1. Decide your style
As a couple you both know your likes and dislikes, that’s why it is important before you begin looking at photographers to decide what style is best suited to your personalities.
With my photography style I do a blend of fine-art and documentary. I supply direction in the most natural way possible where needed and focus primarily on the bonds and interactions between my couples and their family.
If your preference lies towards classic portraits, similar to what you might see in your parents wedding album, youll need a traditional photographer who specializes in portraiture. The majority of the album will be posed shots of the bridal pair, family and friends in front of various backdrops.
Some photographers will stage their subjects in the traditional locations, such as in front of the ceremony altar or in a lavish garden. These are usually very formal photos with groups standing together. There is however plenty of room for being creative. Examples of these slightly more dramatic efforts can be capturing the bride and groom in a modern hotel reception venue on a statement-piece sofa, or walking hand in hand along a dirt road with a classic landscape (mountains, fields) in the background.
This style is very similar to documentary photography, but the shooter can express their artistic impressions more, bringing out their particular interpretation and style into your photographs. The effect is dramatic and stunning and creates the impression that they were shot on film, appearing grainier and muted, almost dreamy.
A big characteristic of this style is that the photographer tends to put an item or person(s) in focus and the background or rest of the picture appears to blur. This makes any motion look very natural.
A very small number of wedding photographers across the world will shoot only on film, usually in black and white, though some of them are willing to add some colour shots. These photographers fall into the fine art category.
Photographers using digital cameras can of course also fall into this category with the right gear and lens, and there are even others who use both digital and film. Important to note that if you would like some portrait photographs in addition to the fine-art photos, make sure to find a photographer who shoots in both styles, or alternatively hire a second shooter to do your portrait sessions.
This type of photography can typically be recognized by seeing very few of the subjects actually looking at the camera. No poses are struck for the camera, the photographer will show the viewer what he sees as it happens, be it laughter or tears of joy or that crazy cousin ripping up the dance floor. Photos are spontaneous; youll probably see a lot of action and emotion captured and this creates the effect of reading a story.
2: Do some research
Youll probably have a long list of photographers to consider who were recommended by friends or family at this point. The best way to narrow your options is to carefully review potential photographers websites and blogs. Make sure to look at their previous weddings, and compare their style and ideas to what you have in mind for your wedding album. The overall look and design of the website should also clue you in on the photographers personality and sense of presentation.
3. Meet up
Once you’ve narrowed down the possibilities (preferably to only a handful) after looking at their sites and making sure their fees seems to be within your range, the best thing to do is to schedule a meeting to get to know them. Potential photographers can then present their portfolio, answer your questions and you can assess whether your personalities are a match for your big day. Be prepared with information about your venue, a loose itinerary, the style of your wedding and what you envision for your photos. In order for things to go smoothly communication before your big day is key and will ensure the best possible photos.
4: Make Sure Your Personalities Don’t Clash
An often understated but extremely important thing to consider when choosing your wedding photographer is whether you really like your photographer as a person. You will be spending your big day with this person shadowing your every move so if they are rude, have off-putting mannerisms or makes you uncomfortable you are in for an unpleasant experience. Your photographer needs to capture the bridal party and the guests in their best light in an unobtrusive way. With that being said, they also need to be assertive enough to go after those great moments, beguiling enough to coax natural and relaxed poses from guests, and calm enough to handle any hurdle.
A few things to take note of during interviews and initial discussions:
– Is the photographer excited by your vision when you describe it?
– When they make suggestions, are they timid, overpowering or do they present them in a clear and respectful way?
– Do they ask a lot of questions and really listen or are they going through the motions?
– Are they punctual and prepared?
The more comfortable both of you are with the photographer, the better the photos will turn out.
5. What happens after the wedding?
A wedding photographer usually takes at least 8-10 weeks to present you with your photos after the wedding. The reasons are that the photos are shot in gigantic raw files far bigger than your typical JPEG. This is for them to correct the photos better. Unfortunately it takes a longer time to upload, process and edit all those files. An average time for a photographer to spend on editing images from a single wedding could be around 40 hours, so it could take up to two months depending on the photographer’s workload to receive your collection.
I hope you find the above useful and as always feel free to email me if you need any other info.
Happy Wedding planning!