Choosing the perfect wedding photographer can be an overwhelming and daunting task. There are so many to choose from, but how do you know which one would be right for you and your wedding? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered here at Kathy Beaver Photography.
Here is a list of the most important things to consider when choosing the perfect wedding photographer for your big day.
#1 What “primary style” are you seeking for your wedding photography?
Consider what you are drawn to in photography. Below are a few of the styles, each one is important to consider when choosing the perfect wedding photographer. Which of these styles/genres would you prefer?
This style includes photos that capture unexpected moments at planned events while subjects are unaware of the photographer’s presence. They are un-posed photos that capture the moments exactly as they happen, and together, they tell a story.
The classic portraiture genre involves more styled, posed pictures. Or as I like to do, guided posing, in which you get your clients to express their genuine reactions while taking the photos. It is a style that is focused on capturing the moods and expressions of your subjects.
Dramatic/contrast of light/shadow:
These are typically more “moody”, darker images. Are the timeless, light/airy and black and white photos a style you love? Then you should possibly consider hiring a photographer that creates such styles.
Or would you be interested in having a combination of these styles/genres within your wedding photos? Including a combination of styles allows for a great variety.
#2 Think about “trends”
When hiring your wedding photographer, you may want to consider the current and up-and-coming trends of wedding photography. Trends come and go, and sometimes it is hard to see what they are until after they have faded from popular view. Consider this…Do the pictures you see in the photographer’s portfolio feel timeless or dated? Specifically consider the posing and editing. Do they appear natural? Will those pictures look incredible ten years from now? There is no right or wrong answer, just definitely something to consider
#3 What type of lighting do you prefer or what type of lighting will work best for your venue?
Photography is all about the light, and there are many different types of lighting to consider: natural light, flash, off camera flash, etc… Therefore, an important aspect to consider when deciding on which photographer is right for you is which type of lighting you prefer and which would work best, given your venue.
For example, an outdoor wedding in the middle of the day with bright sun requires a very different skill than a New Year’s Eve reception in a dark church. If you are getting married somewhere dark without windows, you will want to make sure the photographer you hire knows how to create light when it isn’t there.
You want to make sure the photographer you hire has experience with the type of lighting you desire and need for your venue. When researching photographers, be sure to take note of the lighting situation of the photographs in their portfolio, and make sure it is similar to the lighting situation of your venue. You may notice, while carrying out your research, that some photographers refer to themselves as “natural light photographers,” which means they only use whatever light is available, rather than using a flash or other lighting setups. If this is true for a photographer that you’re considering to hire, be sure that your venue and time of day of your wedding will work for this photographer’s skills and preferences.
#4 How involved would you like your photographer to be?
One standard that I believe distinguishes great photographers from the rest is their ability to communicate and prepare with the future couple. That could mean setting a date before the wedding to visit the site to discuss what you envision for your wedding day and its photos.
It’s important for you to prepare a list of the people and moments you want captured, and for you to know if you intend to have group photos. Part of this planning will involve discussing when your photographer should show up, how they should dress, and what you are expecting of them. Do they provide you with any material for which helps you to better understand what you can expect? Do they provide you with the tools to help you plan?
#5 What type of personality should your photographer have?
Most importantly, make sure y’all’s personalities mesh well. No matter how gorgeous the work, you will most likely be spending more time with your photographer than anyone else on your wedding day. You need to make sure y’all “click.” Liking your photographer is super important.
When discussing your visions, pay attention to the photographer’s reactions – Do they relate to your visions and get excited about them? Are they clear and respectful when expressing their ideas to you? Do they make you feel comfortable or uneasy? Do they possess the perfect balance of assertiveness, politeness, calmness and friendliness to capture great moments while making everyone feel comfortable around them? They should ask lots of questions and be a good listener.
Questions to ask your wedding photographer:
How many images should I expect?
Do they come with a print release?
Do you have back-up equipment?
How do you back up/secure images
Are you insured?
Do you work with an assistant or a second photographer?
Do I need a second photographer?
When and how do I receive my images?
What about an album?
Do you include an engagement session?
How can I share my images with family and friends?
#6 Do your research
Once you’ve considered each of these aspects and have come to a conclusion on what you’d like accomplished by your photographer, be sure to do further research. Ask friends, read reviews. Ask the other professionals involved in your wedding day festivities; such as Mingle Events, they will have worked with various photographers in the past and may have good recommendations for you. Ask for recommendations from your wedding planner, manager, caterer, baker, florist; it’s their business to have such contacts. Look at various photographers’ blog posts, ask to see a full gallery from a recent wedding.
Another great idea is Instagram – check out hashtags and how your venue has been photographed. This will allow you to determine which photographers are right for you and would be the perfect photographer to document your special day.
I hope this blog post is helpful for you when deciding to choose the perfect photographer for your wedding day! If you have any questions leave a comment below!
You made an interesting point when you explained that it is important to find a wedding photographer that has a personality that you can mesh with. In addition to that, I would think that it would be a good idea to find a photographer that is open to trying new things. You wouldn’t want to work with a photographer that only wants to do things their way.
I agree Henry! Finding a photographer that is open to trying new things and working with the couple for creative/artistic photos!
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