How Should I Choose Wedding Photographer

THINGS THIS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER LEARNED AS A BRIDE

As I come down from cloud nine from this amazing weekend, I thought I’d share a more personal blog post that I felt was kind of necessary. This weekend, I married my best friend and had the wedding of my dreams!!  Out of all the weddings I have shot over the years, it was so crazy to finally be the bride.  I’m still reliving the day over and over again, smiling to myself that this really happened.

In other news, it was really eye opening to be on the other side of things for once.  I learned a LOT about what it feels like to be the client, and what it feels like to the bride.  I really wanted to share some of the big things wedding planning taught me and some tips I can offer to current brides to help their day run smoothly.

Communication with your vendors is very important

The one thing that we did have some bumps in the road with, is a couple of mishaps with a couple of our vendors. One thing one that was helpful for us is to arrange a phone call with all of our hired vendors to make sure everyone was on the same page.  This is something that as a client that you shouldn’t feel bad about, as we are working for YOU.  It also did a lot in settling our nerves, knowing that all of our vendors were on the same page.

Do as much as you can as early in advance as you can!

We booked as many vendors as we could within the first couple of months of engagement.  When all the big stuff was taken care of, we took a seat for a bit as we both focused on other things for a few months.  A month before wedding, we realized we needed a lot of little things:  A card box, memory table frames, gifts for our parents, gifts for each other, gifts for our bridal party, escort cards.. the list goes on.  We had thought we had a leg up in the game, but when we realized we had so many little things left to do so close to the wedding, panic mode set in!

Spurge on the things that matter most to you, and budget on the others

Our priority vendor-wise was a couple of things:  An amazing photographer (duh), and our guests having a great time.  With that, we splurged and got a pretty great band which got our friends and family up and dancing, and our photographers were just incredible all day – we felt very comfortable with them and confident that they had everything captured for the day.  Flowers and center pieces?  We tried to go a little cheaper with.  We would rather spend more money on the things that are really important to us, rather than the things that we will never remember and our guests probably won’t notice.

 

Wedding Photography Client Gifts

There are a lot of things that I had to do to take my business from a side gig to full time – there’s no doubt that building a business is hard work, and the hardest part is getting people who actually want to pay for what you do. If I could tell you to focus on one thing and one thing only, I would say focus on the client experience

I like to think of it this way – if you loved the food at a certain restaurant, but the waiters were rude every time you went, and you had a bad experience, how likely are you to come back?

CLIENTS ARE WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE.

Most people would rather go somewhere else, even if the food was more expensive – and that’s how it is with all things! People are willing to pay more for the experience, as long as it’s a good one. And especially if it’s one they won’t get just anywhere. Photos are no different. If you take beautiful photos, but your clients feel awkward and uncomfortable during the shoot, they’ll probably just remember that feeling when they look at the photos

MAKE YOUR CLIENT EXPERIENCE UNIQUE.

The client experience looks different for everybody – some people hang out with their clients or take them on a coffee date occasionally, which is awesome! I don’t personally do this (most of the time), just because I’m often traveling and it’s a little harder for me to maintain those in person connections. I am also more of an introvert, so it doesn’t feel super natural for me to become best friends with everybody. I’ve tried, and I kind of think people can tell when you’re trying too hard, haha. In general, being yourself just works out better.

How I do my wedding photography client gifts.

Back to wedding photography client gifts: I love giving them (it’s definitely my love language), and almost everyone I know loves receiving them. It’s just a cute little way to let your clients know you’re thinking about them, and when they get their gifts they often post them on Instagram stories or rave to their friends.

 

THINGS YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER WANTS YOU TO KNOW

What your wedding photographer wants you to know. It seems simple, right? As wedding photographers, we’re supposed to show up on the date you’ve picked out and photograph it. Easy. Well, that’s not really all there is to it. I like to think of wedding photographers as the glue that holds a wedding day together.

Disclaimer here: I don’t want to discount wedding planners. If you have hired a wedding planner, first off — thank you, and secondly, they would be handling all of the logistics, last minute plans, etc.

