Choosing your photographer is one of the most important steps in planning your wedding; you are choosing an artist to document a very special day! Most couples select their photographer soon after they find a venue and date combination that works for them. This often means couples are booking their photographer as many as 18 months out from their wedding!
This doesn’t have to be a stressful decision if you are armed with knowledge. What factors should you consider when you are narrowing down your choices? We have met with and worked for many different couples, both before and after their weddings, and we would love to share our experience with you!
1. Consider the photographer’s style, expertise, and personality
Not every photographer is for every couple. You probably realize this already. By browsing through pictures and blog posts on a website, you can usually get a feel for the experience you would have on your wedding day and the pictures that would result from working with them. Some photographers will take more of a photojournalist approach, acting like a fly on the wall throughout the day trying to catch those special moments as they happen. On the opposite end of the spectrum are photographers who will be much more involved, often giving people directions throughout the day to craft the pictures they want to take. We take an approach that balances the two. Most of the day we allow to unfold organically, being attentive to the flow of the day and taking pictures that tell the story as it happens. Usually after the ceremony, we go off with the whole wedding party to take some fun portraits. This is the time we direct the group a little more, mainly arranging people in the scene we’d like to capture.
Expertise is another important factor. Photographers display their best work on their websites, but can they handle the settings specific to your wedding? Dimly lit venues offer incredible ambiance, but will your photographer be able to produce high quality pictures in them? Be aware of “natural light photographers.” This often means they do not know how to properly work with flash. A wedding day can have a wide variety of weather too, check to see if the photographer shares work from a range of conditions or ask them how they prepare for rain, snow, cold, heat, bright sun or cloudy skies. We are avid outdoorspeople, we haven’t yet met conditions we can’t handle!
The rapport you have with your photographer is extremely important as well. Be sure to meet with them to make sure you’ll feel comfortable working with them on your wedding day.
2. How much coverage time?
Consider how much time each photographer you’re looking at will make themselves available on your wedding day. Many offer packages based on the amount of time they will be there shooting. When selecting a limited time package, you will have to choose which parts of your day you want pictures of. This may mean cutting pictures of all the girls hanging out at the salon or events you have planned at the reception. We don’t want you to have to make any tough decisions; we will be there for you the entire day (or at least as much as you want us there!). We love being able to tell the whole story!
3. Do they include a second shooter?
We both shoot on your wedding day. Whether that means us splitting up to capture the guys and the girls getting ready in different locations or simply getting two different perspectives of key moments, with us you get two cameras capturing your wedding day. It’s a treat to be able to capture both you and your partner’s “first look” reaction! Having two shooters is a must if candids are the pictures you care about the most!
4. What will you actually receive from your photographer after the wedding?
Will you be receiving digital copies of your pictures? Rights to your pictures? Any prints? An album? It’s becoming more popular for photographers to include your pictures on a USB drive, but many don’t offer this by default. Make sure it won’t cost you another several hundred dollars just to get your pictures! But don’t stop there, ask the photographer how much editing they do on your pictures. We edit each and every picture we deliver, so you can be sure that everything you receive from us is top quality! We also include a canvas or metal print of an image of your choice, as well as a basic wedding album. We work with a couple of different vendors to offer a range of album options and upgrades.
5. How long will it take to receive your pictures?
We are always stunned to hear people who had to wait MONTHS to get their pictures from their photographer! We turn around our pictures usually within 2 weeks! We’re so excited to see them, we often get working on them the next day! It’s nice to be able to share the pictures with friends and family when the buzz from your wedding is still in the air!
6. Is an engagement session included?
We consider an engagement session to be an important part of working with us for your wedding, which is why we include it in our package. If you have a location in mind that either represents you as a couple or is a place you love to frequent, we would love to go! We’ve done some really amazing engagement sessions with our couples and love the creative collaboration they allow us!
The engagement session is the perfect opportunity for all of us to get together, get to know each other, and to learn more about your relationship dynamic. Each couple has their own version of love, and sensing that bond enables us to work with it to ensure you both feel comfortable and yourselves on the wedding day. We don’t have a checklist of poses we work down; we feel out what is natural for you two and work with that. This is what results in those truly stunning couple portraits. You will receive fully edited images from this session to do with as you please. Lots of couples love to use engagement pictures for “save the date” postcards, and we’ll even help you with designing them!
7. Are there going to be any extra costs like travel fees?
With us, there are no surprise expenses. We include travel within the state, even for the engagement session. We include the engagement session, full wedding day coverage, and images with rights on a USB drive. We'll design an album for you; the purchase of the album is the only additional expense you will encounter.
8. Do they have backup plans in place?
Do they carry backup equipment? A camera malfunction could lead to important moments being missed! How do they handle the image files between the wedding and delivery? It breaks our heart when we hear stories of couples who don’t get any wedding photos because their photographer lost all the wedding pictures when their car got broken into or they had a hard drive malfunction! Our cameras shoot to two memory cards, one stays with the gear, and the other remains with one of us until we get home. At home, all images are uploaded to our computer, copied to one hard drive to be kept in a safe, and another copy uploaded to an off-site storage location. You images are precious to us! We are fully insured as well.
9. Who will actually be there shooting on the wedding day?
Some wedding photography businesses work with associate photographers. This means that if the primary wedding photographer has a booking on your day, they may still book you but will have another photographer working under their brand shoot your wedding. Hopefully these sort of companies will be upfront with you when you book. You may not actually get the photographer who took all of those beautiful photos you see on the website. Now, don't get us wrong, a reputable company would likely work with other photographers they trust and who have a similar style to match their brand, but come wedding day, make sure you know who is going to actually be doing the shooting. We are the ones who will be there on your wedding day. We only book one wedding per weekend so you can have our full energy.
Do you have any other questions?
We pride ourselves in delivering the very best wedding photography experience we can! Here's a review a recent bride, now friend of ours, left for us. We are so grateful for her kind words!
"As a bride, I always heard, your wedding is going to go by way too fast. Try to enjoy it. So, we did. We did the things we wanted to and got rid of the things that we didn't. Immediately following the big day we had the chance to go away for a little while. As we laid on the beach we tried to tell each other everything that we remembered. It was fun but not the same, of course. Then I got the pictures. I never thought that I would have to chance to revisit the emotions of that day. Nate and Anna captured the moments that I wanted to relive as well as all of the beautiful ones that I didn't get to see. They caught raw emotion, the beautiful decorations and our friends/family sharing moments of love themselves. We have been told time after time that their photos are the best that our friends and family have seen. I would recommend them simply for their work. However, beyond the work itself, it was an honor to get to know Nate and Anna. They are compassionate humans that are there for you. We felt like friends and not clients. Now that everything is over I will truly miss them and am hoping that we get to keep them as friends."
If you have any other questions about photographer considerations or specifics about our service, we would love to discuss them with you! Contact us HERE and we'll be in touch with you shortly!