When it comes to planning your big day, the first few steps seem to be pretty straight forward–you find your venue, which usually helps select your date, and then you say yes to the dress. But what comes next?
Of course, there are many right ways to plan your wedding, but in my opinion, picking your photographer is the next big step. Many photographers book a year or more in advance, so if you would like wedding pictures, it’s best to plan ahead.
But how do you choose a wedding photographer? What do you ask them to help ensure that you’ll have an experience that you love, and would even recommend to your besties? As a photographer myself, here are my top 3 recommendations:
1. What are you like? What’s your favorite song? What makes you laugh?
I’m sure you’re already confused; why should you be asking about your photographer’s personality–aren’t you hiring her for pictures?! And while you do hire a photographer for pictures, you are also hiring her for so much more! Think about it–you’ll spend more time with your photographer on a wedding day than your future spouse. Your photographer will be in your getting ready room, at your first look with bridesmaids, parents, and groom, your ceremony, and your big celebration afterwards. In other words: you need to like this person. Think of her as a bonus bridesmaid, but with a camera, a smile, and an amazing set of photography skills.
Are you a relaxed bride, and you just want someone that will be chill all day long? Or are you a bubbly bride, and you want someone to giggle with you all day long? There’s no right or wrong here, only what will best fit your personality. So don’t rush through the “getting to know you” part of a photography consultation. Don’t be afraid to ask about your photographer’s favorites. In the end, this can help you make an informed choice for your big day.
2. What is your shooting and editing style?
If you’ve scrolled through Instagram lately, it’s easy to see that there are many different types of photography. Brighter styles with lighter backgrounds may be considered something along the lines of “light and airy” while darker styles may be called “moody.” Don’t worry too much about the terms here–no photographer is expecting you to be an expert!
You do want to ask about a photographer’s style to ensure that you will be happy with the “look” of your wedding day. It takes lots and lots of practice for a photographer to perfect their style, so while a photographer might be able to shoot and edit a certain way if required, each and every one of us will have a method that we are an expert at. Think about other types of artists– a painter will naturally do much better with a brush than a sculptor’s chisel. Photographers are the same way.
Be sure to look through a photographer’s Instagram and website to make sure that you like her style, as that will be the way she shoots your wedding day.
3. What are your add ons and options?
There are many little things that can be added to a basic photography package, and these options will vary between photographers.
You may want to consider having two photographers instead of one, especially if you have a larger wedding with many details and guests to document.
You may want to consider wedding prints and albums so that your wedding photos can decorate your home and be remembered and treasured each day.
You may want to consider adding additional hours of coverage so that you can capture your sparkler exit, amazing dance party, or whatever other awesome twist you concoct for your wedding day.
Here at Christine Hazel Photography, I offer these add ons, as well as aspects such as timeline planning assistance. You don’t need to plan each part of your day alone–I can be here to make things a little bit easier so that you can relax much more as you celebrate the start of your marriage. But you may not know all that your photographer has to offer unless you ask.
I wish you the best of luck as you plan for your marriage, and I’m always here to cheer you on, each and every day.