A good and reliable wedding photographer is a very important ingredient for a memorable wedding day.
Finding the right wedding photographer to capture your special day may seem like a daunting task with so many options available. At first glance, it may seem very hard to differentiate between some photographers as their work may seem identical to you. In order to distinguish and select the right photographer, you will need to be methodical and thorough in reviewing the style and personality of each photographer you consider.
First things first
Before you begin the research process, you will need to decide on the photographic style you prefer. This will assist with the process of elimination. You can choose to have classical or traditional wedding photographs, perfectly arranged photographs to ensure that you include everybody you want, fine art photography where you choose the photographer for their artful interpretation of wedding photography, or a photographer with a more relaxed and informal style that captures you and your guests in a natural way.
Once you know what you are looking for you can begin your search. A good starting point is always to ask recently married friends to show you their wedding albums and advise on the pros and cons of their photographer. Word-of-mouth is always the best!
With a few candidates on your list, the next step is to research the candidates, starting with their websites and social media handles. Review their portfolios, look for information about their experience, assess their personalities and determine their photographic style. Compare and review images according to colour, quality, composition and exposure. Do the bride, groom, and their guests look natural or uncomfortable? Is this what you would like your wedding photographs to look like? For a more comprehensive idea of the overall photographic quality you can expect on your wedding day, ask to see full wedding albums.
Contact the photographers you like and ask for package costs. This will allow you to select photographers within your planned price range.
Set Up Interviews
Once you have narrowed down your search to a few candidates, the first thing you need to do is to check if they have your wedding date available and to book it provisionally. Then you need to set up interviews with each photographer on your shortlist.
Ask about their wedding photography experience and the number of weddings they have photographed. Ask them why they chose this profession and get them talking about the weddings to see if their view and attitude resonates with you.
A few things that you may want to ask during the interviews:
- What time will they arrive at the venue and for how long will they take photographs?
- Is a deposit required, how much and when is it due?
- What is their refund/cancellation policy?
Most importantly, note your first impression when you meet them. This person will be following you on a very special day and will witness very intimate moments, so you need to feel a sense of friendship and trust when you are with them. Tell them about your venue, the possible challenges of shooting there, what wedding style you have settled on as well as what you envision for your photos. Do they partake in the discussion and offer compatible ideas that makes you feel like they understand what you want?
Do they shoot alone, with an assistant or in a pair? This is important as it will determine how many angles they will be able to capture. A single photographer won’t be able to capture any of the wedding guests while they are photographing the bridal pair and their family. While this option may be slightly more expensive, remind yourself of what and who you need them to photograph and think about the logistics of the day. A beautiful, comprehensive variety of photographs that captures all the special moments (especially those you didn’t even see on the day) will be so much better than realizing many of your guests are missing from the photographs.
After the interviews, you and your partner will be in a better position to choose your wedding photographer. Go with your gut!
When you are ready to let them know, re-confirm your date and sign the contract. Be sure to confirm expectations and everything you have agreed in writing such as the package you selected, how much time they will spend photographing your wedding, the required time of arrival and the amount of time your photographer needs in post production for editing so you have a realistic expectation of how long after your wedding you will receive your photographs.
Keep communicating with your photographer while you are planning your wedding in case there is anything they need to be aware of. Your schedule for the day is a really crucial piece of information for your wedding photographer as this will determine the amount of time and quality of light they will have to work with.
On the day, communication is similarly vital. Tell them if there is anything you need or if you are uncomfortable in any way but also trust them to direct you in getting the best photographs possible. You have chosen this person for their style, skill and passion – let them do their best and trust your selection. Most of all – have fun, laugh, saviour the day and enjoy every special moment!
About JoeDaniela Photography
JoeDaniela Photography offers an elite wedding photography service that promises to raise the bar of wedding photography in South Africa. Joe and Daniela have become known as one of the most trusted teams in professional wedding photography and with 20 years of experience, this dynamic duo effortlessly complement each other. www.joedaniela.com