How do I choose the right wedding photographer?
With all of the excitement and anticipation that comes with planning your wedding, the day will come and go more quickly than you could ever imagine. You'll want to remember what the day felt like, so you will want photos that authentically capture the day.
The best way to get the most value out of all the time and love you put into your wedding day is to make those moments tangible, so it's worth investing some thought into what you're looking for.
Highly styled? Or raw and unposed?
Selecting the right photographer starts with choosing a style.
Each and every photographer has a style, some are incredibly well known and have a very distinct style. Others have a simpler style allowing the images to almost make themselves, a documentary of a moment in time.
So which images are you drawn to? Do you find yourself making Pinterest boards of highly styled, posed images? Or something a little more raw and unposed.
Great photography is an investment in your future
Professional portraits are a forever purchase, they immortalise moments that can never be re-visited.
It is, on rare occasions, possible to find a good photographer that’s inexpensive, (a super talented student, second shooter, or family friend) but as a rule, skilled, talented, and competent wedding photographers come at a price.
Not only are you paying for the time at your wedding, but the training, experience, equipment, and editing processes that goes into becoming a highly regarded wedding photographer.
Think for a moment about how much money you will spend on your wedding gown, the food, the flowers, all those gorgeous Pinterest worthy details.
Consider how you feel when you look though images of your parents on their wedding day or even your grandparents? Your images will outlast every single item from your day, and will be cherished by future generations.
You can expect to invest anywhere from $3000+ for quality wedding day coverage and different photographers package their experience and products differently.
Remember - you get what you pay for! Hire the best photographer that you can afford.
Find a photographer you will enjoy spending ALL day with
You spend more time with your photographers than anyone else at your wedding, it’s a long, often emotional day, and sometimes it’s a little awkward if you’re not a fan of having your photograph taken, so it’s crucial to find someone you have good chemistry with, can be honest with, and that you can trust to do a great job.
Consider a "trial run"
Sarah and her photographers capture weddings with a minimum of fuss, but they understand that a wedding day can be stressful and so encourages potential couples to have a pre-wedding portrait session if they are nervous or unsure.
Having a test run in front of the camera can work wonders for your confidence and gives you an idea of how your photographer will work with you.
Why should we choose a professional wedding photographer?
While all wedding photographers have to start somewhere, it's worth considering whether you are comfortable handing your special day over to an amateur photographer.
There are some things to consider before deciding on a wedding photographer:
What experience does the photographer have? Do they specialise in Wedding Photography and do they photograph weddings on a regular basis? This will give you an indication that they have greater knowledge and experience in handling all the ups and downs that a Wedding Day can throw at them.
Are there any hidden costs?
What kind of back ups to they have? On the day? Once the day is over? Long term (in the years after)?
Do they have Public Liability Insurance? Or a valid Working with Children Check?
Is the photographer an actual business - registered and insured?
Have a look at their portfolio, are the images of a professional quality with a consistent style? Were they able to provide you with a FULL day of images to look through (not just the highlights)?
What about wedding albums?
Can the photographer provide you with products you want? It is easy to just ask for the digital files (that's what everyone does isn't it?!). But if you don't get to printing your images, what use are they sitting on a USB in the drawer?
A professional photographer should offer gorgeous printed keepsakes to treasure, and display proudly. Trust me when I say that department stores cannot produce the same quality as a professions print lab - and we are zealous about ensuring that our couples see themselves in print!
And lastly... it's is your day, so ask all the questions!
Opting for professional photography to capture the raw beauty of your wedding day is one of the best investments you can make.
Wedding photography follows trends, just like fashion does. What might be ‘in season’ this year will be out of style in years to come. Remember the 80s? Need we say more? A de lumière photographer will focus on what will matter to you in years to come rather than this year’s hottest photography trend.
We’re there to observe and document your wedding day and treat you to award-winning photography that brings out your personality.
Sarah is an Associate member of the AIPP in Australia. The AIPP are Australia’s only Professional Photography governing body. As a member she is bound by a code of Professional Practice.
For your peace of mind Sarah (and her photographers) have Public Liability Insurance, and a valid Working with Children check.
If you’re after anything but cookie-cutter wedding shots, then we’d love to hear from you.
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