Wedding Planners are Wonderful

I mentioned this above, but hiring a wedding planner really does make wedding planning so much easier. You won’t have to keep up with a million different vendor email threads, nor will you have to coordinate every single tiny detail (think about napkins, how they’re placed, what color, etc). There are so many things you don’t think you’ll need to do until you are in the thick of it. If I could go back (my personal advice from being a bride), I would undoubtedly hire a wedding planner

We Can’t Work Magic

Scenario: You’ve been scouring blogs like Style Me Pretty and Magnolia Rouge. You’ve stared at countless outdoor ceremony photos with floral arches underneath large moss-covered trees. You’ve fallen in love with a certain photographer and you HAVE to hire them for your wedding. Your big day rolls around, you have your indoor formal church ceremony in front of the altar, and all is well. A few months pass and you receive your wedding photos. You think: these do NOT look like the work I saw of “said photographer” on the blogs.

Indoor ceremonies and outdoor ceremonies have totally different vibes because they have totally different light. Can indoor ceremonies still be gorgeous and ethereal? Absolutely! Your wedding photographer wants you to know that different light will yield different results. Lack of light will not render beautiful skin or light and airiness like being outside will.

 

The Top Wedding Photographers in the World

You’ve secured an ideal venue and are collaborating with a planner who anticipates your every need—and if they’re worth their salt, they’ll likely refer a photographer from this list. Your decor, dress, flowers, and cake can all look perfect on the day of, but it’s the skillful shooting, expert lighting, thoughtful composition, and fly-on-the-wall discretion that will shape your memories as you look back on your wedding photographs in the years to come.

These are the photographers we recommend when asked and those who we trust to capture the portraits, moments, and details of life’s most sentimental events. Some of them have shot the most exclusive celebrity weddings; others are the go-tos for the It-girl and fashion set. Many of these talents have captured events all over the world—some approaching their work with a documentarian’s eye, while others are all about sheer romance. As for the best of the best, they’re all of the above.

We asked our photographer shortlist to share their points of view, process, expert advice, and more about their signature styles in their own words

The Look: Having shot mostly in film for almost 20 years, I’ve been able to master the soft, organic, and timeless look that classic film provides.

The Approach: It’s not just about taking the best photos—it’s also about how I make the clients feel. This is an experience from the first initial connection to the final deliverables; it all must be consistent and flawless.

 

Must-Have Wedding Day Photography Gear

Those who follow Portrait Session know that I consider myself to be an idiot when it comes to photography gear.  I’m unlike my fellow Improve Photography guys in that I don’t lust over the newest lenses, I don’t nerd out about the latest camera models, and I certainly have no idea what great new treats are soon to be released.  I do, however, have a certain passion for the things that every good wedding photographer should have in their bag, which is why I want to share with you what I believe is the must have wedding day photography gear.  The gear that will allow you to improve the quality of your photographs, and in turn take your business to the next level.

Now, I’m not here to say that you can’t be a wedding photographer if you don’t have all of these things in your bag.  I know that there are successful wedding photographers out there who shoot with old bodies or only 2 lenses.  I’m also not here to say that the gear I have is the best and you should run out and buy everything I own.  I am simply here to share the things that I think are crucial in order to be fully prepared for all of the environments and situations that weddings throw at you.  With these pieces of gear in your bag, I promise you’ll be ready to conquer a wedding day like a pro!

A good bag

There are approximately 72 million camera bags in the world today.  Some are cross body, others are backpacks, and others are roller bags.  Some hold a few lenses and a body, while others hold roughly 84 lenses and 17 bodies.  While much of what I’m saying here is exaggeration, one thing I will not exaggerate about is that every wedding photographer must have a bag that is big enough, strong enough, and safe enough for all of the gear necessary to be a GREAT wedding photographer.

A camera that performs well in low light

It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter extremely crappy light at some point on a wedding day.  Most churches have dull lights that cast a yellow hue on everything in site.  The majority of reception venues are dimly lit spaces with sometimes not even enough ambient light to be able to lock focus (that’s the WORST).  Because of this, it’s absolutely crucial for all wedding photographers to have a camera that will produce beautiful images even in dark situations.

A zoom lens

Going back to that church scenario mentioned above, it is also inevitable that you’ll encounter a church that restricts photographers.  I’d say that in at least half of the church weddings I photograph, I am restricted in some way.  Most often, this restriction is in the form of where I can move during the ceremony.  Some restrictions are more harsh than others, but I have been in some churches where I wasn’t even allowed to move out of the back row!  If I had not had my 70-200 lens, the couple would’ve looked like ants in every single photo!!

The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Event Videographer

Choosing the Perfect Photographer or Videographer for Your Event

For any event, finding someone to capture special and amazing moments is vitally important. However, quite often you can be spoilt for choice or not even know where to start. We’ve made a list of our top tips for choosing a  photographer or videographer for your event.

