It’s time to think photography and video for your wedding day. You’ve spent months planning your wedding, getting each detail perfect. Dress, flowers, menu, guest lists…and then it’s the big day! It’s wonderful, delightful, everything you could hope for – and a total blur. You’re a pretty amazing lady, but you can’t be everywhere at once. Fortunately, that’s where your wedding photographer and videographer come in. They’re there to document the wedding, so that you can look back over, later, when it’s quiet, and see just how everything turned out. And that’s why it’s so essential that you pick the right ones.
Research Local Photographers & Videographers
First, you need to decide what style of photographer and videographer you want to hire. One option that’s popular with photographers is what’s called ‘portrait-style’, which will emphasize posed shots, staged to present everyone in the best possible light. It’s a more formal style of photography, but if you’re not the kind of person who wants a person with a camera trailing you around all day, this may be what you’re looking for. Fine Art is the most popular subset of this- think romantic lighting, with inspiration drawn from the editorial style of popular fashion magazines.
Documentary-style photographers, on the other hand, will focus on capturing candid moments, and weaving them together into a narrative. These guys are great for creating an overall picture of the event, so you can look back over and re-live the day, the planned parts and the (inevitable) unplanned. They’re a popular choice for those who are planning to forgo a videographer, or simply prefer a more candid style of photography. Almost all videographers fall into the documentary category – except those who specialize in the point-and-shoot or, as we like to think of it, ‘camcorder’ style wedding movies, cheesy effects and all. Can be a great choice if you love 80’s vintage, but otherwise pretty unusual in this day and age.
Then there’s the newest, trendiest style of wedding photography. No formal name, but it makes sense to call it ‘quirky portrait’. With this, your photographer will have you and your wedding party posing with a variety of props, maybe even engaging in potato sack races through a field while in full formal wear. The photos are light-hearted, fun, and full of personality.
A good way to figure out which style you would prefer is to browse Pinterest and your recently-married friends’ Facebook albums. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations either. Your social network can be invaluable on your hunt for a good photographer and/or videographer.
Interview the Final Candidates
Once you’ve scoured social media, checked out their websites, and narrowed down your choices, you should schedule interviews with 3 or 4 of your favorites. Talk to them, ask about their pricing structures, what’s included (albums, prints, online galleries, pre-event site visits, etc.) and who retains the copyright to the images. If it’s a well-known or bigger photography studio, you may want to confirm that the person you’re chatting with is the person who will actually be doing the shoot, not a colleague or assistant. While you are there, ask to browse through a full single-wedding gallery, not just their highlights book, so you can see the type of end product you’re likely purchasing.
Assuming you’ve found reputable photo- and videographers, most of their answers should be substantially the same. So, assuming you still like their work, the biggest question is: do you like them?
This matters! You’re going to be spending a lot of time together; before, during, and after the wedding, for on site visits, and during the editing process. You want to pick someone who makes you feel comfortable, who listens to what you want from your wedding albums and videos, and who you think can bring out the best in your wedding guests.
Give Photographers a List to Photograph Special Wedding Guests
Lists, actually. Guests you want to make sure they get shots of, group photos, centerpieces, flowers, everything. If your best friend is going to be performing her world-famous Tina Turner impression onstage, and you want to make sure you get video, make sure it’s on the list. Your photographer and videographer may be experienced professionals, but they’re not mind-readers. The more detail you give them, the more likely they are to deliver the product you’re looking for. Here are more ideas for shots to include on your list!
Once you’ve got all the fine print sorted out, all that’s left to do is wear an amazing dress, let your personality shine through, and smile!
Photo credit © Shaiith | Dreamstime.com