This time of year has arrived. At this time of year, you might be thinking about making plans to hire a photographer for your wedding. You should look for a wedding photographer whose previous work inspires you and who is a good personal fit for you. Any photographer worth their salt will tell you that they want the ideal client for them rather than just any client.
Today, we thought we'd boil it down to the most practical tips and tricks that we know to help you find exactly the right match (or, hell, to decide that you're going to do your own photography). At Wild Romantic Photography, we have the best Melbourne wedding photographer to take memorable photos on your wedding day.
Tips for Hiring a Wedding Photographer
Be sure to savour each and every second of your gorgeous wedding day, but also keep in mind that it will go by in a flash; therefore, you should make plans to have a wedding photographer capture the special moments of the day. Because the right photographer can help a couple cherish their wedding day for the rest of their lives, many engaged couples consider this to be one of the most important aspects of wedding planning. That's a big job, so I'll just give you some pointers on how to look for a photographer for your wedding. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.
Sit down with your fiancé and have a conversation about the most important aspects of your wedding photography before you start looking for photographers. Do you place a high value on photographs? Do you simply wish to record a few memorable occurrences throughout the day without giving a second thought to whether or not the resulting photographs are suitable for a wedding blog? What you're looking for and how high photos rank on your list of priorities are two of the most important factors to consider when selecting a photographer.
Create a Budget
You don't have to settle on a specific figure, but you should figure out roughly how much money you have available to spend on photography. First, get an idea of what you should anticipate by taking a cursory look at the rates charged by photographers in your area, and then draught up a preliminary spending plan. This will assist you in narrowing down your options and preventing you from wasting time interviewing photographers whose rates are outside of your price range.
Choose a Style
No longer do all wedding photographers shoot traditionally. Couples now have more wedding photo options. Look through wedding photos to find a style you like.
Standard advice is to choose a photographer based on their style (photojournalism, naturalism, modern traditionalism), but you can just ask if you like their portfolio. Ask them if you like how they work. Photojournalism might not work for you if they won't pose your granny. Worry less about the photographer's style and more about whether you like their photos and if their style will work for your wedding.
Here are some common photographic styles:
- Photographs taken in a documentary style, also referred to as photojournalism, are meant to capture the day as it happens. Expect not to see people addressing the camera in this manner.
- The traditional aesthetic that emphasises traditional portraits is called portraiture. This includes posed pictures that range from traditional ones like the wedding party standing together to more dramatic and artistic ones like the couple walking hand in hand down a dirt road.
- Fine art - This aesthetic gives the photographer more artistic freedom to take dramatic and beautiful pictures. Film grain, motion, a blurred background, and black-and-white images are frequently used as common elements.
- A tense and bold style employs tilted angles and unconventional framing for dramatic effect, making it even more dramatic than fine art photography.
Photographers who specialise in weddings may shoot in a variety of styles, but if there is a particular style that you adore, you should look for a photographer who specialises in that style. If you are interested in having portraits taken in addition to something more creative and artistic, you should ask the photographer if they offer both services or if you will need to hire a separate photographer for the portrait session. Create lasting memories through your Yarra Valley wedding photography that will be cherished forever.
To get started, find recently married couples among your friends and acquaintances and ask them for recommendations on wedding photographers. Read the feedback left by previous customers and reviews that can be found online. Visit photographers' websites to view examples of their previous work and get a sense of the aesthetic they favour. You can also check to see if the costs of their services are within your range of acceptable expenditures.
Reviews and Recommendations
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Assume taking stunning photos is one of someone's strengths.
The trick is to determine a photographer's weaknesses and live with them. A photographer can help you do this. (Ask them their weaknesses.) Professionals know. If they say they have none, escape.
Ask a past client to chat. Here are some weaknesses I've seen in talented photographers: Not great at managing time on the wedding day, socially awkward, slow photo delivery, poor client communication, not outgoing with the couple, doesn't take direction well.
Find your ideal balance of strengths and weaknesses. Many don't care how good their photographers are as long as they're organised. Determine your needs and deal-breakers before interviewing photographers. You're not perfect, and neither is your photographer. Personalize the photographer-client relationship by being imperfect together.
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Keep in mind that even if you use the same photographer for both weddings, it will be impossible to recreate the photographs from the other wedding. Results can vary greatly depending on factors such as location, time of year, lighting, and other specifics. If you enjoy the way that natural light appears in photographs, you will most likely enjoy the work of photographers who specialise in taking pictures using natural lighting. But if you're thinking about having your wedding inside during the dead of winter, you shouldn't expect the same things to happen.
