Choosing your Wedding Photographer is not as easy as it may seem. Today, Wedding Photography is an integral part of the wedding experience. After all, who does not want to freeze picture-perfect memories of their D-Day? A wedding photographer helps you capture not just the events but memories and emotions. However, opting for one leads to a sea of professionals with unique approaches to core services.
So, how do you begin choosing your wedding photographer? With every photographer claiming to be the best in the business, how do find out which one is the best for you? It’s not just about passport stamps or fancy equipment - for best results you have to choose and work with professionals, who actually know what they are doing.
Photographers have each got their own set of talents that they showcase through their camera lenses and it is up to you to observe their past works and then realise what kind of photography they are known for and if that is what you need at your wedding. Some specialise in candids some in traditional and they know which ceremony demands which angle to capture the best.
a. How Soon is Too Soon?
So, you’re about to think photography - and are asking what many couples seem to ask - How soon does one choose and book a wedding photographer? The simple answer is, as soon as you find the perfect one. To elaborate on it, once you know the wedding date, the hunt begins almost immediately.
Wedding photographers are high in demand, especially the best ones. For a peak wedding season wedding, like the current dates around Akshaya Tritiya, you need to pick and finalise a photographer before someone else books them.
Why? Most popular and sought after wedding photographers are booked months in advance, so you may need to choose multiple options, in case the first choice is already booked.
There also cases where established photographers manage multiple events with large teams. And that may not sit well with a bride or groom who wants that specific photographer to capture their wedding experience.
b. 6 Factors In Choosing Your Wedding Photographer:
Choosing your wedding photographer is not based on superficial factors like popularity and celebrity quotient. Every couple has unique needs and a different perspective on how they want their wedding pictures to be. You need to find someone who aligns with your needs and someone who shares the same enthusiasm as you. Here are some points you need to consider:
1. Your Needs and Expectations
Not every couple dreams of a Bollywoodesque pre-wedding shoot, just like not every couple is keen on cute and fun save-the-date pictures. You need to know what you want and what you expect from the photographer. While a pre-wedding photo shoot is in rage, not everyone wants it.
So, begin with a sit-down with your partner. Get your own needs and expectations straight first.
2. The Components of the Service
Wedding photography has multiple components today. Pre or Post-wedding photography, save-the-date pictures, candid photography, getting ready shots, couple photo shoot and more. When choosing a wedding photographer, you need to understand what all services do they offer and match it to the services you want.
Understand the whole package being offered to know what all is on the table.
3. Wedding Portfolio
Review the Photographer’s portfolio, check their or earlier work, so that you can get an idea of what the photographer is capable of. Most wedding photographers have their own website and social media handles that could give you an insight into what you can expect.
Evaluate how the photographer gives attention to details; including candid moments, the whimsical décor or the calm within the chaos.
4. The Wedding Photography Budget
Whether you are planning an extravagant wedding or a small private affair, every couple who dives into the wedding experience must work on a set Wedding Budget. Wedding photography today can cost a moon or be pocket-friendly - depending on what you want and who you choose.
Knowing and setting a budget will help you streamline the selection process. There are no restrictions and no limits to how much or how little you may pay for photography, but remember quality always comes at a good price. Do a little market research to know the general price range for good photography services and set a budget accordingly.
5. Creativity and Flexibility
When choosing a wedding photographer, the two things that you absolutely need are creativity and flexibility. Communicate with your photographer to see how flexible they are to your needs and how they are able to add a creative edge to it.
6. Destination Weddings
If you are having a destination wedding, you have two choices - reach out to local photographers at the destination or find one who takes up destination wedding projects. You don’t want to pipe your hopes on a photographer only to realise that they are not mobile.
c. Warning Bells To Watch Out For!
Well, if you thought there are no red flags in choosing your Wedding Photographer, think again! It’s easy for a wedding photographer to make promises but you need to establish if the photographer can deliver these promises too. How?
Keep your eyes wide open if:
1. Photographers offer deals and services that are ‘too good to be true’. If you want realistic results, look out for realistic promises.
2. If your research and their credentials don’t seem to match.
3. If their earlier clients are not able to vouch for their services.
4. Create a mood board. A mood board is something like Pinterest. A few months prior to your wedding and related functions, start pasting photographs that you really love. By doing so, when your own wedding circles around the corner, you can just show this mood board to your wedding photographer and he will instantly know the kind of photography that you love most.
5. Please fix your budget. Wedding photography is no longer an easy deal. There is an end number of ways that come alongside it. From drones to high definition gadgets - set straught your expectations and narrow down a list of photographers that sit well with your planned budget.
Don’t rely on words and face value, dig in, do your little research and make decisions based on facts. If possible, try speaking to some previous clients to get an understanding of the working experience. This may sound like a very HR hiring kind of reference process, and in a way, it is actually more serious than that.
d. How do you know you have found ‘the one’?
Choosing your wedding photographer is a huge task and one that will be a part of your marriage, life and generations to come. Once you have ascertained all the points mentioned above, you may come down to a list of say 4-5 wedding photographers who fit all the criteria.
Now, it comes down to your engagement and communication with each one of them.
Schedule face-to-face meetings with all your selected photographers and have casual talks to explain what you are looking for and what they are bringing to the table. And even though this may sound clichéd, when you meet ‘the one’ you will know it immediately! It’s all about who best connects with your thoughts and is able to add value to it.
Phew! Now that you've closed this mighty task, it’s time to plan the finer details. Yes, if you thought it was over, well it’s just the beginning. Time to browse for wedding photography ideas and the best tips to get the perfect shots.
Choosing your wedding photographer is just as important as choosing the right wedding venue. Wedding pictures are for life and you can’t really compromise on it. Choosing a photographer who captures not just people and faces but feelings and emotions take patience and time. Don’t hurry up and definitely don’t wait till the last minute.
Do you feel that we missed a step or two? If so, then tell us through the comments!