I feel like this post could really be unending, but these are the most important things I think every engaged couple should know when looking for a wedding photographer.
When beginning your search for a wedding photographer, don’t only ask about pricing.
Of course cost is a necessary conversation to have and trying to stay within your budget is important, but beware of wedding photographers who have a low-ball pricing strategy. This raises questions about not only character, but the value of the product you’ll receive. The right wedding photographer (and wedding vendors in general) are worth the price.
Make sure the wedding photographer you choose is the right photographer for you.
Your wedding photographer is there to document your wedding day. In my opinion, that means every little detail, no matter how small, but every photographer is different. That’s why it’s important to find a good fit for your expectations. One style of wedding photography is photojournalistic. This means there is very little interruption to the natural process of the day and there will be many candid photographs with less posing. The classic or traditional style is somewhat formal with more posing. These are just two of the many different routes your photographer may take. It’s best for you to research and find one that matches your style.
If you find a wedding photographer you love, don’t hesitate to book them.
There are hundreds of great photographers in Birmingham, but not many that will be perfect for you. You’ll probably like more than one photographer’s portfolio, but if you find a photo style you love and a photographer’s personality that compliments your own, that’s a magic combination! You and thousands of others are planning a wedding right now; book that perfect fit before someone else does!
Don’t expect a Pinterest wedding gallery.
I love Pinterest as much as the next person for organizing ideas and creating inspiration boards. What I don’t love about Pinterest is the unrealistic goals some set for themselves based on the images seen and pinned. Yes! Let Pinterest inspire you! Look at beautiful photos; drool over the styled outdoor wedding tablescapes; develop wanderlust while planning your honeymoon! All of these things are great fun! What might not be the best idea is to pin photos and expect those to be reproduced by your photographer. Certainly suggest a pose or two that made your pulse quicken, but it’s impossible to recreate an exact image without being in the exact location, under the same lighting conditions, using the same photo equipment, etc. And the last I’ll say on this topic is, you’ll hire your wedding photographer based on their personality and portfolio, so let them create their own magic for you.
Consider a First Look, but don’t feel pressured to do it.
A First Look can save you a lot of stress and time. Most photographers will suggest this, but obviously, if you have your heart set on not seeing each other before the ceremony, then that’s what you should do. It’s your decision, not your photographer’s. Here are some things to think about though. If you have a First Look, you’ll get to take any and all posed photographs before the wedding ceremony. If you do this, you won’t leave your guests waiting at the reception for very long. (It takes an average of three minutes per grouping for posed photographs.) You’ll be just as awestruck when seeing each other for the first time whether during a First Look or at the beginning of your ceremony. You get to choose if you’d rather share that moment with or without an audience.
If you add photos, you add time.
It’s become popular to have not only a First Look with your fiancé, but sometimes a First Look with your parents, siblings, and even the bridal party. If you want to do this, great! Just make sure you plan it and tell your photographer before your wedding day. You’ll have a timeline, and while it’s not set in stone, the timeline helps the day run smoothly. It takes approximately fifteen minutes to successfully have a First Look, meaning you’ll have helpers coordinating where someone will wait to see you so that the surprise isn’t spoiled.
Avoid alcohol leading up to the ceremony.
What’s that you say? Don’t drink on my wedding day?!? No, that’s not exactly what I’m suggesting. You know yourself better than anyone. If your skin will redden after a drink, please consider waiting until the reception to loosen up with alcohol. Obviously, red wine or anything tinted is a bad idea considering your attire, but you should be aware that your wedding photographer won’t be able to “fix” red cheeks in five hundred photos without additional cost.
Consider sunset photos.
This obviously depends on your ceremony time, but if at all possible, don’t miss the chance for gorgeous sunset photos with your mate! Will you ever be this dressed up again? Maybe, but then again, probably not. Sunset is one of the most beautiful times of the day and great for outdoor photographs! It’s very possible your ceremony will have just ended and you’ll enjoy sneaking off for a moment while your guests eat.
Greet your wedding guests together.
Weddings are a time for people to come together from near and far to celebrate. You’ll have a mix of family and friends, some you may not have seen in years. There will be new people to meet, stories to share, hugs to give. You’ll be busy and time will pass quickly. If you walk around and mingle together, you’ll be together. This means you’ll be happier and not wondering where the other one is or when you’ll get to see them again AND you’ll be together for all those beautiful candid photographs you’re hoping to have. It’s a great time for your photographer to be a fly on the wall. As you’re meeting and greeting, there will be much laughter and love exchanged, which equals PHOTO GOLD!
The wedding couple sets the tone for the reception.
So true! If you decide on a fun band or DJ, chances are you’re hoping guests will dance. Do you know a sure way to get people on the dance floor? You have to do it yourselves! It’s not impossible that people will dance without you, but you’re sure to get it started faster than anyone else. Your guests have come to see you and you’re the ones they want to spend their time with. If you’re dancing, they’re dancing! It’s awesome to look back at your reception photos to see how much fun everyone had and if you’re in the mix, even better!
Multi-colored dance floor (laser) lights alter reception photos.
Also true! While the lights may seem fun at the time, will you really miss them if they’re not there? And maybe an even bigger question to ask is, what’s more important? The multi-colored dance floor lights or your photographs? I might irritate a few deejays out there by writing this, but please, for the love of chocolate (or whatever you hold in high regard), request these to not be used. Picture this-that really sweet photo of you dancing with your grandma or grandpa-RUINED by hot pink and lime green spots all over your skin.
Have fun; it’s one of the most important and memorable days of your lives!
Essentially, the most important tip I can give you regarding wedding photography and your wedding day in general is to have fun. Try to relax on your wedding day. It will truly come across in your photos. If you’re worried about every little thing, you’ll wear it on your face. It’s inevitable. You’ll plan this important event for months so when your wedding day arrives, enjoy it! Enjoy each other. Don’t hold back from sharing your love for each other, family, and friends. A good photographer will capture this and it really will be one of your favorite things from your wedding day-the images you’ll have to look at for YEARS. DECADES even.
When the dress and/or suit have been stored away; the cake has been eaten; the flowers have wilted; the guests have all returned to their busy lives; you’ll still have your photographs. Photographs act as story tellers and yours will tell your story- your perfectly imperfect, uniquely yours, romantic story.