Interview Wedding Photographers
Once you have a list of potential photographers to choose from, you should get in touch with them to arrange in-person meetings. Have a conversation with them about your wedding style, expectations, and the location of the ceremony and reception. At this point, it is important for both you and the photographer to make sure that your expectations and personalities are compatible with one another.
Some vendors' philosophies are irrelevant. Not weddings. You'll spend more time with your wedding photographer than your maid of honour, so choose wisely.
Start by browsing wedding website vendor listings where you fit in. Look at photographers' About pages once you've found them. These pages carefully describe the photographer and their work. That's a specific philosophy that may be right for you. Look for written philosophies that click, then see if that feeling continues in person or on the phone.
Do You Like the Photographer?
Set up an in-person meeting (or a Skype session, if that's what works) with the photographers whose work you like and whose approach seems to mesh well with your own. Once you've done this, narrow down your choices to just a few. The next step is to determine whether or not you LIKE them. In the event that you do not, kindly refrain from employing them. Because you will be spending so much time with your photographer on your wedding day, you should find that they are at the very least generally pleasant and at the very most a potential lifelong best friend. (Only you can determine how much it means to you to love-love them, but you should definitely ensure that you like them.)
Ask to See Full Albums
After viewing a photographer's portfolio, ask to see a full wedding. Some photographers produce 20 amazing wedding photos, but the rest are uninspired. You'll only use one to five amazing wedding photos, so make sure you get your money's worth. A high-priced, experienced photographer should be inspired. A less expensive photographer building their portfolio should deliver a few inspired photos and a solid documentary.
Websites and highlight albums feature their best work. Reasonable, but it doesn't help you choose between two photographers. Ask to see full wedding albums for a more complete picture. You want to see how the photographer handles your wedding's setting and lighting. Examine the albums' overall quality and important details.
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Consider a Shot List
The use of shot lists is something that some wedding photographers look forwards to doing while others do not. Find out if the people you're considering will be willing to collaborate with one another. In most cases, photographers will refuse to work with a shot list because they find it limiting or have the impression that they are being micromanaged; they want the couple to have faith in them and allow them to do their job so they can capture the day.
Find a photographer who is willing to work with shot lists if this is something that is important to you as a client. In any other case, you should discuss your expectations with your photographer and bring up any specific photographs that hold a particularly significant place in your heart.
Get a Feel for Personalities
Because the photographer will be present on the wedding day, it is essential that you are able to work well together. You don't have to be best friends, but the two of you should have personalities that complement each other well and you should be able to relax around them. This has a significant impact on the overall appearance of the photographs you take.
Confirm the Shooters
It is not uncommon for large photography firms to employ more than one photographer; therefore, if you meet with someone and view their work, you should confirm that they will be the ones to photograph your wedding. Find out how many photographers you can expect to be present at the ceremony and reception as well.
While some photography companies will send two photographers or one photographer along with an assistant, other photographers find it more enjoyable to work independently. Having a second shooter provides you with more coverage, but at the expense of an increased budget.
Comparing photography packages can be challenging due to the fact that they frequently include unique components and are dependent on a variety of other elements, such as the amount of resources the photographer possesses. Another reason why it is important to think about what your priorities are early on is because of this.
Check that all of the items that are significant to you are included in the packages. Check out what is included in the standard package as well as the prices for any additional services, and then look for a plan that caters to both your requirements and your preferences for the day.
Price and What They Offer
When looking at the pricing of a certain individual, it is important to pay close attention to what is included in the package that you are considering purchasing. Things like second shooters, additional hours, high-resolution JPGs, albums, and engagement sessions may or may not be included in the price quote, depending on whether or not additional money is paid. Just make sure that you are not agreeing to pay more for things that you want in the future (for example, having your wedding photos taken isn't worth all that much if you have to pay an additional $3,000 to get the files).
However, items such as albums and prints can always be ordered later when you're not facing the burden of paying for a wedding, so if you love someone's art but they don't include as many bells and whistles with their package, go for the art. This is especially important to keep in mind if the person offering the package is charging a lower price.
Check Their Post-Processing
Post-processing constitutes a significant portion of the work involved in contemporary photography. It is helpful to keep in mind, while perusing the portfolio of a photographer, that the photographs do not emerge from the camera in the same way that you see them. This will make it easier for you to choose a photographer whose post-processing style suits your preferences. The following categories of processing are currently the most common:
- CLEAN: Process true to life.
