Long after you’ve left the dance floor, your wedding pictures remain the last visual link to your big day so don’t skimp on choosing a photographer that speaks to your style. It’s more than just money or finding someone to press a camera button, but something that reaches into your soul. It’s the look, feel, colours, light - a connection that makes your heart sing in a language other than words. And it’s finding a professional to deliver on their promise, providing exactly what you’ve signed up for rather than leaving you in the lurch once the event is over.
Know your style
With the internet at your fingertips, there’s no excuse for not knowing what style you want your wedding photos to evoke. You may prefer a photo-journalistic style that’s more natural in essence, with very little direction from your photographer. Or something more modern may appeal, layering mood and scene-setting on to your shots. Whether you’re after clean and bright images or a tightly controlled studio-like atmosphere, it’ll be pretty obvious whether a photographer’s your perfect match once you see their portfolio online. There are plenty of professionals out there, so if you see something you don’t like move on!
Focus on quality
Before you engage your photographer, bear in mind that you won’t get a second chance - you’ll have to put up with those images for the rest of your life. Be cautious of recommendations for a friend-of-a-friend who’s a keen member of their local camera club and won a couple of local community awards. Yes, you may end up with handful of good pictures, but you’re looking for dozens of show-stoppers! You’ve got albums to fill, high-quality images to blow up for your living room wall and all those family photos to send your clan. Consistency is key and you won’t find that in an amateur.
Engage an expert
A professional photographer is someone for whom it’s their life and business - they’ve got a website, substantial portfolio, procedures to make for a smooth end-to-end process, an ABN and insurance. Just like owning a scalpel doesn’t make you a surgeon, there’s a vast difference between being a photographer and simply calling yourself one - moving far beyond owning a camera with the works and ordering business cards. An expert will invest in their skills, business and industry, putting their clients’ needs front and centre - you shouldn’t expect anything less.
It’s essential to have an in-depth conversation about what you want from your wedding pics - there’s no point searching for that group shot of your fave besties if you didn’t put it on the list! Your photographer should provide a questionnaire about what sort of images you want captured and of whom - if it’s something you have to provide yourself, query their service. You also need clarity around what you’ll receive in terms of image numbers, how they’ll be presented, whether you should expect any prints, plus what size/print quality they’ll be if part of your package.
It’s hard to realise on this side of planning how significant it is to look beyond cutting costs on wedding photography, but those pics will last forever. Take time to research what’s important to you, then find a professional based on your criteria. Don’t get swept away with recommendations unless you’ve seen a wide range of images shot in a variety of light, venues and styles. Seek feedback, ask questions and discover the nitty-gritty about people’s experiences. This is your day, your way and you want those images to tell your story - don’t be undersold with anything less than the best.