You’re recently engaged and it’s time to start looking at different wedding vendors. You’ve set your date, have your venue and now you sit down and start searching wedding photographers. You ask your married friends who they used, you asked on various Facebook groups that are for Brides like you, and may even search the Knot or WeddingWire. If you’re the first in your family to get married or even the first in your group of friends, you have no idea what to look for when booking your wedding photographer. It can be a very daunting task. This is the person you’re trusting your MEMORIES with! The person who is going to capture your wedding day and be able to tell it like the fairytale that it is. The person who will create an album that in 10 years children will flip, or 40 years GRANDCHILDREN will flip through. SO what do you need to look for in a photographer? Here’s my top five!
If you ask for recommendations on a Facebook group and the PHOTOGRAPHER gives you their Facebook page, start to question their professionalism. A professional is going to want you to go to their website. It’s the website that will have a ton of information for you to view. Someone who is the weekend warrior is going to tag their Facebook page because maybe they just don’t have the time to set up a website, or maybe they can’t afford the expenses involved with a website. Now there are some circumstances where a professional will tag their Facebook page if it’s easier, for whatever reasons. But PLEASE check out their website before booking. A PROFESSIONAL website speaks volumes about your experience with the photographer.
When looking at various photographers and trying to decide which is the best fit for you, keep this in mind. When you need a doctor because you have heart problems, are you really going to let a doctor who specializes in feet work on your heart? Hopefully not. So why would you let a photographer who is really good at shooting newborns or commercial work shoot your wedding? There’s a lot that goes into a wedding day behind the scenes that only a seasoned wedding photographer is going to know. Posing is a big one. If you want that natural, romantic, candid feel to your photos, you’re not going to want to hire someone who poses babies. You’re going to want to hire someone who knows how to pose Brides and Grooms and (rowdy) Bridal Parties.
Photographers who specialize in Wedding Photography are also going to be attentive to your needs as a Bride. Questions about your wedding day timeline, when you should start your ceremony, the easiest flow of family photos, a photographer who specializes in weddings know how to best handle these questions so your day is completely stress-free. We spend half of the year doing this, we know what works, and what doesn’t.
When you’re doing your research, you’re going to see many different editing styles, but there are two main categories: 1 – Clean and 2 – Over processed. These are your photos that are going to last a lifetime. You want to have timeless photos. While the selective color is a “trend” it’s not something that in 5 years, maybe even in one year that you’re going to want to hang in your home. You’ll want clean edited photos of your wedding day. Allow me to show you Clean versus Over Processed.
The top two photos are what professionals call clean edits, while the bottom two photos are very much over processed. Now if over processed editing is what you dig, then, by all means, dig away. However, many Brides are looking for a timeless look that clean editing gives to a photo.
PS…I can’t express to you how HARD It was for me to edit, and now show you, my photos over processed. I’m cringing right now… definitely not my style.
If you’re looking at photographers who are still delivering your photos via a disc, this should be a red flag right away. This is sign number one that this photographer is out of touch with the wedding photography industry. What if you recently bought a brand new computer that doesn’t have a DVD drive? How are you suppose to see your photos? When looking at wedding photographers I highly recommend one that delivers your images via online galleries. PASS and Pixieset are the two most popular in the industry. Both of these galleries also allow you to look at your wedding photos on the go. As long as you have an internet connection, you can view your photos on your phone or tablet! Technology has come a long way, friends, and you’ll want to make sure that your photographer is keeping up with the times!
Before you make this relationship official with a wedding photographer, ask to see a full wedding. Not just the portfolio photos they’ll post on their social media accounts and upload to their website. Bonus if you don’t have to ask to see a full wedding and the photographer shows you one off the bat. A double bonus if they’ve shot at the venue that you’re getting married at so you’ll be able to see how they handle the lighting, and what they do with posing. But you’ll more than likely have to ask if they have or not.
So I know I said I was going to suggest five topics to look for when booking your wedding photographer, but I’ve decided to give you one more. Now unless you’re familiar with camera jargon, some of these terms are going to be completely french to you. But when booking a wedding photographer, you’ll want to ask them what kind of gear they shoot with if they don’t come out and tell you. The key term you’re waiting to hear is full-frame cameras. Full frame cameras are expansive cameras, not consumer level cameras that a soccer mom will purchase for her son or daughter’s game. When a photographer is shooting on a full-frame, they mean business.
I hope you have found this blog post on what to look for when booking your wedding photographer helpful. Booking the right photographer for a Bride’s wedding day is often the times the biggest regret a Bride will have after her wedding is over. I also understand that not every Bride has 4k to spend on wedding photography, but consider cutting something from your budget so you can book a photographer whose work you absolutely adore. After the wedding is over, photos (and video if you hire a videographer) are all you’re left with from your wedding. The freezer burnt cake one year later doesn’t remind you of the tears your Husband wiped from his eyes as he promised you forever.