Whether you're looking for lifelong memories wrapped up in an album, or you forget the finer details of your day amidst a sea of champagne bubbles and excited butterflies, a talented wedding photographer is often worth their weight in gold.
When it comes to details such as flowers, the cake and the dress, the bride and groom can sample, chomp and tailor their way to the perfect preferences, but photos can't be previewed before the big day. All this considered, finding the ideal person to take your shots can be a daunting decision.
Before you venture into the unknown realms of professional wedding photographers, it is worth deciding what kind of style you want your photos to embody. Those looking for a natural, candid look can opt for a documentary style photographer, whilst couples who want classic shots can decide on a portraiture photographer. If you're interested in traditional pictures with an edge you can search for a fine art photographer, whilst fans of modern, dramatic photographs can opt for editorial, contemporary professionals.
Once you've decided what kind of style you want your photographs to adhere to, you can begin researching potential photographers. Local wedding magazines, wedding shows and websites offer plenty of access to listings and most importantly, reviews, so you can explore a number of potential options before contacting any professionals.
Many couples opt for recommendation via word of mouth, so if you are particularly fond of a friend's wedding photos, don't hesitate to ask them who their photographer was.
Once you have made a shortlist, arrange to meet each photographer in person. After checking their fees and their availability, it is worth meeting each potential photographer to ask any questions, voice any concerns and to see if your personalities complement each other. This person is going to be floating on the edges of one of the most important days of your life after all…
Rather than just skimming through portfolios, request that your photographer show you some complete wedding albums. This will allow you to gauge a complete wedding photo collection rather than the highlighted version shown on their website or in their brochure. When viewing albums, ask to see some from weddings that occurred in similar settings to yours, for example, if you're planning on saying 'I do' on a beach flooded with sunlight, it's no good viewing albums of church ceremony photos.
Many of us fail to realise that wedding photography goes far further than turning up on the day and shooting some memorable moments. Many photographers return home with a huge catalogue of photographs, many of which have to be edited. Ensure you ask your photographer what their typical time scale is when it comes to sending proofs, and what they offer in terms of post-production. In our modern age filled with air brushing, special effects and retouching, anything is possible, but not all photographers are happy to digitally enhance their images. That said, many professionals now offer retouching services that will deem you worthy of a front cover, so by all means explore the options available and decide which option you'd prefer.
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