When I first began photographing weddings, I thought, where there are weddings… I shall be there!
As time went on, I realized that I wasn’t entirely enjoying some weddings; while others, I laughed, I smiled, I danced, and I loved.
What was the difference for me and for my clients? While each wedding I attended was beautiful, there were certain characteristics that stood out to me and to my clients.
What have I learned? And what can you learn about choosing your perfect photographer?
My goal is to give some tips that will help you choose, relieve some tensions, and give some insights you possibly hadn’t heard prior.
1. Building a Relationship
I can’t even stress how important this is. This truly is my biggest tip that so often gets overlooked!!! There are so many wonderful wedding photographers out there, and how will you know if they are perfect for you and your wedding? I almost always encourage brides to have the same photographer throughout their engagement up until their wedding. I do this because I want to make sure that we have a relationship and that we work well together, before the big day arrives.
When it comes down to it, you’ll be spending a large chunk of your day with your photographer. Make sure that a relationship has formed, make sure that a relationship could form between you and your photographer.
If you sense that maybe this photographer's personality doesn't match with your own, find one that does. You both will have a more glorious day this way! If personalities don't match, how do you expect to have natural and raw moments captured. I believe that photos should be taken absolutely awkwardness free!
Each photographer has a different personality and style, photographers do what we can to express ourselves through our art and our social medias to attract brides that we will work great with.
For me, I almost always have a photo session prior with them before the big day, but if circumstances don’t allow it, I encourage a phone call or a nice lunch!
I'm dorky, I laugh a lot, I'm a bubbly person. Brides that enjoy that, will love sessions with me. That time spent together flies by filled with laughs and kisses.
So my biggest tip, build that relationship, but also make sure it could form. :)
There are many different types of styles in the world of wedding photography. Photographers have certain emotions they are trying to capture and reflect back through their pictures.
Some of the types of styles include: editorial, traditional, classic, moody, dark, or dramatic.
Editorial style is when you should be thinking of a magazine, if you read TheKnot or other famous magazines, a lot of those candid or raw photos are going to be from an editorial/lifestyle based photographer. These photographers will allow you to mingle and laugh throughout the night, capturing candid memories. A traditional photographer is going to be posing you and creating shots that are classic and timeless. While no style is better than another, it really matters what you want in your photo album.
For me, I am an editorial styled photographer, with a few mashes of traditional. I love capturing those candid happy bliss moments of your day, but it is important to me that you get family photos or those must-haves with your groom.
3. Second Shooter
My second shooter is my best friend and my right hand during the wedding day. My second shooter not only captures angles that I don’t have or can’t see, he also makes sure you’re looking perfect in your shots. During ceremonies, I will have him at one section to capture specific angles, and I at a completely different angle. Different emotions, different photos, and of course, more moments for you to see and cherish. Having a second shooter also makes photo taking a breeze, during group shots, he helps me orchestrate positions, capturing candids of people while they are waiting, and he photographs the groomsmen while I do the bridesmaids.
Thus, giving you more relax (eating) time between events of the day.
My husband, Alex, is my second shooter, so naturally, we are going to work really well together. I have seen weddings where the two photographers do not mix well together, thus creating tension rather than capturing moments. You should ask your photographer about them having a second shooter option, but also ask if they’ve worked with this photographer before.
4. Budget and Investment
I understand, wedding checklists and budgets have you all in a daze. I was once a bride, and I understand that things add up. However, after everything is said and done, once the cake is eaten, once the decorations are taken down, all you have left are the pictures to remember the day by. Not only that, but one day, you may want to show your kids or grandkids. Photos preserve moments.
My best advice is to decide a budget on your photos, but also decide a grace budget. Decide on what extra you would be willing to pay.
“Cheap photography isn’t all that great and great photography isn’t all that cheap.” ;)
5. Do they love what they do?
My goal with this post was to give you some direction on choosing your wedding photographer, but also to give some advice that you haven’t heard over and over.
Does your wedding photographer love what they do?
Wedding photography is a beautiful profession to get into. It’s rewarding, beautiful, and fun. How does your photographer view what they do? Do they love it?
The answer should be yes. If they love what they do, they will love photographing your day. They will take the time to make sure you are happy with your photographs, that each detail you carefully planned has been photographed.
To me, the most important photographs I get during the day, are the ones where the groom is absolutely looking into the eyes of his smiling bride. The photographs that you want to stare at over and over, the photos that tell your story of happiness.
Does your photographer love what they do?