What you need to know before you book your wedding photographer
How much? Are you available? Typically, those would be the two questions most often asked. In a best case scenario, couples would tell me what they like about my work, and where I need to show up for the nuptials. Sometimes they have more questions. Sometimes, they simply don’t know what to ask.
I have, therefore, made a little list of top considerations you need to think about when you meet and choose your wedding photographer. Sometimes what you see on the website might not be accurate and even a little misleading. You might have looked through hundreds of sites and found that everything is blurring together. During client meetings, couples invariably say how difficult it was to make comparisons and round down the choices. I hope this will make your life a little easier!
So here we go.
Your must know guideline to choosing the wedding photographer that is perfect for you!
When selecting a wedding photographer, you are selecting more than just an individual to take pictures of your wedding day–you’re hiring someone who will be an integral part of the entire celebration, with you, your family, and your group all day on your wedding day. Personality is an important factor in the selection process and should not be overlooked or discounted in any way. I always say in order to create beautiful artwork you need to be able to connect and feel completely at ease with your photographer.
While price is always a factor when selecting your wedding photographer (how can it not be?), it should not be the only thing that matters. All too often we hear horror stories from heartbroken brides who made a decision about their wedding photography based purely on price, and the results have been anywhere from disappointing to disastrous. When all is said and done, your wedding photography will be all you have to remember your wedding day by and it is something worth investing in.
3. Wedding albums
What do you plan to do with all the images from your wedding photographer? Most photographers will offer packages that include a wedding album. For those couples who are not considering an album as a part of their package, I always ask what they are planning to leave behind for their kids? While digital is convenient, leaving a USB/DVD as a family heirloom just doesn’t cut it. Personally, I love looking trough my parents albums. There is something about the tactile feel of those thick, glossy pages under my fingertips that makes me feel close to them, even when we’re apart.
When selecting a wedding photographer, you should look for an album that best represents you and your new family. Wedding albums come in all shapes and sizes. A few questions you should ask your wedding photographer are: How many pages come in the wedding album? How many images will be in the wedding album? What cover options are available?
Something often overlooked when selecting a wedding photographer is the number of hours that will be offered for the coverage of your wedding. Typically, you will want your wedding photographer to be with you to document all of the amazing and quirky moments of your wedding day. After all, thats what you are hiring them for! That being said, typical coverage requirements for your wedding day should be about 8-10 hours to capture the magic from the initial preparations to the party.
5. Number of wedding photographers
How many wedding photographers will be at your event? Most events need at least two wedding photographers. This ensures that your main wedding photographer is focused on working with your wedding party and directing the day, while the “second shooter” has additional coverage going on at the same time, like photographing the guys during the morning preparations, guests arriving to the church, candid shots, etc.
6. Pre-wedding photo session
While most of the photographer offer this option, very often it is just a simple, quick portrait session in the couples/photographers’ chosen location. For your own peace of mind, there is another option available to you. All of my wedding couples always go for a pre-wedding session at their chosen wedding venue. Couples LOVE this idea. I would walk you through the photography ideas and we would take test images around various venue locations. This way on your wedding day you know exactly what options are available, and have discussed the plan with your photographer. If the couple has a locale that is particularly special to them, we can visit this location on the same day as your pre-wedding photos at the venue.
7. What if your day goes wrong?
Yes we always hope that everything will be perfect on your special day– that the sun will shine, everything will be on time, and Aunt Nora won’t get too drunk at the reception. It’s not too much to ask! Well, I have photographed weddings now for past 5 years and have seen lots of mishaps and missteps. Recently I had a pleasure to photograph one more gorgeous wedding. The couple really loved my creative style during the evening photography and that was one of the main reasons why they booked me. Unfortunately, on the eve of their wedding day, the bride was not well. Normally the photographer would say “oh well, we can’t do anything and let’s just pack the bag and go home”. I knew that they really wanted these evening images, so few weeks after, I arranged with the venue to come back and finish their evening wedding photos. The only cost of doing this is the hair and make up and maybe hiring a grooms kilt from one day. As of this year I offer all my wedding couples an option to do after-wedding sessions. Perhaps you hired a beautiful venue with gorgeous grounds and the rain is pouring down all day, or for some reason your wedding service was delayed and now you don’t have time for creative photos. Whatever might happen on the day, I always say to my brides, “not to worry, we can always come back and do lots of gorgeous photos”. Couples love this safety net and they know I’m there for them.
There are few more things to remember. Like what are the turnaround times for wedding images and albums. Shockingly, I hear a lot of horror stories from brides that haven’t seen images even a year after their wedding! My turnaround time is 2 weeks for images and a month for the wedding album, depending when you approve the design. You also need to consider the size of the digital files, so you can print or email smaller prints, as well as being able to do large wall art as well. How many images will be in album? I design every album from scratch to contain 100-120 images in my 40 page albums.
We also offer one more unique option, which is same day edit and wedding image showing after the first dance. Yes, you read that right! I edit around 70 images from your wedding day and show them during the evening festivities. It is not only great because you and your family will see the images, but also your evening guests will be able to see what happened during the day. A few days after wedding I will make a proper blog post with full day photo coverage to showcase the evening/reception images as well.
I hope this should give you some fresh ideas of what to ask/consider during your meetings and important things to be aware of. If you are currently looking for photographer, my name is Armands. I’m an Edinburgh based wedding photographer, operating across Scotland and internationally. Over the years I have developed a very distinctive style with my personal brand of creativity and tons of passion :)