When it comes to planning your wedding there are a lot of things to think about, consider and budget for. The list will seem endless and you may not know where to start, yet when it comes to wedding planning there are certainly a few things that should be your starting point and priority.
WHY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY IS SO IMPORTANT
The most important part of a wedding is the couple, and that is what it is all about and that is all that matters at the end of the day. However, when it comes to planning the big day you shall speak to a lot of suppliers, from florists, bridal boutiques, caterers, stationery designers, the list goes on, all these people will tell you how important it is to get it right. Getting the right flowers, having the best food, it is all about the dress, that is good, you want to work with passionate people, however are these a priority when planning your wedding? Of course they should be included and I am not saying you should leave out any of these, but are they more important than wedding photography?
I read and hear about a lot of couples who only have a small budget left for their photography, couples who are struggling to find a photography they like for their wedding coming up very soon, and couples who are not having a photographer as they just cannot afford one. These couples haven’t put very much importance on photography…
WHY IS HIRING A PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER SO IMPORTANT?
Is wedding photography the most important thing when it comes to your wedding? Nope, not at all, however when it comes to planning your special day it should be up there on the priority list of things to look at, budget for and book.
Wedding photography is important because it will capture your day, it will capture your memories, it will tell a story, and not just any story, it will tell a beautiful story of your special day, a day you will never forget. A story that you can show friends and family, your kids, and grandchildren, something you will have and can treasure for ever.
You see your flowers will wilt, your cake will quickly be eaten, your invites will be binned after the day, your dress shall be worn once, those shoes shall go back into their box, this isn’t me trying to be glum and miserable, this is about perspective, this is about helping you focus your budget on things that you may not put importance on, such as wedding photography.
ONE DAY, AND A LOT OF MEMORIES
Earlier I mentioned about couples who didn’t put to much importance on wedding photography, and it can easily be forgotten or put down the pecking order because on the day itself, you don’t have anything. If you go to a florist they will create beautiful bouquets of flowers for you, your cake maker will make the most delicious and gorgeous looking cake for your day, the list goes on, the thing is here, these are things and items that will be there on your day, things that you and everyone will see. Yet when it comes to wedding photography you are paying for something you won’t see till after, and the best wedding photographers will go unnoticed, your guest won’t even know they are there.
WHAT ARE YOU PAYING FOR?
When it comes to wedding planning, it is more than just one day, it is about a lifetime of memories. It is about capturing moments, it is about capturing emotion, it is about being able to relive the day through beautiful photos, it is about smiling at moments that you never knew happened, seeing the emotion on your family and friends faces, and most importantly of all, having a story you can treasure forever.
If you are just thinking about your wedding and looking at your budget, make sure you maximise your budget for your wedding photography, it’s not just a few photos of you and your partner on your wedding day looking beautiful and happy, it is about a beautiful story of your wedding day, from getting ready and smiling with your bridesmaids, to the emotion on your dads face as he sheds a tear and looks on with pride. Capturing the beautiful details on your day after hours and days of planning, from the beautiful flowers, your dress and venue, capturing the day as it unfolds, capturing the emotion of your guests, the nervousness of the groom, all the way through to that first dance, this is not just any story, this is your story.
Make sure you capture your day, and your story, don’t regret not hiring a professional wedding photographer.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Maximise your budget. Will the guests notice if you saved a little money on your flowers, will your guests really notice if you saved a little on the food, will they notice if the cake isn’t 5 tiers high? Save a little where you can and maximise your photography budget, it is the only thing you will have left at the end of the day. Read our article on the The Real Cost of Wedding Photography.
Find your style. There are hundreds of wedding photographers to choose from, and most will travel all over the country and even abroad, take time to decide on a style you like and find a photographer that reflects this. Make sure you view more of their work and complete albums, you don’t want one or two beautiful photos, you want a beautiful story that is of high quality through out, from beginning to the the end.
