If you’re a bride and groom that values photography, the task of choosing a wedding photographer can be overwhelming and somewhat terrifying. After all, you have this one chance to get it right. You only walk down that aisle once, and you only have one shot to pick a photographer. You’re spending a big portion of your wedding budget on photography … without being able to see the final product in advance. Daunting right!!
Okay straight up, this isn’t a ‘why you should pick me‘ article. Sure Id love to be your chosen photographer, but if we aren’t the right fit, then its not doing either of us any good. You wouldn’t be happy with your photos, and I would have to live through the complaining. So this is an education piece to help you work out how to choose the right wedding photographer for you.
I hope to give you some useful tips that may help you in the selection process and build your shortlist of photographers. With the goal of hopefully knowing that you have the absolute best team of suppliers around you on your big day. I honestly want you to have the best wedding photos for you! Trust me, having a solid team of supplier on your wedding day helps enormously with ensuring the day goes smoothly and you are able to relax and enjoy the day.
I try to put myself in my couple’s shoes. Even though I’ve never hired a wedding photographer myself, I think I can imagine the fear they must feel as they are about to hand over their trust for me to capture one of the most special days in their lives, as well as investing thousands of dollars. I’ve heard too many horror stories involving wedding photographers that have not delivered, and newlyweds being left disappointed and heartbroken at their choice. I must say in many of those instances, the couples have, and I make the assumption, that they were not educated on what to look for in a photographer or realistic about their wedding photography budget and went with the cheap photographer or the friend who has a good camera option.
So, from a seasoned photographer’s point of view who has been to a few weddings in over 7 years, I thought I’d share a few tips on making this huge decision. I know it may seem that I’m a little biased (pick me! pick me!) but I honestly don’t think every bride out there is right for me or me for them. So how do you find the best wedding photographer for you?
Some simple pieces of advice that I think are more important than basing a decision on a price that gets touted about without any education or understanding what you are paying for … read on!
1. Make sure when you are choosing a wedding photographer, the photos make you FEEL something.
You want to resonate with how the photographer captures the connections and relationships – because wedding days are about connections and relationships. If you feel something when you look through their portfolio at a bunch of strangers’ wedding photos, you are guaranteed to love your own photos all the more!
2. View an entire wedding worth of photos when choosing a wedding photographer.
Most photographers could show you a handful of their best 20 photos they’ve ever shot and you will be impressed. But that won’t give you a good feel for what your wedding photos will look like. These days, most photographers blog a good amount of photos from each wedding, especially from the bride/groom preparations through to the first dance at the reception – have a good look through a few weddings from each photographer, looking for consistency.
3. Make sure you like the photographer as a person.
Which ever photographer you choose, is going to be around you and your family for anywhere from 6-12 hours on one of the most special days of your life – you will want to feel comfortable with them and most of all, trust them.
4. Photography Style
This is an important one! There are many different styles of photography. From very candid and natural wedding photos which is a more documentary or photojournalist approach. Then there is Traditional which involves more posing. When viewing photographers websites, you will find you are drawn to a particular style. Along with photography style comes editing style. With digital photography, a huge part of photography is how the photos are edited. Do you prefer clean natural tones, warm vintage effects, or light and airy styles that resemble looking like film. Also does the photographer offer only colour or colour & black & white? For me I can’t go past clean natural tones that show the real life colours of the day. I also like to provide a full set of colour images and then a selection of b&w edits for those images that truly shine as b&w, but the couple have the colour option as well to cover all bases.
If you look to these simple pieces of advice when choosing your wedding photographer, rather than just basing your choice on price, you greatly increase your chances of loving the result of this once-in-a-lifetime decision.
One last piece of advice – trust your gut feeling! It’s usually right.
Great news, there’s a stack more tips from where this article came from!