Whether you are looking for a Wedding Photographer in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Alice Springs or Timbucktoo, there are many different options of wedding photographers out there – So how on earth are you supposed to pick the perfect photographer for you and know that they are best for your day?
We’re here to give you a few tips on what to consider when picking someone to capture your day. But before we do, let’s pause for a sec and actually think about why this part of your wedding planning is so darn important.
Your wedding photography is going to be the ONLY part of your wedding day that is going to be there a week, year, decade and hopefully a lifetime after your wedding (apart from your partner I guess). Brides all do different things with their dress but most will never wear it again, flowers if not taken home are usually thrown out the very next day, Hair and Makeup is gone by the next day, and your food and bar tab, well, that literally gets flushed down the drain later that night. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that these parts aren’t important, your wedding is a once in a lifetime event, you should spoil yourself a little for it if you wish to.
But lets look at your photography.. Your photographer is going to be one of the only people who will spend the entirety of your wedding day with you, and your photos will be the only thing that lasts from your wedding day – As time goes on, your photos will only become more and more valuable to you and your wedding album will one day be shown to your kids, and then even grandkids and who knows how many generations to come. (I’m sure many of you may have seen your parents/ grandparents wedding albums before and seen the memories they trigger.)
Your wedding album is an endearing book that holds the memories of one of the most special days of your life celebrated with all of your closest friends, family and loved ones. One day years down the track, these photos might just become a legacy of your parents, grandparents, friends and how you will remember them forever. What an amazing investment to be making! But definitely not a decision to take lightly, but how do you make sure you choose the right photographer?
Here is how we believe you will know you’ve found the right photographer:
You need to LOVE their photos.
This seems really obvious but can sometimes get overlooked a little. Everyone has different tastes, the photographer your good friend hired or who you’ve been recommended to may be amazing, but just make sure you agree and make up your own mind of whose work you love- You may have a completely different taste and you don’t even know it. Look at plenty of photos, you’ll slowly find yourself looking at images that have a similar look. That look is what you call “photography style” that you may have heard about but had no idea what it meant. Don’t base your whole decision on 1 photo, make sure the photographer is consistently impressing you throughout their website and didn’t just get that lucky shot once.
Meet the actual Photographer in person BEFORE Booking. (not just a sales person)
This one is super important! Like we mentioned earlier, your photographer is usually your ONLY vendor who will spend the entirety of your wedding day with you. You want to make sure you get along well with the actual photographer (not just the sales person) who is in charge of capturing your lifetime worth of memories. If you can’t meet your actual photographer but only a sales person of a big company, then be very cautious- Some big companies usually have many different photographers, some are experienced, some are just starting out, and they will all have a different approach to shooting as well as personality.
If it is hard to find a time to drive and meet your photographer, at the very least set up a skype meeting with them.
If you get along well with your potential photographer and could imagine spending your whole wedding day with them, you might just be on the right track and you will look natural in your photos and receive photos that reflect yourself. If you felt awkward in conversation and feel like you didn’t really click, then pause and remind yourself that you would have to spend all day with this person- It’s going to show in your photos if you don’t get along so it might be best to keep looking. You want to feel like you can be yourself around them and trust what they do.
Check out Albums and Products
Not all albums and products that are offered by different photographers are the same. There are many different styles and sizes out there and like anything, there is a cheap quality and good quality. Make sure you check them out properly. Some tips when looking at quality- Look for any signs of discolouration especially when photos go across the middle fold of 2 pages. Good quality fine art papers will ensure your photos stand the test of time and not discolour. Ask how many pages an album could hold in total if you wanted to upgrade it to the biggest possible. Not that you may need to, but if an album is limited to less than 50 pages/sides, chances are the spine/binding may not be of good quality and could strain as time goes on.
At Jashan Photography, we love to offer our Full Day options which will simply allow all the time needed to cover your whole day the best we can. There are a handful of photographers that offer coverage in this sense while most photographers offer specific numbers of hours which can range anywhere from 3hrs to 14hrs (quite a difference). Make sure you know how much you should expect to be covered with certain numbers of hours. We love to take our time and not rush anything throughout the day which is why we offer our coverage in the way we do without limiting hours. If someone offers collections with particular hours, ask them for an example of how they would recommend to breakdown 4hrs, 6hrs 12hrs etc into your day and how much time they would spend where. The last thing you want to do is feel rushed on your wedding day- it’s going to go quick enough as it is.
Ask Questions and don’t assume anything.
If there is anything you’re not 100% sure about or know what it means whether it be in terms and conditions or on the pricelist or about the day in general, never assume anything, always ask. In fact we encourage you to throw out some tougher questions too, there are many blogs out there that list specific questions to ask photographers- not saying that they aren’t important questions, but we all hear them every time we meet someone, I’m sure there are many photographers who just have the perfect answer practised in front of the mirror and say what you want to hear rather than being genuine, see how they go when you change it up a bit and ask about specific scenarios: if it rains, or if they’re sick, or if time gets behind etc etc(be realistic about it though).
Of course the topic of pricing needs to pop up somewhere. We’ve left it to last here because as you may now see from the above points, there are many factors that go into pricing and many things that should be considered before pricing. From experience, technical skills to service, to coverage to quality etc etc. Simply choosing by looking at 2 pricelists next to each other, will never show the value in what you are getting.
Of course everyone has a budget and should be realistic about it, but in the long run, this is the only thing from your wedding day that will be around for years and decades after, everything else comes and goes on the day where your photos are forever. I’m sure you’ve already heard the saying that you get what you pay for. So to put it simply, if your dream photographer is within arms reach but just out of your budget, think about if that stretch will be worth it to you or not in 1 years time, 10years time, 50 years time. Don’t 1k be the end decision maker that determines the memories you will hold with you for the rest of your life.
Written by: Jashan from Jashan Photography.