photographers. The only way you will do this is research, research and more research, by the end of the 100’s of photographs and portfolios you browsed on the web you will quickly know what you like and what you don’t.
You might like the way someone edits (or grades) but you don’t like their “feel” in the photographs etc etc.
Make a list of your favourite photographers before contacting them for quotes and questions.
I can not stress this enough. Often on wedding photographers websites you will see some BANGER shots on their websites, but you need to see the wedding albums that are complete. You want to make sure the style you love flows consistently through the whole day. Not just that one or two that they have on their home page slider.
Because your day isn’t just one or two BANGER shots. It’s a beautiful love story from the first to the last photograph.
It’s true not every one “gets along” with everyone. Weddings is probably the place where you get all types of people and choosing someone that is able to make you and your fiancé comfortable and feel at ease but then also being able to banter with those crazy guests, please those demanding ones (please can I get a photo with bride, yeah you know who you are!), capturing the little kids playing around and having patience with grand mother. If your personalities don’t gel, it could be a VERY long day for you and your photographer. It’s best to try and grab a coffee with them, if that isn’t possible even just a phone call. Trust your gut!
Google reviews and testimonials don’t lie (that much). If they have years of experience there should be some great reviews. Do the stalking of previous clients and ask them for an honest opinion. Were they happy with the photographer before, on the day and after the wedding.
Yes, even here you need to master the art of communication. How quick or slow did they reply to your email? When you read the reply how did they come across? Often the wedding photographer will play an important “Wedding Planner” role. Structuring your day is very important. When will you go for the couple shoot? How long do you need? When is the best light? Your photographer needs to confidently know all of this.
It does help choosing a photographer who has worked at the venue before, but that really doesn’t matter if your photographer is willing to meet you at the venue to explore where the best photo locations and possible opportunities could take place.
A true wedding photographer will have a full frame high end camera and really expensive lenses (trust me I have sold both my kidneys!). So when you get that HUGE quote you know exactly why.
So this is where the REAL work for wedding photographers start. So ask your wedding photographer who edits the photographs and how long do they spend on editing your wedding day. You might be shocked at the amount of hours spent here.
This is great way to get to know your photographer and how they work before your wedding day. This will also make you feel more comfortable in front of the lens on your wedding day. This is a beautiful way to capture images that tells your real love story in a more relaxed and informal way.
After all your hours of research, meetings and budget crunching. You have found your photographer. Don’t wait a minute to book them. The great photographers get booked up to 18 months in advance!
Well there you have it. Of course there are other factors like budget, but let’s be honest here, reduce the bar tab by a couple of K’s and you have yourself photographs that will transport you back to that time that you were surrounded by your favourite humans (and maybe a fur baby or two). Don’t regret not having the photographer you wanted.