Picture Perfect – Wedding Photography 101
Documenting your wedding day is a must for all couples and the success of your photography is one thing that you will be constantly reminded of each and every time you look back at your wedding pictures.
From choosing the most fitting style and knowing what to ask when selecting a photographer to striking the right balance on the day itself by capturing scenes without spending too much time taking photos, I know from personal and professional experience that there are countless things that must be considered to ensure a truly picture perfect occasion. As high season gets underway for the wedding industry, I take a look here at the factors that can define how you capture your special day.
Finding a photographic style to suit you
Before you begin your search for a wedding photographer, determining which photographic style will suit your day and your tastes as a couple is important, after all if you don’t know what you want how can your chosen photographer create the imagery that you desire? Just like selecting your venue and even your wedding gown, your preferred photographic style can shape the memories of your day for years to come and as with the rest of the items on your wedding to-do list, there are many options to choose from! I have outlined three broad categories of photographic styles below, however to avoid any confusion or possibility of misinterpretation, my advice is always to show examples of the look you are hoping for to any potential photographer.
Reminiscent of the images your parents or grandparents may have in their wedding albums, traditional imagery continues to be popular. This classic style is more formal, with the photographer directing poses in order to create a realistic and beautiful outcome. Traditional photography usually concentrates on the key moments of the wedding and pre-agreed group shots and as a result may not fully capture the atmosphere and excitement of the wedding day.
Modern photography is partially inspired by editorial fashion photography with an emphasis on creating high impact visually interesting images. Whilst less formal, the modern style will still typically require direction from the photographer, the use of artificial light and further post-production editing. This style of photography can be beautiful, dramatic and artistic and is favoured by many couples today.
In contrast to highly styled or overly posed shots, documentary style photography produces the ultimate candid camera effect. By recording the events of the wedding as they happen in an unobtrusive way, the documentary style is able to capture the spontaneous moments that many couples and guests forget about in the months and years after the big event as well as documenting the key scenes and details every wedding day is known and loved for.
What to ask when choosing a photographer
When it comes to choosing any vendor to assist you on or in the run up to your wedding day, questions, questions and more questions should definitely be at the root of every decision. Once you’ve narrowed down one or two photographers, you should meet up with your contenders in person before making a final decision. Here are a few essential questions to consider when making your choice…
Are you available on my chosen wedding date?
Are you the professional who will be taking the images on the day itself?
Will an assistant (second shooter) be joining you?
How many weddings are you scheduled to photograph that week or weekend?
Tell me more about your background – how long have you been a wedding photographer? And how many weddings have you photographed? Ask for examples and references.
How would you describe your photographic style?
Can I provide a list of must-have shots?
What packages do you offer? Can these be customised to my specific needs?
What is the final price for your services? Does this include your travel fee?
What additional services do you provide? For example, album design and creation, retouching, colour adjustment and other corrective services.
What is the order process? Will this include an in person viewing session and/or will I receive proofs? If so, how long after the wedding day can I expect to receive them?
How long after ordering will I receive my images? And how will I receive my final images?
How much deposit do I need to pay and when is the final balance due?
Will I receive a written contract?
Why hiring a professional is so important
I work with couples with various wedding budgets, so I understand that more often than not the figure you wish to spend on your wedding day really is your ceiling price, and as a result if you splurge in one area you must save in others without your guests suspecting a thing! Whilst you may be able to find cheaper alternatives, I strongly believe that hiring a professional to take your wedding photos is important and should not be compromised. Good photography after all is more than just a fancy camera, and it takes many hours of training to master the art.
As well as taking advantage of the latest and greatest photographic techniques and styles, your photographer has the experience you need to make sure your special day flows as smoothly as it should do. After attending numerous weddings your photographer will be a dab hand at knowing how the day goes or at least should go, and will also be experienced in dealing with the raw emotions that will almost certainly be present on the day itself. A good professional photographer will be able to capture the day without spending too much time setting up different shots, after all, you want to spend as much time as possible with your guests and fully enjoy the day that you have dreamed and planned!
The photo booth: An important extra?
The rise in popularity of the photo booth is something that simply cannot be ignored. The photo booth isn’t just a way to take more photos of you and your guests, it is also a form of entertainment and can provide personalised keepsakes that your guests can take away with them. Photo booths can be customised to suit the style of your wedding ceremony and reception, with some including special features and being completely self-contained. Like with choosing a wedding photographer, choosing a photo booth supplier requires you asking lots of questions. Ask your provider for a test shoot in your chosen booth, and make sure you find out how you and your guests will receive the images. Many photo booth suppliers offer physical printouts as soon as images are taken, whilst others encourage online access and download.
A rising number of photo booths incorporate the use of social media, with images shared across their favourite networks and able to be accessed via a specific hashtag. This can make the viewing experience after your wedding even more exciting, after all who knows what you’ll find!
Great wedding photos all begin with finding a great photographer, and as a wedding planner, I can help you to discover the professional that will do your big day justice as well as make your dreams regarding style and specific shots a reality. Contact me today for further information about my planning services.