I come from a long path with photography, in fact, I’ve been photographing couples for almost a decade. Taking pictures has always been a favored hobby and by age of nine, I was already that pesky kid who picked up her dad’s camera and stuck it in everyone’s face. My endearing neighborhood family would make it a point to humor me, by going along with whatever angle I asked them to turn for the right shot(thank you Core). Then, I would fire up the family computer and spend the next few hours going through and editing the photos.
One day, at a neighborhood block party, I decided to share with everyone the photos I’d been taking. Much to my tween surprise- everyone thought they were really good! As the years passed, I’d hone in my skills. By sixteen word of mouth slowly morphed my pass time into the start of a photography business. Throughout my later teens, I dipped my toes in the model/talent industry. Here, I learned how to act in front of a camera instead of just behind it. That opportunity opened the door for me shadow an extremely accomplished fashion photographer with a dry sense of humor who taught me a great deal. Now, that I’ve introduced my background with lens, it’s time to share what I’ve learned from it.
First thing’s first, on picking a photographer. Check out A LOT of work. Figure out what your style is and then start researching who around you has it. When I am examining the work of photographer’s I look for several things. The first being the quality of the photos- “Are they blurry, grainy, or dark?”. Next- “Do they seem over/under edited?”. I am really picky when I look at a photographer’s editing style. Everyone looks for something different. The amount of editing and tones used, will be up to the personal preference of the photographer. So, definitely take a look to make sure their style is in your wheelhouse before booking. Next you’ll want to check out their social media presence and look for customer reviews. Did your cousin have an awesome photographer no one can stop talking about? Send her a text and find out. You need to be confident that they are they going to be the type of professionals you’d like to work with on such an important day.
Once you have determined that their work is something you would be interested in- inquire about packages and availability. The typical photographer will have several packages varying in cost and level of involvement. Some go by hours, others go by events. If it is within your budget, I highly suggest opting for an option with a second photographer. Two lens are better than one!
Assuming that you are interested in setting up an engagement session or initial photographer meeting with your photographer, don’t hesitate to reach out to them! Oftentimes, an engagement session or consultation will be included in a package offered! Not only, does this help you get to know your photographer’s work more personally, but it helps your photographer get a better gauge for the two of you as a couple before your big day! If there as specific shots you are interested in capturing, make sure you bring examples! (Insert Pinterest ad here haha..) Besides providing visuals, another excellent thing to do is to write up a list on any points you’d like to cover with this vendor. This could be anything from lighting for the evening, important family members you’d like to be captured, to what happens if they get the flu. This is an awesome way to stay organized while communicating on your preferences or expectations.
Once all of this is completed and you feel confident in their work, go ahead and book them! A good photographer may book out over a year in advance, so don’t wait till last minute to make a decision!
It is good to keep your photographer informed! So, if anything changes in the plans for your vision be sure to give them a good heads up! They are the camera crew to your love story after all!
As your wedding day draws closer,and you’ve established a good rapport with your vendor, reach out and invite them to attend as guests of your dinner rehearsal! Allow them to leave their camera at home (unless something was previously worked out) and have them bring a date! This is an opportunity to extend your gratitude for their time,energy and focus while giving them the chance to watch your family dynamics at work! They will be in charge of capturing them the next day! I hope this has helped guide you in the initial stages of photography planning.
Trust the process and pour some Prosecco!