Planning a wedding can feel like taking on a second job. The work that’s involved can include long tedious hours and frustration that might make you want to give up and go to Vegas for a quick in-and-out wedding! But rest assured, Empress Avenue has come to your rescue to make sure you can look back on your wedding day and thank yourself for all your hard work! We’ve broken down one of the most important aspects of a wedding to help keep your planning organized, efficient, and successful.
Choosing the right photographer and/or videographer is arguably the most essential decision you will make throughout your planning process. Years from your wedding day, a photo album or video are the only things that will bring alive the beautiful moments of the past. These memories should be captured in a way that emulates the eternal love between you and your partner and reminds you of a monumental day shared with family and friends. Our how-to guide will give you tips and insight to make sure you select the right photographer and videographer for your special day.
Finding Your Photographer
First Things First: Choosing a Style
Before searching for any photographers you should look into the different styles of wedding photography, the most popular being “traditional” and “photojournalism.” Although many photographers often practice multiple styles, you should try to find one who specializes or has a significant amount of experience doing the style you want in order for things to run smoothly on the big day!
Research, Research, Research!
After you have chosen a style (or two if you have trouble making up your mind!) your next task is to research potential photographers. The more information you can get, the better! To find recommendations and reviews you can go online, read blogs, magazines, ask friends and family, anything that will help get your questions answered.
Once you have narrowed your choices down to a few potential photographers you should start digging deep into their work. Go to their websites, are they well formatted for the client and easy to navigate through? It might give you an idea of how organized and aware of the customer a photographer is. Make sure you also look into their portfolios. Look for consistency and extensive work on not only your chosen photography style but on weddings! You don’t want to compromise by choosing someone who practices your style choice but has limited experience with wedding photography. The more wedding pictures in their portfolio the better. It shows they have the knowledge and understanding of how to document these unique and special days.
Contact and Communicate
These two elements of choosing a photographer are vital to ensure the finished product is exactly what you envisioned. Make sure the photographer encourages an efficient means of contacting them (i.e. a direct email or phone number, you don’t want to be told by an assistant that you’ll be called back later) and take note of their responsiveness when you do try to get in touch: do they get back to you quickly if they were unavailable at the time? Do they give you specific times where they are guaranteed to be able to chat? This notion of availability and respect for your needs as a client will give you an idea of what to expect as time goes on.
Having good communication with your photographer throughout the process is absolutely necessary. Within just the first few conversations you should be able to gauge whether or not your personalities mesh well, and having a photographer you get along with will make the process easier and way more fun! Don’t be shy to ask questions or state an opinion either. A good photographer should make you feel comfortable and at ease with their professional decisions.
Never Choose Cheap Over Quality
While you’re researching potential candidates you will probably come across an array of prices including those that seem like bargain deals. When planning a wedding, finding a good deal can be almost too good to pass up but if there’s one piece of advice you take from this it’s that you should never compromise the quality of your photos for the price of the package! If the price seems too good to resist, there’s probably a reason why. It could be a lack of experience, reputation, or the use of low quality equipment. Any of these variables can have serious repercussions on the way your wedding photos turn out, so if you find yourself spending a little more to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want I guarantee you’ll look back twenty years down the line and be thankful for it! Besides your personal memory, pictures are the lasting visions of your wedding day that you will be able to cherish, share, and use to remind you and your partner of your magical day together.
Finding Your Videographer
Now that you’re a expert at choosing the right photographer, finding your videographer will be a piece of cake. Keep in mind that not everyone chooses having both a photographer and videographer so don’t feel pressured if you’re perfectly satisfied with just having one or the other. The best thing to do is educate yourself on what you get from each final product in order to decide if you want one or both!
Timing is Key
Everything mentioned above with finding your photographer will be essential to finding your videographer as well. It’s important to note however, that there are some other factors that should be acknowledged when looking into your videographer. Since photographers generally don’t stay for the entire wedding, (unless you request them to) their jobs are relatively quick and they’re gone before you know it. Videographers, on the other hand, are there to document the day from start to finish and therefore you need far more of their time. In addition, it’s common to have multiple videographers at the wedding in order to capture shots from different angles. This is why it is extremely important to book a videographer early in the planning process of your wedding! After all of your hard work researching, it would be a terrible misfortune and a mess of anxiety if none of your top choices for videographers were available due to late notice.
Know Your Options
Like photography, videography offers a variety of styles but it also includes options of quality and customization such as getting your video done in High Definition (HD), formatting in a widescreen setting, having titles and captions, and background music. This extra detailing requires a bit more work but it’s always a good thing to know what options you have to make your video absolutely perfect. You don’t want to realize after having the finished product that you could have gotten a different customization to make it better.
Similarly mentioned in the photography section, this aspect of knowing your options ties into making sure you have great communication with your videographer. This includes asking questions and being specific about your preferences. To avoid meeting with a videographer without really knowing what you want it would be a good idea to watch as many wedding videos as possible (found easily on wedding blogs, YouTube, and videographer portfolios), it’s a great place to get inspiration and ideas!
And Finally, Have Fun!
The process of finding photographers and videographers can seem daunting at first. But turning it into a fun project will make it easier and enjoyable! Use the time you spend researching and looking at wedding photos and videos to get excited about your big day! Get inspired and motivated to make your vision of the perfect wedding come true and be beautifully documented. Just remember that when the night comes to a close, all you will have left are your memories and your pictures and/or video.