How to Choose the Right Wedding Photographers for YOU!
8 KEY POINTERS FOR CHOOSING YOUR PERFECT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
1. First and foremost, you should be looking at photographers that either work as a team of 2 or have qualified and reliable second shooters. It's crucial that there are two people capturing your wedding day, as one person can't be with both you and your partner during the getting ready part of the day, and they can't photograph both your reaction and your fiancé's during the vows, when you see one another for the first time, etc. Always, always, always make sure there will be 2 photographers!
2. Philosophy - Why do they shoot weddings? What kind of people are they? How does this affect the way they shoot? You should find the answers to these valuable questions on every photographers website in their About Me section. Ideally you are looking for photographers who are going to help keep the day calm, be fun but professional, and fit in with your personalities. You are legitimately going to be spending more of your day with your photographers than your new spouse! It's important to choose someone who can go with the flow, be silly with you, and make you feel comfortable. Hakuna Matata, as I always say! This brings me to my next pointttt:
3. Do you like them as a person? This is probably the most important thing I can tell you. Most photographers out there can take decent photos. What really sets a photographer apart, is how you get along with them. As I said, you are going to be spending all day with your photographers so you at least have to like them, if not completely click with them and their style. It is so crucial to meet your potential photographers in person, or over Skype if you aren't local!
4. Do the photographers have experience in the specific lighting situation for your wedding? Is your wedding outdoors in full sun? Is it inside a dark church? Is your reception outdoors at night? Are you getting married in a hot air balloon? No? Oh, that's just my dream then (...you can't have it). ANYWAY. Make sure the photographers that you are considering have experience shooting in all types of lighting situations. Make sure they have the gear required to photograph in low light / at night, and you see portraits on their website from different lighting scenarios!
5. What is your budget and what kind of photography will this get you? Typically, budget photographers cost about $1000. Moderate photographers will cost you anywhere from $1500 - $3000, professionals will range from $3000 to $5000, and anything upwards of $5000 to $15000 is luxury photography. When it comes down to it, you absolutely get what you pay for! It can definitely be tempting to go with someone who is portfolio building because of cost, but photographing a wedding is a lot more complicated than most people realize. For such a big day, it's important to consider that you will have these photos for the rest of your lives.
6. What Shooting Style resonates the most with you and your partner? There are several different types, and any potential photographer will have their particular style outlined on their website. They may just have one style, or have a combination of the below!
Traditional vs. Non-Traditional: Traditional wedding photography is very posed, with a lot of standard portraits and group family formal photos. Think about your grandmother's wedding album, and you have the right idea. Non-traditional options are less posed, and more candid. See below!
Photo-journalism/Documentary: This style is described as "story-telling" and the images are often captured throughout the day as things naturally unfold. This means lots of candids and moments that happen just as they would if the photographer wasn't there at all! Think National Geographic, where the photographers are flies on the wall and just capture what they see. It tells the story of your unique day, which means no 2 weddings are alike!
Portraiture: This style typically will have the photographers posing photos with people. I.e: you and your partner, posing portraits with your girls/guys while getting ready, often asking you to get together with whomever is near you for a photo, or asking you to stay where you are while they get their shot. With this style you get a lot of posed photos with your family/friends/guests and possibly some nice individual photos of just you.
Fine Art: Artists come in all shapes and sizes, and photography is no different. Fine Art Wedding Photographers have an emphasis on capturing your day with their vision as artists. This often results in beautifully composed, interesting, and dramatic images that you could hang on your wall. This style offers something a little bit different, as long as you're okay relinquishing control to the photographers and trusting their viewpoint. If you love their work, then this might be for you!
7. What Post-Processing do you prefer (what the final edits look like!)? As with shooting styles, there are different types of editing styles as well.
Clean and Colourful
Light and Airy
Light and airy
8. And lastly, Delivery times and printed products: In terms of image delivery, faster does not always mean better! Most photographers estimate anywhere between a few weeks and 6 months. This might sound crazy, but it takes time to edit 500+ photos from a wedding, and photographers that are booked for the wedding season have a lot of other work to do before they get to your wedding. Also, the post-processing is a big part of what defines their brand, and the more care and time they are able to put into the images, the better they will be. It's important to expect that 2 months or so is a standard amount of waiting time. If it's incredibly important to you to have your photos asap, then a budget photographer might be your only option as they are likely not booked like the professionals!
In terms of printed products and albums, these should be viewed as luxury items. It is much more important that you have photographers that have the style and personality the resonated with you, rather than offering you everything under the sun. Not all photographers offer album services, but most will be able to help you if you want to print them elsewhere. A good quality wedding album is upwards of $500+! Keep in mind, these can also be purchased down the line and not necessarily in your wedding package. If it's not in your budget to have one now, the photographer keeps your images for at least 1 year, and can easily have an album made after the date!
I hope this was helpful! If you have any other questions, or you feel I missed anything, don't hesitate to reach out! <3