5 Ways to Get the Most with Your Wedding Photographer
By Kristin Joseph | Sales and Online MediaYour wedding photography is a big investment, but one that gives returns for a lifetime. Here are 5 tips we have to make sure you are getting the most for your money.
1) Choose the right one.
Seems obvious, right? Well unfortunately there are a lot of people with cameras who call themselves wedding photographers, and it is your job to sort through them all.
Do yourself a favor and ask these 6 questions:
How extensive is their portfolio? Do they only have 10 great photos to show you from the 25 weddings they’ve done this year?
How much experience do they have? Someone can be great with a camera and yet have no idea how to handle bridal parties, time constraints, last-minute weather changes, or a little bit of stress.
What is their style? Are they focused on capturing emotions or are they better at arranging the spatial elements to look like art? Do you like how they work with light? These are personal opinions that you have to decide on with your fiancé, and it is why we give you choice when you book with us.
There are so many benefits to booking with a company rather than a one-person show. The actual shooting of a wedding takes about 8 hours on average. The planning work and post-production of the photos takes much, much more than that.
Who is doing their editing? An inexperienced editor can make an amazing batch of photos seem mediocre. And if your photographer is a one man or woman show, will they have the time to give your photos the attention they deserve?
What if there was an emergency? While this is not common, it is something to think about. If your photographer has a medical or family emergency right before your wedding, what would you do? There is safety in a larger company with established networks. Here at Fairytale, we have been able to cover for a photographer who had a medical emergency within 24 hours of the wedding with no sacrifice in quality.
What are their selling points? How are they trying to “hook” you?
Be wary of photographers who try to woo you with gimmicks like free mimosas or intense flattery when you come in for a consultation. While it’s a nice gesture, you want to be remembering your vows and loved ones 20 years from now, not a glass of champagne in someone’s office.
Leave the romance where it belongs—between you and your fiance—and look instead for a photographer that impresses you by their quality and professionalism.
Finally, after all of these considerations, look at price. Adjusting your budget a little to fit the photographer you really want will have a much more lasting impact than going wild and crazy with flowers or paying $9 per chair for your 150 guests.
We can’t always drop the dollar amount, but we can include things to make the total package worth it. Check out our pricing and inclusions here.
2) Plan and communicate.
Do you prefer portraits that look candid or do you want to look like a model? Are you a little bit camera-shy? Do you have any special family situations we ought to know about? These are all things that should be handled way in advance, and it is why we have an entire certified team dedicated to Planning.
We send out detailed questionnaires so that you can take your time and answer thoughtfully from the comfort of your home. Then, we can handle any possible discrepancies ahead of time and we can make sure that the photographer(s) are accountable for the information.
While you probably feel compelled not to keep your guests waiting, 45 minutes is just not enough time to capture family formals, bridal party pictures, and your portraits with your bride or groom. If you only give your photographer a short amount of time, you may be disappointed with the results and you can’t get that time back once the day is over.
If you feel strongly about not getting formal photos before the ceremony, then leave yourself at least two hours between ceremony and reception entrances. But otherwise
4) Consider a first look.
Setting aside a time before the ceremony for your fiancé to see you for the first time allows you to completely absorb that moment without worrying about getting down the aisle gracefully and remembering your vows. It gives your photographers and videographers an amazing chance to capture the joy, love, and beauty of that anticipation. And it lets you relax to focus on your commitment to one another and the loved ones there to celebrate with you.
A few other benefits of the first look:
-It opens up time to take portraits and bridal party photos before your ceremony, reducing wait time for your guests.
-Your hair and makeup will be fresh.
-Your photographer can be more focused and creative without pressing time constraints.
The first look is not for everyone, so if it is truly important for you to wait until you walk down the aisle to see your groom, then at least consider getting some photos done with each side of the bridal party separately to save some time in between.
5) Have trust.
There is a reason, as we explored above, that we don’t let just anyone take our wedding photos. So when it comes to the day of wedding, try to relax and let the photographer do what you are paying them to do. You may not totally understand why they do something a certain way, but if you can open up a little and have faith that you made the right decision, the photographer can work magic. You will get to enjoy the fruits of their labor for decades to come.