,by Claire Swinarski
Out of all of the pieces of your wedding day, only two will remain after your day has passed: your marriage, of course, and your photos.
Wedding photography is often one of the biggest pieces of a bride’s budget pie. After all, it’s your photographer that you trust with the essential task of preserving your wedding memories. These aren’t just any photos. They’re the ones that will be on the mantle and in the album for years and years; long after Instagram filters have faded away.
One popular trend this year is styled photoshoots after the wedding. More and more, couples are deciding to do shoots the next day, or even later, in their wedding attire instead of spending precious hours on their actual wedding day posing for portraits. Another is that brides are bringing Pinterest boards of photography ideas to meetings. This is a great way for your photographer to understand what kind of photos you’re aiming for, whether they’re traditional and sweet, a little silly, or a mix of both!
Being a wedding photographer is an exhausting job, but it’s also a true passion. After spending all day at a huge party on Saturday, they’re then editing photos, taking meetings with new clients, and snapping engagement sessions throughout the week. Since photographers have been to many weddings, they can also be helpful when it comes to planning your timeline. After all, they’ve been to a wedding almost every weekend for the past year! For instance, many photographers suggest doing a first look so there’s plenty of time for photos before the ceremony so the couple can get to cocktail hour on time.
Your photographer can help you plan small details like that to help you achieve the best flow for your day.
You should meet with your photographer as soon as you have your wedding date set. Photographers tend to book very early on, sometimes as early as two years! Once booked, you’ll work together with your photographer to explain the look and feel of your wedding. Most photographers now require engagement sessions as part of their packages; they’re not only great for Save the Dates and your wedding website, but they’re a time for the photographer and you to get to know each other and the photographer to learn what you’re comfortable with in terms of angles and poses. Then, you’ll typically meet with or speak to your photographer once more as your wedding date approaches to finalize the details.
Don’t discount a photographer just because they’ve never been to your venue! Most wedding photographers like checking out new venues. Just ask them if they’ll scout the location beforehand, or bring along photos to one of your meetings. They’re professionals—they’ll be able to make do in a new setting! You can also Google “Your venue name + wedding photos” to see other shots brides have had done at your venue and send them along to your photographer for inspiration.
Last but not least, don’t forget about what happens with your photos after the wedding. Think about whether you want sneak peaks on Facebook, a slideshow viewing party or some simple files sent to your email, and ask what the photographer’s typical post-wedding photo reveal process is.
How many photographers will be attending the wedding?
Would you describe your style as more commercial or editorial?
How many hours are in the package? Can I split the hours up? For instance, dayvs night?
How long will it take for me to receive the photographs?
Will I have rights to the photos?