Updated: Jul 29, 2019
Keep an eye out for these things to help you confidently choose a photographer for your wedding.
Planning your wedding can be a stressful and expensive endeavor. Contacting vendors, setting up meetings to meet them, and finally hiring them for your wedding can be very time consuming. High up on your list of people to hire should be a photographer. There are so many different things to consider when choosing a photographer to hire for your wedding. Below, I’ve listed 4 different categories to rank potential photographers so that you can confidently and easily choose the best one for your wedding
While you can find many different wedding photography styles online, it is safe to say that there are 4 main styles. When determining which style you like most, keep in mind how the photos make you feel, how often (and how long) you would have to pose for the photos, and how that style of photos would look hanging in your house or in a photo album.
Traditional wedding photography is characterized by a more hands-on approach from the photographer. These types of photographers usually work off a predetermined shot list to be sure they get every shot the bride and groom want. They will pose the subjects and carefully monitor details within the frame to ensure a perfect photo. This is a safer style to choose since you know exactly what photos you’ll get back from your photographer. Just make sure you carefully go over the shot list with your photographer to be sure they know all the different shots you want taken.
A photographer whose main style is photojournalism focuses mainly on taking candid shots throughout the day. This photographer will shy away from posed photos for the most part (aside from the traditional bride, groom, and family photos) and instead focus on capturing natural candid moments throughout the day. This type of photographer acts more like “a fly on the wall” while observing the wedding and taking photos rather than getting in the middle of it all and posing subjects. At the end of the day, the photos taken by a photographer using this style should tell a story of your wedding day, and that would be especially evident in a stylized photo album or photo-video slideshow.
The fine art photography style focuses on creating pieces of art from your wedding photos. These photos are highly stylized and require heavy involvement from the photographer to execute. The photographer will pose the bride and groom, adjust props and details in the foreground and background, and will carefully get into position in order to capture the perfect shot. This style would require a great deal of time from the bride and groom because of all the detail that goes into the shot. Therefore, this style may be better suited for an engagement photo session where there is a less strict time schedule.
High fashion photograph is just like it sounds. It takes elements from fashion photography and applies it to weddings. Your wedding dress is arguably one of the most important and extravagant things you’ll ever wear, so it is fitting that you have a photographer that can highlight just how gorgeous the dress (and the person wearing the dress) is. The high fashion style also utilizes dramatic lighting and backgrounds in order to make the viewer focus on a particular point in the photo. Similar to the fine art style, these photos are of high quality and a real treat to look at. These photos may, however, take up a lot of time for posing as well.
Now that you’ve chosen your favorite style, it’s time to move onto the second category.
Picking a wedding photographer is a big deal, and you want someone that knows what they are doing. This event only happens once, so the photographer needs to be able to capture every shot necessary. So no, you shouldn’t let Uncle Joe shoot your wedding just because he got a nice new camera last Christmas.
With that being said, I don’t think you should immediately eliminate a professional photographer from consideration just because they don’t have any wedding photographer experience. All great wedding photographers needed their first big break to become known, and more often than not their first wedding photos came out great. If you are considering a photographer that doesn’t have any wedding experience yet, ask them for samples of other work that you can relate to classic wedding photos. For example, ask them for samples of family photos, styled portraits, and maybe candid photos from an event they photographed.
As with most things in life, quality comes with a higher price tag, and that’s what we’ll talk about in the next category.
The saying “you get what you pay for” often rings true in the world of photography. Photographers that are too cheap are often compensating for lower quality or lack of experience. On the contrary, extremely expensive photographers may have a ton of experience and high quality, but they may also be charging more than they need to.
Keep in mind, though, that you are not only paying for the photographer to come to your wedding and push the shutter button on their camera a couple times. In addition to paying for the photographer to take photos at your wedding, you are also paying for the time they spend preparing before, editing and touching up after, and providing any post-delivery customer service needed.
If you are planning a wedding on a budget, be very careful about choosing a photographer. You don’t want to end up with poor quality photos of your wedding, because the photos you have will be one of the only physical things you get to keep from your wedding. So, keep the photographer high on your budget to avoid this type of issue.
So you’ve made it to the last category. You chose a style you liked best and found a few photographers that are experienced in that category and within your budget. Now how do you decide between these last few photographers? Simply, the easiest way is to talk to them. Set up a meeting with them either in person or over the phone to get an idea of if you think their personality fits with yours. The photographer will be by your side for some of the most intimate moments during your wedding and capturing your every move, so it is extremely important that you find someone you are comfortable around.
When you are talking to your photographer, don’t be afraid to ask them questions. Think of this more as an interview you are conducting. Here are some sample questions you can ask the photographers you are interviewing:
How much post-editing do you do to the photos?
How long does it usually take for me to receive my photos after the wedding?
What is included in your wedding packages?
Do you/will you have any other obligations on the day of my wedding?
Will there be a contract defining the terms of service that we both need to sign?
How much is the deposit I need to pay now if I wanted to book you?
You can find many, many more questions to ask your photographer online through a quick google search. Using the answers from these questions, hopefully you can narrow down your search from a few great photographers down to just one.
Congratulations! You’ve just made one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make for your wedding. Everything else is a piece of cake! (Well not really but I couldn’t resist making that pun)
If you are looking for a wedding photographer, consider choosing MG PhotoGraffy. They have experience in photojournalism, and their prices won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Check out their website for all the information you need to choose a wedding photographer (including pricing and packages), and use the contact button on the site to set up a meeting with the photographer.