How to choose the right wedding photographer
How to choose the right wedding photographer
There is so much choice when it comes to finding the right wedding photographer nowadays, with so many wedding photography Instagram accounts and websites to sift through, and different photography styles to choose from, I can see what an overwhelming experience it must be.
Choosing your wedding photographer is an important decision, but it should also be an interesting and fun experience too!
To help you filter down your choices, here are some important factors to pay attention to when choosing your wedding photographer:
Consistency is the most important thing to focus on when you are looking through a photographer’s galleries.
If you do not choose a photographer with a strongly established style, you run the risk of ending up with a style that you were not expecting or wanting for your wedding photos.
There are two main styles when it comes to wedding photography, and being aware of them and deciding on the one that you want will help you to be aware of a photographers consistency, and of your own likes and dislikes.
The two main styles are:
Editorial (fashionable, posed, styled) & Photojournalism (unposed, candid, raw)
When you look through those amazing international wedding blogs (Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Love My Dress, etc), the photos and inspirations there are almost always shot in an editorial style.
The strength of this approach is that everything is poised so that the end result is aesthetically beautiful. The photographer positions the bride in the best light, lays out the invitations, hangs the dress and decorates the ring shots.
The photographer aims to create drama and gorgeous images by paying close attention to the lighting and angles, directing the scenes and shots with perfection.
The downside of this style is that some couples do not feel comfortable posing or being directed and would prefer a more fly-on-the-wall approach.
Many couples want to be able to experience the raw emotions of their day and to have them captured without being distracted by the photographer’s cues or instructions.
These are the photographs that can make you cry by just looking at them. They show candid moments, raw emotions and tell the story of the day as it unfolds.
The downside of this style is that, for example, the bride could choose to get dressed in a very dark corner of the room, or the couple does not really know what to do in front of the camera.
Because the photographer does not guide the situations and shots, there are moments which may not be captured in their full potential. And, if there are no shoes visible or no extras such as invitations laid out on a table, cuff links, buttonholes or bouquets to hand, there will be NO images of these.
My personal approach/ Hybrid approach
Ibiza and Mallorca weddings are all about relaxing and having fun! No one likes having to pose for too long or have formal family photo sessions for what feels like hours on end.
Working in Spain within international weddings taught me to find a golden middle ground.
I shoot the day as it unfolds, I shoot the raw emotions, the family tears, the smiles, children dancing, the bride looking out to see the ceremony set up, a father crying when he sees his daughter for the first time in a wedding dress.
BUT, I softly try to guide the bride into the best light, I lay out the invitations and wedding shoes (oh, we love our wedding shoes!), I will hang the dress in the most beautiful place, I will lay out the bouquet, I will talk to the groom to make him less stressed in front of the camera and I will even organise the first look.
I do this on a feeling – when I feel that a couple needs my help and advice, I will step in subtly to offer suggestions, and, if they would rather not notice I am there, I disappear into the background and let them do their thing. (But I will still hang up the dress for photos, somewhere beautiful!)
My mixed approach means I usually have a balance between candid moments and styled, posed ones. That way your wedding story looks authentic and beautiful, emotionally charged, natural and looking like a fine art painting, all at the same time.
..And one final piece of important advice – schedule a call or Skype meeting with your photographer, and talk to them!
Making sure that you and your photographer have a connection and an understanding of each other’s style, personalities and needs will help you to find the photographer who is right for you.
After all, on your wedding day, you want to be surrounded by people that you feel comfortable and happy around.
Co-written by Danielle Alex from Your Day Ibiza