HOW TO CHOOSE A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Selecting a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will have to make when planning your wedding. When you are first starting your search, there are so so many different photographers, styles, colors, galleries to see. They might start to blend together after awhile and likely it can become overwhelming for you.
If this feels like you then just stop and TAKE A DEEP BREATH or three! Its okay and TOTALLY normal to feel this way! With all the resources available these days, its almost impossible to not feel this way.
Here are a few key pointers that I believe can help in finding the right wedding photographer for you:
1. What photography style do you like?
When I say “STYLE” I think you should consider 2 things:
The way the photographer edits the images and the way the photographer documents the day.
Editing style: Do you like the “Light & Airy, Dreamy Look” which I would use to describe Thompson Photography Group’s style, or do you prefer a more dramatic look with maybe darker more intense colors? The Light and airy style is very dreamy and romantic. The colors are very clean and light. And natural light is used whenever possible and actually preferred over using a flash. I usually describe the opposite of our style as a dramatic, more contrasted style. The edits typically include a lot of dark vignetting around the edges of the photos. A lot of artificial lighting is often used inside and outside, where as with the “light and airy style” we use little or no flash when ever possible.
Shooting style: There is a more “Traditional” style where most of the images are very posed and people are looking more staged then anything else. They look directly at the camera and you would expect to see table photos taken during the reception.
( This is not the way I would describe our photography over all. We use posing for family photos and some wedding party however we love to loosen you up a bit and get everyone laughing! )
And ofcouse there is is the “photo journalistic” or “candid” style which shows a much more relaxed feel to the day. The couples are very often not looking directly at the camera. This is the way that we at TPG LOVE to shoot weddings. We like to take the more “fly on the wall” approach whenever possible and capture things as they happen with minimal interference. But we definitely step in and give guidance as need when needed.
So when you are looking at photos online and trying to figure out the style and look that you enjoy, pay attention to the editing style and also the way the people look and how they are interacting in the photos.
2. How do you Feel when you look at their photos?
Do they make you smile? Is it as if you are right there in that moment with them? Can you imagine yourself captured in that way? The first time I saw photos from one of my all time favorite photographers, I actually looked through her images for hours and hours and it made me cry! Actual tears because of how beautiful her imagery was. I will never forget how Barb Uil of Jinky Art Photography inspired me all those years ago. ( this was before I was a wedding photographer – she is a children’s photographer ) Overall I think if you feel connected to the images you see then you are heading in the right direction.
3. Ask to see FULL online wedding galleries
This is such an important piece of the puzzle in my opinion. When photographers create a portfolio they will pick the best 40-100 images to showcase their best work. And that is what you will see when you visit their website. And from experience those photos can look amazing but it doesn’t always mean that the entire wedding will be consistent with the website. When I interview photographers to shoot for us one of the first things I have them do is email me 5 full wedding galleries so that I can see how they capture the entire day. And I can’t begin to tell you how important this is. Sometimes what I see is a perfect and other times its simply not the right fit. But it is definitely helpful to see an entire wedding so that you can make sure you are happy with the way they capture the entire day.
4. Make sure you connect with them
I always say that no matter who you pick for your wedding photographer you want to make sure that you like them! And have a connection with them 🙂 After all, they are going to be with you most of the entire day so its important to know and trust them 🙂 If you don’t have the chance to meet in person you can always schedule a face to face Skype meeting or a phone call!
If you decide on your wedding photographer using the above 4 criteria MORESO than based on price, you GREATLY increase your chances of being totally happy with your final results of this once-in-a-lifetime decision.