- LIGHT AND AIRY: Dreamy, lots of light, almost translucent.
- FILM EMULATION: This can range from dark and moody to somewhat less vibrant colours. It's meant to mimic the look and feel of the film (for cheaper).
Get a Contract
Make sure the wedding photographer you choose offers a written contract and review it carefully before signing.
The contract should include all the important details, such as:
• When the photographer will arrive and leave
• When you can expect your photographs
• How you'll receive your pictures
• Any printing that's included
• Who owns the rights to the photos
• Retouching options
• What happens in an emergency
Type of Photographers We Do Not Recommend You Use:
Hiring a Friend Who Has a Camera
This seems like a good option because they have a camera, are passionate, and are offering a friend's discount. You trust them, and they seem to have what they need. You trust them, but if this isn't their profession, they're likely less experienced, using lower-end equipment, and haven't mastered the wedding day flow. Someone gets a DSLR for Christmas and a couple of lenses. This person shoots mostly for friends, may or may not have a website, and focuses on family photography. We have friends who aren't professionals but do amazing work; we're just describing the typical situation.
Family Member Photography Enthusiast
At each wedding, there will be a total of 5 of them. They frequently have a good time and are frequently able to make use of better equipment due to the fact that they are older and can afford it. The vast majority of the time, they are pointing and firing. You will see them stepping out into the aisle as the bride is coming down, holding the camera high in the air, and taking pictures of a beautiful gorgeous sunset shot that we set up without any ability to block out the sun. They might have a decent camera and some decent lenses, but they are unable to capture images in low light or bright light situations very often.
A Facebook page is the most reliable indicator of differentiation. Everyone posts pictures of the wedding, and many of the pictures have a grainy appearance, a washed-out flash look, or odd cropping. You will most likely get the best deal if you work with a family member, but there is a higher chance that you will wind up in a situation similar to the one described in the previous paragraph unless the family member is a professional photographer.
When you search for 'Budget,' 'Economic,' 'Inexpensive,' or 'Cheap,' or when you find someone who is connected to a larger photography firm, you will come across this. We are not implying that any of these will cause harm to another person; rather, we are advising you to exercise caution. At the time that this was written, more than forty percent of weddings had spent less than one thousand two hundred dollars on a wedding photographer.
This market, on the other hand, is experiencing a decline and is becoming increasingly competitive. In the previous year, 42 percent of the businesses that provided wedding photography for less than $1200 went out of business. This indicates that there will be a decrease in pricing as a result of specials and offering more for less money. One of the primary reasons for this is that this sector of the market competes with our iPhones, and a lot of people are trying to get into the wedding business because they think it will be simple to make money.
Gimmick Deal Photographer
Someone will always beat your deal or price. The deal may be a free engagement session, a discount if booked by X date, or a price cut. If they need a deal to win you over, their value at that price isn't clear. Competition shouldn't be complicated. Desperate for work, people make deals. Learn from those who passed them up or didn't make the quality investment.
We've added services or given breaks, but only for good couples and last-minute weddings. We often look for a good fit for them rather than a deal. This photographer may say they're booking for X year or only X weddings a year. They want you to feel accepted. A full-time entrepreneur will accept your business. Unless weddings last a week, this person is part-time. This person is often "Booking weddings for [Last Year]!"
One final word of caution will be given regarding the large company photographer who works in multiple cities. You will probably find some excellent examples of their work on their website, but you should be aware that the photographer who shot those examples is probably not going to be the one who takes your pictures. It's possible that it will work out, but we strongly suggest taking a look at the other work that photographer has done personally.
In this vein, if you decide to work with a local photography company that employs other photographers as associates, you should be aware that some of them may be very skilled and talented. Having said that, it is possible that you will be unable to differentiate between the work that they did and the work that the primary photographer did. Even though associate photographers frequently produce quality work, there is a reason why their rates are significantly lower than those of other photographers.
What Should You Look for to Find a Good Photographer?
If you happen to be reading this before your big day, consider yourself lucky. If this is part of your story and the outcome was similar to one of the descriptions above, we are sorry for any potential loss you may have experienced as a result of this situation. When we were married, we had to go through some struggles in order to learn some lessons and comprehend how we feel. To ensure that you do not end up in a similar situation, the following are some qualities to look for in a good professional photographer:
Look for a Photographer Who Specialises in Wedding Photography.
