Tips and Tricks
1. Is an experienced professional company important?
Experience is a must — you don’t want a photographer using your wedding for practice. Do they seem passionate or jaded? Are they all in house or hiring an associate, is it a talented colleague or a random freelancer? Make sure you know who will be holding the camera on your wedding day, and that they’re committed to treating you like a VIP no matter how many other clients they have.
Maybe you have a cousin who just graduated art school or found a company just getting started in wedding photography and they’ve offered to shoot your wedding for freeeeee! While it may seem like money-saving serendipity, is the risk worth the reward or the disaster. Weddings are a tough gig with a lot of variables — just because your friend takes beautiful photos of sleeping babies, it doesn’t mean she knows how to light a pitch-black reception venue. And what if you don’t love the photos? What if your images get lost because your cousin has mad skills but no file-backup system? What if your family friend heads to the bar to do a quick shot with a guest — during your first dance?
Bottom line: When you’re choosing a wedding photographer, choose a wedding photographer.
2. What about price, I see a lot of photography deals?
The right photographer can make a budget dress look breathtaking, but the wrong photographer can make a Yumi Katsura look tacky. Ask anyone who’s been burned: It’s not a bargain if you hate your photos. If your favorite photographer is running a discount (like 10 percent off for Friday weddings, or a free engagement session), then heck yeah, jump on it! But don’t let a deep discount be your deciding factor. Good wedding photographers pay taxes, carry insurance and invest in high-end gear and professional-grade printing. So before you cut corners with a dirt-cheap photographer, ask yourself where they cut corners.
3. What about venue recommendations for photography?
Venue referrals are great, especially referrals that are earned by proven results time and time again. Venues like to see gorgeous images of their venue floating around on the web. One of the best questions to ask the venue is why they are referring this photographer to you, is it because of a trusted relationship and a belief in the vendor’s work or something more?
4. Amazing photographs are the goal, but also consider the experience you're going to have that day spent with your photographer?
Really good photos of your wedding day is a great reason to book a wedding photographer! But it shouldn’t be your only reason. After you’re done drooling over the dreamy images and Pinterest-worthy poses, set up an in-person meeting. Remember, your photographer will probably spend more time by your side on your wedding day than your own mom — or even your newly betrothed. So no matter how much you love someone’s work, make sure your personalities click before you invite him or her along for one of the most important days of your life.
Why use a professional photographer?
Firstly, on your wedding day, you don’t see each other until you meet at the altar or the registrar, so a lot happens while you are apart. The only way to share your individual memories are through photos. Second, from experience on both sides of the camera, the day passes SO quickly, you will be asking yourselves if some of it actually happened. Third, you will have friends & family present who you may not see again for a long time, and images of them all will be a timely reminder of them in later years.
For most, though, more is required, and a photographer needs to be selected. The choice is enormous, from a friend in the office with a new digital camera, to the Royal Photographer, and obviously the prices vary as much.
Under ideal circumstances, a sunny, summer day in a fabulous castle in unbelievable countryside, almost anyone will be able to garner enough decent images to satisfy a bride & groom. Unfortunately, there is a long queue to book these venues, and there aren’t always enough to go round. For the rest of us, we choose great venues, but are at the mercy of the weather etc. on our chosen day.
This is when the fun begins. Does the office colleague know how to compensate for low sunshine, horizontal rain, poor lighting in the reception area and bridesmaids turning blue in the freezing cold? Probably not! Neither does he know how to handle Uncle George who hates having his photo taken and is refusing to take his place in the family group.
Photography is not guess work, it’s an art and science. If your photographer doesn’t have the qualifications and the professional equipment needed to photograph a wedding, then they cannot possibly get it right. Backyard photographers will cause only grief, professionals display their results with pride – Be smart – use a Professional.