I am very much a newbie when it comes to the wedding photog game. In my mind I know the photos I’m after and I know what’s important to me and Al but I had no idea where to start when it came to actually looking for the photographers who could capture all of that. Especially seeing as we’re getting married abroad. Luckily for me, some of my best friends have already been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, meaning I only had to ask…
I’ve compiled their tips into the ultimate wedding photographer hit list. Have at it.
Do Your Research
Scour the web looking for images you like, be it on Pinterest, wedding blogs, friend’s pictures and venue websites. Create a secret Pinterest board and pin all the images you love and want to recreate in your own fabulous way.
Set a Budget
Work out what wedding photography means to you and what you’re willing to pay for it. Do you want someone who understands your love of details and depth of field? Or are you after less of the staged stuff and want more of those magical moments captured when you think no-one’s looking. Make a list of everything that’s a must, nice to have and a definite no. That way you can assess what’s really important to you and what you might be willing to overlook in favour of something you really want.
The Personability Factor
Choose someone you can get on with and feel comfortable around. They are going to be in your face a lot, so you want to know you’re on the same page. It’ll also make the whole process much easier when you start making late night additions to your shared Pinterest board.
Look for someone who gets buzzed about the same things as you. You want to take slow shutter speed photos with sparklers on the beach and the photographer wants to Photoshop it so it looks like something out of Disney movie! Great! But imagine if your photographer didn’t know how to do that. Their creative skill set should compliment and exceed yours!
Get Your Schedule Together
Lists and schedules go hand-in-hand for the photographer. They’ll loosely know the plan for the day but make sure they have specific details. Are you doing a confetti tunnel, for that all important end shot, with the pair of you kissing under a petal shower? Does your photographer know because they might need a specific lens for that shot. As part of your scheduling discussions, come up with a contingency plan. Because if mother nature is going to bring the rain, then your photographer needs to bring their a-game! Plus, a photo of the bride and groom kissing in the rain is pretty romantic and picturesque!
Make a Shortlist
Look at options and make a shortlist of everyone you want to contact for quotes. Always get in touch with more people than you need and don’t overlook people abroad, they may be willing to travel within your budget.
Don’t Forget to Read the Reviews
Look at their Facebook pages for feedback and reviews from other people’s weddings. Were they on time, patient, encouraging and did they make others feel comfortable – that’s extremely important for couples doing their first ever photo shoot.
Read the Contract and Then Read it Some More
Once you find your photographer and are happy with the quote, read your contract thoroughly before you sign. Ask questions about what happens if it rains (have a back up plan indoors for photos), what’s included in terms of your album, do you get additional books? Will you get digital copies? Ask to see examples of what your book will look like and what’s included in your package.
Take Your Time
Don’t rush. Take your time making sure you’re happy with what you’re getting. This is your day. You deserve the best!
Amen to that.