Important Things To Consider Before You Book a Photographer
— By Lydia Martin
09 May 2016
Imagine this offer: A big leather-bound album, hundreds of 5x7 prints, a canvas for above your bed, and a huge framed print for the lounge. All this, and two photographers covering your wedding for an entire 12 hours – and the price is within your budget. What a deal!
Fast-forward to 4 weeks after the wedding. You’ve just arrived back from the honeymoon, and you’re very excited to see your wedding photos. After a year of planning and lead up, countless hours and thousands of dollars, it was the perfect day. And now you get to relive each special moment as you look through your photos.
But after opening the album, your heart sinks.
The photos aren’t very good. Yes, they’re in a beautiful album, the package at the door was BIG (it had to be to fit the massive canvas and framed prints), and yes you got over a thousand photos on your USB. But the photos, they suck! I mean, they’re okay - they got the kiss shot, they got you walking up the aisle, there are photos of you two in each other’s arms - but, they’re just not as magical as you had hoped. They don’t convey any of the emotions from the day. They don’t capture the warm relationships between you and your favourite people, and they don’t blow your mind with their artistic quality.
When you’re looking for a wedding photographer, you’re presented with an overwhelming array of options, usually presented as ‘packages’ or ‘collections.’ In the packages there are two main elements: photographer and products.
One of these elements is of the utmost importance. The other one really isn’t.
Products (canvas prints, albums, 4x6’s, and so on) are commodities. In most cases there’s nothing particularly special about getting your photographer to supply them. Yes, there are different print qualities depending on the supplier, and different types of wedding albums – but there are many places that can provide you with the same products as a photographer.
Who is going to photograph your wedding? Now THAT is what matters.
The photographer is tasked with the responsibility of capturing a day that means so much to you and your future spouse, as well as your friends and family, creating a record that you’ll be able to proudly share with your grandchildren one day. A good photographer will have spent years perfecting their technical skills, and will know how to deal with bad lighting situations or bad weather. They’ll also have plenty of great ideas of where to take you for an amazing photoshoot. And, perhaps most importantly, they’ll know how to make your guests feel comfortable, meaning you’ll forever have an array of candid photos that capture the way people felt and interacted at your wedding.
If you want to display your wedding photos in an album or on your wall (because really, that’s the best way to display them!) but your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, consider asking your photographer to supply them later on - as a first anniversary present, for example.
Once you’ve made a shortlist of photographers within your budget, look at a recent wedding they have photographed and ask yourself:
· Do the images immerse me in this stranger’s wedding day?
· Do I feel excited when I see the photo of the bride walking up the aisle, just like the guests felt?
· Do I crack a smile when I see the head table laughing at the best man’s jokes?
· Do I think the couple look incredible in all the photos?
· Do I almost feel like I was at this wedding?
With these questions in mind, does one of the photographers stand out? Book them. At the end of the day, these considerations are of much greater importance than whether or not their package includes the big album or the canvas print.