A must read before you hire a wedding photographer for your big day!
I have made a checklist of sorts, of things you should consider and ask to make sure you have chosen the perfect wedding photographer for your big day that you are 110% happy with. Take a look and cross them off one by one.
You need to like them. Seems silly but it is important to make sure you get on with them, remember the photographer will be around you and your guests quite a lot on your big day so if you have any doubts cross them off and move to the next. This is why you should interview them or many of them in person and were possibly more than once to get a real impression of their personality.
Don’t get a friend or a friend of a friend. Not only is this a conflict of interest, the favour you think you are doing won’t be worth it if you receive mediocre photos, which can’t be replicated and retaken.
More hands make light lifting or photographing in this case. It may cost extra to have another set of hands but think about it, the excitement and feeling aren’t concentrated into one space at a time. To capture your big day as a whole or a significant part such as walking down the aisle to capture the mood, the happiness, the shock, the laughter and other emotions you need to photograph the bride, bridal party, the groom and the crowd at that precise moment. In a blink of an eye, the perfect shot that you will have forever in a photo or not can depend on that extra pair of hands.
Make sure they understand what you want out of your wedding photos. If you prefer less formal shots and more photos of the dance floor and other areas make sure your photographer is well aware. Or if you, in fact, was the more traditional styled wedding photographs in Sydney do they understand and have they done it before? Which leads on to the next point, references.
References or examples of other weddings. Many Sydney wedding photographers will have their websites with links (with the bride and groom’s permission of course) to weddings they have captured. If their style is consistent and you aren’t a fan, it may be an indication to move on, although they may say they are versatile it is not a risk you should take especially because like painters like Van Gough they all have their style.
Pricing. Wedding Photographers aren’t cheap, but either is quality. You only have one chance to capture your big day (unless you’re planning on marrying again!), so make it count. Saying this obviously don’t go for the most expensive or on the other scale the cheapest. Make sure you check what is included, the number of copies, the time they will be hired for, etc. Don’t be scared to get down to the nitty gritty.
What to expect
Lots and lots of directions. Most couples unless they have everything mapped out, where and when they want photographs the photographer will have earlier scoped areas for group shots, and how guests, wedding parties, and the married couple to be will be positioned. This is why it is a must to get on with your wedding photographer. A wedding day is stressful enough without having someone who you may not get on with on an average day is telling you where and when. Not enjoyable for you and I are sure, not fun for the photographer who may be greeted with attitude and words that may not be so pleasant.
To have fun. If a photographer/s are professional at their job mostly, you shouldn’t notice them there at all, especially if you have chosen to skip the traditional format which ensures the sole focus is the wedding party and not the scenery, atmosphere, and guests. Not that there can’t be both, this is where an extra pair of hands comes in handy!
Every photographer will have a slightly different package of what is included. The core packages will contain the hourly rate, how many prints and some can be quite concise and can leave much to the imagination. Make, sure you leave nothing up in the air before you hire them.
With this, you should find out:
- Their availability (number one!!)
- Their hourly rate
- How many photographers there will be.
- Number of prints and other forms (videos, coasters, cards, magazines for gifts, etc.)
- Equipment included (lights etc.)
- Additional costs (to get another album printed)
- The expected date that photos and videos will be edited and ready for viewing.
Make sure you are happy with what is in a package that a wedding photographer offers, and if you are not negotiate pricing or alter a package to suit what you want to be captured and what features you would like to be taken out.
You will only have your big day once (we hope!), and you will only have one chance to capture it. Make sure your chosen photographer is on the same page and don’t be scared to ask questions and make demands (yes make them). The more direction you give, the lesser the chance that your wants and need will be lost in translation.
Most importantly, the photographer is only one small part of your big day. So, don’t put too much stress and don’t overthink it.
Now to relax and enjoy your big day!