Choosing your wedding photographer can be a daunting task, we know! After the wedding your photos and albums are a beautiful reminder of your day, that you should adore and cherish for a lifetime. Here are 10 tips to help you find a wedding photographer that will capture your day perfectly for you
Choose your style
Take some time online and browse through a variety of weddings to get a sense of the style of photography you like. We recommend looking through wedding blogs, Pinterest, Instagram and photographers websites for inspiration (White Magazine, Vogue Bridal, Mr. Theodore are some of our favourite places to start). This will help you clarify what style of photography you love before you start looking for a photographer. You may decide that you like clear and classic colours, you may like images with a more vintage look or possibly highly polished editorial style work makes your heart sing.
Once you have a clear idea of what style you like, start enquiring with photographers who you can see embody that style. Don’t go to a studio with a certain style and expect them to be able to do something that’s not their strength. It would be like a barista instead of a mixologist to make you a cocktail, they’re both drinks but it’s just not going to be the same…
Think about how many photographers you need.
Would you like one or two photographers? There are a few of things that will dictate whether one or two, and again being clear on what style you desire will inform this decision.
If you like lots of detail shots and candid photos, you should consider two photographers. One photographer is going focus on you for the day as they can’t miss any big moments. Where as with two, one can watch the couple and the other can have eyes on the family and friends, to capture reaction shots, behind the scenes moments and everything in between
How much coverage do they offer?
On your day, it’s important to find out how many hours will your photographer be with you. Are they able to cover both bride prep and groom prep? And how far into the reception will they stay? To tell the whole story of your day, look for a photographer that offers between 7 and 9 hours worth of coverage.
Always ask what full day coverage means also, as this will change for every photographer.
Do they offer photography and cinematography under one roof?
Consider studios who do photography and cinematography together if you are wanting both for your wedding. Teams that shoot together often inherently know where they need to be during key moments such as ceremony and speeches in order to not obstruct (or appear) in each others shots.
Having your photography and Cinematography with one studio also means you will have one contact before and after the ceremony, one run sheet and one invoice. Often you will have at least a dozen major suppliers for your wedding day, reducing the admin required to manage them is a god send!
How will your photographer approach your day
The best way to get the most out of your photographer on your wedding day is to lean on them when structuring your day. Your photographer should be able to give you advice on local locations, ideal timelines and timelines to help you in the initial stages of your planning. Find out if they are able to provide you with supplier lists and information for you to be able to best prepare for your big day. Do they have information available to you, wedding packs with inspiration and instructions or do they just show up on and start shooting?
Most studios will schedule a consultation with you approximately a month before your wedding to go through the details of your day and create a tight timeline, this ensures you know when to expect your team and what you can do to get the most out of your wedding day.
Ask how many images you will receive
The number of images you will receive largely depends on the number of photographers you have, but is varies widely. Once you find out how many images you receive, ask whether there are any duplicates or if they are all individual moments. If your photographer delivers 1000+ images, what quality are they? Can they show you an example catalog? We find that to cover a standard wedding, ideally between 500 and 1000 images is perfect, more than that is really unnecessary and becomes a little exhausting when you’re running through your catalog with family and friends.
Find out how they edit their images
Ask whether or not the studio individually edits every photo individually or do they batch process. Batch processing means that the editor will apply a single filter to all images, whereas individual editing means that each image is processed individually, taking in consideration the colours, light and content, to produce the best results.
Do they include albums in their packages?
We believe wedding albums are the best way to display your wedding photos, they become heirloom items over the years and are a beautiful and intimate way to share your photos with your friends and family without a screen. Note, they are an investment item, so expect to pay anything between $1500 and $4000 for a good quality album depending on the size and number of pages included. Ask your photographer about their design process and printer. Your album should be printed with fine art materials, to ensure longevity and reduce the risk of fading or splitting over time.
As a general rule wedding photography should account for between 8 – 15% of your overall wedding budget. Every photographer will have different and inclusions in their packages, so it’s important for you are clear on exactly what is included in your package. Some photographers will include everything, full day coverage, an album and high-resolution images on usb, whereas and others may charge a flat rate for the day and then albums and extra images are an additional expense. Also, ask about the fee schedule in your first appointment. What is required for a deposit, what are the payment terms and are there any additional expenses after the wedding.
Go with your heart.
Once you have narrowed down your potential candidates, after you’ve met with them and evaluated your options, it’s time to decide who makes the cut. Your photos are one of the few items you have after the wedding day so find someone who’s work inspires you, who’s a pleasure to deal with and you can’t go wrong.