You got engaged and are now planning your wedding? Congratulations! The wedding planning process can be a long one but we want to focus on one of the big decisions you have to make.
Most brides (after selecting their future husband of course) will first look for a wedding venue and a wedding photographer. Both regularly book out sometimes more than one year before your wedding date. So it is advisable to lock these two in relatively early in your wedding planning process.
Especially finding a wedding photographer which ticks all the boxes can be complicated. Wedding photographers are hard to compare and it’s far more than just the hours or number of pictures delivered. The artistic value and style of a photographer is difficult to compare. Your wedding photos will last a lifetime and will bring back the memories of your wonderful day! Put some effort in the selection process and you will not be disappointed.
We asked a Melbourne Wedding Photographer from freshphotography.com.au to give us some valuable tips on how to select your wedding photographer. Melbourne is a major city in Australia with lots of wonderful photographers. You get everything from budget photographers, vintage style wedding photographers, luxury high end commercial wedding photographers and natural/ candid photographers. This huge variety of wedding photographers does not make it simpler. The more choice you have the hard it gets. And it doesn’t matter if you are in Melbourne, Australia or somewhere else in the world – the selection process will be similar.
Tip 1: Love the style of your wedding photographer
Let’s start with the most important first! Style! When selecting your photographer make sure you love his work. It’s pretty simple. Have a look at his photos online and see what you like and what you don’t like. Most wedding photographers put up their wedding portfolio online and you can get a good idea of the style. It’s important to not only look at a few images. Are there only a few best of shots displayed? Ask for a full wedding story. You should look at around 50-100 wedding photos per real wedding and see if the style is consistent. Have a look at our wedding photography portfolio as an example.
When you fall in love with the photos you see. Your wedding photos will be most likely photographed in a similar way.
Tip 2: How to contact your wedding photographer
After looking at thousands of photos you most likely have a little headache. Don’t worry! Short list 3 to 5 photographers and ask about their availability. When contacting your photographer it’s helpful to send a bit more information about your wedding. Photographers like personal emails and can help you more the more information you give them. Maybe even quickly call him. An availability check should always come first
- On what date do you get married?
- How many guests will come to your wedding?
- Where do you get ready?
- When and where is the ceremony?
- When and where is the wedding party?
- What is special about your wedding? Think about the wedding dress, special rituals, personal DIY elements, theme, style and colour scheme, …
When you have already a wedding timeline include it – the more info the better. An experienced wedding photographer will always try to help you to adjust the timeline of your wedding to make sure you will get the best images. We often do this even before a booking. Most brides always forget a few things in planning the wedding and for example never look at the light situation at the certain locations or plan the getting ready times too tight (a common mistake).
Tip 3: Meet your wedding photographer. What questions to ask?
This is a field where most people get it wrong. It’s not about the questions to ask. It’s only one simple question you need to ask yourself: Do you like your photographer? Do you get along well?
In a meeting you will get an impression of the photographer who will be very close to you on one of the most important days in your life. Make sure you bring your partner as well to the meeting – it’s a decision for both of you.
You should have checked out his work, the price and the availability already. The meeting is there to clear out the last open questions and to make sure the wedding photographer is the right one for YOUR wedding. It’s a personal choice.
Be aware of bigger photography studios working with different photographers. This has a few advantages but sometimes you might not be able to meet the photographer which will photograph your wedding. As the style is such an important element it’s advisable to insist on a specific photographer. (Don’t forget: Make sure the contract states the photographer who will photograph your wedding.)
In some occasions (such as a destination wedding) you might not be able to meet your photographer. Maybe have at least a Skype chat with him – it’s nearly as good as a meeting.
Are you ready to book?
Your wedding photographer ticked all the boxes. You checked the contract? You really like the photography style? He is within your budget? Great. Sleep at least one night over your decision and read the contract careful. But when it feels right book your wedding photographer.
We are sure you will have a wonderful wedding day and impressive memories to look back a lifetime.
These are great tips. I’m already married and I love my wedding pictures. I agree that getting the right photographer is very important. Thanks for sharing!