Picking a wedding photographer/videographer can be a bit stressful! Remember these pictures will be seen by your family, friends and future generations to come (no pressure). Do not leave choosing a photographer/videographer until the last minute. Selecting a wedding photographer is just as important as picking your dream wedding dress, venue, decorations and invitations! Here’s a quick guide to picking a wedding photographer/videographer less stressful and more enjoyable!
My Style is ____________.
Prior, to researching wedding photographers it’s crucial to know what type of wedding style photography you would like! For example:
- Traditional: Most of these images are highly posed and require high levels of intervention from the photographer on adjusting body alignment, attire, background as well as equipment. These photographs could be compared to something your parents or even grandparents wedding photographs.
- Fine Art: These images focus mainly on details and have a clear creative style. This type of style is a fun way for couples to be able to represent their personality and love story through photographs.
- Modern: If you are a fan of traditional style wedding photography but need it to be a little more updated, then this is your best fit! Modern wedding photography focuses on the details without it being too abstract, and captures beautiful portraits that are more relaxed (natural), requiring less intervention.
- High Fashion: For the fashionistas out there that want to create dramatized and striking photographs then (ding, ding) this is for you! High Fashion is usually used in weddings when the bride wants to capture the beauty of her dramatic wedding dress. Most of these images can be interpreted as a bit provocative, as well as utilizes dramatic lighting and posing.
- Photojournalism: This is probably one of the most popular types of wedding photography today! A photographer would follow you as well as your guests from start to finish the day of your wedding capturing those small yet important moments of the day. No posing is required at all from any of the guests or bridal party (all natural candid shots)! In a sense, the photographer would ensure that he blends into the background, and doesn’t intervene with anyone or anything.
Set a Budget & Know What You Need
Based off your total wedding budget, it is suggested that the wedding photographer takes up 10-12% of that money. As mentioned previously, remember a wedding photographer is just as crucial as any other part of the wedding and definitely should take priority in the wedding budget. Also, before starting the research phase, make sure you have all your details set… the official date of the wedding, how many hours are you thinking to have a photographer/videographer, are you looking just to get a disc of images, prints, or dvd?
Research & Ask Others!
Start by researching photographers based off your style and the location of the wedding. You should also ask friends and family for any references! Be sure to look online at the photographers work, blog posts and don’t forget read past couple’s reviews! The Knot and Wedding Wire are great websites that will help in finding reviews. Another, great way to search for a great photographer is by asking other vendors you are currently working with! On a daily basis they work with other wedding vendors, and know who would be great! If you are working with a wedding planner, they will provide you with a list of preferred wedding photographers, which makes the search much easier because you know these would be great reliable and professional choices!
Narrow & Interview (just like in a job)
It is suggested that you should narrow down to 3 photographers before setting appointments to meet with them in person. Once you have your appointments set, be sure to go prepared to ask him or her questions! Some questions you should ask are:
- Are you available for _______________(wedding date)? This question should be asked before setting the in-person appointment but just in case you forget!
- How many years have you had experience with wedding photography?
- Have you photographed any other weddings at ________venue? If they have then it is definitely a plus because the photographer knows where the best shots could be taken!
- What kind of equipment will you be using and do you have backup equipment available in case anything goes wrong?
- Will you have an assistant there with you?
- How soon after the wedding could I expect to receive my disk or prints?
- What types of wedding photography packages are available?
While asking questions this will reveal if your photographer is willing to work closely with you to make your vision a reality! Keep in mind to pay attention to their form of professionalism and personality! In addition, be sure to review at least two albums of an entire wedding from start to finish! These two albums should be similar to your style of photography, and venue.
Once, you have met up with 3 of your top wedding photographers it is time to review! Remember that you and your photographer should get along great, and he or she should truly be concerned of making sure your wedding day is captured beautifully! Your ideal photographer should adhere to your criteria mentioned earlier: budget, availability, experience, professionalism and personality. Most importantly, you should be their number one fan of their work! Be sure to take your time in making the decision and sleep on it if you have to!
When you have chosen your perfect photographer, it is time to get all the details finalized! Be sure to take the time to read over all the legal details prior to signing. Some important details that you should make sure the contract displays correctly would be the date, hours, photography package (what parts of the wedding will be captured), as well as the amount and/or payment plan. Even after the contract has been signed, be sure there is clear communication with the photographer on any changes to the wedding as far as timing goes. If you have a wedding planner (lucky you) then your planner will make sure to communicate in a timely manner all the necessary details the photographer will need.
We hope this mini guide will help in picking your perfect wedding photographer and relieve stress for you! Remember planning your wedding should be fun!