Choosing a wedding photographer is almost important as choosing the person you marry. After all, the photos taken on your big day will be the ones you look at for life!
That’s why hiring the right photographer may take some work.
“When choosing a photographer for your wedding, you need to consider whether his or her style and personality matches your overall vision for your wedding day,” says Nikki Leigh McKean, from Nikki Leigh McKean Photography. “Many couples don’t realize that they will spend more time with the photographer on their wedding day than almost any other single person. It’s essential that you like their work and that you get along with your photographer, since that will definitely affect the outcome of your photos.”
Arash Ekbatani of Studio Arash agrees that the interview process is paramount. He points to the positive feedback he received from a client whose wedding he recently photographed. “My wedding was a very special night; one of the most important of my life,” one bride wrote. “I was so busy trying to make sure I did everything right, from the vows, to the first dance, to making my way around the reception to thank everyone for attending, that the night ended up being a blur. In the end, my husband and I found that the only way we knew half the things that happened was from the photos you took. These are memories we will never forget, and luckily for us we had them because we interviewed several photographers until we found you.”
Once you’ve selected the right photographer, you need to talk to them about the services you would like them to provide. Usually photographers will come early – perhaps two hours before the ceremony – to capture some candid moments. They will also spend time taking portraits of the bride and groom and their families, as well as friends and family at the reception. It can be typical for a photographer to work at least eight hours covering your big day. Here, timing is key.
“I work with couples and help coordinate the timing of the day to ensure that portraits are being done in the best light, that everyone is happy with the vision for the photos, and that we don’t rush to fit everything in,” says McKean.
Once the wedding is over, you will also want to select your album design and pour over all the proofs. Decide on your package in advance and determine what kind of album you want, how many portraits you would like, and if a disk of high-resolution images can be included. In the end, you’ve hired a professional photographer; you want the finished products to reflect that quality.
Of course, before you can choose an album, you will need to choose a venue that will make those photos special, unique and memorable. Here are a few tips photographers suggest you keep in mind:
- Look for venues with natural light. This is key to beautiful images.
- It might be worth it get dressed in a hotel room on your wedding day. Hotels usually have good natural window light and your parents won’t have to worry that their house is too messy for those candid portraits you want captured.
- Think about taking bride and groom photos at a location away from the rest of the bridal party. This will allow you to focus, avoid distractions, and enable you to relax and be yourselves.
- Save a few smiles – and kisses – for the end of the night. Your photographer will want to get some of these to end the night – and your album.
Written by Erin Dym