A Typical Service That Your Wedding Photographer Provides:
- Preliminary emails/phone calls and meeting answering the many questions that couples have. See my Wedding Photography FAQs Page where I answer many of these.
- Paperwork .
- Close liaison with the couple and prompt responses to their queries right up to the day itself with another meeting if necessary.
- Full photography coverage .
- Editing all photo files usually takes up to 1 week .
- Design of photo album another few days plus the time it takes for further drafts.
- Supply of all media .
- Debrief to check the couple are happy with their photos and the service received.
Long after the reception tables have been cleared, the band has packed up, and other vendors have moved on, your photographer will still be thinking about and working on editing the photographs of your day.
Good wedding photography isnt cheap: your photographer should be experienced and know where to get all the key moments. Sometimes, the unexpected happens, such as this impromptu kiss as the couple walked back down the aisle.
Collect Photos Via Social Media
Family members and friends may not be able to take photos throughout the entire day, but that doesnt mean that cant be part of the photo-process. With social media, everyone attending your wedding can be a part of the photo team. By creating a wedding hashtag, you can easily find your photos on social media. Just remind everyone to use the hashtag when posting on Facebook and Instagram!
While having phones out during the ceremony might be disturbing for some people, this route for photos relies on people snapping pictures at the ceremony. Dont know where to begin when it comes to coming up with a wedding hashtag? Check out some wedding hashtag generators for a starting point.
Engage With Your Top Choices On Social Media
I would definitely recommend reading through the bio on each photographers website and start following their stories on Instagram, says Ash. This will help you feel connected to them, even if you have never met them in person. Then on the wedding day, you will feel like an old friend is photographing you instead of a complete stranger. Most photographers will follow you back and engage with you on social media so they feel like they know you as well. Building a connection prior to the wedding day helps put everyone at ease and that will reflect in your wedding photos.
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Technical Expertise: Intentional Focusing
The third unrecoverable technical mistake that you need to pay attention to is the sharpness of the images. When looking through the photographers portfolio, ask yourself these questions: Are portraits of the people looking in the camera sharp? Are the images sharp and blurry in the wrong places? If the image is blurry, is it to express the emotion or show the movement? Does the soft-focused image look artistic, or does it seem to be the result of poor technique?
Figure Out A Budget Taking Into Account The Averages In Your Area
A budget for your wedding photography is a good idea and should be realistic.
Just like your wedding venue, caterer or any other vendor, wedding photographers are first and foremost business owners that have certain minimums they have to charge to make a job worthwhile for them.
Its tempting to think you can simply trim down the amount to suit what youd like to pay, but many established wedding photographers dont work that way.
A better way of creating a budget for your wedding photography is to check out what the established professionals are charging. Feel free to ask them questions. A good wedding photographer isnt afraid to talk about money. We understand budgets are real.
Most photographers will gladly recommend other photographers who are a better fit price-wise if your budget wont stretch. We definitely wont get offended!
There are smart tools online that can help you calculate budgets. The Knots budget planning tool is very helpful. This great article by Woman Getting Married also breaks down the costs specifically when it comes to wedding photography.
I also have a guide about how to save money when wedding planning, linked below.
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How To Choose A Wedding Photographer: Lighting And Composition
There is plenty of advice on the internet on how to find a wedding photographer. And you know, most of it is actually pretty good. I assure you that is not a thing). But recently in the comments of some of our sponsored posts, its become clear that a lot of the advice out there is geared toward people who already have a handle on photography, people who can look at a photo and say, Yup, thats a great image. But there isnt really a ton of information out there for people who are at a photographic square one.
Most of the time when I meet with potential clients, they say the same thing. They dont want their parents wedding photos. They want natural, unposed documentation of their wedding from someone who isnt going to interrupt the natural flow of the day. The good news is, many wedding photographers have already moved towards this kind of wedding photography. With the exception of a few photographers who have built a reputation on the fact that they will pose and move you during the events of the day to create perfect images , a good majority of photographers are going to capture your wedding as it happens. But if most wedding photographers are approaching their work from a similar logistical standpoint, well, the end results couldnt be more different. So how do you know what makes a good photo? What should you be looking for when you look at a photographers portfolio?
How To Avoid The Biggest Mistake 8 Out Of 10 Brides Make When Choosing A Wedding Photographer
Some brides make the mistake of selecting their wedding photographer without researching what theyre really getting for their money. You get your negatives sounds great, but when do you get them? The original price sounds great, but how much are extra prints? So often, brides buy a package knowing they dont want everything in it, but they think theyre getting a deal because its all together. Nope, sorry, photography is not like buying a value meal at McDonalds! To be sure, you must research before you decide. Visit as many studios as you can. As a courtesy, please call them first and set an appointment. If theyre friendly or if they call you back quickly, theyll most likely have better standards of service. Ask if they have any information they can mail or email to you. Meet the photographer. Search through their website with a fine-toothed comb. Do you see any loopholes or issues? The biggest reason people make mistakes in hiring photographers is that they dont have experience doing it! Theyve never had to hire photographers, and most likely their last experience with a professional photographer was a friends wedding, and the grumpy, sweaty, old guy was either a bore or an annoying jerk.
But youre not destined to make a mistake. With weddings, you only have one shot at getting it right, but youre already on the right path! By the way, most of this information can be directly applied to videographers too!
