It’s a given that you’ll be looking more than picture-perfect on your big day, but will your chosen photographer be as successful with his shots?

Second to your venue, your photographer is often one of the single biggest expenses attached to saying ‘I do’. In fact, your wedding photographer will sometimes nab a larger proportion of your budget than even your dress!

12-days-of-planning-photographer
Nicci & Vaughn – ladandlass.co.za

One of our real couple’s once wisely told us that you should invest in your photographer, dress and rings, as these are what live on after your wedding day. Your photos will keep your day and all those amazing emotions alive. The right photos will have you teary eyed, make your heart flutter, and give you that warm, loved-up glow.

It’s also a given, then, that choosing your photographer is a big deal, and we’re here to help you get it just right.

Be stylish

You might not know it, but you’re about to become an expert in the different styles of photography. Don’t worry, thumbing through our real weddings and browsing Pinterest will be enough to do your homework.

Investigate different options like lifestyle, documentary, portrait, reportage and more, and find the styles you like. Do you prefer the more traditional, staged and formal shots, pictures that are more relaxed and in the moment, or perhaps a blend of the two?

Once you’ve chosen your photographer with the right style for you, consider booking an engagement or pre-wedding shoot. This will give you the chance to get to know each other (they are going to be there for the whole of your wedding day, after all!) and to relax in front of their camera. Becoming comfortable with your photographer’s presence will help make sure that your photos come out perfectly, whatever style best suits you.

Shots, shots, shots

One thing we always recommend to our couples is to draw up a list of your must-have photos (ahem, confetti photo, anyone?). Not only will this give your photographer an idea of what you’re after style-wise, it’ll also make sure nothing essential is missed out. You won’t see the finished images for a while after the wedding and you won’t have the chance to take them again – doing this will help you get them right, first time.

Leaf through Wedding Ideas and scroll through Instagram, collating photographs that you like. What is a recurring theme – the lighting, style, use of location, perhaps? Identify what makes you tick and share it with your photographer. Make sure you’ve had a good look through their portfolio to be sure they have experience producing photographs that will match your expectations.

On the money

It might be one of your biggest outlays, but your photographer does still need to come in on budget. If it means cutting back somewhere else to give you that bit extra to spend, make sure you do.

It’s also worth checking and double checking what is included in your package. How long will they stay for? How many prints will you receive? Is an album included? How about a photo booth? If they aren’t local, will you need to add extra for their travel and accommodation expenses? Knowing your complete costs is key to bringing your big day in on budget, whatever that may be.

And on time

This comes in two parts. Firstly, make sure you are happy with the timings your photographer will be there in the day. Will they arrive early enough to capture your getting ready moments? Will they stay for your first dance? If you’re having fireworks or sparklers, do you need to book an extra hour to allow this? Plan ahead to make sure all your special moments are covered.

Secondly, book ahead. The best photographers are often booked up years, not months, in advance. Make choosing your photographer one of your first tasks after setting a date to avoid disappointment.


Which photographers are on your wish list? Hit ‘like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account to join in the conversation.

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