What should you consider when choosing your wedding photographer?
At RR Photographic, being a wedding photographer is not only about creating beautiful pictures, but about ensuring our clients have a fantastic, stress-free wedding day. It is therefore important for us to help our clients, and our potential clients, as much as we can. We have therefore put together this little guide on the things we consider are important when choosing your wedding photographer, which you may find useful.
Choosing your wedding photographer is a very difficult and personal decision. Your wedding photographs will last for decades to come, so you want photographs that you absolutely love and will always be proud of! Wedding photography should not only be aesthetically pleasing, but should be a reportage of your big day so that you can look back at the photographs and relive it again and again and recall all those little details that over time we naturally forget.
In Dorset and Hampshire there are many wedding photographers based in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and the surrounding areas, offering a whole variety of services for a range of prices so choosing just one can be a daunting task! Sometimes having too much choice is worse than having no choice at all! We have therefore set some considerations below, which we suggest you think about when making your choice.
Wedding Photography Style
One of the most obvious considerations is the style of the wedding photography. Photography is a form of artwork and every photographer has his or her own creative style. This applies not only to the actual taking of the photographs, but to the postproduction editing. Some photographers are unable to do, or disagree with, post production photo editing and so the shots you will get are essentially straight out of the camera and this very much suits some clients. Other wedding photographers are confident in, and enjoy, photo editing and will spend hours after your wedding day processing the images, correcting the colours, adding contrast and making your images more striking that they would be if they were straight out of the camera. Some photographers have a set editing style, for example, all of their images will have a matte look which has been applied in the postproduction editing process.
What one couple find to be stunning wedding photography will be to another couple over processed and horrible! Some photographers are able to edit their photos manually using programs like Photoshop, whereas others simply buy and add effects and filters. It is therefore important to look at various websites and choose the style that you like. Also bear in mind that whilst a particular style of photography may be very popular now, for example ‘the low contrast, matte look’, fashions change and you don’t want your wedding photos to suddenly look very dated in five years’ time. Another consideration is the amount of time it will be before you get your wedding album. Some photographers can spend months on editing and it may be 4-6 months or more before you get your photos!
If you have read this far, then you probably like our wedding photography style. At RR Photographic, we will promptly edit all of your photographs manually in Photoshop as we believe that if you are spending your money on hiring a wedding photographer, you should get beautiful and striking professionally edited images. We keep our images classic (i.e. without filters or matte effects and the like) so that they will not go out-of-date as fashions change. If this doesn’t suit you then we’re not the wedding photographers for you, but if it does, read on!
Personality of your Wedding Photographer
Personality is another huge factor for the bride and groom to take into account. However good your photographer is at taking photos, you won’t enjoy the process and you won’t like the wedding pictures unless you choose a photographer whose personality suits you.
Your photographer should be adaptable and should guide you and your guests without being pushy or getting in the way. A wedding is not a photoshoot, you and your guests must just enjoy your wedding day and not be kept standing in the heat or cold for hours by a barking orders photographer who only cares about getting the shots he needs for your album! You need a photographer who can be assertive and take control, (it is quite a task to control 60 or more people for a formal group shot!) but without being overbearing and making your guests feel like they’re in the army!
Stating the obvious, you need to get along with your wedding photographer as you’ll be spending a huge amount of time with him or her during your wedding day! You and your guests should be made to feel comfortable and at ease and your photographer should know techniques of how to get the best out of people who are shy or reluctant to be photographed.
Many churches are reluctant to allow photography during the ceremony due to bad experiences of photographers interfering and distracting from the ceremony. You therefore need a photographer who can persuade the vicar before the service to allow photography and assure him or her that all photos will be taken discreetly, professionally, from a distance and perhaps without flash so as not to obstruct the ceremony or detract from the real purpose of it (it is not a photoshoot but a wedding ceremony!)
At RR Photographic, we like to meet with our clients and do a pre-wedding informal photoshoot where we get to know the bride and groom before the wedding day. We discuss with them what they like and don’t like, we find out if they have any concerns (for example they may have a particular side that they don’t like being photographed from as they think their nose looks crooked, or they may think they should never smile in photographs!) and we practise posing with them by showing them and analysing the pictures we take until they find the poses and looks they like, so that on their wedding day the bride and groom feel relaxed and confident in front of the camera, don’t have to think about posing and we can quickly get beautiful shots which we know they will love.
Unfortunately in this world, most things come down to money and planning a wedding is not one of the cheapest things in life! There are a range of photographers and a range of prices. You may be after a great deal, but do beware of photographers offering cheap prices.
People often say that “wedding photography is so expensive, after all it’s just one day!” but for your photographer, the 10 hour wedding day itself is only 10-20% of the work involved:
(1) there are the pre-wedding meetings, calls, emails and pre-wedding photoshoot;
(2) if the venue is new to the photographer, he or she should go there if possible ahead of the wedding so that he or she already knows the best places to take the shots on your big day;
(3) after the wedding, there is the process of going through the hundreds of photographs and selecting the best ones for inclusion in the album or photobook;
(4) for every hour of photography add a minimum one hour of photo editing; and
(5) once every photo has been edited, there’s the design, compilation, checking and processing of the wedding album or photobook which is unique to every wedding (there is no one model fits all template that we can knock out each time!)
If your photographer says he can do all of that for a couple of hundred pounds for a full day wedding, be very suspicious! It is probable that he will either do each stage very hastily (and probably badly) or he will not be doing some of the above elements. Bear in mind that a photographer may edit your photographs by carefully cropping, correcting colour and tone, adding contrast, sharpness and various effects or the only action he may take is to perhaps sharpen the image. In both cases the photographer can honestly say that he or she edited all your photos but the quality of the images you will get are likely to be fundamentally different. The same applies to the wedding album. Good quality (and usually more expensive) albums and photobooks will last for years to come, whereas cheap versions will discolour and become damaged quickly as people flick through them. If you can’t afford an album now then make sure you get all of your edited photos on disc and ask your wedding photographer if, in the future, he or she could do you an album.
There are exceptions to every rule but just be cautious! Nine times out of ten, you get what you pay for and quality does cost money. When you put into perspective how much money you are spending on your wedding day overall and the fact that the wedding photography will be the only tangible evidence of all that expenditure, surely it is sensible to put a large part of your budget towards the photography and not try to cut corners here. Once the £1,000 wedding dress is put away after the wedding, your memory of it will be the photographs so make sure they’re good and capture all of the detail on the dress because the photos were correctly exposed and and professionally taken! If you need to keep costs down, try to do it on less important aspects of the day. Beware of sites which display many different packages and add-ons as what may at first glance seem like a very good price, may be significantly more expensive once you actually add on the album, perhaps the bridal preparation shots and various other costs. At RR Photographic we offer one price for a full day wedding (depending on the day of the week) which includes everything so there is no confusion or hidden costs for our couples.
We hope the above assists you in your choice of a wedding photographer. Whether you use RR Photographic or not, we congratulate you on your upcoming wedding and wish you all the best for your big day and your future lives together!
We are Russ and Ruth Chornolutskyy of RR Photographic, Bournemouth wedding photographers, but covering Dorset and Hampshire and other parts of the UK. If you would like to discuss your wedding photography with us, please do not hesitate to call us on 07894 015883 or use our online enquiry form.