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Email Your Favorite Photographers
Once youve found at least three photographers who you would like to contact, its time to reach out and ask some questions. Keep in mind that this email is the beginning of a relationship with your future wedding photographer, and youre making just as much of a first impression as they will with their response. Dont just blast the same generic email to every photographer you find online. Get to know them, their work, and what you love most about their business. Then tailor each email to the photographers youre genuinely interested in.
With this first email, youll want to be sure to ask the following questions:
- Is your date is available?
- What are their latest pricing, packages, and contract information?
- Can they provide several testimonials?
Choose Wedding Photographer With Professional Appearance
The photographers you bring to your wedding should dress the part. Sure, jeans, white sneakers, and logo t-shirt are comfortable for a long day of work, but this dress code is usually inappropriate for a wedding. As a matter of fact, your wedding photographers should blend in with your guests, be comfortable and look professional at the same time. That is why many professional wedding photographers wear all black. It is an elevated look even for a sweltering day. An all-black outfit can also be easily coordinated between all the photographers on the team for the uniform look.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, we highly recommend asking your wedding photographer what they will wear on your wedding day. If they insist they wear jeans and you are OK with that, then at least you will know what to expect.
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Pick A Wedding Photography Style
What kind of look, mood, or tone are you striving for with your wedding photos? Do you prefer something simple or do you want to emphasize the fine art details in your wedding dress and decor?
While youre looking for a wedding photographer, dont forget to peruse wedding photography styles. Different photographers have experience in various styles, so discuss what photography style your photographer specializes in.
Traditional wedding photography is a go-to for many photoshoots, especially for pictures that have the whole family or bridal party. Along with portrait photography, these photos look beautiful in a photo album. Your friends and family are sure to want to take part in remembering your wedding day. Besides traditional wedding photography, theres a few other common styles for photos.
For a more candid telling of your wedding day, consider photojournalistic or documentary photography style. In this style, a photographer captures your wedding day as it unfolds without asking you to pose for pictures.
With photojournalistic photography, you still receive pictures of all the big wedding moments, like your first kiss and first dance, but you might find a few surprises. You never know what unique perspectives or angles your photographer will be able to snap a picture of you and your partner holding each other closely.
The Price Of The Service Of A Wedding Photographer
Depending on the photographers way of working, he will propose you different packages including a certain number of elements:
The price of the shooting service will depend on the events of the day that you will have chosen to have covered by your photographer:
Between 300 and 600 euros to cover the religious and civil ceremony
200 to 300 euros more for the preparation of the ceremony
From 200 to 450 euros more for the cocktail party or the evening
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Ask Them How They Work At Weddings
When you meet with them there are definitely certain things you should ask. Ive written an article about exactly what you need to ask.
One of the big ones is: how do you work at a wedding?
Even with the knowledge that theyre a candid, documentary-style photographer, that doesnt necessarily tell you a great deal.
Some photographers mean that they never set up a shot, move things around or pose anyone. They simply capture everything as it is.
Other photographers may chase a candid style, while actually carefully curating everything to look a certain way.
Also, get to know how they achieve the couples portraits in their portfolio. Do they direct couples? How do they get their couples to loosen up?
Do they favor an unobtrusive approach, taking photos like a ninja fly-on-the-wall?
Or do they make their presence felt, directing and setting up every shot meticulously?
These are important questions to ask when choosing your wedding photographer.
Set Your Photography Budget
As youre starting to plan your wedding and hire vendors, think about budgeting your wedding. Are photos one of your priorities? If so, you can look at more expensive photographers and large wedding photo packages.
If youd rather splurge on a gorgeous venue, then you might need to cut back on your wedding photo budget. Once youve set your photography budget, try your hardest to stick to it so you arent shocked by any costs that come along the way.
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Choose Wedding Photographer Who Works Well Under Pressure
Weddings are an uncontrollable event where one of the moving parts can affect the entire timeline, and things can get hectic. If a bride starts stressing, the last person she wants by her side is an even more stressed out photographer. It is crucial that the photographer remains calm, supportive, confident, and reassuring and continues to carry the creative flow even when it seems impossible.
Try Working With Them At The Engagement Shoot
Lets take it one step further from simply asking your photographer how they work actually work with them!
Many photographers bundle the engagement shoot in with the wedding package, but I personally am not a fan of this approach.
Why? Because when you do the engagement shoot, youre already booked in with them!
Theres not a lot of recourse if you decide that you didnt really like the way they barked orders, made you feel awkward, or delivered poor images.
I offer engagement photography as an added extra, so you can see how it goes and then book the wedding photography later if you liked the experience.
Regardless, the engagement session is your chance to gain confidence in front of the camera and make sure youre in good hands.
If there was something you didnt like, now is the time to mention it. For example, if the photographer insisted on silly shots like jumping in the air, but that really isnt your vibe, thats fine! Tell them youd prefer candid over goofy ones.
Time on the wedding day will be much more limited compared with a 90-minute engagement shoot. Its important we can hit the ground running and nail the vibe that really suits you.
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Dont Worry About Asking The Right Questions
Weve all been there: You sit down for your first meeting with a wedding vendor only to forget the long list of questions you intended to ask. While yes, there are certain questions you probably should ask a photographer youre considering, dont freak out too much if you blank on a few. As long as you love their work, theyre received good reviews from past clients, theyre within budget, and you understand their process, youre probably good to go.
Although I probably looked at more potential photographers than most couples, I knew that I didn’t need to waste my time or the photographers’ time asking them too many questions, says Cavin. You should fall in love with the work of a select number of photographers and focus your consultation on getting to know their personalities and processes. It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that!