Photography Week I: A Few Things to Consider

Every couple will have their own set of priorities for their wedding day – some feel the food is most important, others want to choose the best venue or perhaps have the most stunning flowers…but consider this: when the food has been eaten, the gown has been worn and the flowers are gone, the one thing that will allow your wedding day to live on forever is the photos.

The rule of thumb is that your wedding photography should account for about 10% of your overall budget. Quite honestly, great photography is worth a bit more of a splurge. Even if you’re on a tight budget and you’re having a small wedding with lots of inexpensive but stylish DIY details, the right photographer can capture the ambiance and spirit of the day to create images worthy of any magazine cover. A perfect example of this is Tec and Chelsea’s wedding shot by Jose Villa:

In her blog post on Weddingbee Pro, Chelsea says: “We knew that if we had someone making our day look as epic as it actually was, we would get creative and work out the relatively tight budget accordingly.  And with tons of sweat and love from our friends and family, a beautiful day full of love and romance and memories was pulled off.”

Choosing just the right photographer for your big day is an important decision – be sure to give it the time and attention it deserves. Here are a few things to consider during the process:

1. As soon as you book your venue, start looking for a photographer…as early as 12 months before your wedding day. Many photographers book up to a year in advance so you’ll want to give yourself ample time to do the research, make the best choice and ensure the photographer will be available on your wedding date.

2. Think about what kind of photography you want. Do you like candid shots? Do you prefer more formal portraits? Do you want your photos to have a soft, romantic look or do you want the images to be crisp and colorful? Visit as many photographer websites and blogs as you can to get an idea of the range of styles out there and what you connect with the most.

3. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, interview at least 3 photographers. Ask to see one or two complete albums from each photographer, not just a collection of their best photos. Seeing a complete album will give you a better idea of the photographer’s depth of coverage during the event and it gives you a preview of how your wedding might be captured.

4. When interviewing a photographer, remember that personality is as important as skill…after all, you will be spending a great deal of time with your photographer and you’ll want to be comfortable with that person.

5. Create a shot list for your photographer. Think about the “must have” photos you want to have taken (the “shoe shot”, an artistic close-up of the rings, etc.) and think about who needs to be included in your formal portraits. There will be so much happening on your wedding day, you don’t want to run the risk of forgetting to pose for a photo with your sister or grandma – it can (and does) happen! If you really want to make life easy for your photographer, include photos of the most important people on your shot list so they will easily recognize them on your wedding day.


{above: the “shoe shot” and the bicycle getaway have been very popular with brides recently}

6. Although a shot list can be helpful – don’t overdo it. Is it really necessary to take a photo with each of your 27 cousins individually? Remember, you want to enjoy having your photos taken – it shouldn’t become a chore.

7. It’s a good idea to visit your venue with your photographer before the wedding day. This will help your photographer determine what kind of lighting they will be working with and you can both brainstorm about the best location/setting for portraits, etc.

If you’re about to start your search for a photographer, you’re in luck. This week will be featuring some pretty amazing photographers from around the country, each with their own style and approach to weddings.

Our first feature will be a treat…stay tuned!

Photo Credits:
bride with bouquet: Kate Headley
groom with shoes: Elizabeth Messina
Tec and Chelsea’s wedding: Jose Villa
shoe shot: Kate Headley
couple with bicycle: Our Labor of Love

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