Let’s be honest – all of the hoopla related to your wedding day, from perfect food to gorgeous decorations, is actually for the photos that you plan to show your children and grandchildren, right? And the last thing you want is a set of wedding photos in which you and your groom don’t look fantastic or the wedding doesn’t look like a dream come true.
But if you’re a member of the phone photo era, you might not know the first thing about professional photography, including how to find someone who can capture the day the way you want to remember it. Here are a few tips to take into consideration when searching for your wedding photographer.
Research your tastes.
Are you a traditional pose person, or do you enjoy a more artistic slant? Perusing the Internet should help you narrow down the style of photos that most appeal to you. Keep a Pinterest board or some kind of collection of what you like so you can show the photographer.
Figure out a budget.
Don’t skimp on a photography budget. Photos are the single most important piece of your wedding’s history. They will last far longer than the last slice of cake or bouquet of flowers – and they will be far more popular than sitting through that two hour long video.
Ask family and friends who they recommend.
This is only true, of course, if your aunt, sister or best friends have photos from their own weddings that you love – or if they have a photographer in mind.
Realize that you have to investigate a photographer’s work thoroughly.
Once you make contact with a few photographers whose websites look pleasing to you, ask them to bring print examples of their wedding work to the initial meeting. Realize that being an exceptional photographer is based on experience – not on education or certification – so make sure to hire one whose credentials you trust.
Be realistic about your dream photos and the time of day – in fact, select a photographer before determining the hour of the ceremony.
If you find yourself perusing photos of sunset weddings, you will need a photographer who has experience capturing photos with that kind of lighting. That said, choosing a photographer BEFORE you set a time for the wedding ceremony is important.
Share examples of your ideas.
During that first meeting with the photographer, share your ideas of what your ideal photos will look like.
Understand the photo package backwards and forwards.
Make sure you understand what you are receiving for your money. Will you have digital photos as well as print photos? Is an album included? Are two photographers part of the deal? (Note that two photographers makes it easier to get those cute, candid shots in addition to the formal shots.) Don’t be afraid to ask the photographer plenty of questions. It’s your history, after all.
Make sure whomever you choose understands how to communicate with you, the wedding planner and everyone else.
Your photographer should be someone you trust well enough to discuss the family dynamic and your must-have traditions with. For example, if your mother and father haven’t seen each other since their divorce during your babyhood, they probably don’t care to have a photo taken together. Furthermore, the wedding planner and the photographer are essentially the “directors” of your wedding day timeline. Thus, they should be comfortable collaborating.
Ask your family, friends and guests to refrain from cell phone photography.
Nothing is worse than your special moment being “scooped” by a guest’s cell phone uploading a terrible, blurry photo. Ask your wedding ceremony guests to please set aside their smart phones and let your talented photographer do the job.
Special thanks to Jenn Cady of Jenn Cady Photography for assisting with this article. Visit JennCady.com.
List of Wedding Photographers/Resources
Elope to Charleston, Mount Pleasant, SC
William Quarles, Charleston, SC
Jenn Cady, Charleston, SC