Choosing who will photograph your day is a major style decision for your wedding, right alongside picking your palette or landing your dream venue. Learn what options you have to help you decide on the right look for you.
The photography industry can be complicated to navigate as a newly engaged couple. With so many unique options out there – and so many talented pros to choose from -it’s hard to decide what vibe suits your celebrations best. I’ve rounded up the best advice to help you figure out your style and find a true-to-you photographer.
The first step to finding your dream photographer is a fun one-just get inspired, Spend some time pouring over any and every kind of imagery you love, such as sunny home decor shots, fashion blogger’s Instagram feed or moody avant-garde French movie posters.
Once you have a good collection of inspiring photographers, take a step back and try to narrow in on what draws you to them specifically. List the soft pastel color palette? The off-the-cuff happy grin of the people in the picture? The interesting angles and perspectives? The more you familiarize yourself with what you like photo-wise, the easier it will be for you to identify that same quality in a potential photographer’s portfolio.
Deciding on a “feeling”
When you’ve figured out what inspires you, dig deeper and dissect what feels most authentic to you and your partner, and how you envision your album looking. If you’re a timeless couple that has your heart set on formal portraits, you may gravitate towards a more classic photography style. If your inspiration was fly-on-the-wall images that bottle an authentic moment in time, then lifestyle photography may be the right choice for you. If you feel in love with the sharp and contrasty editorials of a favorite blogger, then maybe you’ll want to seek out a photographer with a flair for the dramatic.
Do your research
Now’s the time to hit the web to find the pro who will bring your day to life. Browse portfolios and social media channels to identify to find a good fit. How do they capture the moments that are important to you? Have they shot in a venue similar to yours? Do they seem friendly and personable with their online audience? If available, check out reviews from the past couples as well. Then, go ahead and send an introductory email with a bit about you and your soon-to-be-spouse, your event and the vision for your day – you can even attach a few inspiration images you love from their portfolio.
Be sure to chat with them and get to know each other on a personal and professional level. You’ll be spending the most time with them on your wedding day, and you’ll want to feel comfortable as they capture some of you and your family’s most emotionally intimate moments.
Finesse the contract
To get the most out of your photography investment, consider several points when choosing your package and reviewing your contract, Most photographers offer a variety of services-including day-of coverage, digital proofs, second shooters, tangible prints and gorgeously assembled albums-and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Present your photographer with your budget and see how far it will take you. The number of hours they spend at an event or shots they provide you with may be flexible, so see if you can find a middle ground that works for both of you.
Now’s also the time to inquire about the cost of any add-ons you’re envisioning, like engagement session and day after wedding photos. Ask about any additional fees that could add up, like having to pay for your photographer’s travel and lodging. Finally, settle on an image delivery date so you know exactly when yo expect your shots.
Prep for the day of
Instead of putting together a detailed list for your photographer, pass along your day-of timeline, give them an idea of what images you’d like captured (like a picture with each of your bridesmaid or flower girl) and let them do their thing. Ahead of the wedding is also the perfect time to give them a heads up on any familial or friendship intricacies they should be aware of, like divorced parents, a grandmother that needs to remain seated for portraits, or groomsman and bridesmaid that don’t get along(hey, it happens). If you’re hoping to get your wedding say published online or in a magazine, relay that to your photographer.
This way, they’ll put extra emphasis on snapping shots of all your amazing details and will likely come armed with gorgeous styling accessories, like ribbons, linens and more-all with the goal of helping your wedding aesthetic truly stand out.
Be relaxed and ready
You’ve put a lot of work into finding the right photographer so, like with all your pros. put your faith in them come the wedding day. In the week leading up to your wedding, confirm all the important details (your venue location, day of timeline and any surprises you’ve planned for your guess or partner), then chill out. It’s time for you and your partner to enjoy yourselves and get married.
I’m doing my best and have some GREAT things in the works for you…
but all that matters right now is you…
I appreciate you…
I’m grateful we’ve connected…I honor this opportunity to be of service to you and I have every intention of helping you meet and exceed your goals…
Brick by brick…
We’ll get you there.
Nick “Filled With Gratitude” Khamis