Most brides and grooms say they are not able to take in and remember everything from their wedding day, and that is completely ok - because it really is so much to take in. The addition of a great wedding photographer to the day is what will make such a difference.
Your photographer will be able to capture all of the little, big, and not camera forced moments that will give you the lifetime of memories. If you are really having to work around a budget this is the one element we highly recommend you place the funds you do have at. With that, we recommend taking the time to pick this photographer as well. It is very easy to separate people who are comfortable in the photos and people who are not. Choosing the right person to be on the other side of the camera calling the shots can make a night and day difference.
Don't worry one bit though, we are going to talk about all of the main things to think about when researching to book this vendor right here! We will even give some fun additions to ask your photographer to include to have special details from your wedding frozen in time in the photos they create.
CountryLiving hit the nail right on the head! Your wedding photos should be drop dead gorgeous because your day will! Finding a photographer is all about making sure their personality will fit with yours. We recommend at least a getting to know you conversation where you are not only able to see their work but just talk with them.
You will be able to tell if their personality or artistic vision matches what you are looking for. Ask what their favorite things to take photos of are in a wedding. If that answer is things you don't like at all or don't want that might not be the best pairing, but open the conversation with them about and it might turn out completely fine! This is important for the photographer to see how you all interact as a couple, so they can best display that in the stills of the photos.
Tip #1 Viewing Their Work
When you ask to see the photographer's work as to see it in different lighting and sizes. You will want to make sure they can capture all your moments and you will be able to see if an area is not their strong suit. Additionally, when looking at their work ask to see it in print and not just on screen. Technology can make quality look different, seeing it in print will reveal the true quality of the shot.
Wedding photographers typically do their business through packages. This can either work in your favor or against your budget really quickly.
This is why it is vital to know what you want out of these photos when they are sent to you. A typical way photographers do pricing is off of the amount of time they will taking photos. This can be tricky because it can leave you feeling very rushed, or you over spend in order to secure more time.
Make sure the package makes you feel comfortable and that you feel like the items you want captured in that time is plausible. Feel free to tell the photographer everything you are looking for and ask them if that is something they can accomplish in the allotted amount of time for that option. If you feel like you are not getting an honest answer, walk away and utilize the other options you have!
Tip #2 Tweaking the Package
You can make changes to those babies! And if they say no, you can at least ask! Sometimes packages will come with elements not every couple is comfortable with or looking for. For example if the engagement shoot is included by it is only 30 minutes and the day of photography is longer than you feel like you need, then ask to swap some of the time. Or if there are items you don't want at all, like a boudoir shoot ask to have that piece removed for a discount or more day of photos instead. Really the rule of thumb here is you don't know if you don't ask!
Tip #3 Watch Out for the a la Carte Options
These can add up super super fast, and if you shop around enough, some photographers can have all of these in their more standard packages. These can be priced so high because they typically make these items the most popular or things you need - don't fall for the trick my friends!
The beauty of the details go farther than you would think. Beauty of Wedding perfectly captured the little elements that mean so much to that day. Between the rings exchanged to the little tokens on the groom's outfit - they will all mean so much years later.
When choosing your photographer ask how they typically look to capture the details of a wedding and the real moments. The staged photos of you and your person, your all's family, and friends are fantastic - you will want the real moments too.
Real moments are in the rooms getting ready, the little hug you exchange during the event with your significant other, the family member that puts on your jewelry, a father or brother kissing the bride on the forehead moments before she walks down the aisle. There are endless little moments, and these especially are the ones you might not be able to capture in the swing of it all. They will be the ones in the scrapbook you look at a decade later that make you tear up again.
Tip #4 Look at the Candid Moments They Capture
Yes, a lot of photography is staged but you will not want every photo to be that way. They should be able to show you some of those real moments and explain how they go about shooting those. Are they just going to be present the whole day and attempt to capture those, or do they only work in the "on" moments where people are posing.
Tip #5 The First Look
If you are doing a first look before the ceremony, you probably have some expectations of how this will go. You will especially want this captured though, and let's be real, you have seen many examples on Pinterest so you have a way you want this done. It will be so so so much better for both you and the photographer if you tell them exactly what you are wanting out of these shots. This is another thing you can ask to see different examples of and be 150% honest how much this means to you if it does.
Months out when the day has not happened and the photos have not been taken, a 6-month turn around time might seem fine - it won't later. I promise, you are going to want those photos, you are going to want to be able to stop telling your parents they aren't here yet, and you are going to want to fill those frames you got as wedding gifts.
Ask to see how that photographer edits, if you will get some photos in black and white, and how long it will take them to get the photos to you.
Based off of their experience and other jobs they should be able to get these to you in a reasonable amount of time. The average is about 2 months, and I would recommend using that as a standard. If they are significantly longer than that ask if it is possible to be flexible with that, and if not and the timing is important to you, stand your ground. I know you can and it will be worth it to get what you are looking for!
Tip #6 Editing Secrets Exposed
Editing can be a very long process depending on what is done. Make sure you understand your editing terms before throwing them out in questions. The very most important thing to ask if if the photographer you are talking to, in this meeting, will be the one behind the camera on the wedding day and will they then also be behind the computer screen editing the images? For the most cohesive look of your images you will want this. If not, you might want to meet with the editor to make sure they understand your vision as well or else the final product might not be what was desired.
Tip #7 If the Website Match Your Prints
A photographer's website is no different than the average person's social media - it only shows the best of the best. Due to that, you are going to want to ask if the photos you will receive are going to look the same to the ones shown on their site, and if those images are from actual weddings. To go back to tip #6, ask if the same people/person who edited the photos on their site is the same that will work on yours. Sometimes photographers will contract out that work just to have a very polished look. All in all, these questions will put your mind at ease of the quality of work you will receive!
Tip #8 The Photographer Can't Make It
Things happen, but you should not have to panic about them. Specifically ask for their back-up plans and photographers. This will allow you to take a glance at their work beforehand if need be. Additionally, have these stipulations be mapped out within your contract so incase you can't remember you are just able to refer back to the document.
These smiling and carefree pauses in time, shown by Wedding Forward, are all you should have to focus on. Talk through things that could happen with your photographer, like the wedding goes late, a really cherished guest shows up as a surprise and you want a couple photos with them, or a last minute detail gets added.
The photographer might not be able to accommodate every request you have, especially if they are given limited time to do so - but just open up the dialogue here.
If something specific is decided upon, especially if it results in the ability for you to be charged more for it, this needs to be in your contract and signed by you and the photographer. This will protect you and them, and it will allow for the day of to be less stressful - in at least this area of vendors.
Tip #9 Rest Periods for You and the Photographer
The wedding day is going to be a long one, building in breaks is the best way to make sure everyone is. able to be their best. A great place to schedule a break for sure is before the ceremony, to have some time for your photographer to get situated for for the big moments to come and for you, family, and the wedding party to take a seat for a little.
Tip #10 Saying No to Inside Hires
These pictures might be some of the most important ones you ever take, with that being said be picky of who is taking them. If someone in your family is an up and coming photographer ask if they could do a newlywed shoot instead of the wedding day - that you would love to have photos done by them of you two but the photographer is already booked. It might be difficult to do this, but it will be less difficult than seeing your wedding photos and not being happy with any of them.