Firstly, congratulations. Now that you’ve set that all important date, you will no doubt be busying yourself with the exciting preparations for the big event. You’ve already settled upon the perfect dress, accompanying shoes and contrasting bridesmaid outfits; vital ingredients that contribute to the style or theme of your wedding; but have you considered your photography options yet?
Brides who have “been there, done that” will agree that the formidable selection of a wedding photographer is more arduous than choosing the dress. Wedding photos are not a simple pictorial record of your celebration, they tell a story, convey the emotions of the occasion – ultimately providing you with a lasting keepsake for when the memories begin to get a little fuzzy.
When it comes to selecting a photographer, you need to have a good idea of the type of photos you want, as well as how you want them taken. Consider the following five elements when it comes to that all important decision.
Experience should be top of the list when it comes to assessing a wedding photographer’s suitability. Its easy to be swayed by the allure of low prices or printing discounts, however, you should ask yourself whether this is because the photographer in question is just “starting out” in the business. Many newbies seeking the début wedding for their portfolio will happily offer significantly low prices to seal the first deal.
An experienced photographer doesn’t need to offer such discounts, usually because their reputation precedes their portfolio. A good wedding photographer is one whose expertise are marketed through word-of-mouth, and who is established by reputation. Should you be in any doubt regarding a potential photographer’s experience; ask for references and portfolio examples of several weddings, rather than just 1 or 2.
A wedding portfolio is a vital marketing tool in the arsenal of a professional wedding photographer. Not only does a portfolio demonstrate the quality and consistency of work, it also shows the diverse range of weddings they have worked on.
A good portfolio will feature several examples of the photographer’s best works and should ideally demonstrate the images of a wedding from start to conclusion. You want to be able to ascertain if your photographer can capture the formal elements of your ceremony, as well as the casual pictures as people let their hair down in celebration at the after-party.
Key to finding the right photographer is knowing the photography style you want for your wedding. Many brides opt for formal photography, because they are unaware of the exciting alternatives available. Your wedding photos will feature within an album that will last for the rest of your life, and be shown to your children/ grandchildren. Of course you may want a few posed group shots which feature all the immediate family, but do you want these to make up the entirety of your album?
Candid photography has the ability to capture the spontaneity of laughter and joy during that all important day. A candid photographer knows when to zoom-in close and capture a smile or doting look between you and your partner, concentrating upon the natural, and sometimes un-noticed moments of the day.
A good wedding photographer is someone with whom you can instantly gel with; one who listens and absorbs, yet also provides relevant suggestion to your specific wishes or ideas. Your wedding photographer should be as interested as any other party (whose services you have hired) in making your wedding day as memorable as possible. Your wedding photographer should also be open to taking some degree of direction, especially if you have particular ideas for important or themed shots.
Effective communication is the key to a great bride-photographer relationship, so ensure you are comfortable with the person you choose, and that you understand one another.
Price negotiation is a tricky part of finalising any business deal, and brides-to-be are often unsure how to broach the subject. Don’t be afraid to stick to your guns and your budget by asking for a quote from a potential photographer. Most will be more than happy to oblige. Consider obtaining quotes from several sources before making the final decision. Also ensure you have fully discussed what is included in the price (such as printing/ wedding album creation), prior to obtaining such quotes. Your photographer may be happy to negotiate discounts when it comes to printing requirements, and remember to check whether your price includes negatives or a hard disk copy.