The 4 P’s to Finding The Right Wedding Photographer
I don’t mean to sound full of my profession, but your wedding photographer is without a doubt one of the most important vendors that you will choose for your wedding day. After all, once it’s all said and done, your photographer are what you have left to relive your wedding You can tell people all about it, but you cab show them with your photographs! Photographs are how you remember your wedding day
So how do you know you’ve found THE ONE when it comes to your Wedding Photographer?
Is it butterflies in your stomach? Are you daydreaming about being the couple in those photographs? Or is it the same feeling you get when you step into your wedding dress for the first time and you realize there’s nothing else it could have been? Intuition is a great indicator, but below are my 4 P’s to help you find the right Wedding Photographer!
A photography style is more than how an image was edited and includes: how the people look (the poses), how the image was framed/cropped, the techniques used, the lighting, and several other factors. All of these pieces help create and define a photographer’s style, like a fingerprint on each one of their images.
How do you know what photography style you’re drawn to?
The best way to find out is by looking at your wedding inspiration and before you know it… a pattern will emerge! If the photos are on the lighter side and tend to have pretty pastel hues, then you likely prefer the Light & Airy look, alternatively, if the photos have deeper colours and shadows, then you may prefer the Dark & Moody look. There are so many photography styles to choose from and if your unsure which style would be best for you, try searching for “wedding photography” followed by one of these topics: traditional, light and airy, dark and moody, fine art, documentary, and candid.
My personal preference is a traditional photography style when it comes to capturing and editing images, but I’m not afraid to experiment and try something new. As you photographer, I’m always around – even if you don’t see me! I take pride in my ability to become invisible and capture those wonderful emotional moments as they unfold, or cranking up my outdoor voice to wrangle in your friends and family, directing them on where to look and how to pose to get you the best group image.
Once you’ve discovered which Photography Style you’re drawn to, next on the list is checking out your potential photographer’s portfolio! (Oooh! Pretty pictures!)
There are 4 things you want to pay attention to when viewing a photographer’s portfolio:
- Editing Style: Whichever editing style the photographer uses, you want to make sure it’s consistent across all of their images. If their work uses multiple editing styles, it would be a good idea to ask which style your wedding will be edited in.
- Poses: Even though we’re in our bodies every day, the moment a camera comes out we forget how to function. Long gone are the days of the “Prom Pose”, and images with movement (walking, hugging, swaying fabric) and connections (holding hands, sharing a kiss, genuine emotion) are here to stay!
- Quality of Work: This is more of the technical side, but when looking at their images they should feel complete, not awkward or something off in the lighting (too bright/dark/harsh), composition (straight lines and placement), and colours/tones of the image (too orange/yellow/blue/green).
- Content: This refers to the images in the photographer’s portfolio. Do you see a lot of smiling/serious people? a lot of wedding detail images? what about the ceremony and reception? There’s a reason a photographer doesn’t put all their images on their website – there’s just too many! So don’t be afraid to ask for images from a specific part of the wedding day – BUT take that with a grain of salt. Just because they don’t have an image of a sparkler exit doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of capturing one!
By now you’ve found your photography style, you’ve viewed your top photographer’s portfolios, and now it’s time to compare their wedding packages!
Most photographers have 3 different wedding packages that they have carefully crafted to fit your wedding day needs with coverage time, albums, artwork, budget, and more. If your photographer has an almost perfect package, but if there’s something missing, don’t fret! Most photographers have an à la carte menu of add-on items to choose from so you can create the perfect wedding coverage package. Second shooters are a great addition to wedding packages as they free up the lead photographer to focus on you, your partner, and your VIPs while the second shooter can capture all of those moments you missed as your day whirled by giving you a second view of your wedding day!
To get a better understanding of the wedding packages offered, the experience you will get, and your photographer (that’s P number 4!) it’s a great idea to have a meeting with your top photographers. This will let you talk about your wedding day needs and expectations, see the quality of the products you will receive, and discuss any changes (à la carte items) you may want to add to create the perfect package for your needs! It’s also really important that you don’t get caught up with the number of images you will receive. I’ve been on both sides of the camera, and I can tell you I would much rather have 400 to 600 quality edited images from my wedding day instead of getting 2,000+ images that I would need to sort through and organize!
Aside from your future partner you spend almost 90% of your wedding day with your photographer, which is why choosing someone who you’re comfortable with is CRUCIAL. It’s like dating all over again, sharing your likes and dislikes (cilantro tastes like soap.. THAT’S RIGHT! I SAID IT!), learning about their experiences, and deciding if they’re someone you’d “get coffee with” and like to continue seeing.
Your potential photographer should be EXCITED about getting to know the two of you! After all, this photographer/couple relationship is a two-way street and as a photographer I know I work best with couples who are fun-loving, lighthearted, ready to laugh, and who aren’t afraid to be their (sometimes) goofy selves!
Your photographer should be someone you can spend an entire day with and who can problem solve and keep a cool head if your wedding day doesn’t go according to plan (cue the rain clouds!) Choosing a photographer who can pivot (PIVOT!) and problem solve on the fly will keep your day running smoothly, keep spirits high, and make sure your must have moments are captured.