Of American adults age 18 and older, about half of them are married. The latest statistics revealed over two million marriages occurred between 1990 and 2017.
If you’re planning a wedding, you’re going to need a photographer. Capturing those beautiful moments is an important part of your day. You want it to be perfect.
There are a lot of wedding photographers out there. How do you decide which one to choose and what should you expect?
Read on for everything you need to know about what to expect with a wedding photographer.
Sorting Through Wedding Photographers
Where do you begin? Ask your family and friends, but don’t stop there. Not everyone has an eye for photography. Ask to see their wedding photos.
Do you love their photos? Do you like the style and colors? Some photographers add filters on all their photos for a specific look and style. It might not be a style that works for you.
Even if the photographer’s photos are perfect, if you don’t like the look, you’re not going to like the photos.
Wedding photographers, like all photographers, have a personal style. You won’t find every photographer’s style appealing, and that’s okay.
But it’s crucial to look through a photographer’s online portfolio before committing.
If you’re not crazy about your friends’ choices, do a Google search for local photographers. Don’t limit yourself to the first page of search results.
Do You Click?
The best photographer in the world might not work for you if your personalities don’t mesh.
You want to be at ease in your photos. If the photographer sets your teeth on edge, you won’t get the look you want.
If you love the photographer’s gallery then meet the photographer in person. Make sure you’re comfortable with the photographer’s style of communication.
It’s a good idea to read online reviews too!
Set Your Expectations
A knowledgeable professional photographer doesn’t come cheap. If you see a deal that’s “too good to be true,” it is!
Running a photography business is expensive. A good professional photographer has thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment. She’s also spent thousands on formal training.
Photographers need computers, photo-editing programs, and lots of storage for digital files. That all adds up.
The first 30% of net income for a photographer goes to the city, state, county, and federal taxes if they’re an LLC.
The standard starting price for a wedding is around $2,500. But don’t let prices starting in the $4,000 range surprise you. Weddings average at about $3,000. Prices vary by location, but not significantly.
In today’s world, anyone with an iPhone considers himself a photographer. Many people with no training and no experience advertise themselves as professional photographers.
Beware of these people, because they’ll ruin your wedding photos. And it’s impossible to recreate those precious moments.
A professional photographer offers several different packages in various price ranges. She’ll back up your digital images and keep them for a stated period of time.
Professional Wedding Photographers
When you meet your photographer, they should have a transparent price list. Ask the photographer how many hours the cost covers. If you expect them to shoot a 10-hour day, it’ll cost more than a 6-hour day.
High-resolution digital negatives with reproducing rights is a common a-la-carte item. That means you’ll get the digital prints and can print as many as you’d like.
Keep in mind that printing those digital negatives at Shutterfly or Target will not give you a high-quality print.
A professional wedding photographer is an artist. He’ll edit your photos using custom colors. Cheap photo labs don’t reproduce these photos well. Ask the photographer who he recommends for printing for photos that he’s not printing for you.
Expect the full gallery of wedding photo negatives to cost around $1,500 – $2,000 dollars.
Large wall portraits will cost anywhere from $125 to $400 depending on the size.
Professional photographers have a list of packages from which to choose as well. This often makes choosing easier. Most packages include a professional photo album as well as a variety of prints.
The Wedding Timeline
When you meet your photographer for the first time, ask for a detailed schedule of how they shoot a wedding. Many photographers even have suggestions for venues if you haven’t picked one yet.
You’ll have the option of a “first look” for photos. That’s when the bride and groom see each other dressed for the first time before the wedding and the photographer gets the first photos.
An experienced professional helps with the photo timeline for the entire day.
It’s often convenient for the bride, groom, and bridal party to take first look photos. It makes the after-ceremony process a little smoother. But do what works for you.
The Shot List
This is important!
Make sure the photographer has a shot list of the people most important to you. Put some thought into this ahead of time and make sure you have several copies available the day of the wedding.
Include the people you want to be photographed together.
The photographer will get the basics like The Kiss. But you’ll need to let her know about any extra things you want to be immortalized in photos.
Most professional wedding photographers offer password-protected online galleries for viewing your photos. This is convenient for sharing photos with your friends and family.
Don’t expect to be able to download photos from the online gallery. This keeps the photographer from losing money. Your friends and relatives shouldn’t expect a professional to give her work away for free.
Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer
There are lots of people calling themselves wedding photographers. But they aren’t all professionals.
Take your time and look for a photographer whose style suits you. Meet with her and make sure your personalities mesh.
Ask about formal training. If there is no formal photography training, but you like her style, make sure she has plenty of experience.
Remember, this is your special day! Don’t be afraid to interview plenty of wedding photographers to find the right one for you.
Are you ready to book your wedding? Contact a professional wedding photographer here.