Spring is wedding planning season and brings with it the stress of booking vendors, figuring out colors, and narrowing down a guest list. My biggest advice for engaged couples who are in the process of looking for the perfect wedding photographer is this:
Find a photographer whose work you love, get to know them, AND THEN FULLY TRUST THEM.
1. They can take your ideas and perspectives, and translate them into art.
You probably have a Pinterest account chock-full of amazing and beautiful photo ideas, decoration possibilities, beauty tips, and good ol' "how to plan the perfect wedding" articles. Yes, I love when there's a vision and a means to bring it to life! Your wedding photographer will listen to your themes and plans, and create a mental picture of the event. When they arrive to photograph your wedding, they will take into account all the details and work you put into making a beautiful wedding event and use those little details to create an amazing end product: timeless wedding photos that you want to print and cover your walls with.
A good photographer can not only see beauty in their surroundings but they also have the ability to bring out that beauty from the mundane.
2. They have done this a few times before.
I get it. Money certainly doesn't grow on trees and budgets do effect how and where you spend it. Wedding planning is expensive (more about that in a coming article!). You might be shocked to see photography packages priced at $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 or more. If you're simply price shopping for your wedding photographer, something to consider if that photographer's experience and track record with clients. (PS - I think price shopping is a great way to hate your wedding photos later on!)
You might have found a wedding photographer offering $1200 packages for all day coverage. If they are just starting out their career, great. Everyone starts somewhere! However, consider: how many weddings have they shot? Do they understand the flow of a typical wedding day? Can they handle any situation that may arise during the chaos of a wedding? Better yet, can they avoid a stressful situation before it happens on your wedding day?
The old saying, "You get what you pay for" is SO true in our industry. As a professional wedding photographer, my #1 goal is client experience. From the moment I receive an inquiry through delivery of photos, my focus is providing you with an exceptional experience, high quality product, and blissful memories throughout the entire wedding process. Don't sacrifice that amazing experience by price shopping for the lowest package you can find.
There are very few situations that I haven't encountered during a wedding. Most of the time, I anticipate situations and am able to take care of them before the bride or groom are aware of what's happening. Situations can be as simple as a popped button on the bride's dress, a missing ring bearer (usually because they are using the restroom haha!), or as complicated as a rain shower arriving just in time for your ceremony.
Allow me to make the necessary judgement calls and decisions; you can then sit back, relax, and really truly enjoy your wedding day.
Many times, clients will ask for advice from the photography perspective. They may need more information on what to wear to their engagement session, how a certain style of makeup will photograph, or what looks best at their ceremony site for their wedding party photos. I LOVE being a part of these decisions - WHY? Because I've done this a few times before. I can provide input to help you make decisions that will translate beautifully into photos!
3. They want amazing photos for you JUST as bad as you want them for yourself.
My livelihood is my art. And providing an excellent client experience is your insurance, in a way. Positive feedback from past clients is my greatest asset and ensures my active continuation in your wedding planning process and the wedding day itself. I want you to have incredible wedding photos, photos that you are proud of and want to share with everyone, photos that you print and hang on your wall, photos that will be passed down to your child maybe someday!
4. Trust your own choice.
You hired your photographer based on their aesthetic and photographic style, yay! Now let go, and let them do what they are good at. You may not see the angle they are seeing during your photo session or wedding day or you may not understand the reason for the crazy light stands, lenses, or backdrop they are utilizing. If they have a plan, let it happen and you will likely be pleasantly surprised.
5. Eliminate YOUR WORRIES
Lastly, by choosing to trust, you eliminate a whole set of worries during your planning time and wedding day! A bride and groom want and NEED to trust their photographer and know that they are in good hands. Don't spend your wedding day worrying about what images they are creating and moments they are capturing. Spend your wedding surrounded by friends and family, love and support, happiness and bliss.
On the flip side, by not trusting them and by micro-managing their process, you decrease the ability of the photographer to do their job. If they feel you don't trust them fully, it may be very difficult to shake any insecurities they have, thereby sabotaging the quality of their work.
Clients who book me with full knowledge of my process, quality of work, personality, and their upcoming experience are likely to TRUST ME when it comes to beautiful wedding photos. It's a WIN-WIN for everyone when you find the perfect photographer for you and make the decision to TRUST THEM.