You’re engaged! That is so fantastic!! Let the wedding planning begin!
Now, you may be super excited to get started or you may be stressed with the thought of everything that needs to be done. Either way it’s a process and it should be enjoyed!
A few months go by and you have started booking and picking out the essentials; the venue and the dress. Now the search for the perfect photographer begins and it is o-v-e-r-w-h-e-l-m-i-n-g! There are so many different photographic styles, personalities and price ranges to choose from. Where do you begin?
I’ve been on both sides of this scenario, and let me tell you, being a bride and a wedding photographer was not an easy task! Being that I had been in the industry for quite some time before we got married, I knew what to look for in a wedding photographer and the right questions to ask to cover my bases. Many brides don’t have the luxury of seeing both sides of the industry, so these are my inside tips to all future brides when selecting their wedding photographers.
All of my clients know that as soon as their portraits begin, I start directing them into poses. I don’t expect them to be professional models and I don’t expect them to know exactly what to do- that’s my job! I have tricks that I do to get real emotion and reactions of out my couples. Not all photographers are the same, and some are not strong at directing couples into flattering poses. Some photographers may have an idea in their head of what they want the image to look like, but don’t know how to describe it to you. There are photographers that may physically place you into poses by picking up your arm and putting it around him, while others simply just stand there and expect you to do the work. Can you say awkward? When picking our photographer, it was important to me that they knew how to direct us..and in a natural, comfortable way.
It’s imperative to understand that every photographer has a different style. The first thing is to decide when looking at a photographer is if you like their style of shooting and editing. Want soft, natural looking photos? That photographer who shoots everything dramatic and dark is probably not for you. Don’t ask them to change their style to fit what you want, chances are you won’t be happy with the end result. Find someone’s portfolio that you simply love and go from there.
Once you find a style that you love, find out the editing details. All of my weddings are hand edited by yours truly. I blemish correct and color correct all of the images that my clients get in their gallery. I do not batch edit (edit one photo and apply to all photos). Not many photography companies do this, because it is much more time consuming, so finding one was hard! Have a giant pimple on your wedding day (like I did)?! Make sure your photographer is willing to take it out for you in the photos.
Another big thing to find out is if they outsource their editing. A lot of companies will send their images elsewhere to be edited, usually by large corporations where your wedding is just another number. I liked knowing that the person that attended my wedding was actually the one editing my wedding too.
Oh the horror stories that I’ve heard of brides hiring a “professional” photographer from Craigslist, but to later discover that they don’t have the insurance that most venues require. Check to make sure that ALL of your vendors have the required insurance, or you may be out of a deposit or worse, they won’t be allowed to attend your wedding without it! We once photographed a wedding where we were the only vendor with insurance, and the bride had to scramble the week before her big day to try to find new vendors. What a nightmare!
We also carry our own equipment insurance in the rare case that something breaks! Vendors are not required to have this, but it is a benefit for peace of mind! We also carry backup equipment (multiple cameras, photo lenses and contact lenses!) for emergency situations.
4. Image Delivery
We live in a world of technology…and technology is king, especially in the wedding industry. Gone are the days of a CD of images that you burn 100’s of copies to share to all of your family and friends. Most photographers deliver their images on an online gallery these days, but you may run across a few who still only offer physical prints. All of our clients receive an online gallery of edited images which stays online for 10 full years..and it comes with an awesome app to have your photos on your phone! Don’t just assume that everyone does this. Make sure your photographer describes exactly how you will get your wedding photos (and ask to see an example so that you fully understand). You may be in for a shock when after your wedding you get a gallery full of images with their logo slapped across each photo…and you have to pay to have it removed.
Check with your photographer to see if you have printing rights. Many people confuse copyright with printing rights. Most photographers do not give away copyright-don’t let this scare you. Copyright only means that you can’t claim that you took the photographs. Printing rights allows you to print your photos for personal use.
Let’s be honest. It’s important to get along with the person who will be spending 8+ hours with you on your wedding day. Do you feel like their personality fits with yours? If your personalities clash, it may be harder for you to relax in front of the camera. Do you think they will be able to handle all of your family madness? Will they be a positive presence and hold themselves well in front of all of your guests? You want someone who will be fun to be around on the big day, but also someone who stays professional. Your wedding may be the biggest party of the year, but do you really want to see your photographer dancing instead of capturing that precious moment when grandma decided to let loose on the dance floor? These are all important things to consider while meeting your potential wedding photographer. Really pay attention to how connected you feel with them.
So there you have it, the top 5 things to know before booking your wedding photographer…from a wedding photographer. Make sure to take these things into consideration while choosing the perfect person to capture your big day! Check back next week for the top 5 things to know before booking your wedding videographer :)
We are South Florida’s favorite Wedding Photography and Wedding Cinematography team! We specialize in capturing your important day and work together to ensure the best wedding day coverage! Serving luxury weddings in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami, Deerfield Beach, The Florida Keys, Delray Beach, Palm Beach, Orlando, and we travel for destination weddings too! We love to capture weddings, engagements and commercial projects and also offer a slow-motion video booth that will really get the party going at your event!