There are a surprising number of couples that base the purchase of a wedding photographer solely on price. Sadly this is at the risk of compromising the overall service received as well as the quality of their photos.
If this is you then dare I say it, don’t be surprised when the top of Aunty Sarah’s head has been cropped a bit too much or if when receiving your photos, you realise that you could have taken better photos using your iPhone! Keep in mind that a good photographer will make your day look absolutely fabulous, and will become a memorable keepsake for whenever you want to travel back in time to that special moment you and your significant other exchanged vows.
If photos are not important to you then you should probably go ahead a skip this blog, but if like me, you want your wedding photos to tell your love story by timelessly capturing your wedding day to the best possible standard, then read on.
Over the years I have worked with a number of photographers that have ranged from absolutely amazing to completely tragic! There is a whole spectrum of capabilities out there and so we have provided some guidelines on what to consider when choosing your wedding photographer.
Decide on a Photography Style
Did you think you would just get a recommendation form a friend and that would be it? I’m afraid there’s a lot more to consider as different photographers offer different wedding styles. Your choice of photographer will need to be based on the photographic style in which you are most attracted to. In general, there are 3 main styles to consider which consists of Traditional, Photojournalistic/Reportage or Contemporary photography. These styles are all different but I will give you a brief break down of each styles:
Traditional photography is most commonly seen when it comes to wedding photos and are of a timeless nature, whereby photos are generally displayed in a portrait album.
Photojournalistic/Reportage photography is often referred to as documentary style. The photographer captures more natural photos showing real time actions and emotions and tends to capture events and activities as they naturally unfold, as appose to portrait photos where you are required to pose.
Contemporary photography is inspired by editorial fashion photography and requires the photographer to be more creative which is done by capturing high impact visually interesting images which can be less formal.
Once you have decided on which style you prefer, you must take the time to research photographers with that particular style. Short list a hand full and contact them remembering to ask them to describe their photographic style to you so you know you are both on the same page when it comes to delivering the best quality photos.
Meet With Perspective Photographers in Person
It’s always best to meet with a photographer in person but if this isn’t possible, set up a video call where you can interact with them and ask questions. The purpose of this meeting is to get a feel for the photographers personality, making sure they are the right fit for your wedding day. You should have some questions prepared which should include asking about their experience, any challenges they have faced and how they tackled them, how many supporting photographer they will have on your wedding day and what makes their service better then Jo Blogs across the street. It’s also a good idea to find out if they will have any back up equipment in case of equipment malfunctions and any other contingency plans they have in place.
Ask to see the photographers portfolio as well as photos from previous weddings and also remember to check out any online reviews or feedback they may have had from past clients.
Set a Realistic Budget
It’s no lie that getting a decent wedding photographer isn’t cheap, but it’s also no lie that you get what you pay for. If you book a cheap photographer you may find that you actually end up wasting your money. Photography prices can vary quite a lot but if you value your wedding photos, this is an area I would suggest you do not skimp on. Remember that a good photographer will provide the best equipment to capture the magical moments as well as a good service. When you look back at your photo’s in the next 20 years, you’ll be happy you forked out a bit extra for the timeless quality of your wedding photos.
Read the Contract
A good photographer will have a contract in place for you to sign, which is there to protect both you and them during and after your professional relationship. Be sure to check the contract thoroughly, and then check it again! If you do not want your photos to be used on the photographers social media platform after the wedding then it’s best to let them know from the offset to avoid any future disagreements. You should also be sure to get any extra requests in writing so you can refer back to it if you need to.
Pre Plan The Day With Your Photographer
Create an action plan with your photographer which includes the timings of the day and details of any specific shots you have your heart set on. Make sure your photographer knows exactly what is expected of them on the day and be sure that they agree to deliver on these expectations.
When it comes to choosing the photographer which is right for you, there is so much to consider. With that being said, my 3 important reminders are, don’t rush into anything, be sure to do your homework and don’t skimp on quality.
If you would like help choosing your wedding day photographer or would like some recommendations of good photographers or any other aspect of planning your wedding day, then please get in touch.
All photos used by Teshorn Jackson Photography.