Read This BEFORE You Book Your Photographer
One thing I tell my brides to splurge on is photography. Rightfully so: this is the actual tangible piece of the past that tells how the love story unfolded. Photography is your window to the past, don’t skimp on it.
Being the highly opinionated, yet always fashionable wedding planner that I am (shameless, gratuitous plug LOL), I have my own notions on what you should do. At any rate, I talked to a few photographers to get a different perspective. I really wanted to talk to someone who does this visual storytelling for a living. Here is what they said…
One thing we agree on is that you should interview at least 2-4 different photographers. Don’t go by price alone. You really need to mesh with your photographer. If you “kinda don’t like” him/her in the planning process, trust me when I say, you will hate them on the wedding day. You want to feel completely comfortable in front of the camera with this person. They should be able to pick up bits and pieces of your personality from previous consults and bring out those nuances during the wedding day.
Another thing we agree on is that you must find a photog whose strengths are in the type of wedding photography style you want. My new found, ultra fabulous photographer friend, Mark Eric says, “Brides should look for a photographer that shoots their style. It’s much easier to hire the right photographer for your style than it is to try to convert a photographer from his/her natural style into something that suits you.” He says that a photographer who shoots mainly traditional portrait style photos is not the right match for the bride who wants to capture the energy and emotion of her wedding day. Likewise, a bride who wants “flawless” standard photos won’t be too pleased with a photojournalist.
So what’s a girl/groom to do?
Really think hard about what you want for your wedding. Do you want all manipulated, posed shots or do you want to remember the day exactly how it happened? There is no right or wrong answer; we all have our preferences, and remember: it’s your wedding.
But to make it easier on you, here are some other tips from Mark Eric:
- Look for a photographer that can easily be reached. There are many part-timers in the industry who will focus on the bride if and when they have time. Â Communication is very important.
- Look for a photographer that has back up equipment.
- Look for a photographer that is respected in his/her community. It’s usually fairly easy to find someone that has used the photographer. Try to get 1st hand knowledge from a former client (and not one that the photographers uses in the testimonials on the website- of course those are going to be biased).
- Look for a photographer that can offer a 2nd shooter, depending on how much coverage you want. Do you want coverage for the groom’s preparation as well as the bride’s? Many great moments don’t get photographed during the formals because the photographer is occupied with the portraits- meanwhile in the background, families are sharing hugs, tears, and laughter.
- In their work, look for variety. Are they all of the same faces? If so, it’s possible the photographer hired a model to create his portfolio- and it’s usually pretty easy to make a model look good. How do they do with normal people?
- Look for quality as well, both in exposure and print. Is the exposure good (nice skin tones, great colors that pop)? Is the print on quality paper or is it a drugstore print? Is their work displayed in a nice professional album, or do they have 4×6’s slipped into a Wal-Mart photo album?
All in all, Mark Eric stands by the 3 P’s: Personality, Professionalism, Portfolio.
Mark Eric is a fabulous photographer based in Louisiana. He is also the genius behind the Trash The Dress website. His fabulous eye for emotion and passion during the wedding day has not only made him an asset to me but also to every bride who has the opportunity to book him. Mark Eric’s tagline is “Inspire m.e.” (his initials, if you didn’t catch that). Thanks, Mark Eric! You inspire us too! See more of Mark Eric’s work.