How to Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Photographer

Written by  on January 31, 2011 

For the bride or bridegroom-to-be, among the thousand other things to organise is a wedding photographer. But you’re not looking for just any wedding photographer. You are looking for a photographer who is on the same wavelength as you and understands your vision. Here are some invaluable tips for finding a photographer and checking that they will cover everything you want on the big day.

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Finding the Right Photographer

  • Check their Portfolio. Have they photographed many other weddings? How long have they been a photographer? Do they offer references or testimonials?
  • Aesthetic Harmony. Trust your own sense of aesthetics and go with the photographer who has done the kind of work you are look for. For example, are they experienced with both outdoor and indoor photography? Have they expertise with special lighting?
  • Work Style. Make sure you are comfortable with the photographer’s work style, including how they approach shoots, communicate with clients, and their plan and schedule for delivering the service and product.
  • Personality and Enthusiasm. Wedding photography can be high energy work compared with still portrait photography. The photographer should be sociable and able to communicate with guests. Are they well-presented and personable? Does the photographer seem enthusiastic about the project?
  • Confirm the Price. Make sure you are clear on the deposit, price, terms and contract, and don’t be talked into additional products you don’t want. See a few photographers for a quote before you settle on the right one.
  • Delivery Time. How long will it take for them to deliver the final product?
  • Do you need a Second Photographer? Depending on the size of your big day, you may want to employ a second or even third photographer to make sure you catch all the memories and details.

Planning for the Big Day

  • Create a Must-Have Shots List. Provide the photographer with a list of must-have shots, listing the people with a profile photo for identification. You should also have a list of moments that you want to be captured (cutting the cake is usually on this list). This will ensure that you have the photo with grandmother, the cousins, or your group from high school that you always wanted to have for your album.
  • Scout for Special Locations. You might want to take a drive with your wedding entourage and photographer well before the reception to find locations for those special photos. For example, the precise strip of beach for some sunset/sunrise beachside shots, the section in the garden that will give you the right group photo, or any other ideas you might have, such as a photo at a theme park that holds special significance to you and your partner. Have a few back up locations in case of bad weather. Weddings are hectic times, and this will help your special day run more smoothly.
  • Appoint a Friend or Family Member. Photographers have to remember a lot of things and faces, so appoint one or two guests who can help round up people for photos, and act as contacts for the photographer to provide “insider information” to the photographer when required.

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