Hello, friends, we’re back with another photography-related post! When the talented Bay Area Photographer Meg Perotti shared with us her tips for posing for the perfect shot, we thought, why stop there? Obviously, you want to make sure you have the perfect shots on your big day, but who will take these pictures and where do you find this person? How much will this cost? And what are your options? Well, lucky for you, we’re here with some answers. Welcome to Wedding Photography 101.
To start, where does one even find a wedding photographer? Well, we think word-of-mouth is always the best. In fact, who better to ask than your wedding planner who has all the great connections? If you know someone that loved their photographer and loved their wedding photos, ask to look at theirs. If you like what you see, check out their other work. You can also check out guides like this one on the Wedding Channel or take a look through all the amazing wedding blogs out there that feature real weddings. Our favorites include Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, and 100 Layer Cake. If you see something you like, check out who the photographer is. Hint: you can do a search by location, and weddings shot in your area will pop up along with the local vendors used.
When looking for your photographer, check out their portfolios and make sure you’re into their style. Our suggestion is to not go with anything too trendy- timeless and natural is the way to go. Make sure the photographer has had experience shooting weddings, and preferably ones similar to yours. If all they’ve taken is pictures of their cat, it doesn’t matter how professional they looked, we can almost guarantee that they won’t be able to handle your shot list and you’ll be unhappy with the result.
Your wedding photographer is the one person you’ll be spending the most time with on your wedding day as they’ll want to capture every special moment. So you should really click with them before they click away! We really love a photo journalist approach. These are the photographers that will help tell the story of your big day, including details of all the beautiful things that you’ve worked so hard to create. Of course they will take a few posed portraits, but where they really shine is through all the candid photos. The look on your groom’s face as you walk down the aisle, the tear in your eye as your proud father talks about how special you are to him, the laugher when you and your best friends dance just like old times.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to your top two favorite photographers, we suggest doing a meet and greet, or at least chatting on the phone. You need to have that instant connection, just like when you found the dress! If you like them, then we highly recommend doing an engagement shoot, which is good for a number of reasons. One, you get a sort of test run to see how you and your photographer work together. Two, you’ll be able to get more comfortable in front of the camera, so taking pictures on your wedding day will feel more natural. And three, our favorite reason, is…you’ll have fun AND get some really special photos of you and your groom to be.
And now, let’s talk logistics. One of the most important things to keep in mind is timing- photographers book fast. Book your photographer as soon as you can, preferably right after you choose your wedding date and usually at least 9 months before the big day. Photographers’ fees can range greatly, especially here in the Bay Area, that said average services tend to be between $4,500 and $10,000. Fees will depend on the amount of hours needed, the size of your wedding, the location, and what type of package you’re looking for, etc. Check out some more wedding photography tips, from Martha Stewart Weddings, and enjoy the rest of your wedding planning!