Originally posted as a guest blog on spectacularscenes.com.
I have worked with Vickie at Spectacular Scenes on a couple of occasions now and it's always a pleasure.
Spectacular Scenes is a premier Wedding and Event Dressing/Styling Business based in the North of the UK. They offer a full Bespoke venue dressing service including professional Floristry and have an extensive range of wedding props available to hire.
My top 5 tips for wedding photography.
1. Find a style that fits your wedding.
There are lots of different shooting styles and also editing techniques and it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate between them. Whilst you are researching you'll need to have an idea of the style you prefer. To name just a few: Fine Art, Lifestyle, Dramatic, Photojournalistic and Editorial.
However, if too many images are heavily edited in the photographer’s portfolio, this could be an attempt to cover up poor quality shots. Also, be aware that post-processing often follows trends. The faded film or light and airy instagram look that’s all the rage right now might not be in 10 years or even 6 month’s time. Clean shots that have been colour corrected can have filters applied at a later date in line with current trends, which is much easier and more practical than receiving photos with filters already on.
The files your photographer will create are much bigger than your typical JPG, which give a much greater ability to edit the photo. This means it also takes a longer time to upload, process and edit all those files. Each wedding and photographer will vary with the number of shots taken, but it can often take up to six to eight weeks to get images back.
2. Look at photographers with a variety of experience, not just weddings.
Ideally you want someone who has shot weddings before as taking photos is only one part of being a wedding photographer. I have helped make favours, tie shoelaces, adjust button holes and entertain children and pets!
It's highly unlikely you will have optimal conditions for the shots at your wedding (i.e. harsh midday sunlight, indirect natural light, dark ceremony area) so it's worth looking at photographers who are experienced/skilled in the types of environment the wedding will take place in.
To sum it up, having multiple weddings under your belt definitely helps, but relevant experience can also be gained from many other areas such as music, and sports photographers.
3. Do your homework - research the venue and make a list of specific photos you would like to see.
This covers quite a lot when it comes to your wedding and the more you do, the better prepared you will be. Research your venue - have you seen weddings shot there by other photographers? This will give you an idea of what is achievable at the venue. This is even better if you can find some that have taken place at a similar time of year.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential photographers make sure you see a few full wedding albums they have supplied to clients (digital or print) rather than just the portfolio images on their website. This will enable you to check for consistency. Then start reading their reviews and testimonials. Check out their social media pages. Is the feedback from clients positive? How does the photographer respond?
Additionally, if you want specific group shots, make a list of them and collect examples of the types of shots you like. You could even make a Pinterest board to share ideas with your photographer.
4. Choose a photographer you get on with well, this will be invaluable in a dynamic setting and will help deal with any stressful situations.
When choosing your photographer make sure you feel confident and happy with them, ensure they answer any questions, no matter how silly you think they may be.
Do you like your photographer? You already like their work but how about as a person?
They'll be shadowing your every move on what can be one of the most stressful, intense, emotional and, of course, happy days of your life. You want someone you have rapport with, so you can relax and be yourself, as ultimately this will make for more natural images. You want them to be as excited about your wedding plans as you are. The more comfortable you and your other half are with your photographer, the better the photos will turn out.
Also, think of your guests. If your wedding photographer is approachable, friendly and down to earth, your guests will be at ease allowing the photographer to blend in and capture the day as it naturally unfolds rather than it being forced and awkward.
Go with your gut, if something doesn’t feel right then perhaps go and meet another photographer you also liked.
5.Don't let the money be the only factor when deciding on your photographer..
Although price is important when choosing your wedding photographer, it shouldn’t be the main factor. After all, when the confetti has settled and the cake has been eaten, the photographs are what you will have to remember the day by.
Be realistic about your budget, if the photographer’s standard full day package is £2,000 and your budget is £1,000 then you may not be the right match for each other. Equally, remember that there are good and bad photographers in every price bracket, so spending a fortune on the photographer will not guarantee you will be satisfied with the end effect.
The key at all stages is communication: communication with your venue, your florist, your hair and make-up, and especially your photographer. This way everyone knows what is expected of them and all questions are answered no matter how silly you feel they may be.
BONUS BONUS TIP:
I can’t stress this enough - please allow plenty of time for portraits and group photos - these take time to organise, to get everyone together and looking in the same direction! Discuss this with your photographer, who will be able to suggest minimum required time.
It is also often nice to take some time out during the wedding for intimate pictures of just you and your partner as newlyweds - away from the hustle and bustle of it all. This gives you time to breathe and spend a bit of time together while settling yourselves before going back to your party.
I hope this was of use, please let me know your thoughts in the comments :)