Avoid Wedding Photo Disappointment with These Tips
Updated: May 26, 2019
(Guest Blog by Regina Marie Photography)
The wedding industry is saturated with an abundance of photographers, ranging from the exceptional, to the mediocre and predictable, to the down-right disappointing. How do you know the right one to choose for YOU?
While it may seem to some that a photographer is hired to show up with a camera and press a button, there is SO much more that goes into to documenting the important day of your lives. Here are a few things you should consider while doing your research and before hiring a photographer:
Photography is an art form. Just as there are different types of painters and sculptors, photographers each have their own style of work as well. Do you know what style you are drawn to? If you’re not sure, browse wedding sites, Instagram hashtags, and wedding boards on Pinterest and start bookmarking or pinning your favorites and see if there is a similarity between the photography styles. Do you prefer a traditional approach with classic posing, a photojournalistic/documentary approach, or a mix of posing and candids? Do you like images with a lot of contrast, deeper tones for a moody feel? Do you like a brighter, airy feel to your images? Or perhaps somewhere in the middle of the two?
When you come across a photographer’s website, be sure to browse their wedding and engagement galleries and social media sites to get a feel for their style. You can always contact them and ask to see more galleries. You may want to ask to see galleries of weddings with a similar style to yours. For example, if they have every shot at your venue, ask to see sample weddings. Or if you are getting married at a country club, perhaps they have galleries to share from other country club weddings.
It’s a good idea to see a gallery from a full day to see how each portion of your day will be captured, from getting ready to ceremony, to formals, to reception. What you see in their portfolio is usually a pretty accurate representation of what you will receive. That being said, if your preference is light and airy, make sure you aren’t booking someone who’s portfolio is full of dark and moody images. Fall in love with your photographer’s style and chances are you will fall in love with your own images captured by that photographer.
Once you have an idea of the style you like, that will help narrow down the pool of photographers you are looking through. Hopefully by this time you have an idea of your budget for wedding photography. Next, consider what is most important to you from a photography stand point. When looking through package options, think about the amount of time needed for photography coverage, how many images are included in the final delivery of your wedding gallery, and products you may want. Do you want digital images or prints, basic editing or retouched images, a wedding album, printing rights? Some photographers are able to customize a wedding package and some may have a la carte options. Does the photographer provide an engagement session? (This is a very important part of the photography experience – think of it as a practice session before the wedding!)
Prioritize your “must have” items and look over each photographer’s options to see which may best suit your individual needs. For many, budget is the deciding factor when choosing a photographer, but try not to make budget your single deciding factor. One of the biggest regrets I hear from couples is that they wished they would have spent a little more to get the photographer they wanted. You don’t get a do-over in photographing those once-in-a-lifetime moments. At the end of the day that took months and months of planning, the things that will last for all the years following will be your marriage, your wedding film, and your photographs. The tangible memories can be handed down to your family members and future generations.
Meet in Person
The photographer is someone you will spend a LOT of time with on your wedding day (more time than with your future spouse in fact!). Be sure this person is someone you very feel comfortable with. What is their experience level? The best way to see if you’re a good fit would be to sit down in person with the photographer to chat and ask any questions you may have. If you are unable to meet in person because of distance or schedule conflicts, try a Skype or FaceTime meeting, or at the very least, you can speak by phone. At your in-person meeting, you can ask to see product samples, so you can touch and feel some of the photographer’s product options in your hands.
These are just a few things to consider when choosing a wedding photographer. I hope these tips are helpful. I’m always happy to answer any questions when it comes to wedding planning!
Photography by Regina Marie