I remember sitting in my grandparents’ house with my cousins when we were young, looking through their albums of weddings of their four kids. The way those moments were captured was incredible to me. The big hats, traditional dresses, and hideous bridesmaid dresses made us laugh hysterically. We compared pictures from each wedding and giggled over the changes that had happened since those days.
Since those days, I’ve come to develop a true appreciation and passion for photography. I’m not a professional by any means but I understand a thing or two – which really came in handy when my sister was picking a photographer for her wedding. We did a lot of research when it came to her wedding photographer and I put a lot of thought into the things that she should look for when she was choosing. For most people, especially those that don’t know much about photography, most of these considerations are passed over. So before you settle on a photographer, take some time to think about these details.
1. When you’re trying to cut expenses from your budget, photography is one of the last places you should go. The food you eat on your day will come and go in one short sitting; the decorations will be taken down that night; your flowers will die in a week. The photos that come from your day will stay with you for years, and like my cousins, you might want to sit around with your kids or grandkids and talk about all the events of your special day. Don’t run to the cheapest photographer you can find. Really take time to consider what you’re looking for and what type of photos you want to end up with.
2. Every photographer is different. Style, set up, cropping and editing are all going to differ depending on the person you choose. Decide on a style you want for your wedding. Here are some questions to consider: do you want traditional photos? This means the lined up, posed photos of groups. Do you want a more modern/Pinterest-esque style? This would look like those photos you see on Pinterest- fun, some candid shots. Bridesmaids and groomsmen wouldn’t be lined up; they’d look very natural.
3. What kind of style do you want the picture to portray? There are so many different ways of editing photos. Some photographers tend to lean more towards an old-fashioned style that gives an aged look (less bright colors, not so bold) while other photographers like to make a moment look more vivid, like a photobooth. Here’s an example. I’ve taken the same picture and edited them in two different ways. Often times, photographers pick a style and that’s the way most of their pictures look. Choose ahead of time what kind of style you want your pictures to look like. If you’re having a more rustic-styled wedding, a vintaged photo might work best with your style. However, it’s totally up to you. Choose the style that looks the best to you!
4. Talk to your friends and family about different photographers in the area that they’ve heard of. Take some time to look through the photos they’ve done from weddings before. Try to consider your venue and decorations and picture yourself in that photo. This was most helpful for my sister when she was choosing a photographer. We spent a lot of time looking through different photographer’s albums and considering what we have to work with.
5. When you think you’ve chosen a photographer, talk with them about their prices and the way they deliver the pictures. Some create an online album of all the edited pictures that you can look through and purchase; others hand off a disk of all the edited photos. Some photographers give prints only while others don’t offer prints. Keep this all in mind when you’re considering what you want to do with your photos after the wedding. My suggestion is to go with the photographers that give you the most amount of photos in digital form. Again, it’s completely up to you and what you’re looking for.
Choosing a photographer can be a lot of fun and finding a photographer that you really enjoy can make the experience all the more rewarding. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or even give suggestions if you have an idea or if you feel that you’re not getting enough of the type of pictures you’d like. You’re paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for their business – don’t be afraid to ask for what you want! You’ll look back and appreciate it much more!