Eventually there’ll come a point at your wedding when the punch-bowl is empty and the dancing shoes are taken off for the night. Goodbyes will be said, guests will depart, and you’ll be left with a complex mixture of emotions – relief, disappointment, nostalgia for the past, and excitement for the future. Then it’ll hit you: your big day is finally over.
Captured by a skilled photographer, however, and these moments can live on forever. If you took the time to plan an amazing wedding day, you’ll want to make sure that this actually happens. While searching for your ideal wedding photographer, take the following things into account:
1. Your wedding photographer should put you at ease.
A professional photographer should be just that – a professional. Pay attention to the techniques he or she offers, and ensure that they’re using quality equipment (cellphone cameras should be reserved for guest use). More importantly though – your wedding photographer should be easy to work with and listen well.
2. They should embrace your vision.
The best professional photographers have made a career of taking pictures because they love it. They’re artists whose creativity will come alive on your big day. This creative spirit should manifest itself in their work, and help them produce photos you love.
Finding someone who views your wedding as an opportunity to create art (and not simply another paycheck) will pay off in pictures that go beyond your expectations. One great way to assess whether a photographer’s vision aligns with yours is to explore different styles in advance and find out what aesthetic you like most.
If you have a clear idea of what you want, make sure to express yourself and see how the photographer responds.
Perhaps a traditional, portrait-based approach seems best, or maybe you’d like more focus directed toward the atmosphere and emotion of the event? Or you may prefer a photographer who can present a vision to you – showing examples of approaches that suit the setting of your venue.
For those of you choosing to go the eco-friendly route on your big day, find a wedding photographer who is aligned with your values (or can at least highlight them in their photography). Whether a wedding photographer expands on your ideas or presents a unique vision, true professionals will strive to make you happy. If they seem opposed to your vision, look elsewhere.
3. The best photographers can be in more than one place at once.
Many newlyweds cherish the pictures taken by friends and family as deeply as those taken by a professional. Why? Because a story is told at your wedding. The more people you have engaged in telling that story, the more detailed memories of your wedding will be.
Skilled photographers know this, and strive to capture moments from multiple angles. Some work alone, while others keep one or more assistants on staff to maximize coverage.
Want to incorporate some technology into your big day? Find a wedding photographer who uses drones.
If you’re going for a more economical wedding and would prefer not to hire a photographer who employs assistants, consider whether any of your guests enjoy taking pictures and are good at it. Once you find a willing candidate, ask them to help capture moments of your wedding story.
If you have more than one guest taking pictures, you could assign each an angle you’d like covered. Perhaps one could focus on portrait-style shots of the bridal party, while another would take nostalgic pictures of the setting, documenting the mood of the candlelit ballroom the moment before you sweep in as a newlywed couple.
Whether you assemble a team of amateurs or professionals (or a combination), having multiple photographers can enrich your collection of wedding memories, as each will have contributed a unique perspective. With this team of supportive friends and professionals at your back, you can relax and focus on enjoying your big day.
4. Your wedding photographer should understand you.
Weddings are complex events that can include hundreds of guests and dizzying levels of activity. When you’re searching for a wedding photographer, it’s important to meet candidates in person to get a sense of their working style. Are they high-energy? Does their personality mesh well with yours and that of your spouse-to-be? Do they seem positive and excited about this opportunity?
Your photographer will be on hand throughout your entire day, as directed by you – perhaps from the moment you arrive to don your wedding clothes, to when the last guest leaves. If you understand each other, you can focus on checking off the other boxes of your wedding planning checklist and direct your energy elsewhere.
No matter how lovely a photographer’s sample pictures might be, don’t hesitate to keep looking if you find red flags in the reviews.
In the end, it will truly pay off to have a photographer who’s glad to be part of your team. Someone who feels honored to stand in your corner for the six to twelve hours it may take to cover your entire wedding – exerting special effort to be mindful of your wishes, and seeking to capture moments you’ll cherish forever.
After the wedding, when you’re admiring pictures of the orchid centerpieces you adored, smiling at moments of you laughing with your bridal party – cherished friends who made their way from all over to be with you on your big day – you’ll be savoring memories made tangible by a quality photographer. It’s worth the effort to find yours.
Did you love your wedding photographer? How did you end up selecting yours? Inquiring minds would love to know! And be sure to check out our Instagram page, which is constantly updated and loaded with the work of world-class wedding photographers!