I’m sure if you are reading this, you already understand the importance of hiring a professional wedding photographer to capture your day and how we are trained to capture the best moments of your wedding day while making you look flattering and creating memories that you’ll treasure forever.
There are countless of wedding professional photographers out there to choose from, which could make choosing your wedding photographer a nightmare. This is why I’ll let you in on what to look for in order to hire the wedding photographer that is right for you.
1. Photographic Style
Before you even start looking for a professional photographer determine what kind of photographic style you like the most. What makes a photo look appealing to you? Do you enjoy photos with blown out skies and natural light or do you prefer dramatic looking photos with vivid colors that look straight out of a magazine? Really take time to ask yourself, what it is you like and only after, start looking for photographers who match your style and filter out those who do not match it. Some of the most common photographic styles are:
This style of photography focuses on candid, in the moment and spontaneous photos that tell a story. A photographer who shoots in this style is trained to look for and capture the emotions on your wedding day and will rarely ask you to pose.
This style as opposed to the photo journalistic one, calls for a lot of posing. I like to think of it as when you go to a photo studio and all the photos are posed. The cons of this style are that because everything is so posed you may feel tense and unnatural resulting in awkward photos and the pro is that you can use posing to highlight your best attributes and look very flattering in photos.
At Ruth Terrero Photography, we like to use a mixture of both posed and un-posed. Something we love to do is start a session with candid and un-posed shots. We’ll have you walk around with your partner or do a relaxing activity together and then once you’re warmed up and confident, we move into the posed photos. Our couples love this and often tell us how nervous they were before the session but how this style we use helped them relax and look amazing in their photos.
This style shows an emphasis on composition, lighting, and background. The photographer finds interesting environments and encourages the couple to relax and interact.
This style focuses on using natural light sources such as sunlight and ambient light to shoot rather than using flashes. Photographers who shoot in natural light are trained to find the spots with the best light to complement the photo. Because of exposure, most natural light photos tend to have blown out skies and a warm look.
We love natural light but only when it is of quality. The disadvantage of this style is that not all days are nice and sunny, natural light is unpredictable so when it isn’t of good quality, we bring in the flash to add the magic touch.
This style really incorporates art. The photographer will have a vision of what the photo will look like beforehand and will be in as much control as possible of the scene and the details. The editing for fine art photos will be different and usually photos end up looking dramatic, with edgy compositions, dreamy and out of this world. An example of this style is Film Photography.
At Ruth Terrero Photography we believe that there isn’t a superior photographic style. The mixture of them and knowing when to use which style depending on the situation is what results in the best photos.
For instance, during a wedding ceremony we wouldn’t use the Portraiture style but rather the Photojournalistic style to capture the emotions and moments as they happen.
We also love to keep the details in the sky and avoid photos with blown out skies because why take the color off a beautiful orange sunset? But again, depending on the situation we’ll adjust to capture the most stunning photos. Check out our portfolio and see if our style is a match for you!
Once you find a few photographers who match your preferred photographic style, make the contact and take the time to meet them in person.
2. Choose a photographer who you like as a person
The reason why we say to meet your potential wedding photographer in person is because you want to make sure that you connect and like your wedding photographer. This person is not there just to simply document your wedding day. You should choose a photographer who makes you feel special, who truly cares about your wedding day, someone who is passionate about photography and shares excitement for your wedding day.
Additionally, you’ll spend a lot of time with your wedding photographer, so make sure you feel comfortable around her/him. Read their about me section, what are they like? how do they communicate? What do the reviews say about the photographer? The wedding consultation is the perfect time to get to know a little more about your potential wedding photographer and see how you both fit with each other.
You’ll want to hire a photographer who takes their job seriously and not as a hobby. After all, your photographer has a very important task, freezing memories in time that will stay with you forever. Part of this will involve discussing when to show up, how they should dress and what you are expecting of them. Do they provide you with any material which helps you better understand what you can expect? Do they provide you with tools to help you plan?
Make sure to choose a wedding photographer who you can trust, who understands photography, who knows what to do in the worst case scenarios, who can guide and advice you on photography matters, who will adapt to the situations and won’t show up to your wedding in shorts and flip flops. Your photographer should be able to set clear expectations on what the packages include and how the process will go. A good sign of a professional photographer is the use of contracts, print release and model release.
4. Personalized Service
Every photographer has a process for doing things but you want to choose a wedding photographer who is willing to adjust their process to better suit your needs. When you meet with your potential wedding photographer bring up that crazy photo idea you have, are they excited about it? Are they willing to make it happen?
If your potential photographer points out possible things that may not work with your idea don’t rule them out yet, as long as they are willing to still find a way.
I’d recommend putting together a list of do not miss shots and also shots you don’t want taken of you. For example: If you want photos of each table of guests at your wedding you can include that and if you don’t like being photographed from below you can include that in the do not shoot list. If your photographer cares, she/he will appreciate it tremendously.
Furthermore, a photographer who is happy to go above and beyond for their clients is always ideal. Photographers who don’t only take pretty photos but take time to educate and encourage their clients. This can be by putting together information resources for their brides and even something as little as helping you stay organized on your big day.
When it comes to photography there is no way for you to know how much your wedding photography will cost until you’re sure of exactly what you want and in order to know you need to evaluate and indicate how many photos, albums, hours of coverage and extras you’ll want.
In professional photography, services and packages are broken down into budget, moderate, upscale and luxury categories. Budget photographers run from under $1,000; moderate photographers average between $1,000 and $3,000, upscale photographers average between $3,000 and $5,000 while Luxury wedding photographers average between $5,000 and upwards of $10,000 on the higher end.
Package prices vary greatly based not only on number of prints but also on the:
Cost of travel
Hours of coverage
Equipment wear and tear
How many photographers are shooting
Amount of editing required
When interviewing wedding photography candidates, ask for a general range of their prices, look at their packages and special offers and keep in mind that you get what you pay for. When you find a photographer you absolutely love and is right for you, try not to ask for discounts. Keep in mind that you’re investing in captured memories that will live through generations as your legacy of love.
These tips should definitely help you in choosing your wedding photographer to capture the magic of your big day and make the whole process easier!