Welcome! I will run through 5 things wedding photographers wish they could tell you. But many don’t, because it may offend some of their potential client base. As I see it, most of my clients would not be put off by this, or this comes naturally since they’re hiring a niche wedding photographer. Let us begin.
1- Avoid impulsiveness
Of course any of these 5 categories apply if photography is a priority item for you. You probably dated several assholes before meeting your future spouse, and have learned valuable life’s lessons throughout the process. Naturally, when deciding to marry someone, it’s a careful decision. Why wouldn’t you put the same effort into finding the right wedding photographer to document your story as a couple coming together with your loved ones present?
I’ve witnessed plenty of stressed out brides who are anxious to complete all the tick marks. Bad decision. Yea, it’s a stressful, time consuming process. Working smart saves wasted time, and making decisions not based on impulse and emotion are generally more solid decisions. Be willing to invest time where it matters. Look at many, decide on a style, talk to a few, choose one. Hiring the first person who tells you what you want to hear is an impulsive move.
What I offer as a photojournalist style of wedding photographer is for a specific client, and not for every couple. Suppose a couple comes back to me and says they like my work, but decided they wanted a different style and feel to the photos. I applaud them for making an educated choice that’s right for them. That’s better than being hired for the wrong reason. It’s best to hire based on signature style and personality / overall experience you’ll have with that photographer.
It’s better to hire the right professional wedding photographer whose work and vision closely matches your own. Understand that not every photographer wants to see your 478 page list downloaded from a wedding resource blog. If a photographer has to reference a list, they aren’t paying as much attention to what’s happening around them. If a photographer has to be told to take a photograph of the first dance, you shouldn’t be entrusting them to begin with. Definitely make your expectations known, but pick a photographer whose style of working fits you in that regard. Once you know you hired the right pro, to certain degree, leave them alone and let them do their job.
Look at complete galleries –
This would only apply to photographers you’re strongly considering, based on what you’ve seen from them, and overall experience with them so far. When you reach this point, it’s worth your time to do this. Seeing more than a few select photos from each wedding will show a signature style and level of consistency, if it exists. Sample albums, their wedding blogs, or client / guest galleries separates the pros from the dubious.
Take random wedding blogs & Pinterest boards with a grain of salt-
I think you understand the premise, that someone else’s Pinterest board doesn’t mean that trying to copy it yields the same results for you. I’m not discounting the value of getting good ideas and tips, if used logically.
The “must do lists” on many wedding blogs, there’s a personal agenda. Of course, for example, a photographer who works with his wife will tell you that a husband and wife team is necessary. Or you have to have two photographers, or else you will miss stuff. Rubbish. There are well known and world renowned wedding photographers who work solo, or with a second shooter. That isn’t what makes or breaks a photographer, hate to break it to you. 🙂
Bottom line, if you like how a photographer tells a story and you love them and their work, there’s no reason to want it done any differently. Pre-requisites like backup equipment, use of proper contracts, having liability insurance etc. are just part of what a professional does.
Read their contract –
A professional wedding photographer works with a contract, end of story. Whether you’re hiring a complete opposite of me, like a fashionista or portrait wedding photographer, or a documentary photographer like me, the rule applies. Always make sure image delivery times are stated, for example within 30 days or 60 days after the event. Indeterminate photo delivery terms are where a lot of people get in trouble. Approximations aren’t good enough either.
I’ve seen frantic brides on forums or social groups ask how to get photos from their photographer. My first question is always “what did the contract say?” That contract is to cover our butts, and protect your investment as well.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this 5 things wedding photographers wish they could tell you article. Do comment or ask questions, if you’re so inclined.