First things first….

Make sure you have a venue and date before submitting a request. A photographer/videographer will want to know where your event is so that they can give you an accurate quote, and so they can see if they are able to travel there.

Wedding Photography

ALL Wedding Photographers specialise in capturing beautiful moments on your special day. They will spend time before your wedding getting to know you and going through the different options they can provide for you. They often have add-ons like a photo album to showcase your day. They’re also good for wedding vow renewals. If you don’t just want a wedding photographer there are other options!

Vintage Wedding Photographer

Fancy wedding photography, but want your photos taken in beautiful natural reportage style? A vintage wedding photographer is a supplier for you!

Documentary Wedding Photographer

Taking photos throughout the day to document your perfect day to a T. They specialise in taking natural and candid photos of you and your wedding guests throughout the day. Perfect if you don’t like posing!

 

Keys to Successful Event Video

One of the comforts in controlled shoots is that you can always try a few things to see what works with a scene. Move a light a few times. Take time to test audio with different microphones in different positions. Maybe swap cameras to see if the Canon EOS 5D Mark III gives you a better effect than the Sony PMWEX3.

Some Quick Tips to Being Prepared

Whether you are shooting wedding and event videography or school sports, you need to be prepared. There are no do-overs. Some of these tips sound like common sense, but each one has either helped me immensely, or bitten me badly when I forgot to do them. This is the checklist that I go through before I take on any event.

What Kind of Planning? All Kinds!

Before an event shoot, it’s normal to get a little bit tense. One of the best ways to get calm is to take some time to get prepared. Charge more than your camera batteries – charge up your cell phone and pack a charger. When all else fails, your phone can be your lifeline to communicate with the rest of the staff. Fill up your gas tank to avoid a stop on the way, and get your car looking presentable, inside and out, you never know if you’ll be driving a subcontractor or a client to the subway or their hotel after you’ve concluded the event.

Know Who’s in Charge

When scoping an event, you’ll want to meet with your clients beforehand to get a solid understanding of their expectations – what do they want you to shoot, what are you delivering after the event, and what are the deadlines for that content

Get a Schedule

Prior to the event, sometimes at the last minute, the client should provide you with an event schedule. If they don’t, ask for one. This will give you an idea of how the day(s) will flow, and serve as a general outline to work with. Keep in mind the time allotted to the travel from place to place. Make notes on the schedule detailing any special requests or location changes.

 

Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Videographer

while still images are an essential wedding day keepsake, we highly recommend investing in a professional wedding videographer to help capture your special day too! Your wedding day goes by so quickly so you’ll want to have a video to relive all those special moments – like the look on your groom’s face as you walk down the aisle, or the emotional moments as your mother helps you into that beautiful dress. Being able to relive your wedding vows and the speeches that those closest to you worked so hard on is something you definitely can’t put a price tag on!

Take finding a videographer just as seriously as you take finding your photographer

Choosing a cinematography company should be taken just as seriously as finding a company to cover photography. Wedding cinematography is a technical art so it is very important to choose the right company because producing a flawless wedding video takes an exorbitant amount of experience and skill.

A lot of times, we reflect on things that have happened in our lives. We all know that photographs are an essential part of your wedding day and even in your everyday life. One thing to consider about wedding cinematography is that it brings still images to life. You get to hear from loved ones during speeches, re-watch your vows, watch your best man rock the dance floor or watch dad secretly tear up when you didn’t know he was.

Seek out reviews

Their work looks great, your meeting went well, but how do you really know you’re making the right choice for a videographer? Ask around! Does your photographer know this company, have any of your friends hired them, does your wedding planner have experience working with them? These are the people who will be able to give you first hand information about anything you should know before making your decision.

Meet in person

Conducting a consultation in person is an excellent idea. It will give you a sense of what the company you’re about to sign up with is like and also the personality of the person who might be there on your wedding day. Make sure you are able to easily build a connection so that things never feel awkward on your wedding day; after all, this person will be around you for most of the day. Take note of how they are dressed and how they groom themselves, you want to make sure they are talented but that will carry themselves the right way at your wedding

 

How to Choose the Right Videographer for your Wedding

When picking a Videographer for your wedding, there are a lot of things to consider. Your wedding video is one of the most important parts of your wedding. It is the one thing you’ll look at late on in life and remember that special day. So naturally, you want to make the best decision possible when picking out who is creating your wedding film. We have seen a lot of couples who are ultimately unhappy with their final video because they fail to do the proper research. So here are some tips to consider when choosing a videographer for your wedding.

