Once your vows have been exchanged, the bubbly’s been popped and your lovely gown has been carefully tucked away, what’s left from your big day? Your gorgeous wedding pictures of course! At least you hope they’re gorgeous.
Given the long term importance of wedding photos, there should be no doubt about the need to invest some serious time, energy and dollars into selecting your wedding photographer. The selection process is one of the more intense tasks you’ll take on while planning your wedding, but because the final product is all you’ll have to forever remind you of one of the most amazing days of your life, you definitely want to make sure you manage it properly. Lucky for you, we’ve got a list of the critical things you’ll want to consider when selecting a photographer, straight from the ultimate subject matter expert, our very own resident freelance wedding photography purveyor, Mugshots Photography. Here’s everything you need to know to get you to your dream wedding pics.
Tip #1: Money Talks
Always start the process of selecting your wedding photographer with a solid understanding of your wedding budget. Set your overall bottom line first and then decide what percentage you want to dedicate to your photographer. Consider the type of coverage you’re interested in, what parts of your day you want captured and what type of final product you’re interested in. This will help you to narrow down your options, based on both service offering and price point. Make sure you approach this from a realistic standpoint and remember the cardinal rule of purchasing any product or service, you get what you pay for.
Tip #2: Set a Benchmark
Look at lots and lots (and lots!) of wedding inspiration to get a solid visual sense of what type of photography appeals to you most. There’s more wedding inspiration available to today’s bride than ever before so use it to your advantage. Scour wedding magazines (like the Weddingstar magazine) and Pinterest to see how others have had their day captured. Do you gravitate towards a photojournalistic approach? Do prop heavy wedding photos appeal to you? Once you understand the type of images you want, you’ll be better prepared to pick the photographer that can get you exactly what you’re after for your photos.
Tip #3: The Playing Field
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the different types of wedding photography companies in your market. There are no doubt plenty to choose from, regardless of where you reside. Some photographers may just be starting out and are looking to build their portfolios. Some may be very experienced with 100’s of weddings under their belts. While others still may be set up as ‘studios’ with several subcontracted photographers working on their behalf. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these offerings. For instance, a new wedding photographer may offer you an attractive price as he looks to gain experience, while a seasoned pro will come at an added investment but will already know the ins and outs of shooting weddings. There’s someone for everyone, just make sure you understand what you’re signing up for.
Tip #4: A Serious Commitment
Fall in love with the portfolios of the photographers you are interested in. Anything less and you may not be happy with your final images. And don’t just settle on a photographer’s website portfolio that features their best work. Once you have narrowed down your selection ask your prospective photographers to share with you a full set of images from a couple of recent wedding they have captured. This will give you the best sense of what your potential finished product will look like. Keep an eye out for the types of images that are important to you. And pay attention to any specific processing approach a photographer takes to make sure you like it.
Tip #5: The Meet and Greet
Before the final product comes all the preamble, and an important preamble it is. Your photographer is one of the very few wedding vendors who will spend the better part of your day close by your side. You’ll want to make sure there’s a personality match prior to booking with a specific person. Your potential photographer should easily be able to address all of your questions. Ask him/her to talk about why they started shooting weddings. Ask about their experience and about the equipment they use. The answers you get should confirm how knowledgeable the photographer is, while also provide you with insight into how personable they are. If going with a studio offering, make sure to get some face time with the specific photographer set to shoot your day, before you sign the contract. Be weary if this is not an option.
Tip # 6: The Test Run
Book an engagement shoot. This will allow for a test run in getting your picture taken by a professional photographer so that you feel more comfortable on your wedding day, both as a couple having their pictures taken and with the person taking the pictures. A set of engagement pictures will also help you better define for your photographer the type of images you like best.
Tip #7: Get Organized
Prepare a shot list of important events and people you want captured and share the list with your photographer. Sharing this information will ensure that important memories are captured on your big day. But don’t go overboard in listing out a too detailed shot list. Trust that your photographer will capture the day in a way that is similar to the work that he/she has shown you during the booking process.
To view more of the Mugshots portfolio visit their website at mugshotsphotography.ca, or pick up a copy of the current Weddingstar magazine for front to back wedding inspiration, all captured by Mugshots.