Picking Your Wedding Photographer
Weddings are incredible events. You’ll put on a carefully selected dress or suit. You’ll be surrounded by close family and friends. You’ll be in a place or venue that holds some special meaning for you. Everyone will enjoy the evening partying and toasting your love for you and your partner. The entire occasion will be filled with memories that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your married life.
For a day that requires so much careful planning and preparation, you definitely don’t want to forget how special it is. That’s why it’s so important to pick a capable wedding photographer as you’ll be entrusting them to immortalise your memories.
Wedding planning can be extremely stressful. You might be tempted to book someone just to check this item off your to-do list. However, your photographer will have such an intimate role in your wedding day that it pays to do some research before settling on one.
What You Should Do Before Picking Your Wedding Photographer
Here are five crucial things you should do before picking your wedding photographer:
1. Figure out your expectations
If you’ve never worked with a photographer before, you should know that one photographer does not equate to another. Everyone approaches their work in a different way and using their own personal styles. Do you prefer more candid photos? Do you want to achieve a certain look? If you’re not clear about what you want, it’ll be hard task picking your wedding photographer.
Try and find a photographer that utilises a style and has demonstrated the ability to form your vision of your wedding photography, and try to stay away from ‘directing’ them too much with requests that may not be a part of the photographer’s usual way of doing things. If you do their work will probably not what you’d expect.
2. Ask for a referral or two
A good photographer will have many happy clients. Some may have worked at your family or friend’s wedding. A trusted contact will give you an honest review about how they felt about a photographer’s services and if they were able to meet or exceed their expectations.
Reading reviews online help too – but make sure you know what you are reading. Reviews on Google and Facebook can be faked (but not always) and other reviews like those collected by ABIA tend to be more accurate as each review is vetted by a committee.
3. Review albums and portfolios
Photographers will publish their portfolio and recent work online. If they haven’t, you can definitely ask for one. Each photographer has their own style and technique. Check if their previous work aligns with your taste.
When you meet, try and make a point of viewing an entire wedding album – one they have presented to previous clients as completed work. That way you get a better understanding of the quality of their work, and not just the ‘hero’ shots they might publish online.
They are the ones behind the lens, and they’ll be interpreting the event through their own eyes. If you aren’t a fan a photographer’s work style, it’s best to take them off your shortlist.
4. Meet with your shortlist in person
Photography is a highly personal and creative undertaking. You’ll be able to tell more about the person by meeting them face to face. Ask about their work ethic and how they can work discreetly but efficiently. A friendly, approachable, and—most of all—professional photographer will put you and your guests at ease and create a good atmosphere for making memories.
5. Evaluate packages
Ultimately, you’ll need to find someone who falls within your budget. Give yourself time to find options. Some wedding photographers offer engagement shoots and additional services like video montages.
The wedding will only last a day, but the photos will last a lifetime. If you don’t set about picking your wedding photographer carefully, you won’t be able to do a do-over. However, if you’ve done your homework well, you’ll be able to find someone who will help you capture the day’s moments as authentically as possible and give you photos that you’ll be happy to look back on for years to come.