You’ve spent so much time and energy planning your big day. It’s finally here!
You’ve said, “I do.”
You’ve cut the cake.
You’ve had your first dance as a newly married couple.
You’re so in love and this is one of the happiest days of your life.
… and then suddenly it’s done. Like a flash before your eyes, your day has come and gone. You’ll always carry it within your heart, but there is also something incredibly special about having a physical reminder of your wedding day. (Other than your new spouse, of course!)
The beauty of having a photographer at your wedding is to encapsulate all of the wonderful moments that occur throughout the day. Some that you may remember, or some that have been shot in those quiet, intimate moments that you can fondly rediscover. Photos and albums are not only a way for you to relive your special day but are also a token that can be shared with loved ones, particularly if they weren’t there on the day themselves.
Think about the process of finding the right photographer like you’re trying on wedding dresses: You might not necessarily go with the first one, there may be a few you try before discovering a perfect fit that makes your heart go, “ahuh! This is the one.”
But unlike wedding dresses, we can ask our photographers questions to get a better feel and understanding of their work, their style, their personality and the expectations throughout the day. (Both yours and theirs!) It’s like speed dating and I’m here to prepare you! To equip you with an arsenal of questions to build rapport and find the perfect wedding photographer for you!
Where To Begin?
It can be quite a daunting experience looking for a photographer. If only it was as easy as holding up a big sign saying “dream photographer wanted!” and the universe would provide exactly who you were after wrapped up neatly in a bow. Until that becomes an available option I would recommend jumping onto Google, onto social media such as Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest and begin searching for wedding photographers in your area. Alternatively, you could also look interstate or potentially even overseas, however, that will almost definitely involve travel fees which is something I’ll cover further down in this piece.
Once you find someone whose style you like, who could be a potential option for your wedding, it’s time to reach out!
Bonus Tip: Have a conversation with your married friends and/or family! If any of them have recently wed, you could enquire about their photographers and if they were satisfied with their experience. Even if you don’t end up going with their particular photographer, you can gain valuable insight on what to look for when booking your own!
Establishing That Connection!
First and foremost, making that initial connection with your potential photographer is so important! Let them know what caught your eye in their work, what you loved and would like to potentially see for your wedding. Secondly, I would encourage you to see if they have any availability on your date if you were to book with them.
Some follow-up questions could be but are not limited to:
1. What are their services? What type of resources can they offer? You can enquire about potential package options as well as a price list if they have one available. This can also open up further conversations about post-wedding photo options such as albums, prints, etc.
2. What is their client experience like? Do they have any testimonials from previous satisfied clients? By inquiring about the client experience, you can establish some idea of what to expect during the stages both prior, during and post-wedding. What level of communication you will receive, whether you can meet in person, over zoom or any other correspondence. I personally offer regular email communication as a basis for all my clients including helpful wedding tips and tricks as well as being steadily available to answer any other questions or concerns that may arise.
3. Can you view an entire gallery from a previous wedding? If you’re interested in seeing a completed gallery as opposed to a couple of shots on Instagram, definitely ask if this is an option to see their style and whether that aligns with your needs.
4. Do they have travel expenses? What do they entail? As I previously mentioned, especially if you’re inquiring with interstate or overseas photographers, travel expenses are something I would implore you to discuss and see what their particular travel options are to factor into your budget. Is there an option to meet at the venue all together to discuss photo locations? This is something I include free of charge if your wedding is within 60km of Melbourne CBD.
At this point, you want to be establishing expectations around your photographer and what you’ll be receiving if you were to book with them. Getting an idea of package choices, cost, experience and resources as well as the presentation of the final product.
Caught a Vibe!
It sounds a bit silly saying, but you want to vibe with your wedding photographer. This is someone that you’ll be in regular contact with and someone whom you’re trusting to capture your big day! It’s unbelievably helpful to have your photographer be someone that you get along with and can have open, honest conversations with.
For example, I offer the options of meeting in person, having a coffee and chatting about anything and everything. I find this an easy way to build connections with people and gain a vital understanding of who they are as a couple to shoot their wedding. There are also the options to have a zoom call or just a chat over the phone! By building this rapport with your photographer (and vice versa) you can identify whether this is someone you’d like to work with or if you would prefer to keep looking.
It’s important to ask yourself…
1. Do they make you feel comfortable? For many of us, it can be quite overwhelming being photographed, let alone on a big day like a wedding. Does this person make you feel at ease? Can you talk to them about your concerns?
2. Do they know you? Your story? I offer questionnaires to all of my couples. I find this is a perfect way for you to tell me your story! I believe that behind every great love, there is a wonderful story to match! Having this information truly can change the way you capture a couple’s love on their wedding day.
3. Are they willing to help establish a timeline for your wedding day? Let’s be honest, there is a lot that occurs on a wedding day. It’s easier to have an established timeline to follow to ensure a smooth-running day. It’s also a wonderful tool to utilise if you want to create “block out” times for specific things like photographs at sunset, family pictures or simply 5 minutes alone with your loved one to just be, exist and enjoy the present moment. I provide all my couples with timeline examples and assist with the entire process surrounding photography planning in preparation for the big day! I find that this alleviates some of the worries and further ensures that everybody is on the same page.
Remember, it’s okay to move on if someone isn’t the right fit for you. It’s much better to be open and honest as opposed to agreeing to something that you’ll regret later. By asking the above questions, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and have the foundations to build a great connection with someone who can truly capture the essence of your magical day!
Still have more questions or you’re ready to book a photographer? I would love to hear from you! Let’s make magic happen!