So, the big question has been “popped” and now you are on your way to planning the perfect wedding. There is a virtual world of who, what, when and where waiting for you in the upcoming months. Sit back and read along – we are going to help you narrow down one of the most important who’s you will have on your wedding day – your wedding photographer.
There are several different things to consider when selecting your wedding photographer:
Products & Packaging
Professional vs Hobbyist
Let’s begin with Style. With the digital age upon us, photography has blown it’s stitches and is now beaming with different creative lenses (both literally and figuratively). It’s very important that your photographer’s style best represents your vision for your wedding. If you are planning on spending endless hours perfecting the “look” of your wedding you want to make sure that your photographer incorporates the aesthetics into your big day!
There are several different styles of photography used for weddings today. There is the traditional style of wedding photography that we are all used to. The posed shots of the bride and groom, their families and friends, and of cutting the cake and the first dance.
Another style is photojournalism. This approach takes a step back from the more traditional wedding photography and allows the photographer to do a play-by-play of the wedding as it unfolds. Special moments are captured along the way.
Illustrative/Artsy photography is another style that is commonly used today. This style of photography allows the photographer to improvise and use his/her artistic sense to chronicle the wedding day events.
Considering that we live in a day and age where we like to have it all, we use a combination of all of these styles in our wedding photography, unless our bride/groom prefer to keep a certain style out. We have found that although traditional photography has been deemed “dated”, it is super important to the wedding day. Traditional photography (family shots, cutting the cake, etc) is timeless, so when you look back at your wedding day these photographs stand out just as much as the others.
Photojournalism happens. It’s not for every photographer. Many photographers feel most comfortable shooting with a controlled environment, so photojournalism might not be their forte. But, there are many photographers out there that got their roots in photojournalism and it just comes naturally to them to shoot along the way. Make sure your photographer is comfortable with this style of photography if it is on your must-have list!
Illustrative/Arsty photography is unique and is best done by those who advertise doing this style of photography. Be sure to see examples of the photographers work before committing to their vision. This style is loose, so you want to make sure that the photographers work matches what you were envisioning.
Products & Packaging
It’s very important to make sure you pick the right photography package for your wedding day. There is nothing worse than having to deal with details on your wedding day. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to iron out all of the details at your contract signing before the big day.
You want to make sure you are square on just a few big things in regards to the photography package?
Does it include a bridal portrait session? Engagement Session?
How many photographers will be at the wedding?
How many hours will the photographer shoot?
(VERY IMPORTANT) Can you add hours “on the fly”? – Many photographers will not allow this on their lower packages, so be sure that you can do it, just in case you foresee needing them a little bit longer than planned.
Are prints included in the package price?
Are digital files and reproduction rights included in the package? If not, can they be purchased separately?
Is an album included?
We currently offer two wedding packages. Both include a bridal or engagement session (one has both), 200-250 prints from the wedding day in a personalized presentation box, and a CD of the digital files with reproduction rights. We allow for hours to be added “on the fly”. We do not offer an album with our packages, but will design one a la carte.
Professional vs Hobbyist
We do a large amount of portrait photography at our studio and the most common complaint we hear from our clients is that the regretted their choice of wedding photographer. We comically refer to it as the Uncle Bob Complex. So many people out there for one reason or another have allowed a family member or good friend (with lots of photography knowledge – wink, wink, nudge, nudge) to shoot their wedding. The results? Less than desirable wedding pictures. And, there is no going back, people! So, here is the breakdown, in our defense, of why you should go with the pros!
Educational and Technical know-how. If a tornado rips through the neighborhood and kills the power for 20 blocks will Uncle Bob know how to shoot in a rainstorm without A) getting the bride and groom wet and B) ruining all of the wedding pictures by using bad flash technique? A pro would know how to keep them dry and make beautiful wedding day photographs despite natures fury.
Experience. So, let’s say Uncle Bob happens to be a truly talented amateur. Has he ever shot a wedding before? Does he know what to look for? If the answer is yes, then perhaps you should give him a shot at your wedding day. However, if he doesn’t…let’s just put it like this – a good nature photographer doesn’t always know how to shoot a wedding and vice versa. Stick with the pros on this one. They know what they are doing.
Organization. A good wedding photographer comes armed with great organization of their shooting day. Will Uncle Bob? Or will he miss the bouquet toss because he was hugging Great-Aunt Pearl? Something to think about.
Tools. Professionals come equipped with all of the things that they need to make your photographs the best that they can be. AND, unlike most Uncle Bobs they know how to use it!
Resources. It’s a part of the professional photographer’s daily grind to be current the best of the best of photography know-how. They achieve this via researching blogs just like this one, photography forums, and interacting with other professionals out in the field. The purpose of this is to give them an edge that the every day amateur might not have. When was the last time your Uncle Bob went out in the field with his photography peers?
Cost. Yes, I said it. I know it is taboo, but after hearing the Uncle Bob Sob Story SO many times, I think it is appropriate to get to the meat of the matter. The reason most people go with Uncle Bob is because he is free, honey. Ain’t no shame in admitting to it, is there?! No!
BUT, if you are considering having your Uncle Bob (or Aunt Gwen, or Cousin Shirley, or WHOMEVER it is) take a long look at the pros and cons of the Professional vs Hobbyist section to make 100% FREE offer won’t cost you pain and suffering in the end.
Bottom line, it doesn’t matter how experienced or talented the photographer is, if your personalities don’t mesh, look elsewhere. You will be a much happier bride and groom for it.
Happy trails and GOOD LUCK planning your wedding! If you are in need of a wedding photographer, we’d love to shoot it for you!