My 7 Tips for Choosing Your Photographer
Yay, you’re planning your wedding! But wait… there is SO much information out there so where do you start!? When it comes to choosing your photographer, I’ve got a few tips that might make that decision a little easier! Unlike the work of your other wedding suppliers (music, flowers, cake, etc), photographs aren’t things you can hear, smell, taste or even see at first. You don’t really know what you’re getting until after the wedding day. That means browsing endless websites and careful research regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanor are super-important when choosing your photographer! So here we go…
Choose Your Style
Before you begin researching photographers, you’ll need to first think about what type of photography style you prefer and you might not even realize you have a style until you have done your homework! There are very different types of photography, so have a clear idea of what you want for YOUR wedding. Believe it or not, but there is a lot to choose from… Documentary, Portraiture, Fine Art, Edgy, Fashion, the list goes on.
Do Your Home Work
Now that you know what you want… who is going to do it!? Browse through local listings like SA Weddings or The Pretty Blog to find photographers in your area. Carefully review potential photographers’ websites and blogs to check out photos of other weddings they’ve recently shot, which will give you an idea of their style. Check out their Facebook & Instagram pages too, if possible.
Meet For Coffee
This is not a decision that can be made on looks alone! It is highly recommended that you meet your potential photographer in person. If you like what you see on their sites and their fees are in your budget, the next step is to see if they’re available for your wedding. Set up a coffee date so that you can get to know them a little more intimately before making any commitments. This person will be in your face the WHOLE day… you need to make sure this is someone you get on with!
Review the Work
Ask to see a full wedding album that the photographer has shot from start to finish. Remember that a photographer will showcase the BEST of their work where possible. Having a look at a full wedding will give you an idea of their capabilities from getting ready to getting down on the dance floor. Also keep in mind your own wedding, is it indoor or outdoor? Can your prospective photographer handle the surroundings that will be at your wedding venue?
Okay, so you have managed to cut your options down to 5 photographers that you really LOVE! You can now compare what they offer verse what is included in their packages. A photographers pricing will let you know what level of professionalism they are on. The industry average is around R15,000. This might sound like A LOT of money, but remember that long after your bouquet has been tossed in the air… your photographer will be spending HOURS working on your images in post-production. Don’t be afraid to negotiate either! We all know how expensive wedding have become, so if that means choosing to leave out an album or have an hour or two less on the day, you can still have the photographer of your dreams without breaking the bank!
Secure the Booking
Most photographers will tend to be booked up as far as 6 to 8 months in advance! If the photographer that you have chosen is available, make sure you secure your wedding date. There is usually a deposit that would be required to “save the date”, along with a contract or booking form. Get the paperwork done and you have one less thing to check off your “to do” list!
Ask More Questions
Don’t be shy! You will be paying a lot of money for your photographer, ask as many questions as you can! Communication with your photographer is vital to make sure that you are on the same page and to have a clear understanding of your expectations for the day. If there is something that is important to you and your fiancé, make sure that you let your photographer know! Every photographers approach to weddings is different, to avoid disappointment make sure you have asked all the questions you can think of. If you didn’t discuss it in your meeting, don’t be upset if they didn’t pay too much attention to “detailed” shots like close ups of your wedding rings etc.
Take a look at my Frequently Asked Questions for some ideas on what to ask!
I hope that you find these tips helpful on your hunt for the photographer you dream of! Happy Planning!