He got down on one knee! She said yes! You’re both ecstatic! Now starts the hard part: planning the wedding. And one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is choosing a wedding photographer for your big day. While you may not be a fundi on photography, there are a few easy ways to make the right choice in choosing a wedding photographer who will make your big day truly memorable. Start searching for the right photographer early in the wedding preparation so that you’re comfortable you’ve made the best choice and avoid any last-minute scrambles.
1. Personality and portfolio
Choosing your wedding photographer means you’re choosing not only a talent, but a personality. Take a look at their website to get a feel for the type of photographs they take as it will help you understand more about their outlook. Plus you’ll get a feel for the type of work they do. A wedding photographer should be prepared to blend into the background of your big day, and to go the extra mile in making your photos incredible. Choosing a wedding photographer who knows how to compose a photo and make their clients feel at ease will result in amazing photographs. Wedding photography is hard work and a photographer who is prepared to do a little extra, can bring a smile to your face during the shoot and who is punctual is worth their weight in gold. Try to meet your photographer for coffee before your wedding if possible, and look at their portfolio. You’ll feel more comfortable having photos taken by someone you know, plus you’ll have seen previous examples of their work.
2. Word of mouth
There’s a lot to be said for word-of-mouth advertising: choosing a wedding photographer becomes a lot easier if they come highly recommended by someone you know. Has that photographer got a website with testimonials? Has someone you know had any photos taken by them? Find out what reviews they have and what experiences other people have had. The better the reviews, and the more reviews there are, the better your chances of amazing wedding photos.
3. It’s all about the style
What kind of photographs do you want done for your wedding? It’s a question you need to ask yourself. Posed? Natural? Some people love the feel of wedding photography that is natural, candid, flowing and real while others prefer slightly more formal photos. Do you like bright, bold and crisp, moody or black and white photography? Whatever style you prefer, decide up front and, when you’ve gone through the process of choosing a wedding photographer, communicate your preferences to them.
4. Editing skills
Let’s be honest: bridal photography doesn’t come cheap. There are several factors that play into the price of wedding photography: from the type of equipment they use, to the time spent shooting your wedding and particularly the editing, which forms the bulk of the work. Choosing a wedding photographer is often determined by financial limitations. However, while the thought of hiring a cheaper photographer could be tempting, you need to know whether they have good editing skills as taking a good photograph is only half of the talent needed. A great camera needs to be accompanied by a good editing suite. Check out their portfolio to note whether their editing style is what you like or if it’s over-edited and looks unnatural.
5. Finances are a big part of choosing a wedding photographer
You’re a step further in choosing a wedding photographer and you’re starting to ask for quotes. But, there’s nothing more disheartening than finding out after you’ve agreed to a quote that certain options are over and above the quoted price. What do you do if the photographer doesn’t uphold their end of the bargain. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get a detailed quote! Be sure you’re properly informed of the financial agreement and whether there’s a deposit or any hidden costs. Get everything in writing and make sure you know exactly what you’re in for and when you can expect the finished product. They may even have the option to pay for your bridal photography in instalments.
6. Prepare, prepare and prepare!
Having your wedding photographer pitch up at the wedding venue just a few minutes before the ceremony is a nightmare waiting to happen. One of the best things to look for in choosing a wedding photographer is finding someone who likes to be well-prepared. Draw up a schedule for the big day and know when and where you’re wanting photos taken, and which members of the wedding party need to be involved. Then share it with the wedding photographer you’ve chosen. Ideally, if possible, ask them to visit the venue a few days or few hours before the shoot is due to start so they can get a feel for the area, know what equipment or props will be needed and where they will get the best shots.
7. What are they packing?
No, no, not ammunition and weaponry… think photographic equipment. Ask your photographer what kit they plan on bringing to the wedding. Here’s why: If a camera or memory should fail, or your photographer doesn’t have a back-up battery source and it’s the only one they have, there’s no backup plan in an emergency. And the last thing you want on your wedding day is to find that your photos haven’t been taken.
Preparation is everything when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer. If you’ve done your homework and your photographer is prepared to help out with a smile, go the extra mile and make you feel comfortable in front of the lens, your wedding photography will be a source of joy for years to come!