It seems only right that I start Wedding 101 with a subject close to my heart! How to book a Wedding Photographer. Now I’m certainly not the first person to offer advice on this subject. There are literally a bazillion bridal magazines out there that will offer you all sorts of advice (grammar nazis this is not a misuse of the word ‘literally’ – go and count how many bridal mags there are. Seriously.) But best you get it straight from the horse’s mouth hey?
1. Do your research
This is a big event in your life, it’s not like you can just do it all again tomorrow if you want to take the photos again. So do your research. Ask your friends who are already married. Ask who they used, ask what they liked and didn’t like about their wedding photos. Get googling, look at some bridal magazines and blogs and find some images you like. This is really important. Start looking at wedding photographs and decide what you like. Find someone in your area or the location of your wedding that has a style that speaks to you.
2. Think about what is important to you
Are you a details person? Do you want every last detail recorded and photographed or is emotion and mood important? Is the ceremony important or would you prefer some formal portraits? Do you prefer not to be the centre of attention and have a more fly on the wall approach? Is there a shot of you and your bestie that you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HAVE? Would you like to send your guests a thank you card with your wedding photos on them? Would you like to print your wedding picture to billboard size and hang it all around your home town? Knowing what is important to you will make the next few steps a whole lot easier.
3. Check the packages
This is where it can get confusing – figure out what is important to you as above. Also jot down a rough timeline of your day, don’t forget to factor in any travel time. You might be surprised at how long a day it has become. Knowing this information when you read packages can help you immensely.
These days, the majority of photographers will offer high resolution digital files as a part of their coverage. This is ACE! You are essentially getting the negatives and will have control of storing the files for the future. You do not need RAW files, and to be honest – you don’t want them. Raw files need specific software to be viewed and will not have been edited.
Prints and albums will also be offered and sometimes engagement shoots, thank you cards and other extras. Buying prints through a photographer will always yield a better result as they will come from professional labs on good quality archival paper. Harvey Norman for 7 cents a print sounds good, but don’t expect them to last. The same definitely goes for albums. Photographers have access to professional level album companies that will be top notch quality, and the bonus? The photographer spends the time designing the album – not you! In my experience, once the wedding is over most couples move on to the next big adventure and never quite get around to making their own album.
4. Meet your photographer
Possibly the most important step in the process. Meet with the actual real person that will turn up at your wedding. Larger collectives often have a pool of photographers, so make sure you are meeting the one that is coming to your wedding. Your photographer will be with you for the whole day, they will see more of the action than any of your guests and family (and possibly see you in yer undies!). You will know when you meet them how you feel. And if in that meeting you don’t feel 100% comfortable they are probably not the photographer for you. And this is a two way street. If you all kinda have a three way crush on each other its going to be a FABULOUS day.
5. Read the fine print & don’t be afraid to ask
Yes I know this is boring but it’s kinda important. Once you come to the actual booking, photographers will send you invoices, contracts and more information. It should outline exactly what is being delivered to you and everyone’s responsibilities. Make sure you read it fully and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Booking a wedding photographer shouldn’t be hard and a good photographer will help you navigate all of these questions. And of course, you should jump on over to my page of featured weddings if you are looking for a Wedding Photographer Melbourne.