For Brides – What to look for in a Wedding Photographer

Finding a wedding photographer for the ‘big day’ can be a daunting task. Not only do I hear this from friends and family, but I myself at one point was the ‘bride to be’ looking for the perfect photographer for my day. Naturally this was one of the hardest decisions to make. I want to offer some tips of advice to brides coming from a photographer – on how to find the right one, and also what you can do to ensure you get the best out of your day.

First off, how do you find the photographer?
I suggest googling for photographers. Don’t look at just the first 3 pages, go through as many as you can stand within a few days. Write down the names of the companies you enjoy – and most important, don’t look at the price. I’ll explain this later.
You may wonder why someone should look at so many different photographers, wouldn’t it just become overwhelming eventually? I would like to say no. Look through the photographer’s site, their blog – find out what you do and don’t like about their style. Look at all the photographers as a whole, is there something you like from them all? Maybe it is the way they edit their images, maybe it’s the posing or locations. This will help you narrow down your choices.

After you have found a few companies you enjoy, I would suggest contacting them. DO NOT JUST DO THIS THROUGH EMAIL OR PHONE. Many if not all photographers will offer to meet you in person. Your photographer will be with you for, on average, 8 hours the day of your wedding. Ensure you get along with these people, not just love their work, but the individual! If you don’t feel comfortable around them in a casual setting, how do you expect to look natural for your photos? Meet the photographer in person, view their work, get to know them, explain your vision for your day and what you hope to get out of it. See if the photographer is the right person for YOU.

At the consult is when I suggest asking for a price list to determine if they do fit within your budget. At this point I believe you’ll know if you’re willing to go that extra mile for that photographer, or maybe, although you enjoy their work, you just can’t see it being the right personality fit. Cost should not determine everything when it comes to photography. Being a bride once, I too had a budget, however remind yourself; you get out of photography what you’re willing to put in. In the years to come are you going to look back and wish that you had spent the little bit extra as you look through your photos? ┬áIf you don’t want amateur photos, do not budget yourself for one. Photography is not cheap, there is a lot of time and effort that goes into a wedding day for a photographer – but this is another blog post in itself.

When you have found your photographer, one of the best things you can do for us is communicate. Let us know the types of photos you love. Do you love intimate photos? Romance maybe? Do you lean more towards sexy and modern? Find photos within your photographers portfolio to say ‘Yes like this!’. It helps us out so much to know what you as a bride would enjoy. It helps us from guessing what your definition of sexy or romantic is. When you are planning your day, remember that we need time too. Personally I ask my clients for 3 hours. Why 3 hours you might wonder, that seems so long doesn’t it? Well after the ceremony you have family photos – these are those images that Mom and Dad, and Auntie Sue really want. Why wouldn’t they? Most families don’t get together that often. Family photos can take nearly an hour at some points, which instantly leaves your photographer with 2 hours for your wedding formals. Consider travel. If you are getting married on a Saturday in August, be aware that there will be numerous other brides and grooms looming about. If you choose popular locations within Edmonton, you may in fact wait in line for that spot. Between travel, re-grouping with everyone and getting everything posed and going, 2 hours goes by very very quickly, especially if you have more than one location.

This is only a quick and very brief post about the topic, and I could go on and on – but lets be honest, no one here needs that! What I am trying to say from a photographers point of view, is that the more you can tell your photographer, the more you know what you want the better. Although most of us are pretty awesome (he-he), photographers can’t read minds. I wish I could, sometimes, but I love hearing the bride tell me what she wants, this way I can always do my best to ensure she receives nothing less!

Wedding season still has a couple dates left, and we have space for 2 more available slots. As well, with January 2011 coming up, JFY will begin to book for 2012 dates. Have more questions for me as a bride-to-be? Feel free to set up a consult with us. We can be reached at jfyphotography@gmail.com

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