The preparations for a wedding can be both thrilling and fraught with difficulties. You have a number of time-sensitive decisions and investments to make, such as deciding on the ideal location for your wedding and reaching a consensus regarding the vendors who will serve on your wedding day team. Your wedding day will be filled with many wonderful memories that include these skilled professionals.
Whoever you choose to be the photographer for your wedding will be one of the most important vendors you choose. It's possible that a friend or relative of yours has a DSLR camera, but if you want to make sure the day is properly documented, you should hire a professional photographer. This straightforward guide will assist you in making decisions regarding how to hire the best wedding photographer.
Because of my work as a professional wedding photographer, I have been asked questions by and given advice to a great number of engaged couples as they planned their big day. As the manager of a portrait studio, I have also had the opportunity to conduct interviews with a large number of photographers. In addition, I was the photographer for my own wedding. I am confident that I have identified the most important aspects that distinguish excellent wedding photographers.
The following is a list of the six aspects of a photographer that you should evaluate and then compare in order to increase the likelihood that you will find an excellent match when you choose one.
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Do You Love Their Photos?
This is entirely dependent on the individual. In the end, a photographer can take pictures that are flawless in every technical regard, but you might not find them appealing for a variety of reasons despite this. It's possible that the colour grading is off, or that the photo is too cliché, and you're hoping to find something more original, etc.
Photographers often capture imaginative images, some of which may not grab your attention. For creative effects or excessive processing, the use of coloured flash gels is not something that appeals to me personally. I also don't like it when the sky in a wedding photo is replaced with a different one or when a fake sun flare or sunset is added. However, in my opinion, doing so sacrifices authenticity and the ability to tell a story, which is something that many award-winning photographers do, as is the desire of many couples to have photographs that appear fantastical.
When a photographer takes the original sky or sunset and replaces it in Photoshop with a sky that is more dramatic or colourful, the process is referred to as "replacing skies."
When my clients look back at their wedding photos in 20 years, I want them to see the actual sky and conditions on the day of their wedding, not some sky that was downloaded from a free sky stock library. I want them to remember the day as it was.
The fact that you adore their photographs is certainly one of the most important considerations, but it is by no means the only one. I would appreciate it if you would let me explain why.
The problem with judging a wedding photographer based solely on their publicly viewable portfolio is that almost every photographer will only put their best work in a portfolio. It's possible that these pictures were taken around the year 2000.
There are many aspects that contribute to the creation of a wonderful wedding photograph; however, the truth of the matter is that many of these aspects are not actually within the control of the photographer. This includes factors such as the prevailing weather and lighting at the time, the willingness and participation of the couple, the experience of the couple in terms of posing, and of course the actual location of the wedding itself.
It is not always the case, despite the fact that a good professional photographer ought to be able to pose couples in any setting, that the photographer has the full participation or interest of the couple being photographed. It's possible that they weren't all that interested in having their picture taken together as a couple, or that the wedding was running behind schedule.
Because of this, virtually every photographer will select the best photographs from the best weddings to showcase in their portfolio. That does not mean that each photograph will be equally breathtaking (far from it).
Weddings with larger guest lists and more expensive budgets simply offer more opportunities for stunningly beautiful photographs. This is especially true of detail shots like those of the reception rooms and decorations, but it is also true of the available scenes for couple portraits.
Don't evaluate a photographer's portfolio based on the scenery, location, couple, or detail of the photographs; instead, make an effort to look further. Keep in mind that your wedding is your wedding, and it will be nothing like any other wedding (even at the same venue).
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Start Looking as Early as Possible
The best wedding photographers are in high demand, so if you want one of them to capture your special day, you should make your reservation as far in advance as you can. This is especially important to keep in mind if your wedding is set to take place on a weekend or during the holiday season. The fact of the matter is that the best photographers are constantly booked at all times of the year. Therefore, you should get an early start on your homework and research. A significant number of brides book their photographers one to two years in advance. It is never too soon to begin looking for and making arrangements with a photographer for your wedding. When all is said and done, there will be a significant sense of relief.
