Here are a few inside tips that have helped our Brides know what to look out for.  It’s a short but valuable crash course in upscale Wedding Photography.

  • Make sure the photographer(s) with whom you are speaking are the actual one(s) who will be photographing your wedding.  We’ve heard many stories regarding an unfamiliar photographer(s) showing up which is very disconcerting to the Bride on the day of her wedding.
  • After finding your wedding venue the next step should always be to secure your wedding photographer because he/she is the single most important choice in planning your wedding.  The best wedding photographers some times get booked two years in advance of the wedding date.  You need to have a date cast in stone because usually wedding photographers don’t want to waste your time if you don’t have those initial details nailed down.
  • Beware of gimmicks…. Free this and that… your Wedding is not a sale at Walmart.  Remember those famous quotes, “Nothing is free in life” and “You get what you pay for”?  You don’t want to cut corners on your once in a lifetime event.  Photographers who have gimmicks may be here one day and gone the next.  Trust on a photographer who believes that the quality of his/her work and the integrity of his/her company will attract the right clientele…. not the gimmicks and Red Light Specials.
  • Make sure your Wedding Photographer(s) have been in the ‘Wedding’ Photography business for a good while.  It takes a lot of experience to know all the intricate facets of photographing weddings.  Not just any new photographer is able to comprehend those split second details.  Also, there are many so called wedding photographers who aren’t experienced in any type of professional photography.  They are flooding the market.   They purchase stock images and throw up a very believable website saying they are wedding photographers.  They may promise you an attractive wedding package but the company might not even be around when it comes time to deliver.   We hear of this quite frequently.  Find a very established company.
  • Don’t let a photographer put pressure on you to place your order for your final album/book within an uncomfortably short time period after the wedding (in some cases you can lose your whole package coming to you if you don’t place your order in time).  The Bride needs to settle down and catch her breath after her wedding/honeymoon, in fact she needs as much time as she wants.  After all, she is the Bride.
  • Be careful when you are told that the photographer will shoot an ‘unlimited’ number of photographs.  Get a minimum amount in writing of what would constitute ‘unlimited’.   It’s important to know at least how many excellent images online that you will have to choose from for your final book…. Even an amateur can shoot an unlimited amount of images.  The quality is what is most important, not the quantity.
  • Make sure that your Photographer(s) know the skills to ensure that the color photographs exhibit skin tones that are warm and glowing, not dull and lifeless.  This talent of having the proper color exposure settings (rather than auto-mode) can make or break the attitude and mood of your images no matter how nice your wedding actually is.  It takes a seasoned photographer to know how to get the precise coloration for a variety of skin tones and to capture the glowing warm ambiance of your occasion.  Also, look carefully at the Black and White Photographs and observe if they are a bright Black and White with what we call ‘snap’ to them as opposed to gray and muddy.
  • For your protection, always get a cancellation agreement, both on your part (if you have to postpone your wedding) and the photographer’s  guarantee on how he/she will cover the wedding in case he/she has an emergency.
  • Your Final Book is the culmination of all your tedious planning and tells the entire story and flavor of your unique wedding adventure.  So it should be the very best and highest quality.  Books with photographs which are adhered to pages are not going to endure as those with actual printed pages.  You want your final book to be archival with a lifetime guarantee.   Also, many photographers take the easy route of choosing the photographs to go into your large formal album/book, assuming that they know what you want which is rather presumptuous.
  • Be sure your photographer’s attire is commensurate with your formal occasion.  Many photographers feel they have artistic license to wear whatever they choose but it could detract from the tastefulness of your event.
  • Your Photographer’s website should offer client testimonials along with the Bride and Groom’s picture who wrote it (very important; otherwise how do you know who really wrote it?)
  • Find out what the guidelines are if your wedding/reception’s timing.  Will your photographer create unnatural pressure to speed up the course of events? Will your photographer leave before it is over? Will your photographer ask you to create a ‘fake leave’ to be able to capture that scene before he/she leaves? It is important to have a very clear understanding in writing ahead of time because many things can happen to the timing. Discuss how the photographer will deal with your event if there is a delay for some reason or if your event goes on longer than previously discussed.
  • Make sure your Photographer(s) are not just doing Wedding Photography on the side.  Wedding Photography is a complete business in itself; not a ‘side business’.  It is a full time responsibility and takes a lot of experience to understand all the ‘ins and outs’ to a Bride’s total satisfaction.  There is so much more involved to photographing a wedding then merely uploading those images to an online viewing site.   If it is done properly, there actually should always be more post production time involved than photographing the wedding itself to insure everyone is viewing amazing images that you approve for them to see.  Photoshop is essential because no Bride appreciates double chins, neck wrinkles, blemishes, large arms, etc., on her finished images or in her book.
