I remember how hard it was deciding on #allthestuff that goes into planning a wedding. Selecting who my photographer was going to be was probably my most weighted choice. At the time I didn’t realize it was, but I put more thought into that than on selecting the venue, the dress, the DJ, and the list goes on. It wasn’t that these other components and people weren’t important — they were. But I knew after the wedding was done, the guests went home, and we were off to our honeymoon, the pictures (& video) were what we would be left with for the long term.
Being a wedding photographer now, looking back, I wish there were a few things I would have asked myself before deciding who would photograph our day. Notice, I’m not saying what I wish I would have asked them, the potential photographers. You’ll find tons of articles on that topic all over Pinterest and Google.
But the questions I present are what should I have asked myself.
First, I would ask myself, do I connect with their style of editing?
This is kind of a loaded one. Photographers are artists; each edit their images in their unique way. Some lean toward the dark and moody side of the spectrum, while others are bright and airy, others emulate the color and grain of film (photos), while some still shoot on actual film. Others like to use a lot of flash, others run from flash. Some keep their colors punchy, and saturated, while others wash out their colors, and some try to stay true-to-life. I could keep going on the differences… I didn’t even mention B&W images… but, I’ll stop here: 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now when you look at your pictures, will you like what you see? Will you connect with the image and that moment, or will you question your choice?
Second, I would ask myself if my venue matches the style of images I am expecting on my wedding day?
For years I dreamt of a bright, garden wedding. My reality was that Josh and I got married in the oldest ballroom in Oklahoma (located in Guthrie, OK.) There were lots of windows, however, the walls were dark. Blacks, golds, and warm mauve dominated the venue. I wanted and expected my images to be bright, airy, and true to life, but what I did not consider is the venue I selected would not create that type of image. Could a trained photographer get a well-lit picture there? ABSOLUTELY! But without white walls paired with lots of sunlight, not the bright and airy my mind was envisioning.
Lastly, I would ask myself how I felt after connecting with them?
And by this, I am saying, connect with your photographer (whether it be in person or over a phone call), before making it official. You learn a lot about a person when you are able to talk directly with them. From tones, infliction, and the general conversation, you’ll quickly know if you “vibe” well with this person. You spend so much of your wedding day with your photographer (& videographer), so being comfortable around these people is vital. Do you feel good and excited after talking to that person? Do you feel drained or just not really understood? If you feel that way meeting someone, the likelihood is you’ll feel that way the next time you’re around them.
I hope these three questions have been helpful and thought-provoking! Your wedding day photography pick is not a little decision, and I encourage you to make sure you are finding someone you click and vibe with!