There are a few things you have to keep in mind while looking for someone who will take photos at your wedding because only the perfect wedding photographer will capture the real essence of your most special day.
Photographs might not seem essential on your wedding day as such because they don’t make the venue look prettier like flower bouquets, and you can’t hear them like the music playing in the background. In fact, they do not actually contribute to the wedding day, and you don’t know what the wedding photographers were actually doing until after the wedding. That is why we recommend a detailed research and meticulousness when going over personal style of the wedding photographer, their artistic features, and, last but not least, their personality. All these things are of high importance if you want to find a great wedding photographer for your special day.
Number 1: Decide on a style
Prior to looking for a wedding photographer themselves, you need to know what kind of style you like when it comes to photography, as this will narrow your choice and make searching for the perfect wedding photographer for you day much easier. It might take some time, but it’s worth to invest it in going over wedding imagery to find what you like – may that be on Instagram, random blogger’s webpage, or Pinterest, which is so full of inspiration when it comes to weddings! Start with a large selection, and then narrow it down to find the essence you want to see in your photos later on. We suggest you go for something that really catches your eye, exposes what you want to expose, and, most importantly, what you feel bring out the true image of you and your partner. There are so many styles you can choose from: some opt for formal photographs, while the others go for very spontaneous images. Then you can choose the contrast and exposure which differ from one wedding photographer to another, vivid colors, sepia tones, black and white retro style, and numerous other details we could list, but it’s not on us to tell you about them, but on you to notice that specific style you will fall for and the wedding photographer who will nail the photographs from your day.
Number 2: Do the Research
Begin by going through the reviews left by the couples who recently got married. When you’re browsing through the webpage of any photographer who gets your attention, closely examine the photos of other wedding ceremonies they’ve shot because this is the most tell-tale thing about a wedding photographer and their style. Even if you’re not exactly sure what you want on your wedding photos, such research might give you some ideas. Do you want your bridesmaids caught having shots before the ceremony, or do you want to have the more emotional side of the wedding caught in photos? We advise you don’t neglect the design of the wedding photographer’s webpage either. Check their social network profiles as well. Online aesthetic can tell you a lot about a wedding photographer, their personality and style. Pay most attention to how they correspond with their clients through comments, and carefully read the reviews.
Number 3: Meet
You cannot book a wedding photographer based on their photos you saw and their webpage. You and your partner simply have to meet your wedding photographer in person prior to he ceremony. First you have to see if they are available on the date of your wedding, and if they are, try to arrange a meeting. It’s best you send them an e-mail in which you can write something about yourself and potentially attach some of your best photos.
If you’re not lucky and they’re already booked, you might ask for a recommendation because they just might know of someone with similar style who would suit you as well.
We suggest you meet at least three potential wedding photographers before you book one. Some might say that it’s done when you find someone with a style you love, but we believe that the energy and communication between you and your wedding photographer is even more crucial.
Number 3: Go Through a Complete Wedding Gallery
Highlights which wedding photographers put in their portfolios are not enough to base your decision on. We’re positive that the photos they decide to include are persuasive and incredible, but while they show the best moments of many weddings, they don’t show all of one. You have to know how they work from the moment you arrive to the venue to the moment you close the door of your wedding suite, not just how they capture the first dance and the “I do” moment. If you can get to one or two complete galleries and decide that the picture of your second cousin is just as good as the one of the ring bearer and you at the altar, you’re on a good way. If there’s a change you should as for a wedding album of a ceremony which happened in a venue similar to yours, because if you’re planning an outdoor wedding in the nature, you shouldn’t really be looking at the photos from an indoor venue with low lighting. Just look at much of the wedding photographer’s work as possible because it’s important.
Number 5: Don’t Go Easy
Don’t let the feelings cloud your judgement, and be critical. Search for the moments you want to have on your photos. Did the wedding photographer catch the ring exchange? Are the lighting and composition to your liking? Can you see your parent in the background or is the photo to blurry? Details will matter in time. Pay attention to the people’s facial expressions: do they seem tense or are they comfortable and relaxed in the wedding photographer’s presence? After all, the two of you are the most important part of your wedding pictures, but you want your friends and family to look good too, don’t you?
Number 6: Personality Check
As already mentioned: you and your wedding photographer have to click. You like their style, but are they excited to shoot at your wedding? Do they agree with your ideas and suggestions? How do they present their proposals? If you have in mind some minor changes to their style, are they willing to adapt? Are you comfortable in their presence? Can they make themselves invisible? They’ll be there all they, so you better choose someone you can spend a lot of time with. If you feel fine, the photos will turn out better. You want to find something polite but daring, someone with a good eye for the right moment, someone who can fit in with any age group and be fun and serious. They should be relaxed even while talking and sure they’re good at what they do. If they ask more about you than talk about themselves, that’s a good sign, but don’t book with someone you feel you don’t know because a person you are on impersonal terms with, will struggle to be the best wedding photographer for your special day.
Number 7: Analyze and Compare
Find out exactly what they offer and decide how much you’re ready to spend on your wedding photographer. The prices of packages move from $2,500 all the way to $15,00 and more. (We’ve compared wedding photographer in Swansea and in London and we didn’t find significant difference in prices even.) Most offer different packages, but we advise you pay most attention to how any hours of coverage is included. You’d probably want to have your full wedding day caught in the pictures, so it’s good to know that most packages offer between 6 and 12 hours to cover happening from the pre-ceremony events to the last act of the reception. If you’re thinking about what you want covered, trust us – the more, the better. Some have the engagement shoot included in the price, so definitely ask about that, and think whether you might also like some photos from the rest of your wedding weekend. If your budget for the wedding is unlimited or high, definitely consider an option of having two wedding photographers. It will be more expensive, but far more will get covered, especially if you’re planning a big wedding. If you’re thinking about a really, really big venue, you might want to hire a team of wedding photographers who will capture all the happening at the wedding from all angles.
Number 8: Rights
Wedding photographers usually own the rights to all the material they take at weddings, including the ones featuring you and your guests. This means that almost any wedding photographer you will end up hiring, could use your wedding photos as promotional material. In addition to that – you can’t post the digital version of you wedding photos without their watermark or without giving them credit. If your demands differ from the conditions above, make sure you negotiate that prior to singing the contract.
Number 9: Other Details
There are things you might not think of right now, but after the wedding they will matter. Talk through the process to figure out how many photos you would end up with. Discuss the resolution of the photos. How will the images be printed – is the wedding photographer doing that or will you be able to do it yourself? How much retouching and special effect are involved? Ask about how much time it takes to get the photos after the wedding day. Because the photos are, due to a better chances of correcting them later on, usually shot in a raw format, it takes much more time to upload them. It usually takes up to 8 weeks before your wedding photographers delivers the full wedding collection, but ask for a specific time frame yourself.
Number 10: Plan Together
You should plan the photographing of your wedding day together with your wedding photographer, but don’t forget that he is the professional even though he is listening and considering to your wishes and demands. Make sure you state what you want, but let them do the thing they’re best at. Also let them know if there are any hidden sympathies among or people who don’t get along among your guests, so they get the heads up before the wedding is actually in progress and something awkward happens. Maybe you’re dreaming about getting your wedding published online … Let them know! A great wedding photographer will put in even more work because the more people see their photos, the better it is for their recognition, but the best wedding photographer will work extra hard and focus on details no-one else will notice during the day, just to make sure you get the wedding best wedding photos possible and remember your special day as outstanding as it was.