The wedding photography industry can be overwhelming and while there are literally hundreds of photographers out there, knowing how to find a photographer to suit you and your day doesn’t have to be difficult. Take some time before your wedding to consider these and you are well on your way to choosing the perfect photographer for your day.
- Decide how much photography means to you
Some brides plan their whole day around their photographer, while some are happy to let a family friend click away. Take some time to think about how important photography is to you. Don’t wait until it’s too late to decide exactly what you expect and need from your photographer. Remember you only get one shot to get it right so make sure you understand exactly what you are buying. Wedding Photography is one of those industries where you often get what you pay for but don’t just compare a photographer on price. Look at what the photographers in your price range are really offering and take into consideration all the package inclusions.
- Select a professional
The AIPP is the governing body of professional photographers in Australia and members have to meet a high standard of competency and complete additional training each year to maintain their membership. Finding an AIPP accredited photographer is a good way to ensure you are employing someone who knows their stuff. It’s not a great camera that makes a great photographer – professional results require a lot of skill, experience and years of training. As a rule you can expect professional photographers to charge anywhere between $3000 and $15,000 to shoot a wedding and create a quality custom album.
- Choose someone you feel comfortable with
Your photographer is the only wedding-service provider who will spend the whole day with you and because of this they are usually your go-to person if something goes wrong. Make sure you feel comfortable with your photographer and confident that they can handle challenging situations. Unfortunately you can’t guarantee great weather or a day that runs without a hitch. If you are hit with rain, delays or difficult lighting situations, you need to know that your photographer has the experience to handle it.
Make sure you meet the actual photographer who will be shooting your wedding and that you get a chance to sit down and chat with them. It’s important that you understand each other’s vision for the day. Engagement sessions are often a great way to trial your photographer and make sure you feel comfortable with them.
- Weigh up all the inclusions
Some photographers offer engagement shoots, albums, unlimited hours on the day and some offer 4 – 6 hours of shooting and that’s it. Whatever it is that you are after, make sure you weigh up what the photographer is really offering. Remember, photographers offering a 4 – 6 hour package with a DVD of images are probably going to spend no more than 10 hours on your wedding. Whereas, the photographer that includes an engagement shoot, all day coverage of your wedding, and an album will put in 40 – 60 hours of work, plus the cost of printing and binding a professional album. More expensive photographers usually charge what they do because they put in many hours behind the scenes. Whatever your budget – there is a photographer out there for you but like many industries, you get what you pay for so if quality work is important to you, you may need to budget a bit more.
- Choose someone whose work you love
You only get one shot at this and you want to make sure you choose a photographer whose work you love. Make sure you get to see a full wedding shoot so you get an idea of how the photographer covers a complete wedding. Check out their album layout and ask to see a few sample albums of their work so you can get a feel for the quality of not only the work, but the printing and binding of the album.
- Book early
Good photographers often book out early with some taking bookings 18 months in advance so, if you find someone who ticks all the right boxes then book them ASAP. The last thing you want is to miss out! We all know how hectic planning a wedding can be but time spent considering what you want and expect from your photographer before your wedding, can ensure that you avoid any disappointments down the track.
Written by Michelle Windeyer (Based in Bangalow, NSW) – Richard Windeyer Photography provide exceptional wedding photography for the Byron Bay, Gold Coast and Brisbane areas.
photo source: richardwindeyer.com.au