It is not always an easy task to choose the person you’ll trust with some of the most precious memories of your life thus far. There is endless advice in magazines and blogs of what couples should look for in their wedding photographer; some good, some honestly horrible. Instead of focusing on the more obvious inquiries one should ask their potential photographer (maybe I’ll save this for a later post?) this guide will dive a bit deeper into three aspects of wedding photography for those who are looking beyond the basics, and especially for those who appreciate and value a documentary style of wedding photography.
Does the wedding photographer have the experience, knowledge, and are they level headed enough to handle unforeseen circumstances, tricky location and lighting situations? You’ll want to trust the person telling your story to have the know-how to think on his or her feet and solve issues that might come up, all whilst remaining cool headed and calm, and telling the whole story the way it deserves to be told. In your initial meeting, don’t be afraid to ask to see or hear about examples!
Are you a couple that values creativity, or wants their images to be replicas of others? Life does not fit into a perfectly crafted box. It’s wild and crazy, emotional and unique. Your engagement & wedding story, even if it goes perfectly to plan, will be too. You should still be able to trust your photographer to bring out their creativity while remaining true to their style.
Does the wedding photographer’s shooting style align with how you envision your day being remembered years down the road? Will those images stand the test of time? There’s quite a difference between wedding photography styles, beyond simple editing style or equipment used. In the very basic sense, a traditional/editorial wedding photographer is going to be someone who directs, poses, and perfects what is being photographed. A pure photojournalistic approach is precisely opposite – little to no direction; the wedding is photographed as is, with no intrusion from the photographer.
Most photographers – including myself – are somewhere on a spectrum between the two. The difference lies in the emphasis of the approach. Take a look at the photographer’s immediate, online portfolios (website, social media, and advertising images). If they advertise mostly carefully posed photographs and detail images, their emphasis is a traditional style. If the portfolio shows candid, unscripted images that may invoke strong feelings or otherwise tell the story in a unique manner, they are likely to focus more on candid moments and photojournalism. There are nuances to everything, and it’s an extremely important topic of conversation with your prospective photographer to guarantee the perfect fit for your personality and wedding day.
Choosing a wedding photographer that fits your ideal style, personalities, and goals is not always easy, but comes down to trust. Nearly anyone can prove a wedding happened, especially when the stars align and its a straight forward day. However, when couples value creativity and the ability to solve problems and think quickly, it’s vital to ask the hard questions of a photographer, and dive deep into their approach and experience.
Questions about this advice, or looking to inquire about your own wedding? CLICK HERE and we’ll chat!