Book quickly. The best wedding photographers get hired and booked up to 2 years in advance, so once you know the date, find your perfect wedding photographer and get them booked.
HOW NOT TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
We have many articles helping guide you through searching, finding, meeting and picking your wedding photographer, but how about the things NOT to do!
1. THEY ARE CHEAP
When choosing your photographer don’t just pick them based on value and what is included, don’t just go with the photographer that includes a free engagement shoot, printed album, online gallery, USB pen, photo frames and printed t-shirts just because of the extra bits, they are secondary to the photos that will be captured. It is so important you find and hire a photographer that you love.
Their work matches your style, you know you can trust them, you feel relaxed and at ease with them, all these things will make for an easier day and also better and more natural photos. Many photographers will offer packages with bits mentioned before, including an engagement shoot is becoming more and more popular, if they match your style, you love their work and you ‘click’ with them then this is great, however don’t just pick a photographer purely based on value and what is included.
2. THEY ‘WILL DO’
When planning your wedding there are a million and one things to think about, the list seems endless and sometimes you may just think that ‘will do’. You maybe looking at lots of photographers and struggling to find the time to meet up with them to view their work and see how you get on. It is important not to pick a photographer just because it is taking some time and seeming like an endless task, take your time and ensure you not only find a wedding photographers work that you love, but also a person behind the camera you love too. When you find them you will walk away feeling like you have just been speaking to a close friend, it is so important and makes a real difference to how you feel and come across in front of the camera.
Wedding photographers love what they do, they have a passion for the industry and a passion for capturing beautiful weddings, you may be feeling stressed and many photographers will understand and be able to relate. Just ensure you find the right photographer for you, one that matches your style and one that you can trust and feel relaxed with, go with your gut, if you have no doubts then get them booked! But don’t just say ‘they will do’.
3. THEY HAVE ‘SOME’ STUNNING PHOTOS
Where ever you see a wedding photographer be it here on this site or online you will see lots of beautiful photos, a range of stunning shots that will catch your eye and make you go wow. This is great and you should find a photographer who’s work you love and makes you go wow, however it is important to remember that it is great having a few photos that make you go wow, however you want a wedding story that makes you go wow, the point here is consistency.
When viewing a photographers work ensure you see full and completed albums, this maybe online or a hard copy, you want to ensure that all photos are stunning and the quality is exceptional throughout, and not just one or two photos that look great. A good photographer can take stunning photos, a great wedding photographer can tell a story through beautiful photos.
4. THEY ARE RECOMMENDED BY THE VENUE
So you have picked your wedding venue and booked the date, depending on the venue they may have a list of recommended suppliers, from catering, florists, planners and photographers. This is a great starting place however it is important not to just go off this list and not open your eyes to other alternatives. Check out the article the double edged sword of being a venue ‘preferred’ wedding photographer. You may prefer styles of other photographers you may have seen on here for example that are not on their list, you may have met a photographer from their list but not felt completely happy. Don’t compromise on your wedding photographer by just reviewing ones recommended by the venue, ensure you get the best photographer you can afford and the one you want.
5. MY UNCLE HAS A NEW CAMERA
Be it your Uncle or friend down the road, wedding photography is more than just a camera. Just because they may have an expensive camera doesn’t mean they have the experience and knowledge to go and capture a wedding. They may love photography, going out at weekends capturing landscape shots, or pictures of the kids playing in the park, however when it comes to weddings it is a dynamic event.
The camera is just a tool and means for capturing the moment, the skill, knowledge and experience is the key to wedding photography. You only get one chance so you want to be in the right place at the right time, you want to ensure you capture that one moment beautifully, you want to ensure you have a wedding story that will help you relive the emotions and happiness if your wedding day.
All this planning is for one day only, one day you marry the partner you wish to spend the rest of your life with, one day you share this beautiful moment with all your family and friends that you love. Make sure you hold onto those memories and don’t look back and wish you had hired a photographer.