How To Choose a Wedding Photographer

12/04/2017

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How To

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Choosing a wedding photographer will be one of the most important decisions you will have to make. And with so many talented individuals in the field, how do you find that one person to capture all the special moments of the big day? Keep in mind that a good photographer is a good investment and will be a big portion of your wedding budget. However, the wedding photos are priceless and will last you a lifetime. Be aware that this part of the wedding planning process can take a substantial amount of time so allow yourself plenty of time to do your research.

First, you must decide on a style. Here are the top three wedding photo styles that you will come across:

1. Fine Art. This style gives the photographer greater artistic freedom. While the photos still reflect reality, they can vary from being dramatic, to being more muted, and even a little dreamy. These photos may require some extra work, preparation, and styling on the couple’s behalf but the final photos turn out to be incredibly unique!

2. Portraiture. Think traditional, classic photos. These are posed shots of you, the bridal party, family and friends, in various places, in front of various backdrops. Now traditional doesn’t mean boring! The photographer still has plenty of room for creativity but prefers to work with more traditional environments or more formal poses.

3. Documentary. Documentary is completely opposite from portraiture. This style captures more candid, spontaneous photos of the people and action throughout the day. This style best emphasizes the story and emotions that evolve on your wedding day and you are less likely to see photos of people simply looking and smiling at the camera.

Bride and groom wedding first look outdoors in forest

Decide on what you want and find a photographer that can deliver that. And if you want a mix of 2 or more styles? Talk to them! Like the documentary style but want some formal photos of you and your family that’s coming from out of town? Let them know ahead of time. Communication is key. They will most likely be happy to accommodate your wishes!

After you’ve chosen your top 2 or 3 photographers, set up a meeting with them to see how your personalities fit. It is extremely important for you to bond with your photographer ahead of time. Does the photographer share your wedding vision and are they excited for your special day as much as you are? How easy is it for you to communicate with the photographer and vice versa? Do they listen well to your wishes and requirements? Are they respectful when they give you suggestions? Remember this person will be following you and your family around the entire day. Make sure you’re comfortable with them.

Here are a few questions you might want to ask them during your initial meeting:

  • Will they be working independently or will there be a second or third shooter?
  • How long does their post-production process take? When can you expect to receive your wedding photos?
  • What exactly is included in their package? How many hours of coverage is included? What do they charge for overtime?
  • What happens if they become ill? Will they provide a backup photographer?
  • Have they ever shot at your chosen wedding venue before?
  • Will they be photographing any other weddings or events that weekend?

So you’ve found the right photographer? Book them! You’d be surprised how quickly wedding dates fill up. You don’t want to miss out on your dream photographer simply because you decided to wait.

Closer to the date, make sure you provide your photographer with two things:

1. Your shot list. Amidst all the fun on the big day its easy to forget about all the formal photos you wanted to take with your auntie Sue, grandma Mae, and uncle Ben, so make sure your photographer has a list of “must take” photos ahead of time. The typical list includes:

  • Bride + Groom with Bride’s Parents
  • Bride + Groom with Groom’s Parents
  • Bride + Groom with Bride’s Immediate Family
  • Bride + Groom with Groom’s Immediate Family
  • Bride + Groom with other special family members or friends
  • Bride + Groom with Wedding Party
  • Bride with Bridesmaids
  • Groom with Groomsmen

2. Your wedding timeline. To ensure your photographer has enough time to capture all the magical moments of the day, it is important to provide them with a detailed schedule of the day which would help them prepare and strategize!

Let me know if you need help finding the perfect photographer, we know some AMAZING individuals!

Love,

Mariya

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