This specialisation conveys that you are passionate about wedding photography, that you have an implied mastery of the flow of the wedding day, and that you are likely to be successful in this one category. The hungry artist will photograph anything in order to survive. When you're successful, you have to be more selective.
We are not implying that your skill level as a photographer is lower because you primarily photograph families. Having said that, if you have every category imaginable down to dog photography, perhaps you are not a specialist with mastery and should instead concentrate on what you do the very best.
Look for Someone Who Shows a Lot of Their Work.
If they only show 20-50 images and have a few blogs, that says a few things. They're either new and have little work. They don't show much because they don't do well. If they don't have many blogs, you can assume they aren't shooting much and that people aren't buying their products. If you miss parts of the wedding, it may not be shot or look good.
We've seen 'natural light photographers' fail at wedding receptions because they can't shoot in the dark. Today's trend is dark and moody, with rich browns and blacks. Why would someone with limited vision expect more? We're not suggesting you question the photographer about every possible shot. If you don't see consistent work before the wedding, don't assume you'll get it then.
Look for a Wedding Photographer That Uses Professional Gear.
For lenses, this would mean having an aperture of f/2.8 or lower on a zoom lens, and an aperture of f/1.4 or lower on a prime lens. Additionally, the camera body would need to be classified as "full frame." The lighting and clarity of your photographs can be significantly improved by upgrading your equipment.
In order to capture clear images of you and your guests having a good time at your wedding, you will need lenses that are optimised for low-light conditions. It is reasonable to assume that the equipment used by your wedding photographer is professional-grade; however, because we have observed a number of photographers using subpar equipment, we strongly suggest that you enquire about this matter if you are unsure.
When shooting a wedding with a total value of between $3,000 and $6,000, the majority of wedding photographers that we have seen use two cameras and three lenses.
Look for Someone Who Has a Lot of Emotion in Their Photography.
Grandma will always be interested in the traditional things, but you are going to enjoy being yourself. We strongly suggest that you look for a style that combines natural posing with candid and photojournalistic elements.
Some people are the centre of attention at social gatherings and exude an abundance of feeling at all times. The ability to capture the emotion in a consistent manner demonstrates to previous customers and wedding guests that they are at ease around the wedding photographer and that they are having a good time.
Having the experience to capture emotion demonstrates that the person has the ability to know when something is going to happen, such as the tear that someone is wiping away in the hopes that no one sees it.
Look for Someone With a Predefined Second Photographer.
Our opinion is that you ought to employ the services of two "primary" photographers who work closely together. When you book a photographer, you ought to have the ability to find out exactly who will be working for you. If you are only talking to one photographer and you do not know who will be the second photographer, there is a chance that you will end up with someone who is not as good as the other photographers.
The value of hiring a second photographer is predicated on the assumption that they will be able to capture your special day from a greater variety of angles and with a fresher point of view. Frequently, the stereotypical second photographer is given filler work and side assignments, and their equipment is considered to be subpar. You do not want to hire someone who is just getting started in the industry or who has not consistently worked with your wedding photographer.
It's possible that we're prejudiced, but we've noticed that photography teams consisting of a husband and wife work out particularly well for weddings. They are familiar with one another, have been in your shoes, and are able to adjust to a wide variety of circumstances.
Look for Someone With Experience Making Couples Happy
We strongly suggest that you look at the reviews, and not just for their overall quality but also for the total number of reviews, how evenly they were distributed, and how many specific details each one contains. The sheer number of positive reviews is the most accessible factor to take into account because the vast majority of couples do not end up writing them, despite the fact that they are so excited that they ask you where they can review you.
Because gaining experience takes time, we make a point of noting how to disperse ourselves because if you see someone within a short period of time, it means that they are new, new at making people happy, or possibly fabricating them.
On that final note, we discuss the specifics because generic reviews with a limited amount of text indicate that the customer was satisfied but not completely satisfied. Be wary of the reviews if they are uniformly succinct and uninteresting, as this may be due to the reviewers' individual writing styles.
If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.
Choosing a photographer for your wedding is a significant undertaking, but it does not have to feel overbearing. Put these suggestions to work for you as you search for the perfect photographer for your wedding. In the end, keep in mind that the most important thing is to have pictures that remind you of the beauty and joy that was present on your special day, and it is not difficult to find a wedding photographer who can provide you with these types of pictures.