With all of the excitement and anticipation that comes with planning your wedding, the day finally comes and passes way more quickly than you can even imagine! While you should savour each moment, one thing is for sure: you’ll want to relive it forever. The best way to draw value out of all you put into your wedding day is to make these moments tangible.
You may wonder why I would write a blog about choosing your photographer, wouldn’t I want you to just choose me?
Well, yeah, I do want you to (I’d be telling porkies if I said I didn’t and I’m not too keen on porkies) but at the end of the day I’d rather you found the ideal match for YOU. This is YOUR wedding day and you won’t do it again whereas I will do many other weddings.
1. What's Your Style?
Even for the couples who aren’t photography savvy, I’d suggest making a collection of your favourite wedding photos that you’ve seen, and ask yourself why you like them — is it the editing, composition, their ability to capture emotion?
Each photographer specializes in their style because that’s what they connect with the most. It’s what drives them to get those epic photos and part of why we love our job. It’s actually more difficult to emulate someone else’s style because we (as photographers) all see things and shoot differently. You can’t re-shoot a wedding, so you’ve got to love the style of the photographer first and foremost.
And don’t base your decision solely on what you see in a photographer’s highlights gallery or album. For good reason, photographers show prospective clients a portfolio of their best pictures, all from different weddings, so you’re seeing the best of the best. The problem with that is you won’t get a well-rounded idea of their work. Ask to see two or three full galleries from real weddings they’ve shot so you can get a better idea of what your complete collection of photos might look like after the wedding. And ask to see at least one or two complete albums of weddings that are in similar settings to yours. For example, if you’re planning an indoor affair with dark lighting, don’t just look at weddings shot outdoors in natural sunlight.
2. What's Your Budget?
The first thing I would suggest when setting your initial budget is get into research mode! When you are clear on a style that you love, find a few wedding photographers and ask for their pricing, just so you can get a general idea of what things cost and start with a realistic jumping off point.
Important footnote: Please just remember that you get what you pay for. If you have a friend or amateur shooting your day, it is not fair to expect professional photos from them and if you are hiring a professional it is not fair to ask them to shoot at amateur prices.
3. What's Your Jive?
It’s so important for you to feel comfortable around your photographer because they’ll be following you around. ALL. DAY.
Virtually every one I ask will declare that they’re not photogenic or that they are super awkward but when you find the photographer that you jive with, all of that will become immaterial and forgotten! I promise!
So be sure to meet your chosen favs (this is so easy now with the likes of Zoom) to determine who you most connect with and then book in an engagement shoot, certainly the best way to eliminate those lingering concerns.
4. What's your gut feel?
While there is a heap of photographers who would love to be a part of your day, you can only choose one. So go with your gut. Consider all the things that are most important to you and make a decision that makes you and your partner happy.
At the end of the day it’s your wedding. The last thing we – as photographers – want is for couples to make a snap decision or ‘settle’ for a photographer they weren’t keen on
You can’t redo the wedding day, so please don’t risk booking someone you don’t feel 100% confident in. This is way too important!
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