Watch Wedding Films

It may sound ridiculous but one of the most important thing you can do while searching for wedding videographers is to watch their work. Go on YouTube and Facebook and watch as many wedding films as you possibly can before even contacting any videographer. This is crucial to your research process because it will allow you to understand what these videos look like and what you can expect from them. Secondly, you will be able to understand what you want your video to look like and help you pick the vendors you will talk to based on that. Don’t be afraid to look outside your city; if you watch a video you absolutely love and they are a few cities away or even a state, contact them anyway you may be able to find someone across the country that has that very specific style you like and they can work out a deal with you so you can get the video you actually want.

Meet vendors in person

Once you have watched a few films and know what you want your wedding video to look like, you’re ready to start contacting vendors. Find the vendors that have a similar style and meet with them. Talking on the phone is great but meeting them in person is absolutely critical. This will allow you to know what they are like and if you can even get along with them. Also, if you do end up hiring them, you’ll know who and what to expect on your wedding day.

Understand What You’re Getting

During these meetings, make sure to make a list of questions and ask away. Get all the details of what they offer and how the video will be delivered to you. Some Videographers will advertise to shoot in HD but will then deliver your video on a DVD. This is a problem because DVDs aren’t actually in HD. If they advertise to be shooting in High Definition, they should be delivering accordingly. Next, one of the most important things to do while talking these vendors is to watch samples of the films they are selling you. If you are getting their cinematic highlight, make sure you ask to watch one of their previous cinematic highlights. More importantly, if you are purchasing a long form video no matter what they call it, make sure to ask for a sample of that. Most videographers won’t have available on their website and will give you a poorly edited video of all your footage. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before making a decision.

Friendliness

Although it may seem trivial, likability is a very important trait to look for in a videographer. It is crucial to pick someone that actually cares about you and your day. This will not only affect what your video will look like, but it will improve your overall experience throughout the day. A friendly videographer will make the day less stressful on you and will be able to capture those authentic moments with you and your spouse.

 

What are tips for choosing the best videographer for a wedding?

Hire friendly photographers and videographers.

There is a lot to capture on your wedding day in a short amount of time. Both your photographer and videographer will film the same key scenes: getting ready, first look, ceremony, speeches, reception, etc. Coordination is important, so try to hire a photographer and videographer who have worked together before. This way, they will likely have systems in place to make sure each captures those special moments. Ask your wedding planner for recommendations or have your photographer to suggest a videographer (or the other way around) for a seamless day-of experience.

Find a filmmaker who is comfortable with your venue type.

Found a filmmaker you love but notice that all of their films take place outdoors and you’re getting married in a ballroom? Raise the question to the filmmaker before you hire them and make sure they’re comfortable shooting in your wedding setting. Request sample films to watch and show them an example of a film you like from your venue (or a similar) and confirm they’re comfortable shooting in similar circumstances.

Find someone who matches your wedding video style preference.

Once you’ve made a short list of filmmakers who shoot in your area and are within your budget, watch A LOT of sample films. Wedding films vary a ton. Some are mostly scenes of getting ready and staged bride and groom moments, while some have a lot of candid coverage of dancing and the reception. Some only include music, while others include vows, speeches and toasts. Some even feature interviews with the bride and groom, filmed either on the wedding day or sometimes well in advance. The videographer you choose should have several videos you love. Prior to the wedding, send them examples of your favorites from their own portfolio. Be specific with your examples: what did you love about each?

Don’t be afraid to search beyond your city.

Certain wedding vendors, like florists or caterers, make more sense to hire local. However, don’t be constrained by location when choosing your videographer. While filmmakers do need a certain amount of equipment, it’s usually not more than they can take with them on a plane or in a car. Love Stories TV team member and bride-to-be Vanessa is getting married in Baltimore but found and hired a filmmaker based in Colorado! Every filmmaker has a different policy on travel but if you find someone you love who isn’t from your area, you should still reach out!

Understand what’s included in your package.

As wedding films have increased in popularity, so have the package options and the terminology. Understanding everything that comes in your package will help ensure you aren’t disappointed later. When your filmmaker sends you examples of what comes in your package (Instagram teaser, trailer, full edit, etc.) make sure to really watch each example and be sure it’s the type and amount of coverage you want!