HELP! We have so many wedding planning questions! How do I choose a wedding photographer???
HELP! We have so many questions….
1. How do I pick a good photographer when there are hundreds listed in my area?
First, look for a website or blog that appeals to your style.
Narrow it down to a handful of favorites and set up a time to meet them.
Make sure you’re meeting with the person who will be wielding the camera at your wedding, not a sales consultant. You have to trust and get along with your photographer —
that way you can leave the magic of photo making in the photographer’s hands. Not only should you like their images, you should also like them.
You’ll be spending many hours with them on the most amazing day of your life.
Also, make sure the photographers let you look through another couple’s ENTIRE wedding gallery.
I have lots of complete galleries posted on my website’s ‘Proofs’ page (my past brides have ASKED me to share them!)
You need to see more than a photographer’s best few portraits to see if they demonstrate great photography AND the ability to capture your wedding day love story.
2. Do I really need a second photographer?
YES! If you want to capture every moment of your once-in-a-lifetime day, you definitely want a second photographer to provide you with more images and a different perspective.
(You want to have portraits of the bride on the arm of her father AS WELL AS the tears in the eyes of the groom waiting at the other end of the aisle.)
A second photographer can also assist with carrying gear for more creative photography (off camera lighting, colored gels, a ladder, reflectors, diffusers for bright sunlight, more lenses, etc.)
3. How can I make sure I look good in my photos?
Relax. Trust your wedding photographer – I will give you tips on how to pose in a flattering way. If you’re relaxed, it’ll come through in your photos.
We will design a custom photography timeline for your wedding day, so you don’t feel rushed- that will keep a smile on your face all day long. And get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water the night before.
4. Should we do a “first look?” And, um, what exactly IS a “first look”?
The first look is a chance for wedding couples to see each other privately before the ceremony. (It’s the groom’s “First Look” at his beautiful bride.)
It can start with the groom blindfolded, with the bride walking up behind the groom, the two of you meeting around a corner – there are lots of fun ways to capture those first seconds when you’ve knocked his socks off!
Having a second photographer with you also captures the bride’s reaction too.
A first look is a great chance to get the wedding jitters out and spend a few minutes alone together before the whirlwind of the day begins.
It’s a real moment with real emotions when you aren’t worrying about a crowd watching you. Some couples then choose to enjoy their cocktail hour because they did photos before the wedding.
5. How many photographs will I get? And how long will I wait to see them?
My second photographer and I typically deliver about 100 photos for every hour we are at your wedding.
A thousand photos may seem like a lot, but as your wedding photographer I want to preserve all those little details and the moments you missed while you were mingling or focusing on other things.
I will give you to a facebook sneak peek the next day. Your entire wedding gallery and your Video Show will be ready in about two weeks.
6. How can I share my portraits with friends and family?
First up: I’ll post a facebook sneak peek the day after your wedding if you want. (It’s the perfect way to share your beautiful day with high quality portraits.)
I will also give you a Video Show set to your music to share on facebook, watch on your DVD player and share with long distance friends and family-
it quickly, sweetly and perfectly tells the story of your wedding day with photos and video! You will have an online wedding gallery with free downloads too – so friends and family can print and post any portrait they want for free!
7. I love those photos with the blurry backgrounds. How do you get that look?
You’re talking about bokeh . Photographers get that look by using professional lenses and knowing how to separate the subject from the background.
I always visit wedding venues in advance to plan beautiful portraits so we don’t waste time on your wedding day.
8. How will the portraits be retouched? And will every portrait be edited?
Every photographer has a different way of editing their images using computer software (the high-tech version of a darkroom).
This is called “Post-Processing.” I retouch every portrait in your gallery for contrast, lighting, white balance, saturation, vingetting and a custom crop.
9. Why does wedding photography seem pricey?
Wedding photography seems like easy money — work for one day and rake in the cash, right? Wrong.
My second photographer and I carry over $15,000 worth of wedding gear and I work 60-hour weeks.
(Remember those 800 images from question #5? It takes 10-14 full days just to edit those.) Add the cost of designing and producing your album, designing your video show, your engagement session,
our planning meetings before your wedding day, insurance, taxes, license fees, software, marketing, education, shipping and studio expenses and many photographers end up m
aking less than minimum wage for the first few years of their career.
And remember that the day after your wedding, the only thing left is your photographs….so it’s definitely not an area to hire a non-professional.
10. I keep hearing about “shoot and burn” photography. Sounds painful. What is it?
“Shoot and burn” is slang for a non-professional photographing a wedding and burning the images straight from the
camera to a disc without any editing or post-processing. It’s usually super cheap — for a reason.
Colors are horrible, bad lighting isn’t corrected, distracting elements aren’t removed (hello, Speedo-clad photobomber!) and blemishes remain proudly on display.
Digital files are still important though – make sure your photographer will give them to you on discs after the wedding.
(Just find a full-service photographer who not only will capture amazing images on your wedding day but will also edit the images before handing over the discs.)
11. Speaking of the finished portraits, what will I do with that disc of portraits?
Please, don’t let the digitals rot on your disc. As a photographer, I want you to proudly display your wedding photos.
It makes me sad when I think of all the photos that never get printed. Don’t hide your wedding photos! I include a large print with all my wedding collections because I want to you HANG it —
that way when you’re having a bad day, it’s great to look up in your living room and see something awesome.
A custom designed album is also included with my wedding collections – so you have a beautiful album to help you share and relive that amazing day.
I also include a video show as a way to relive your beautiful day. It will be set to your special songs and will feature beautiful portraits as well as video to tell your wedding day love story.
12. How far in advance should I book a wedding photographer?
I often book over a year out. As it gets closer to your wedding date, it will be harder to book your first-choice photographer.
Frequently brides ask me what dates I have open BEFORE they book the venue so they know I will be available.
I hope this answers some of your questions.
The next page is a printable chart to help compare all the photographers you interview – I hope you find it helpful.
Please email me if you have more questions or if you’d like to get together.
I’d love to share some wedding albums with you and walk you through a typical wedding “Sweet Life Style!”
I look forward to capturing
your wedding day love story….
A printable checklist to easily compare photographers….
Savoring The Sweet Life Photography
Engagement session Yes
Wedding Day Second photographer Yes
Wedding day Photography timeline Yes
Photo + Video in a show with your songs Yes
Next day facebook sneak peek Yes
Custom retouching of every portrait Yes
Entire gallery ready in less than 2 weeks Yes
All high resolution edited wedding photographs on a disc Yes
Free portrait downloads for friends and family Yes
Custom designed wedding album Yes
Wall portrait included Yes
Can you read past Bride testimonials Yes
Can you see an entire gallery from past wedding Yes
As a photographer it is my great joy to capture Family and Senior Portraits, Engagement, Events, Parties, Family Reunion, Newborns, Children, Couples, Weddings and MORE that are as special and unique as you are –
Serving San Diego, Poway, Scripps Ranch,La Jolla, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, 4-S Ranch, Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo, Outdoor Family, Child, High School Senior, Family Reunion, Newborn, Engagement Couples Best Fun Senior Portraits Family Reunion Beach Portrait Shoot Park Portrait shoot Balboa Park On Location Wedding photographer