You’ve got the dress, you’ve booked the venue, you’ve chosen your menu, but don’t underestimate the importance of getting the right photographer. There are a lot of different things to weigh up when you are deciding who you are going to entrust to capture the best day of your life. There are two main styles to consider with wedding photography; documentary and traditional.
Documentary photography follows a natural approach, capturing the wedding throughout the day as it happens, with the photographer effectively ‘blending’ into the background. This allows the photographer to capture the really natural, authentic moments between the couple and their guests, capturing the atmosphere of the day.
This style follows a set list of pictures that the photographer will capture, all carefully planned and posed. This style is far more intrusive for the couple and guests than documentary style as the photographer will have to be bossy to ensure that they cover all of the shots that they have planned. This can be stressful for you and your guests, having to go round rounding everyone up in fear of an an over-zealous photographer. You want to enjoy the day without being told to pose for the camera every few minutes!
My personal preference is for to a documentary style – a wedding day has so many magical moments manufactured poses are rarely required. In fact, apart from a few standard group shots (you know the ones, bride and groom, bride and groom with best man and maid of honour, bride’s family, groom’s family and then one big group shot) they should really be kept to a minimum.
Videography is also a popular way of capturing a wedding, and something that I love to do. I think it is a great idea to capture wonderful moments on film such as the vows and speeches. I like to ask the guests to say a message on camera for the couple, it gives the couple something really special to look back on and allows them to relive their big day for the rest of their lives. The best advice that I would give would be to have a look at different styles online (Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest!) and decide what you like. Most photographers will use a combination of styles to ensure great coverage.
Normally, photographers offer a range of price packages to cater for all budgets, and can include half or full day coverage (some photographers may charge by the hour which can be convenient for those on a budget). You could also consider a second photographer as this will allow for both the Bride and Groom’s preparation to be photographed and better coverage of the day.
My parents wedding was a complete photographic disaster, they had paid thousands of pounds for their photographer, and then had a mortifying phone call a few days after the wedding. The photographer had a crack on his lens that he wasn’t aware of until post production and all of the photos were ruined! They had to contact all of the guests and create their photo album from photographs taken by the guests. With technology unfortunately things can go wrong, but bear in mind a good photographer will always bring backup equipment. I would always recommend asking guests to take lots of photos too just in case a situation like this arises.
Make sure you meet with photographer beforehand, even do a test shoot or an engagement shoot. Check out their portfolios online so you know they’ve got experience. It’ll also give you an idea of what shots they’re likely to take. You don’t just want to know how good they are, and price is not always a sign of quality. You want to gain a feeling for their style, read any testimonials if they have a website and meet them in person so you feel comfortable around them. Make sure they explain their ideas and work out how that might fit around the itinerary you’ve got planned..
Planning a wedding can be stressful, time consuming and sometimes downright irritating. But you won’t regret spending that little extra time researching the right photographer… after all, you’ll be looking back on those memories for years to come.
*This is a guest post by Lana who shot Matine and Mike’s beautiful Spanish wedding it Sitges in September 2016.