As our very own Lead Stylist Courtney would say, “Weddings are like ducks floating on water. From the above everything seems smooth sailing. That is exactly how guests should see your wedding. However, underneath there are so many different moving parts to keep the duck smoothing moving across the water. Those are the vendors on your wedding day.” On your big day, one of those enormous “parts” is your photographer. So, how does one acquire the best fit for such a crucial role on the most important day of your life you ask? Well, why didn’t you just say so! Below we’ve given you a few of our very own steps in finding a photographer for our brides.
Always, always, always look at their portfolio!
You want to make sure the artist’s type of photography is exactly what you would like your final images to reflect. There are three common styles of photography to consider prior to choosing a photographer: Documentary, Portraiture, and Fine Art.
photography looks more candid than the other styles. The images aren’t constructed, but rather observed and captured. If you want to come away with a photo album showing off Uncle Albert getting a little frisky on the dance floor, Documentary is what you’re looking for. The images will be fun and highlight some of the wonderful unplanned moments of your wedding. Of course, you can get those formal shots, too!
A photographer who approaches wedding shoots with portraiture in mind will be suited to your taste if you want a classic photo album. The shots will be posed against various luxurious backdrops around your venue. Not so long ago, this was how most weddings were captured. If you’re still unsure, take a peek at your parent’s wedding album to see if this throwback style is what best suits you.
As for fine art photography the photographer will feel more entitled to add his or her own flavor to the shots. The angles may be a bit more abstract, and the vantages less obvious. They will see your wedding from varying different perspectives. Your images will be no less beautiful than the other styles, just uniquely yours.
Consider these styles before signing any contracts, its best to play it safe than lose a deposit! It’s completely ok to want it all, rest easy knowing there are photographers out there who are more than happy to work with several shooting styles to satisfy their client’s needs. No two photographers are the same and it just takes a little time to find the best fit!
Is the price right?
When on the hunt for a good photographer, you’ll find that there will be both a range of quality and price tag. Just because you love someone’s portfolio doesn’t necessarily mean you should have to spend more than you feel comfortable with. On the other hand you may run into the friend/relative who has that really nice new camera and wants to help you cut costs. This is a time when you can spoil yourself and leave your guests to enjoy the day and let the vendors handle the day! To alleviate the tension with friends/relatives who mean well, try giving them your fancy new #hashtag for the wedding and have them social media it up! As with any vendor, photography comes with a price tag and sometimes larger than you anticipated. Be sure to compare different packages amongst competitors and when planning your budget with the family, sit down and discuss the importance of a photographer to decide where best to spend appropriately. As planners, believe photography (and videography!) are worth spending the extra money. After the day is done and you’ve happily cuddled, snuggled, kissed and held hands for your entire honeymoon all you’ll want to do is relive your wedding through the photos (& video). Make sure the only few tangible things you take away from your big day are worth it!
Do your homework!
Reviews from past clients can speak volumes! After all, those clients were in your shoes before and have now gone through the whole process. Check out the photographers full wedding albums again from start to finish. You love them, right?! Take a sneak peak at their social media and even do a little digging and read their blogs, skim their websites, and check if they’ve been featured. Do they speak to you? Once they’ve surpassed the scrutiny of deciding factors, pick your top two, reach out to them, are they available for your date? If so, set up an in person meeting with them!! You need to connect! This person will be your shadow for your entire day, captures you and your partner and all the emotions of the day. It’s extremely important to have some face-to-face interaction prior with them to make sure your personalities are a good fit. Someone you would feel most comfortable in front of his or her lens all day!
It’s worth the research people!
There’s nothing worse than “wonky” photos. You spend so much time and energy preparing for this special day, you should have the photos you really want to look at 50 years from now!