Being a recent bride (June 13, 2009) I know one thing that you stress about is…EVERYTHING!! What cake to get, what flavor, the venue, the timeline, money, the photographer, your dress!!! I could go on and on about the stresses a bride just naturally gets!
When we were engaged, Dean always told me to relaxxxx (he’s the calm one out of us two) I couldn’t!! I lived in a different city than the wedding and my mom! We moved THREE times while we were engaged (9 months) and moved to a whole new STATE the day AFTER our wedding!! It was stressful on its own…then add a wedding to all of that!!
One thing I tell my brides is to not worry about your pictures!! Or your photographer, for that matter! When choosing your photographer, you should go through a list of steps and qualities that you require before signing a contract.
1. WHAT’S YOUR STYLE? Do you want more of the vintage look? Or is modern more your style? Even traditional-studio is a style to think about! Decide what style you want and weed out photographers that way! If you are still set on a photographer that doesn’t do much of the style you want, make sure you ask them if they are comfortable doing a wedding in a different style than they normally do!
2. SEE A PORTFOLIO! Most photographers have an online portfolio now days. But make sure you check out their past weddings and see the quality of their photos. If you only see one wedding over and over, your photographer may not have as much experience as you would prefer!
3. SAY NO TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS! Now, I understand that every photographer starts somewhere. But you need to think “Do I want MY wedding to be their test?” Some of you may say yes!! But really really think about it!! If they want to do it for free, maybe give them the name of the photographer you go with and see if they can help out!
4. MEET WITH YOUR TOP PICKS! Meet with the top photographers that you chose! See how your personality interacts with theirs and see what they have to offer!! I love getting to know my clients before their wedding and hear how they met, etc. It makes their wedding day that much more personal and special to me! Most photographers will bring a contract to this meeting and if you pick them go ahead and sign it at this time to lock in your wedding date!
5. DO A TRIAL RUN! Have your wedding photographer take your engagements or bridals before the wedding. This helps your photographer see how you react in front of the camera. It also gives you the chance to see your photographer work! It also helps you both get to know each other and have fun before the wedding!
6. ASK QUESTIONS! Ask your photographer questions! It’s ok to ask, because if you don’t – your photographer doesn’t know if something they do or don’t do is important to you! Here are some questions to think of!
1. How many hours do your wedding packages include? (Some packages for photographers only include “X” amount of hours)
2. Do you have a 2nd shooter? (If you are interested in one, ask how much the difference is. More photographers = more images!)
3. How do you dress for weddings? (I know, seems like a snobby question, but I have seen some photographers show up to weddings in tank tops and jeans. NOT professional)
4. What timeline do they prefer for the wedding day (**THIS is so important!!** You want to make sure that you know how THEY run the day! You don’t want to miss out on important pictures or run out of time!)
5. How long does it take for me to receive my photos (I have had friends who waited 4-5 MONTHS to even see one photo!!)
Those are just a few things to think about when shopping for a photographer!! One thing I tell my brides and friends is your wedding photos are the ONE thing that will last a lifetime. You wear your dress once (or twice if you do a “day after” session or TTD) your cake lasts a couple days, flowers die, etc. BUT pictures last forever!! So, whether it’s a wedding in your backyard or a huge ceremony at your church (or even if you elope!) choose the right photographer! You want the best photos to remember this day by! (Because trust me, it’ll fly by you won’t remember anything!)
Here are some of my favorite images from MY day!! Taken by the amazing and sweet Alisa Joy (these are low res, so they don’t even do the justice!)
AND HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE IMAGES FROM THE LAST COUPLE WEDDINGS I HAVE DONE!
Hope that helps!!!