Your wedding photography will be with you for all your years together. Selecting a photographer who understands how you want to remember your day will ensure that all your memories are picture-perfect. Just like the other details of the day, the photography can have a distinct style. From traditional to photojournalistic, your choice of photographer can make a huge difference in your experience. No two photographers work the same way, and their portfolios will show it.
Your wedding day will be the most photographed day of your life. As the bride and groom, you will be in almost all of the photographs. For most couples, this is a new experience. It doesn’t have to be a bad one. If the flash of the cameras makes you feel as though you were being hounded by the paparazzi, choose a photographer who has a less intrusive manner. If you’re looking for a high-production, fashion-styled day, then choose a photographer suited for that.
Personality is the key to finding the right photographer. Your photographer will be a very prominent fixture at your wedding. It has to be someone you like and enjoy being around. As with most things, communication is essential. Having a clearly defined vision of your day will help you to successfully interview photographers. Knowing and expressing what you want is the starting point. A great photographer is expecting your participation, and even your collaboration, with the photography choices. Photographers develop a consistent, personal style as they get more experienced. They learn what works and what doesn’t. This really comes out in the final product, especially the wedding album. The photographs are the story of your wedding. How they are edited and sequenced can profoundly affect how your story is told. A simple set of wedding proofs can create many different stories. For example, lots of formals and a structured timeline or perhaps more candids and a conceptualized flow? Each photographer establishes a unique approach to creating an album with couples. Looking at sample albums can give you a sense of their techniques. By working together, the right choice should become apparent.
The best way to express your style to your photographer is by creating a list of your goals. The number of hours of photographic coverage is a good start. Do you need the entire day covered? Begin with the bride getting dressed, the groom pinning on his boutonnière, or the wedding procession. End with the couple’s last dance, the bouquet toss, or the couple’s departure from the reception. Do you want to professionally capture those late-night disco dancers and the wee hours of the party, or can your guests’ cell phones and point-and-shoot cameras take care of those? Your total hours of coverage are a large portion of the bill, so establishing this will be important.
The glamour and classic elegance that black & white photography brings to a wedding is becoming more and more popular. Weddings and portraits will always be suited to the classic look of it. Color and black & white photography can be successfully mixed to capture the day. With the advances in digital photography, beautiful black & white photographs can be made out of any color image. It’s no longer necessary for a photographer to choose between color and black & white. Every photograph can be whatever you choose without sacrifice. Deciding on a final product, whether a wedding album or just prints for framing, will also help to narrow your choices and your budget. It may help to ask your family and friends for advice. Why give your parents an album, if they would prefer some enlargements? Save your money, and get them what they want. If you’re a crafty person, then making your own album may be the right path, but that’s another post! By clearly defining your photography goals, your search will be more productive. Use these goals as a shopping list to help make an “apples-to-apples” comparison between photographers. The differences in their pricing and products can sometimes make this difficult. The photography of your wedding offers a lot of possibilities. Putting a little effort into making the right choice will pay off on your wedding day and every time you look at your pictures.