WEDDING TIP : HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER20  Mar 2015         Jessica Ratty


Choosing your wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make for your wedding day. Some couples don’t realise how important their images are until after their wedding day, when it is too late. There are so many beautiful moments that need to be captured on your special day and there is only one chance to freeze those memories forever. Whether it is all of the small details you have spent so much time and money planning… or the look on your parents face when they see their little girl for the first time in her wedding gown…or the grooms smile when he sees his bride... or all of the detail in your dream wedding gown… or your first kiss as a married couple… or even just a beautiful gentle moment between you and your partner on the most important day of your life.


   

According to many wedding surveys and even hearing from people who have had their weddings, one of the most common and biggest regrets that couples have from their wedding day, is their choice of photographer. So it is important that you make the right choice when selecting your wedding photographer. Unlike other suppliers (for example: your gown, bonbonnieres, venue, etc) you don’t see your images or even know what they will look like until after your wedding day has past. By then, the moments have gone and there are no second chances.

So what should you look for when choosing your wedding photographer?

To start the process of finding your dream wedding photographer, first of all it is best to narrow down the long list of photographers to just your favourites – the ones who’s images you love! After all, the images are what are going to last forever and the most important factor. From there you want to meet with those photographers to ensure that you have made the best decision.


 


Don’t Go On Price Alone:

Most couples who are using the internet or magazines etc to find wedding photographers, haven’t actually seen the photographers work in real life or the quality of the products they are offering. Which sometimes makes it difficult to compare the differences in photographers or what their work actually looks like (as it is very different to seeing photos on a screen). Unfortunately, this usually results in couples just comparing price alone, which is definitely not a good way to choose your photographer.

It may seem like multiple photographers are offering pretty much the same things but at completely different prices… which can be quite confusing. If they are both offering albums, why is there such a big price difference? There is usually a reason for this. In writing or on the computer it may appear that the products and what you receive in your investments are exactly the same, but if you see the finished products in person, the quality may be world apart! For example, while some companies offer high end, premium wedding albums, that are fully retouched, professionally printed and then hand made by some of the best album manufacturers in the world. While some photographers may include a “wedding album”, but they could be low quality paper magazine style books, that can bend and kink. It is very important to see the products in person and see exactly what sort of quality they are. After all, this is how you will remember your wedding day forever.



At the end of the day, it is definitely not a bargain if you hate your wedding photos and are embarrassed to display them.


I have heard people ask “Why are some photographers so expensive?”.. Some people assume that photographing a wedding only involves a few hours of work on the actual wedding day (which for some photographers this can be the case, but that is why it is so important to have all of the details before comparing photographers). But for most professional full time photographers, there is countless hours of work involved as well as the costs for the products they are providing to the client and then their overall business costs. Most photographers will have in excess of $15,000 worth of equipment on them to photograph a wedding day, not to mention computers, editing software, websites etc. This equipment does need to be updated and replaced.


When I photograph a wedding, I don’t just shoot and burn the images for clients (which usually means that a photographer photographs a wedding and just gives the client a disk of the files from the day. Shoot and burn is often the fastest and cheapest way to deliver photographs, but definitely does not provide the best quality or end product), I spend over 70 hours on every wedding I photograph. When a client orders their wedding album or any of their guests order prints from the day, every image is completely edited and retouched, skin is softened and all of our images and albums are made over in Melbourne and then couriered back to Perth.  We want to ensure that our clients are getting the highest quality products and images possible.



Who Will Be There On The Day:

Make sure the person you are meeting with to discuss your wedding photography, is in fact THE photographer who will be there on the day of your wedding. There is no point in meeting with a studio owner, sales consultant or their top photographer, if they aren’t the one who will be there on the day.

Loving the photographers images is one thing, but loving your photographer is even more important! If you don’t get along with your photographer, then it is going to show through in your images.  You want to enjoy your wedding day, without tension or stress, your photographer should be able to have fun with you and make you laugh. It is also important that you feel relaxed and comfortable around your photographer. If you aren’t relaxed or are feeling tense, it will be very obvious in your images. It will be up to your photographer to create most of the images and situations on your wedding day, to set up the foundations to let sweet moments happen or to get the perfect reactions from you, so it is essential that you 100% trust your photographer.

 



While ensuring that this is the photographer that you will be having, also ensure that all of the work that they are showing you, is in fact their work and not just examples of their studios work, from all different photographers that they have.

 

 

What To Look For:

While you are meeting with the photographer, you want to ensure that you can see a few examples of an entire wedding day coverage. While it is very easy to fluke a few great images on a wedding day, it requires a lot more than luck and expensive equipment to be able to create amazing images throughout the entire wedding day! You don’t just want a few great shots from your wedding day, you want there to be so many that it is hard to choose your favourites because you love them all so much! The best way to see the consistency of the photographers work, is to see wedding albums that show an entire wedding day coverage – grooms preparation, brides preparation, ceremony, family photos, location photos and the reception.

 



While you are looking through the albums make sure you take notice of the quality of the images and the overall album, as often this could be one of the main differences between photographers. Also look at the images individually. Are they edited? If so, how much do they edit your images? Some photographers fully retouch and airbrush your skin in every image to ensure you look flawless on your wedding day, while some only colour correct the images before printing. This is a personal choice and it depends on what look you would like to have in your finished wedding album.

 

Another important difference is that every photographer specializes or produces a different style of photography. Does the photographers style of photography suit what you are after? This is really important, as if there is a particular style that you are after, which is very different to your photographers, then it may not be a perfect match. You want to book a photographer because you love THEIR style of photography, not to get them to copy another style that you like.



Take notice of how the photographer has posed the clients, being posed in the correct way can make a huge difference in your images. If a Bride is placed into a bad or awkward pose, it can completely ruin an image. It can also make the most incredible and perfect fitting wedding gown, look unflattering and does not showcase how beautiful the gown actually is. Whilst guiding a Bride into the perfect pose or way to stand, can accentuate her assets, show off her gown and all while hiding any imperfections.

 

Your photographer should be interested in your wedding day and excited to be apart of it. If they are excited about all of the details and to be there, then you know that they will be even more likely to go above and beyond on your wedding day to create incredible images for you.  Your photographer should also be able to help you with any questions you have about how the day should run, the timings and schedule for the day or anything else you may need help with.

 

Do you get a pre-wedding E-session included with your investment?  There are a few reasons why I always recommend having an E-session before your wedding day. The first and most important reason is that you can get use to being in front of the camera, which can feel really unusual and awkward for most people, especially if they haven’t done anything like that before.  You also get use to working with your photographer and can build a relationship with them before the wedding day, it will help ease your mind and reinforce your trust in them, especially once you see how beautiful your images are. Posing correctly can make a huge difference to your images, when you are first shown how to stand or “pose” in a photograph, it can feel really awkward and unnatural, but once you have gotten the hang of it and seen how the poses come up in photographs, you can relax into it a lot more and the poses look more natural. The final reason for having an E-session, is that you then have beautiful images of the two of you to showcase at your wedding. Some couples choose to have a signature album from their session, at their wedding reception, for their guests to sign.



 

Are they a professional photographer full time? Or is this just a side job? If it is their full time career, they will be a lot more experienced with weddings and the entire process. It also could mean that they will be more available to attend your needs and emails as they aren’t trying to work around another job.

 


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