Today I’m super excited to be kicking off the weeks blogging with the first post of my Wedding Planning & Photography series. I’ve put this series together especially to help you with planning your big day to ensure that you make the most of your wedding photographer (and to make it easy for them to give you their best). All the topics of these posts are based on questions and discussions I have had with brides in the past and I’ve decided to start with a few points to think about when you begin looking for your wedding photographer.
1. What’s Important To You?
I know you’re probably thinking ‘Everything about my wedding day is important!’ and you would be completely right. But what I’m saying is, when you think of your wedding photo’s, what do you envision receiving? Do you dream of beautiful pictures caught in the moment? Or a set formal photo’s with everyone posed and standing together? Are photo’s of the details and venue important? Do you want something artistic? These may seem like odd things to be thinking about, but by answering these questions, you will be able to narrow down the type of photographer you choose to cover your big day.
For example, if having a beautiful set of photos covering your wedding details, the venue and the guests – a set of photos that tells the story of your day as it unfolded – you would probably fall in love with the work of an Editorial or Fine Art Photographer.
However, if you’re the kind of couple who are all about your guests, who want to enjoy your day with all your nearest and dearest and are not interested in group shots, you may prefer a photojournalist or reportage photographer. They will not necessarily take photos of all the details or the venue but you will end up with photos showing the true emotion and real moments of your day; like your mum and dad sharing a quiet moment during the reception, your best friend doing the funky chicken on the dance floor or your little cousins trying to steal drinks from the bar.
2. Do You Like Their Style?
Once you’ve figured out what’s important to you in terms of photography, you need to consider the style of photography you want. Do you like sharp, air-brushed images with everything in focus? Or do you prefer the photographer who creates photo’s with a soft and dreamy feel?
Take time to go through the portfolio and blog of all the photographers on your short list. Do you like their use of light? Do you like the composition of the photo’s? Do all the photo’s from each wedding look like they belong together? Do the images make you say to yourself, ‘Wow! I want my photo’s to look like that!’
Ideally you want photo’s you absolutely love and that will stand the test of time. You want quality. Look at the colours and the image edit. One of the reasons I personally love film photography is due to it’s timeless and natural, true to life quality. Their working style is important too. Will they offer any direction during the couple shoot? Will they melt into the background during your reception and comfortably mingle with your guests? The last thing you want is to look back and feel your photos are completely dated or don’t represent what your day was like… and you definitely don’t want to end up wishing you had picked someone else.
3. Do You Like Them?
So, you’ve found a photographer who shoots the kind of images you want, in a style that makes you swoon – but do you like them? For me, this is one of the most important things to consider! Your photographer is going to be there with you and your bridesmaids when you get dressed, they will be there when you walk down the aisle, throughout you couple shoot, reception and into those evening hours as you dance the night away. You need to like them.
There are many ways of getting to know your photographer. You could try following them on social media. Instagram is always really good for getting to know them as you will find that many photographers will post personal bits and pieces on their feeds. You should definitely read their blogs as it’s a little window into how they see things and how they speak. It’s also important when you meet them to discuss your photographers style of working. Getting to know your photographer is a great way to help narrow down who you want to contact because, you don’t really want to spend one of the most special day’s of your life with someone you don’t particularly get along well with.
4. Will They Travel?
Whether you are planning a wedding at a beautiful venue close to your home, or you have dreams of a relaxed celebration on an island in the Mediterranean, don’t be put off by where your potential photographer is based. While some photographers work within a specific area, you will find that there are many who will gladly travel to you. There are some photographers who specialise in destination weddings and will happily travel half way around the world to cover your big day if need be. So don’t be put off if they are based in another area or country. However, you will need to bear in mind the fact that you will more then likely have to cover the cost of their travel and accommodation should they come to you.
5. What’s Included?
I think it’s always important to get a contract with a break down of what you will be receiving; including any planning sessions, albums and prints, as well as how many hours of actual shooting time your photographer will be doing. Shooting time is important because if you have booked a photographer for 6 hours, you will need to plan your day to ensure that everything from your pre-wedding photo’s to your cake cutting and first dance fall within those 6 hours or they simply will not be shot.
My top tip! I know that booking a professional wedding photographer is a big investment and by thinking about the five points above, I hope that you will find the process of booking someone who will fit in with your guests and give you some seriously beautiful images that you’d be proud to share with your family and friends for many years to come. But if you’ve gone over all the points above and are still not sure because really… You just aren’t sure whether you like being photographed (don’t worry, heaps of people don’t like having their photo taken), book an engagement shoot. This way, you will get to see first hand how the photographer works and the quality images that they produce.
I hope you’ve found this first post helpful. Next week’s Wedding Planning & Photography post if one for all the brides-to-be out there as I will be discussing how to make the most of the morning of your wedding. So don’t forget to like the Facebook Page to make sure you don’t miss it! x