Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors (music, flower arrangements, cake), 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 fact. That means careful research and selectiveness regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanor are extra important when choosing your photographer.
Here are some tips to help you find "the one!"
Settle on a Style
Before you begin researching photographers, you'll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, as that will help determine which kind of photographer you'll want shooting your wedding. Just like when you are choosing a wedding theme, you need to think of what style or aesthetic of photography you want for your wedding photographs. Whether it be formal-posed portraits, a classic photography style or a lifestyle, photo-journalistic feel. Remember that you don't necessarily need to narrow in on one style in particular, since many wedding photographers can do a blend of portraiture and documentary-style shots, a mix of black-and-white and color images and so on. But if there's a special style you love, make sure to focus on photographers who specialize in it.
Get inspired! Spend time perusing any kind of imagery you love...Pinterest is always a great place to start! Once you have a good collection of inspiring photographs, try to narrow in on what draws you to them specifically and dissect what feels most authentic to you and your partner. Now it's time to start your research. Head to Wedding Wire to find local professionals, read reviews, check out their website and social media accounts. Checking out their media will give you an insight on their photography style. How do they capture the moments that are important to you? Like that first look when the bride walks down the aisle, or the cutting of the cake!
Consultations are Key
Choosing a photographer is not a decision that can be made on looks alone—you must meet your potential photographers in person. If you like what you see on their site send an introductory email with a bit about you and your soon-to-be spouse, your event date, the vision for your day, and feel free to attach five or so of your very favorite photos from your research so they know what you love. If the photographer is already booked on your date, you may want to see if they have an associate or can recommend another shooter with a similar style. Set up in-person meetings with three to five potential photographers who are available on your wedding date to look at more of their work and assess whether your personalities mesh. Be prepared to talk about your venue, wedding style and what you envision for your photos!
It usually takes quite a bit of time to get all of your photo proofs back from your photographer. Why? Your photographer is shooting enormous raw files far bigger than your typical JPG. Shooting raw files gives your photographer greater ability to correct the photo, but it also takes a longer time to upload, process and edit all those files. It varies, but many photographers say they spend an additional 40 hours editing images from a single wedding, so it can take awhile to get proofs back.
Here's some questions to ask: How many images should I expect? Will they be high resolution or low resolution? Will I be able to get prints made myself, or does the photographer retain the rights to the images? Will the proofs I see be the retouched versions, or does that happen after I select the photos I want? Speaking of retouching, ask about retouching options and special effects (which can range from simple white balancing to beauty retouching and stylized art effects like super-saturated colors) and the additional cost for both.
Wedding Day Prep!
Remember that your photographer is the professional, while it’s helpful, you shouldn’t spend too much time putting together a detailed list of specific shots for them. Instead, pass along your day-of timeline, give them an idea of what images you’d like captured. For example, a specific pose with your significant other, a "first look" with your parents. Let the photographer do their thing! This way, they’ll put extra emphasis on snapping shots of all your amazing details with the goal of helping your wedding aesthetic truly stand out.
In my opinion, Photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding day. The photographs are something tangible that you will be able to hold onto and cherish forever, and help you relive specific memories from your wedding day. It may seem like a lot of work, but putting in homework time for your photographer is very important in ensuring that you are 100% happy with the photos you will have to look back on!
At Harrybrooke , we work closely with vendors that we have created and maintained great relationships with.
For photography, look no further than Picture This!
Picture This styled the shoot for our spread in the Connecticut Bride Magazine, take a look below at some of the beautiful pictures from that day!
One of my favorite things about Harrybrooke is the many different backdrops you can have for your wedding day. Each location in the park makes it look like the photographs are taken in different places entirely. It's amazing that you can get all of these looks in one place - Harrybrooke!
That's the magic of Harrybrooke.
Arielle Barker (Current)