One of the most significant benefits of beginning your search early is the increased likelihood that the major wedding vendors, such as the photographer, the wedding venue, and the wedding caterer, will be available. The most challenging tasks typically involve finalising the wedding date and selecting the most important vendors. Look around and make your reservations as soon as possible.
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You won't be able to nail down an exact dollar amount until you are certain of what you want, how many albums you need, and where your photographer is based. Packages can range anywhere from $2,500 all the way up to $15,000 or more on the higher end of the price spectrum. Ask potential candidates for a general price range based on the photographer's standard "shooting fee" and package, as well as their standard rates for the type of album you believe you'll want and the amount of coverage you're hoping to book them for when conducting interviews with them (day of, full weekend).
It is important to find out what is included in the standard package, in addition to the basic range for any extras you may want, such as an engagement shoot, special effects, or additional coverage, so that you can compare the prices. Finding out what is included in the standard package is important. In particular, you should enquire about the specific number of hours of coverage that are included. In a perfect world, you would like your photographer to be present for the entirety of your wedding day, beginning when you begin getting ready and continuing well after you have made your exit from the reception.
There are a variety of different packages available, but the majority of them include anywhere from six to twelve hours of coverage to cover everything from the pre-ceremony events (such as getting ready with your bridesmaids or having a first look) to the end of the reception. If there's a possibility that you'll go over, it's generally a good idea to pay for additional coverage, and you should absolutely have your photographer stick around until the very end (overtime is usually charged at a higher hourly rate). Also think about whether you want to do an engagement shoot or whether you want your photographer to capture other events during your wedding weekend, such as the guys' golf outing or the luncheon for the bridesmaids.
Also, make sure to check and see if the agreement includes a second shooter, and if it does not, enquire about the possibility of adding one. It is possible that the identity of the second shooter will be revealed at a later time; however, the primary advantage of having two shooters is, of course, having twice as much coverage. For instance, during your formal photo session, one photographer can capture the formal photos, while the other can get behind-the-scenes, photojournalistic photos, such as your guests mingling. This allows for a more complete documentation of the event. If you are having a larger wedding (250 guests or more), you might even want to ask about having three shooters so that your photography team can be sure to capture the event from all angles. This is especially important if you are planning on having a video of your wedding.
Interviews Your Wedding Photographers
It is imperative that you conduct interviews as soon as you have selected a shortlist of candidates for the role of wedding photographer. This is an important step in the selection process because it will determine which of the wedding vendors you have shortlisted are a good fit for your needs.
You should request that they bring sample wedding albums for you to examine closely, and you should request that they bring something that is comparable to the theme and setup of your wedding. Be sure to check the photos from the very beginning to the very end. You would have a better understanding of how they capture important moments and a variety of other moments in this manner. Share with them your vision for your wedding, and then enquire about their plans for contributing to the realisation of that vision.
The last, and arguably most important, reason to conduct interviews is to determine whether or not the two of your personalities are compatible with one another. Not only will it make working with them easier, but you can also rest assured that they will get along well with the people who are attending your wedding as a result. Keep in mind that you will be spending the majority of your wedding day with the photographer you choose. The day will be a lot of fun if you all get along, but it will be a very uncomfortable memory if the photographer is the type of person who is authoritative and irritable, or if the personalities are simply incompatible with one another.
What to Ask Your Wedding Photographer?
When it comes to selecting the right photographer for your wedding, there are a few crucial factors to take into consideration.
- Their Style and Creativity –When photographing events like weddings, a large number of wedding photographers employ a wide variety of styles and tones. It is essential to have a plan in place for how you want your photographs to be taken.
- Photojournalistic Photography – Do you appreciate photos that capture genuine expressions of emotion and candid moments? In this particular approach to photography, the emphasis is placed on the subject's facial expressions, and the images are captured in monochrome or muted tones.
