Selecting the right photographer for your wedding day is arguably the most important choice you’ll make, but defining “right” isn’t the easiest thing to do here. The right photographer for one bride, may not be the right photographer for you. We have asked one of the Gulf Coast Premier Photographer’s to share her advice.
There are some basics that I believe all brides should look for when finding the “right” photographer for their wedding day. I tell my brides, first and foremost, you have to find a photographer whose work makes your heart sing! When you see their pictures you need to think, “This is the look, the style, the feel that I want for my own wedding pictures.” Be sure to review a photographer’s portfolio thoroughly before even proceeding with contacting them.
Secondly, find a photographer who you really like! Not talking about their work here…that’s already been settled with step one. You need to really get along with your wedding photographer. It should just click! You should feel like you can relax because they are a professional you can trust, but you should also feel comfortable enough to approach them with your ideas and questions. Ask yourself, “Is this someone I want around me all day on my wedding day?” Once you’ve narrowed down to a few photographers whose work you really love, set up a time to meet with them in person or speak with them over the phone. A phone conversation can give you a great idea on how well you’ll mesh with them in a working relationship.
Finally look at your budget. I know, many brides consider this the first step, and just start shooting off emails to every photographer in their area asking how much they charge. Don’t do that! Don’t choose a photographer based on budget right out of the gate. Once you’ve found a photographer, or maybe you got lucky and found a few photographers, whose work you really love and you really click with them, then ask to discuss their pricing plans. Maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised and find that one of them fits your budget perfectly. Or, maybe you’ll gasp and want to fall over from sticker shock. If this is the case, approach your choice with your budget, and ask them if any adjustments can be made. Depending on the time of year your wedding is taking place, how far off your wedding is, customizations you can make to your package, or other factors, your photographer of choice may be able to work with your budget. You may also see that there are areas in your overall wedding budget where you can make some adjustments to insure that the “right” photographer becomes your photographer.
What does it mean when a photographer states they are photojournalists?
A photojournalist photographer captures your wedding day in a candid, storytelling style. Usually, this photographer is much less regimented, and much more focused on documenting the moments and emotions throughout your day. While many photojournalists photographers strictly capture candid pictures, there are also plenty who will take formal or traditional posed pictures as well. Most brides want their photographer to do both. So be sure to have this discussion with potential photographers before hiring them to photograph your wedding day.
Do I need more than one photographer?
I believe the only time you NEED more than one photographer is when your wedding day is so large that there is no way to adequately cover everything and everyone in the available amount of time if you have just one photographer. However, having more than one photographer is never a bad idea. There is no downside to this whatsoever, only good things! More pictures, more angles and viewpoints of the same beautiful moments, and more accomplished in less time. If the photographer you have chosen has the option in the packages they offer for a second photographer, and there is room in your budget for this, then you can’t go wrong making this choice.
Is it okay to ask for services or products to be added or deleted from a current package a photographer may have?
Absolutely! This doesn’t mean every photographer is willing to adjust their packages, but most certainly are. It never hurts to ask; especially if it means you may get to use the photographer who is the one you really want for your wedding day!
What are is difference in adding a joint copyright release or license to print my images to my photography package?
First, a photographer should not sell you or give you the copyright to images they took for you. If they are a true professional photographer, they know that they must retain the copyright in order to legally use the images on their website, their Facebook page, and for any other marketing or advertising purposes they have. A photographer may give you a joint copyright if you desire to use the images for marketing purposes, or they may only give you a license to print. A license to print allows you to use the images for personal use, print them as many times as you’d like, or give them away, but you can not use the images for the purpose of generating income, which eliminates you being able to sell your pictures or use them to market or advertise your business. Discuss your needs with your photographer before hiring them. You should be able to come to an agreement on the type of release you need.
Photography by Jaclyn Robinson