When you plan your big day, naturally you want everything to be perfect. You want that stunning dress, the dapper suit, the breathtaking venue, the delicious food and the laughs and tears shared with your loved ones. And of course, you want those incredible photos to make sure the memories last a lifetime.
Here’s the thing – your backdrop can be incredible, your venue can be out of this world, your dress can make you feel like a queen and your suit can transform you into James Dean, but if you hire a photographer that doesn’t “get” you and your vibe, your photos won’t blow you away.
Choosing the perfect wedding photographer is a huge deal! You’ve got to keep in mind that this person will be spending the majority of the day by your side, camera in hand, documenting all the feels. Do you really want to place this task in the hands of Aunty Sandra who took photography up as a hobby? Well I suppose that’s up to you. However, if you want those moments to take your breath away all over again when you look at your photos, here are a few questions you should ask to help you choose the photographer that can absolutely make that happen:
Do you LOVE their aesthetic?
It’s fairly obvious that every photographer has their own style and approach when it comes to shooting a wedding. If you like darker, moodier and more emotive shots, stay away from the light, bright and airy photographers. And vice versa. A great way to get a feel for a photographer’s aesthetic, is by creeping around on their instagram. Photographers generally use instagram as a sort of portfolio platform, and you can get snippets of lots of different weddings that they’ve done. If you want to see a full wedding gallery, simply get in contact and ask for a link to an online gallery. You should also figure out whether you like a more journalistic or documentary approach to your photos (the photographer is basically a fly on the wall, documenting your day exactly as it happens), of if you prefer to be directed and posed. Personally, I feel like you should enjoy your wedding day to the full, because it goes by so fast! It shouldn’t be one big photoshoot. But it’s up to you!
What exactly do they offer?
Once you’ve found the photographer who’s aesthetic you absolutely love, get in contact and find out what exactly they offer. Most photographers have set packages based on what most of their wedding clients want. This can include hours of coverage on your wedding day, the amount of photos you’ll receive, how many photographers will be at your wedding, etc. Would you absolutely love to have a beautiful album filled with your favourite memories of the day? Find out if this is something that’s included in one of the packages, or even as an add on to a package. If you want video coverage, find out if they work with a videographer. Engagement sessions, extra hours and pre-wedding coverage can also be add-ons in some cases. You could also find out whether the packages are set in stone, or if you could tweak it here and there to suit your needs or to fit in with your budget. Generally photographers don’t offer discounts (and you don’t really want the discount photographer, do you?), but an hour or two can be deducted from a package, or perhaps you don’t want an album. These costs can be deducted – I’m always open to adding and taking away from my packages to suit your needs!
What kind of person are they?
Right, so you’ve found a photographer who’s style you absolutely love, they offer everything you want and they’ve got a lot of experience shooting weddings. But what kind of person are they, and do they understand your wants and needs? As I’ve said before, this person will be spending majority of the day with you. From when you get ready all the way through until you’re smashing it out on the dance floor. If you don’t get along, you don’t really share the same values and beliefs (and you don’t get each other’s inside jokes – seriously), chances are your photos may be a bit of a flop. It shows when you’re uncomfortable. And even if the photos aren’t bad, they’ll bring back a memory of a really uncomfortable experience with someone that just didn’t “get” your vibe. A great way to find out whether you’re the right fit, is to read the “About” section on their website, check out their stories on Instagram or just invite them for a coffee and a chat! If you don’t live in the same area, a Zoom or Skype session will do just fine! See if the you click – if the conversation runs smoothly and if you share the interests, outlooks and beliefs.
What do the nitty gritty details involve?
This means understanding their terms and conditions. Are there any hidden costs, or are they straightforward about their packages? What are their travel fees? And when it comes to rescheduling and cancellations, how does that process work? Most wedding photographers have contracts containing all the above-mentioned information. Be weary of photographers who don’t have contracts – things can get messy!
What kind of value will they add to your life?
Value can be measured in SO many ways, and in this case I’m not talking about a price tag. How does this person make you feel? Is he or she attentive to your needs? How quickly do they respond to your emails? Are they open and available to chat about things that bother you? Do you feel like you can be open and honest with them about what exactly you want? A wedding photographer that’s worth their salt will listen to your concerns, try their best to understand what exactly you want, and then they’ll deliver. They will always give you their full, undivided attention and on your wedding day, they’ll make you feel like a million dollars!
How do they approach a shoot?
One of the best things you can do before your wedding, is to organise and engagement shoot with your chosen photographer. Not only will this give you a chance to know how they approach a shoot, but you’ll also get to know them as a person. This is a great time to spark some conversation, joke around and understand their process. And if you LOVE your engagement photos, chances are you’ll LOVE your wedding photos!
Now that you know everything you need to look out for in a photographer, and better yet, if you FIND that perfect photographer, you’re guaranteed to have your dream wedding and the perfect photos to show it off!
Hey, while you’re here, why not take a look around at some of my work? You might find that we’re the perfect match! Get in touch and let’s have a chat about your wedding day – one more thing you can cross off your to-do list!