How to decide on your wedding photographer
Deciding on your wedding photographer is probably one of the most difficult choices to make in preperation for your wedding. Unlike many other wedding vendors (music, venue, flowers and decor), photographs can’t be heard, tasted or even seen before your wedding – you won’t fully know what you have signed up for until after the fact. For this reason it is imperative to do careful research and be incredibly selective regarding a photographers artistic style, their personality and their professional skill.
1. Decide on a style that matches your preferences
There are a number of different styles out there – documentary (candid), dreamy, fine art or editorial (posed). Some photographers implement a combination of different styles, whereas others stick to one particular style. Research different photographers and keep a keen eye on their particular style, and from there decide which feels most fitting to you and your partner.
2. Do your homework
Once you have decided on the style that best suits you, do research on a number of
photographers who match that preference.
- Have a look through their blog, Facebook page and Instagram feed. Does their style remain consistent throughout the different platforms?
- Read the reviews on the different social media platforms (how have previous clients responded to their final product, and what was the response from the photographer?)
- Have a look through their other assignments – does it maintain a similar style throughout, and is there minimal variation in the professional presentation of the different assignments?
3. Set up interviews with your top 3 photographers
Choosing your photographer is not a decision you should make on looks alone – you need to ensure that your personalities gel too. Your photographer is the person you will most likely spend the largest part of the day with. Can you envisage yourself comfortably spending the day with them? Do your personalities click? This is of vital importance – part of achieving the best possible images on your wedding day is by ensuring that you and your partner feeling fully comfortable and at ease within your photographers presence, so s/he can capture you at your best.
4. Ask to see a full gallery
It is important not to base your final decision off a highlights gallery alone, but rather to see one or two full wedding galleries before making the decision. This will give you the opportunity to gain a clearer picture of what your final collection might look like. Things to consider:
- Are all the images within the gallery consistent in terms of style and editing?
- Are the images in the highlights gallery far better than the rest of the images in a full collection (i.e. if you had to choose a number of favorite images from the full gallery, would this be an easy choice, or would you struggle because all the images are as beautiful as the next?). Photographers (with good reason) put their best imagery out on the public forum, however, when looking at a full gallery there should be a large degree of visual consistency throughout, rather than a handful of spectacular images, and the rest mediocre.
5. Find out the details about post production
- What is the photographer’s turn around time from the wedding to when your final images are delivered?
- How many images can you expect with the package you have booked?
- What are their rules in terms of posting the images to social media? Some photographers have certain requirements about posting their images onto social media with a watermark, and with reference to them.
- Is the client permitted to make their own prints, or does the photographer have a policy that all printing should be done through them?
These five guidelines will get you well on your way to selecting a photographer you are happy and comfortable with, helping you identify your own expectations as well as giving you a clearer picture of the intricacies that go into wedding photography.
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