  • Make sure the Bride has total control of the wedding image online viewing site so that you have password control and also the ability to edit the images prior to anyone viewing them.  Many photographers throw the images up to the public without your approval.  That is not acceptable.
  • Make sure that your photographer is someone you click with; someone with whom you can have fun and laugh with.  You don’t need a stiff sergeant type photographer ordering you and your guests around.  If your personalities are compatible, you will be much more relaxed and your images will reflect that comfort factor.  When you have a friendly connection with your wedding photographer(s) your guests will also feel at ease around them and the imagery will be more naturally expressive.  You might be a bit nervous on the day of your wedding and your photographer(s) will be very close by throughout the event so make sure that he/she is someone who you enjoy being around.  Hopefully you will develop such a comfort factor that you won’t even be conscious of your photographer(s) taking non stop pictures of you!  ‘Trust’ is what it is all about.  So look for a wedding photographer who is truly looking out for your best interests.  Get a feel for the heart of the photographer(s) and you can leave your photography concerns to him/her and just relax and have fun.
  • Don’t let price dictate your choice of a wedding photographer.  Choosing your wedding photographer is the most significant wedding decision you can make apart from choosing your husband to be!  You want the most incredible images recorded in the best way possible for you to view and share with family and friends forever.  You are not just choosing a wedding photography service but rather an experience that can be an adventure for you providing many treasured memories for years to come.  So choose wisely.
  • You definitely need two photographers for full coverage and that doesn’t mean a Photographer and an assistant either.  This is a ‘once in a life time’ event and you can’t do it over.  Two photographers are able to photograph entirely different angles, perspectives styles, even being in two locations documenting what is going on in several areas which is always characteristic on the wedding weekend.  Having two photographers would also eliminate the distraction that is caused by only one photographer having to scurry around the church to capture the various shots.  Also, the Bride and Groom cannot be everywhere at once and therefore they are oblivious to a great deal of their event.  They will very much appreciate both photographers capturing all the intricate moments happening at the wedding at all times.  Couples are so surprised later to see ‘so-and-so; talking or dancing with ‘so-and-so’.  The wedding is usually a total blur until they see and experience the images that are captured from every aspect and angle.
  • Having a male and female team as your wedding photographers is also very important.  A male photographer has an eye to capture you at your best from a male perspective.  Also he he can be with the groom and the groomsmen to capture some details of them getting ready to tell a story.  And it is very important to have a female photographer, also.  A female photographer has an eye for those feminine details of which women are most conscious.  Also she can be involved with you and your bridesmaids preparing yourselves prior to the wedding; capturing those sensitive details which tell the story of those intricate moments.
  • Finding a fashion Wedding Photographer would be even more of an advantage for you.  He/she will know what the best angles and lenses will enhance your imagery.  There is so much more to photographing a beautiful Bride than just taking the picture… the angle or the lens may add body weight to a Bride who actually has a great figure!  Chin lines and cheek bones are also areas that are accentuated if photographed properly.  Neck wrinkles are usually not appreciated and could have been easily eliminated with the appropriate lighting.  Refined skin tones are also always cherished by the Bride but many times you see results leaning toward coarse looking skin.  These are just a few examples but there are hundreds of other concerns that fashion wedding photographers naturally know how to take into consideration.  Brides don’t need to be worrying about such things.  They just want to look beautiful and have a great time at their event, trusting that their images will be captured from the most flattering perspective in every single situation.
  • Beware of hidden fees that might pop up and surprise you later such as travel expenses, batteries, damaged equipment charges, overtime, etc.  Ask your photographer if these are covered in your contract.
  • When viewing a wedding photographer’s work, check to see that each wedding looks entirely different.  A really great wedding photographer is also an artist who is not just documenting your event but capturing it in a creative way.  Anyone can point and shoot nowadays but a truly amazing wedding photographer is a visionary who is inspired to see and record images in a compelling way.  You don’t want your wedding images to look like every other wedding.  Every Bride is so unique and therefore her images should also reflect her individuality transformed into fine art wedding photography.

There are many more Inside Tips on Wedding Photography but we hope that this helps you with your homework.  Remember that the Wedding Photography is all that you really have after the Wedding.  You might have a video but most Brides say that they only view it a couple times and store it on the shelf.