A good wedding photographer is arguably one of the absolute most important investments you can make on your wedding day.
A photographer does not simply take pictures of your wedding day; a good photographer uses the subjects and details of your wedding day to create art; images that have all the right colors, faded in all the right areas, and capture the true emotions of your day. If you’re planning a wedding, keep these tips in mind to help you choose the best photographer for your special day.
Do Not Cut Costs on a Wedding Photographer
Now-a-days, there are hundreds of apps and programs that allow just about anyone to make professional style edits with a click of a button (or a few.) If you’re familiar with these subscriptions, you may be tempted to have a friend or family member snap photos and plan to try editing them yourself; don’t do it! Modern technology has certainly changed the world of photography but the skills of a professional should not be overlooked, especially on your wedding day.
Whatever your budget may be, 12% is a good rule of thumb for photography services and final prints. Don’t rush through finding the right photographer to shoot your wedding. When you book a wedding with Spring Lake, we supply a preferred vendors list that includes multiple photography service providers. Be sure to discuss pricing and packages with multiple photographers before making a final decision.
Choose a Photographer that Matches your Style
Not everyone understands the importance of finding a photographer that matches your aesthetic. Take a look at the images in this article. These 5 photos were taken in the same spot, but all have very different vibes. What is different about each of these images, and what makes them vary so, is the style of editing. While the recent trend is light & airy, that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Thankfully, it isn’t every photographers cup of tea either! If you’re hunting for the best photographer for you wedding, start with your venue’s social media! Finding images of your venue, around the time of year you will be getting married gives you a unique glimpse into your future and helps tremendously when planning your wedding photos.
Do Your Research – Facebook & Instagram are Your Best Friend!
Facebook and Instagram are the Holy Grail when it comes to researching photographers. A quick glance at the venue’s social sites will almost always give you direct links to photographers from previous weddings. Since landscapes and lighting play such a big role in the final outcome of an image, finding photographers that have shot at the venue and align with your style is a great place to start. If you find a photographer that has you swooning over their pictures, check out the photos they’re tagged in, too!
As with any profession, different people specialize in different areas. If you find a photographer that shows one wedding, but all the other images are of nature, consider that, and add it to your list of questions if you decide they are a potential vendor. Reviews are another important part of researching. Reading reviews of past customer experiences give a good look into the type of customer service one provides.
Ask your Wedding Photographer the Right Questions
Asking the right questions is more important than asking “lots” of questions. When you’re “interviewing” a photographer (or any vendor for that matter) keep in mind that you are paying them for a service. If the service they provide doesn’t meet your expectations, it’s okay to find someone else, that does. When wedding planning, its a great idea to keep a notebook of questions, this way you can keep track of the answers and be sure you don’t forget anything. Examples of some important questions to ask are below.
Do you provide a full image gallery that I can download & print?
-This question is very important. Some wedding photographers will provide a full gallery for you to view only but do not allow any downloading – see next question.
Do you charge a fee per image printed?
-Certain photographers own the copy rights to your images and require each print to be purchased through them specifically. The upside to this is getting extremely high quality prints but something you should definitely be aware of ahead of time.
How many hours are included in your service?
-Most of the time, photographers include 10 hours on the day of your wedding. This covers getting ready, wedding & reception. If you need more time than or wish to have them photograph the rehearsal dinner, be sure to communicate that and ask for pricing.
Do you shoot with a partner or solo?
-Most photographers shoot with a partner to cover multiple points of view; example. a shot of your groom walking down the aisle & a shot of you, requires 2 shooters.
Do you shoot with dual SD cards for back up purposes?
-A rare yet devastating occurrence that can happen is SD failure. If there is only one card in the camera, all images taken on that card can potentially be lost. Most professional cameras have dual SD card storage to provide a back up in the event this ever happens.
What is your turn around time?
-A month can feel like a year when you’re anticipating your wedding gallery! Be sure to ask when you can expect your images returned so you can be prepared.
How many images do you guarantee?
-Photographers typically shoot files in a RAW form; this type of file has to be edited before it can be shared. For this reason, photographers do not always include every picture that was taken when they hand over the gallery. If you’re expecting a certain number of images or want to know ahead of time just how far your investment is really going, ask how many images you are guaranteed to get back!
Make a Pinterest Board
Pinterest has dominated the wedding scene for years now. It is an amazing resource for piecing together the style of your wedding in one place and being able to share that with others that are working with you. Pinterest is also a great tool to find inspiration for the dreamiest of posed wedding pictures. Sometimes when the day arrives it can be overwhelming and easy to loose track of what poses you have done or forget a picture that you really wanted to capture. Creating a Pinterest board and sharing it with your photographer gives them an idea of the styles you want to capture and helps them plan a shoot list as well.