Choosing a photographer for your wedding is a BIG deal! Today we are sharing our own wedding experience to help you avoid falling into the same situation.
After she finished photographing the details she came into the house and asked where she should put the bouquet. Colin’s mom politely asked her to take it to the refrigerator in the basement, near the door Wendy would be using to walk down the aisle. With an impatient huff she left it on the kitchen counter stating flatly, “I don’t have time for this.” and walked away.
She neglected to get a photo of us with Colin’s parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. And we only have one or two “traditional” photos (that we actually don’t even like) of us simply smiling and looking at the camera. She insisted on parking in an area reserved for our family. And she left early, without ever telling us she was leaving.
We LOVED our wedding day! And we have so many fond memories of it. Now when we look at our wedding photos, we are often reminded of how our photographer made us feel instead of recalling how our wedding day made us feel.
1. We didn’t educate ourselves
Honestly, we really didn’t know that we needed to! We found our photographer through a Facebook ad. Sent her an email. Met her at a sandwich shop a week or so later. Had a brief conversation. Signed the contract. And that was it.
Since then we have learned that a good photographer should educate you on everything you can expect from them from the moment you shake hands to the final delivery of your wedding album. They should walk you through your entire wedding day from start to finish, and explain what they will be doing for you every step of the way. By the end of your very first meeting you should know exactly what to expect from them.
2. We signed the contract at our first meeting
There isn’t anything terribly wrong with this per se. However, there is far more value in thinking, discussing and praying about things overnight before making this big (and expensive!) decision.
We have never heard anyone say they regretted getting chocolate instead of vanilla filling for their wedding cake. Or choosing french blue instead of dusty blue for their wedding colors. The number one regret we hear across the board is, “I wish we had better wedding pictures.” There are no do-overs for your wedding day. On our investment page, we say, “Photographs not only provide cherished memories, they also provide the opportunity to preserve and share those memories with future generations.” And we whole heartedly believe this is true! Your wedding photos are a BIG DEAL! So take time to really think through who you hire before you sign on the dotted line.
3. We didn’t get all of the pictures we wanted
As brides and grooms typically are … we were so excited to look through all of our wedding photos! As we began, right away Colin said, “They are all of us kissing, she didn’t take any pictures of our faces!” We also noticed there were no pictures of us with Colin’s siblings and their families. Nothing with us and our flower girl and ring bearer. And very few of our guests, decor and venue.
It is important that you sit down with your fiancé(e) and discuss the portraits that are most important to you. A good photographer should ask you for a list of these portraits before the day of your wedding. No photographer will be able to provide a 100% guarantee that they will get every single photo on your list. However they should promise to do absolutely everything in their power to try.
Also, almost all of the photos we received had artistic edits of some kind. For example, Colin’s mom wore a blue dress to our wedding. But, in some of the pictures, the edits made her dress look grey while everything else was normal. Very strange!
We encourage you to really look through photographers’ websites and social media photos with a scrutinizing eye. Are the photos editorial, traditional or a mix of both? Are they dark and moody or light and airy? Are they stylistically consistent? Most importantly, can you picture yourself in them? What you see is what you will get so make sure you hire someone who has a consistent style that you love.
4. We didn’t get to know her
This one may not seem necessary but think about it for a minute. Our photographer made Colin’s parents feel very uncomfortable when she treated them so poorly – in their own house. She was never particularly friendly to us, our family, our our guests. And, when she insisted that she park in the small area we reserved for our family it added an element of stress to what should have been a day full of bliss.
Your photographer will be spending your entire wedding day with you! It is important to make sure that you feel comfortable around them! We encourage you to read About Us pages, check out blogs, and social media posts. Talk about life in your first meeting, not just prices. There are so many fantastic photographers out there. You could hire the International Wedding Photographer of the Year if you wanted to, but if that person is a jerk, do you really want to hang out with them all day at your wedding?
As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Looking at your photographs will bring back a feeling associated with the memory. Take it from us, hiring a photographer that is a good fit for you personally will make a HUGE difference in how you feel when you look back at your wedding pictures!