Choosing a wedding photographer
Updated: Apr 11, 2020
Congratulations! You are engaged, you chose a wedding venue and secured a date.. now what!?
Planning a wedding can be very overwhelming for a lot of couples who have full or part time job or maybe go to school (or both!) and simply don't have the time to focus their attention to create the wedding of their dreams. So for those of you who are in this situation, hire a wedding planner first! And even if you have all the time in the world, it's nice to have someone by your side who knows the road well and can help you navigate and sometimes even save money! And remember, venue coordinators are not the same as wedding planners or day-of coordinators, check out our previous blog here about it.
If you decide a planner is not for you, then take wedding planning one step at a time. Don't jump head first and try to hire your full vendor team all in one week. My advise to all of my couples is to start with the biggest ticket item vendors you will need, once you have that secured, then start to move down the list and secure the next one and so on; if the venue does not include a cater, start there but if the venue already comes with one, then move on to next step, choosing a wedding photographer.
A lot of photographers get booked a year or even a year and a half in advance, so it is very important that you secure one as soon as you have a date settled with your venue. Before you start calling or emailing potential photographers, take some time to do extensive research of the style of photography you and your partner like. Remember, you will see these pictures for the rest of your life and what you will show your family, friends and kids, so choosing a style that best fit you and your partner and not just what's trendy is the way to go!
With that in mind, there are a lot of different wedding styles out there, more than you would probably even guess. On this post, we will name a few of the most common ones.
One of the most important things to know is how the photographer shoots on the wedding day, does he/she use digital or film cameras? Some photographers can do both!
Digital is the most common way of shooting and it allows the photographer to have more freedom to play with positions and lighting, it also allows him/her to have a preview (thanks to the screen in the camera) of what the picture would look like and be a lot faster when giving the couple a preview after the wedding.
Film has a special quality to them, they are soft and more organic but it is a lot more costly than digital photography. Developing and processing a film after a wedding can be in the thousands and take longer than digital.
Once you figure out what you prefer, digital vs. film (or both!), then it's time to focus how you want your photographer to capture your big day. Here are just a few different shooting styles you would want to consider:
Classic: Think more like your parent or grandparent's wedding album. Still capturing the moment but with a more traditional feel and outcome.
Documentary: The key word is candid. No staged posing, photographer are more like a paparazzi, capturing the moment as it happens organically so it doesn't feel forced.
Artistic or Dramatic: Capturing a lot of light, backgrounds, texture, not all portraits need to have the couple in full frame.
Besides the style of shooting one photographer might have over the other, the next thing to consider is how you want your pictures to look. Do you want them to show the bright colors of your summer wedding or do you prefer to see everything in a bright and airy light.
Here are a couple examples:
Light and airy - Photo by Renee Nicolo Photography
A bit darker and moody - Photo by Barbara O Photography
We chatted with Angela Gaspar from Angela Gaspar Photography to answer a few common questions photographers get asked by potential clients along with other tips you should know when researching and booking a photographer.
A bit about Angela
"I've always loved taking photographs of people happy and in their element so photographing weddings has been a dream. I love capturing couples being themselves letting their personalities and love for each other come through in my images. You will always catch me smiling right along with you from behind my camera"
When couples first start looking for a wedding photographer, what should they focus on?
"Focus on what you love about the photographs first and then I think it’s important to make a connection with your photographer. I always love having a phone call or even better, a video call with potential clients. I want to make sure we’re a great fit because I think that is so important"
How many photos do you take during a wedding?
"A lot of couples ask how many photos they will get and for me it’s more about capturing all the important moments from getting ready, your vows, and all the events at your reception but also the sweet candid moments you may miss if your photographer isn’t there. It’s not about a number it’s really about quality and telling your story start to finish"
What style is your photography?
"My personal style I would call editorial story telling. I want you to have gorgeous portraits while also capturing candid and special moments during the day. I keep my final images looking natural and true to life so they are timeless for years to come"
Which questions should couples ask a potential photography before booking?
"First and foremost ask if they are available on your wedding date. You can also ask what their style is and approach is to photographing weddings. I love having fun with the couple, bridal party and family during the portrait time and then for the rest of the days events I like to capture things in a non-intrusive way"
What’s the difference between digital and film photography?
"I actually starting my photography career in film and I’m so happy I did. It really taught me the skill set of photography and now that I am all digital I still keep a natural film like quality with my edited photos"
Will I get all of my photos from the day edited?
"Photographers go through your images and pick the very best ones for your final edit. We take out duplicates and photos where you may have made a not so great face or you were blinking, because nobody wants to see those haha"
Do you show a full wedding gallery to potential clients?
"Absolutely! I want couples to be happy with my style and approach start to finish so I never mind showing couples a full gallery of a wedding I’ve photographed"
We hope you found this blog useful. Hit like, share with your engaged friends and leave a comment!
Cheers and happy planning!