Getting The Most Out Of Your Wedding Photography
Megan . October 9th, 2020
As magical as your wedding day will be, despite all the research, resources, planning and additional efforts put into it by all…the wedding itself will be over in a single day. This is why getting the most out of your wedding photography is so important.
Wedding photography immortalizes this very special occasion and allows you and your loved ones to revisit it over and over again. As is the case, it’s so key to think carefully about every decision regarding the way your wedding will be photographed.
Identify Your Preferred Style
The first step is to come up with an idea of how you want your wedding to be photographed. For most, this type of research is a lot of fun. You can check out wedding magazines, websites, social media accounts and photographers’ portfolios for inspiration and to determine different looks or styles that you and your partner like. For example, you may like the more light and airy style or perhaps the moody style of photography with deeper contrast and colors. The important thing is to find a look or style that fits you and your husband to be.
In some cases, you may already have a fairly clear idea of what you like and want. But unless you’re a photographer yourself, we feel there is value in being openminded as you listen to thoughts and tips from wedding photographers as they are the professionals in this area.
While you may be able to research what your favorite styles of wedding pictures are called, it is still a good idea to collect photos of these preferred wedding shots to review with potential photographers. Some photographers are well versed in a variety of styles and looks, while others specialize in certain styles. If a wedding photographer says they can provide that for you, it is appropriate to ask to see some of their work, shot in that style.
Consider the Setting
Some other factors that can lean you towards a particular photographer are environmental elements, such as, the venue, lighting and time of day. It is always best to be clear on most of these elements before choosing a photographer. The same photographer likely will not be the best match for every setting. Some photographers specialize in indoor or outdoor venues, for example. On the other hand, if you’re committed to a certain photographer, you can consult with him or her about lighting and other details specific to that venue, location or time of day.
Choose the Right Photographer
As we continue to expand, it is easy to see how choosing your photographer will be one of the biggest decisions you will make regarding your wedding. So, you will want to find someone who’s in sync with your vision and preferences. While you want to book a desirable photographer sooner than later, it is still recommended that you spend a little time, researching, comparing and vetting them out.
- Set your budget. You naturally want to choose the best of everything, but you also need to consider what’s affordable. Compare the rates of some wedding photographers and come up with a budget that is realistic.
- Study their work. In the era of websites, social media, and Instagram Stories, it’s easier than ever to research a photographer’s portfolio. Keep in mind that many photographers are able to work in multiple styles. For this reason, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions based on a few shots. Take the time to go through their work so you get an overall idea of their capabilities.
- Be clear about who will actually be photographing your wedding. If you’re dealing with an individual photographer or small agency, this isn’t usually an issue. Larger studios, however, may employ multiple photographers who may have different styles. You don’t want to choose a photographer based on a portfolio only to find out that someone else shows up to shoot your wedding.
- Ask plenty of questions. There’s more to photography than the pictures. There’s also the photographer’s working style. Do they stage shots or prefer to capture natural moments? Have they shot at your selected venue before, and are they familiar with the area? The photographer is an iconic presence at a wedding so make sure you’re comfortable with their personality and mode of working.
- Know what’s included. Pricing for wedding pictures can be more complicated than it first appears. Most photographers offer several options depending on what you want. There are a whole range of extras that may or may not be included in a particular package. If you want photos for events such as the rehearsal dinner, you may need to upgrade your package. You should also inquire about extra fees such as travel if the photographer isn’t in your city. Finally, ask about post-production work and album design.
Consider an Engagement Photo Session
Having an engagement or pre-wedding photo shoot can help you get acquainted with your photographer and help you and your future spouse feel comfortable with being photographed. This session can be held months before the wedding and somewhere other than your selected wedding venue to provide an array of photo backdrops. Many professional wedding photographers include an engagement shoot in your wedding photography package. It can make you feel more confident when the actual wedding takes place.
Prime the Guests
We have seen wedding guests sometimes get in the photographer’s way. They may try to capture their own shots with their smartphones or just not pay attention to where they stand or walk. While you don’t want to give wedding guests a long list of rules and prohibitions, at the same time, you can gently advise them to give the photographer the space he or she needs. A good way to accomplish this is by having an “unplugged” sign for the guests to see when they enter. “Unplugged” signs are a wonderful way to encourage your guests to put their phones away and be fully present for your wedding. Another approach is to request that the officiant or DJ make that announcement prior to the beginning of the ceremony. Either or both have become commonplace in today’s weddings.
Enjoy Your Special Day!
You can and should make the necessary preparations for getting the best possible wedding photos. At the same time, you don’t need to spend your wedding day hyper-vigilant about the photographer and whether you’re striking the right poses. The photographer will ask you to pose for certain shots. Beyond this, the best photos are usually the most spontaneous ones. Yes, photography is a big part of your wedding, but the live event is still the main thing. So, the best advice for the wedding day is to keep your attention on each other and let the professionals take care of the rest!