If I could go back in time and do things differently when booking our wedding photographer, here’s what I’d do differently…
Disclaimer: when I got married over 10 years ago, we had a wonderful wedding photographer. She was warm, kind, and gave us photos that we have loved since our big day. However, now that I have been working as a professional photographer myself for the past few years, I think there are a few things I would have done differently with what I know now. Here are three of those things:
- Be more aware of our photographer’s style. I didn’t realize this back then, but photographers often have their own style of taking photos, composing photos, and editing photos. I don’t remember reviewing our photographer’s portfolio all that much and I don’t remember looking at a bunch of other photographers' portfolios, either. So I never really got a sense of what type of photos I was looking for. Was I wanting more candid-type photos? Was I wanting more posed-photos? Both? Am I looking for photos/compositions that are sort of trendy or would I like something a bit more timeless? I never asked myself those questions back then and I wish that I did. What I do know for sure though, is that I really loved the personality of the woman who took our photos. She made us feel comfortable, welcomed, and she knew the property where our wedding took place really well. I do believe that you have to have a connection with your wedding photographer first and foremost and then a connection with their style of photography second. She made us and our guests all feel very comfortable.
- Be more aware of who and what I wanted photos of. Again, I don’t remember offering much input on this when we were planning our wedding (rose colored glasses are a blessing and a curse!). However, if I could go back in time, I would tell our photographer that I wanted more photos of me and my sister (my sister sadly passed away in 2019 and my wedding was probably the last professional photos I had taken of the two of us and there aren’t very many, so I wish there were more). My wife's grandmother, who was also at our wedding, passed away shortly after we got married, so more photos of her would have been great. And I realize you cannot be thinking of who may pass away when you are getting married, but it is a reality unfortunately. There were also several family members present at our wedding that we don’t see very often or live far away so I wish I would have thought to ask for more photos with/of/candid shots, etc. I also would have asked her to capture more candid shots in general. Candid shots are some of my favorite kinds of photos now and the ones taken at my wedding are some of my favorites from the day, too. I try to incorporate candid shots into my photography services whenever possible. My clients always love those types of photos as well. They really help tell the story of the day and feel so natural and authentic. I will post one of the candid photos I am referring to at the end of this post.
- I wish I would have asked or spent more time understanding what options we had for printing photos. One thing I appreciated about our photographer is that we had access to all of the edited images she created during our special day (I encourage people to purchase prints and wall art through my site, but I do not require them to, just like our photographer). There are so many resources now for how to print photos, but some of them produce images that are just not the best quality. We decided to print our images and wedding album via a “big box” online print lab and the results are very underwhelming. I don’t think going with a cheaper lab resulted in the best prints. It really doesn’t do her work justice. I wish we would have ordered prints through her or asked her for recommendations. I love all of our photos, but I don’t think they are showcased as well as they could be. Things were definitely different 10+ years ago, but the ability to purchase quality prints and albums is nothing new. Make sure you go through your photographer or do a lot of research before you print. This is one of those instances in life where you really do get what you pay for!
In conclusion, deciding on who will be your wedding photographer is a much more important decision than many people realize. You want to make sure that you connect with the person who is going to be capturing one of the most important milestones in you and your significant other’s life. You want to know you can trust them to not only get images of the day, but also provide a level of comfort and trust so your images are genuine and don’t feel forced. I really do feel as though I can sense someone’s energy when I photograph them. I can read the room and can tell who feels uncomfortable, who is happy to be taking photos, who is tired, and who is just along for the ride. I do everything I can to help make even the biggest skeptic feel comfortable and to build a relationship with whomever is in front of my lens, whether that’s for a quick headshot or a full-day wedding. If you are planning your wedding and are looking for a photographer who will capture your big day, please get in touch! I will help make sure you don't make some of the same mistakes that I did when planning our wedding photos!