5 myths about picking your wedding photographer
Picking a wedding photographer is a daunting task. There are tons of resources telling you how to pick your photographer and lists of a hundred questions you need to ask. They provide a good starting point, but can sometimes leave your head spinning.
You want to know that your photographer knows what they are doing and that they have the gear and resources to capture every loving moment of your big day, but from there it is important to feel comfortable and actually like the person behind the camera. Your wedding photographer is going to be by your side on one of the most important days of your life and you don't want to leave that task to someone who is cold and distant.
There is so much out there saying what to look for and what to ask, but some of it is just, for the lack of a better word, crap.
1. "This photographer has been in the business so long."
Now let's not get off on the wrong foot... experience is important, but experience doesn't always equal passionate and when it comes to your wedding you want someone behind the camera who loves what they do and are inspired by your story.
Talent and abilities are not measured in years alone. Start your search early and spend time on each photographer's website. Meet with the photographers whose images you love and see if there is a genuine connection. Not only are you going to be asking this person to witness one of the most important day of your life, but you're asking them to capture it and all it's magic. If the meeting with them feels awkward and there is a lack of connection you will see it in the photos day of.
2. "My uncle has a nice camera."
I can't even write that without cringing! Good cameras take crappy pictures ALL. THE. TIME. Will you be able to enlarge the photos "Uncle Bob" takes? Yes. Will you want to? Most likely not. If you are on a shoe string budget you are better off cutting the budget elsewhere.
The most important part of a wedding is the marriage itself, but I would argue that second to the vows themselves is the photography. The images that you will hang in your home or put in an album to see day in and day out. To look at through the good times and the bad; all marriages go through difficult times and having beautiful coverage of the day you made those vows can help strengthen your resolve to keep them. Do not leave those important images to uncle Bob and his new "fancy camera" because the camera alone is not enough.
3. "It's too expensive"
It is important to know what you are truly paying for and I can tell you it's more than 8 hours the day of the wedding. My job as your wedding photographer is to become a part of your team. To build that relationship with you I spend a lot of time meeting and corresponding with you. Come your wedding day I know your style, the most important parts of your day, and have helped you fine tune any details that need tuning.
And the work doesn't stop there. Then comes the part that always makes my butt numb. I sit at my computer and cull through all the images from the day and typically end up spending three hours in post production for every one hour I am shooting.
4. "This photographer's package promises 1,000,000,000 final images"
In our current "Super size me" world it is important to remember that MORE does not always equal BETTER. A real professional is going to cull their images down to the very best from the day. As a bride it is easy to feel like you need every single shot from the day because Martha Stewart has told you that you need to get at least "X" number of photos or your wedding will be ruined, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret... she lied.
It is my job as your photographer to cull through the images and narrow them down to the best images because while a billion photos might sound like a good idea at first it will quickly become overwhelming and you will NEVER end up printing them. How challenging would it be to pick out 10-15 images to have printed or enlarged for your mom and new mother in law when you have to go through 1200+ images? very. So challenging that I'd bet money it wont happen.
On top of the extra work it adds for you as a bride it also diminishes the work of the photographer. Chances are if your photographer is offering you thousands of photos you will get a lot of mediocre photos that you don't really care about so don't be lured to a photographer just because they offer the most "final images".
5. "You have to have "XYZ" photos"
Your wedding day is not a photo shoot and you don't want it to be captured as one. Don't spend your wedding day watching for your photographer to make sure they are always capturing your best side and that you are striking the right "pose" when they are near. ENJOY your wedding and have fun! It will make for the best images and as mentioned previously it is the photographers job to cull out any bad ones so any double chins or closed eyes will be our little secret.
This is not to say that some images wont be posed, in fact usually there will be a short "photo shoot" day of to capture any formal photos you would like to have with family the bridal party and your groom, but you don't want the whole day to be posed. I promise you will enjoy looking back at the images of you and Aunt Sally twerking on the dance floor that you never knew I captured more than if I posed you with her. You will enjoy it because the image will help you recall the actual memory and all the fun you had.