- Classic Photography –Do you enjoy looking at photographs that have been carefully composed and lit to perfection? This format is commonly thought of as what the wedding album of one's grandparents or other relatives might look like, but it is still widely used today. This is due to the fact that it takes a traditional approach to significant moments during the wedding, such as the "first look," "the bride walking down the aisle," "the wedding kiss," and "the tossing of the bouquet."
- Fine Art or Artistic –Do you like photographs that have been removed from the context of the wedding? – meaning more on the artsy side or abstract rather than the traditional way of shooting a wedding? meaning something along those lines? Because no one else's wedding pictures will look like yours, this kind of style will definitely set yours apart from the crowd at your wedding.
- Lifestyle Photography –Do you enjoy looking at photographs that combine photojournalism and more traditional styles? This style is perfect for you if you want to have a combination of candid shots along with shots that were directed and styled.
- Their Equipment – You should make the most of your research and become familiar with the gear that will be used to cover a wedding event. Therefore, you should enquire about the type of camera and equipment that they are using. Do they have backup equipment in the event that the primary camera experiences technical difficulties?
- Their Professionalism – Using the services of an experienced wedding photographer who has a strong background in covering wedding events is highly recommended. This is extremely significant because it means that they are prepared to deal with the myriad of different situations that may come up during this kind of event. An experienced wedding photographer will know from personal experience what equipment to use and what equipment should not be used due to the numerous settings, locations, and lighting conditions that can arise during a wedding. Your interactions will go more smoothly, and your mind will be at ease, if you go into the wedding knowing that your wedding photographer can handle anything that comes their way.
- Their Cost – What portion of the budget are you planning to set aside for the wedding photographer? You're just going to use their photography service, right? Or will you instead purchase the complete set, which consists of framed fine prints, a coffee table book, and a portrait in a frame?
- Their Post-production Details – Ask the photographers you have shortlisted how long it will take to receive the photos and any additional items that are included in the package. In most cases, getting all of the photo proofs requires at least one month to complete. It is important to keep in mind that photographers typically shoot in raw files, which are significantly more prominent than JPG files. Raw files give the photographer the ability to make adjustments to the photos; as a result, it will take more time to upload, process, and edit the image. Additionally, ask them how many photographs you should anticipate receiving. Do you need to choose which photos are going to be edited? I was wondering if there was an additional fee for the retouching options or the special effects.
- How would they cope if it rains – In New Zealand, there is always a chance that it will rain, although the likelihood of precipitation may be significantly lower in Hawke's Bay. Photographers with experience and skill will not be bothered by the presence of either rain or snow. They are able to bring out the best in every situation because they know how to do so and because they see every circumstance as an opportunity to create something beautiful and one-of-a-kind for the bride and groom. If you hire a talented photographer, they will make you feel excited and confident about the rain and how it will look in your wedding photos.
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Book and Relax
After doing all of the necessary research, you will be able to tell when you have found the ideal wedding photographer for you. Some people just naturally know, whereas other brides need to do additional research in order to be certain. After you have made your choice for the wedding photographer and are content with it, you should have the confidence to book them, sign the contract, and pay the deposit. After that, you can take a moment to kick back and relax. Keep in mind that planning a wedding is a journey, not just for the bride but also for the groom. The more you are able to take pleasure in the steps along the way, the more joyful your wedding day will be. Even though it is a significant day in your life, you should remember that it is still just a day. A marriage is a journey that lasts a lifetime. It is far too common to see brides and grooms become stressed out about the planning process to the point where they lose sight of the happiness and significance of their wedding day. So keep in mind to relax, and then relax some more.
If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.
If you follow these guidelines, you will have a much better chance of selecting the ideal wedding photographer for your special day. Do you have any other suggestions that could help me choose the right photographer for my wedding? In the following comment section, please share your ideas and suggestions. We'd be very interested to hear them!