Your big day is like no other day. Choosing your wedding photographer can be one of the most daunting tasks you had ever taken up in life. And why shouldn’t it be? After all, it’s once in a lifetime event. Someone rightly said, “The cake gets eaten, the flowers will die, but the wedding photos will last forever.” In this article, we’ll share five tips on how to choose your wedding photographer.
Considering the role that the photographer has to play on that day makes it even more important for you to step back and really understand what you need in the first place. It is a big event and attention to detail is critically important.
We have made it simple for you by putting together a comprehensive guide about what you need to consider in the process of hiring your wedding photographer.
5 tips on how to choose the right wedding photographer
You might think what’s the big deal with the photographer and why should it need so much thought and consideration. It’s just clicking photos, right?
But no, that’s the big deal. Your wedding photographer will be the one who will be there beside you standing for the entire time while you take the vows and attend to the guests. The photographer does a lot more than just snapping away the entire day. With their unique style and perspective, they give a different meaning to your wedding story that will be captured for an entire lifetime.
Hence hiring a wedding photographer is a big decision and you’ll definitely need to do a lot of homework.
Let’s get started.
1. Start your search early to choose your wedding photographer
Why would you want to add to the stress of your wedding plans by leaving everything to the last minute? You should start your search for a wedding photographer really early to avoid last-minute disappointments.
Start speaking with your friends or family members and ask them for any recommendations. In the meanwhile, you can also start searching online for reputed and reliable photographers in your area. Do not think about the prices or the timelines in the first instance. First, get the ball rolling with your search and the rest can be out later.
The other priority task during the search phase is to decide on the style of photography you would want for your big day. And yes, that’s not for the photographer to suggest or decide, it has to entirely come from you.
Put your internet surfing skills to good use by thoroughly browsing to find out what others have done on their big day. Start making a note of the styles that have appealed to you the most. You might have been doing this already for other aspects of your wedding and choosing your wedding photographer is no different.
2. Decide on the style of wedding photography you want
There’s so much more to photography than most people think, more so when it comes to deciding your ideas, location, style, and those candid personal shots.
For those of you who have no clue, what photography styles could mean, do a quick research. You need not be an expert to decide on the style. You can choose
The main objective is to select a style that reflects your vision and personality. Here are some of the top wedding photography styles you should consider checking:
- Traditional wedding photography: You cannot go wrong with this style of photography. These are those perfect to-be-in-an-album kinds of images that you can cherish for a lifetime. The primary task of the photographer in this kind of style is to capture the most classic moments, such as the first kiss of the newly-wed.
- Natural wedding photography: Some wedding photographers prefer to work with natural lights. And this type of photography is perfect for you if you plan to have an outdoor wedding. Most of these wedding photographs are present during what is commonly the ‘Golden Hour’.
Extra topics to choose your wedding photographer
- Vintage style wedding photography: This style is in vogue today. Couples prefer that feeling of nostalgia and want their wedding photos to reflect the same. While photographers can use different filters to bring that kind of a vibe, some couples prefer to shoot in rustic locations to get that vibe in their photos.
- Black and white wedding photography: Can you ever go wrong with this style? We say Never! Couples who prefer a simple and non-fussy style will always prefer to go for this simple style of wedding photography. This is one style that is evergreen and where the primary focus of the photography is only on the objects. More often than not, some photographers turn their color photography into black and white to hide some of the obvious flaws.
- Dramatic wedding photography: This is one of the most glamorous styles of photography that you can opt for. Lighting plays a crucial part here. The photographer must be very well at working with different kinds of lights and that would eventually create those beautiful light and shadow effects in the photographs. If you opt for this style, you need to be very confident about your photographer being able to master this technique of working with off-camera flashes.
3. Shortlist your favorites
Now that you have decided on the style you wish to opt for, it’s time to have the actual conversation. A face-to-face meeting is always preferred over a virtual meeting. However, this may not always be possible, hence do what you feel will be the best for you. But keep one thing in mind, that it should always be you interviewing the photographer and not have it the other way round.
A few questions that you should consider checking with your shortlisted wedding photographer:
- Firstly, what the personal style of the photographer? What approach do they take before taking up a wedding photography project?
- Secondly, are their relevant qualifications, experiences, and equipment?
- What is the strength of their team? How many people do they have to assist them on the big day?
- What are the prices and packages they offer?
- What is their plan for the big day? Do they provide a brief for the event?
- What is their post-production process — editing styles, timeframes, color correct options, etc.?
- What is the method for receiving the finished photos or products?
4. Choose what you feel is the best for you
Last, you should always go with your gut. We agree that personality and value might be of greater value, but approach and personality matter too. A photographer might come with a good deal of experience but that doesn’t always mean that you’re going to get along with them brilliantly.
Often photographers come with great packaging of their finished products, but that doesn’t mean they have the required post-production experience that you’re looking for. You need to consider all the other aspects too. Moreover, need to understand what you are willing to give up and what is a ‘no-compromise zone’ for you. You should always go with your gut at the end and trust us, you will not be disappointed.
5. Sign the photography contract
In the excitement of the wedding, it’s quite natural to overlook the importance of a wedding photography contract. But this is perhaps the most important step where both of you are aligned with your objectives and expectations. This contract is signed between the photographer and the wedding couple in the mutual interest of both parties.
For the couple, it highlights the role and responsibilities of the photographer for the big day, the final deliverables, and policies that include any rescheduling and payment terms. While most of the photography contracts look similar, the most important details that should be included are:
- Biographical and wedding day information
- The details of the package the couple opted for
- Financial details like payment terms, schedule, late fees, advance deposits
- Method of payment
- Cancellation or rescheduling terms and policies
- Copyright specifications, which implies you cannot share your photos with a publication without prior approval from the photographer
- Model release, which states that the photographer cannot use the images of the couple in any of their promotional materials without their consent
- Securing permits for location shoots, which often falls on the photographer since they have relevant contacts to get it done easily
Choosing your wedding photographer need not be a cumbersome process. You need to take one step at a time. An ideal photographer for you is the one who aligns with your vision and budget and can create a memorable experience that will last a lifetime.
When you’ve found your photographer, make sure to book them right away. Often times the popular photographers are booked up to a year in advance. With most of the photographers, you need to initiate the process with a signed contract and a booking fee. And almost everyone gets booked on a first-come-first-served basis. So book your favorite photographer early to avoid any kind of disappointments.
But before everything else, keep one thing in mind — you need to trust your photographer and let them work their magic on your big day.
Congratulations and wish you a blissful married life!