Traditional. Photojournalism. Illustrative. There are a variety of different wedding photography styles and ways to have your wedding shot in, it can be overwhelming. You and your significant other want the best rate for your budget, the highest quality possible, and want what will be the best way to remember this special day in your lives. Let’s walk through what to expect and essential questions you should before selecting a photographer.
The first step for selecting a photographer is to consider is the style of wedding photography you want taken. Those styles include the first three words of this article (Traditional, Photojournalism, Illustrative) and several others such as Natural Light, Documentary, and Edgy Bold.
Traditional is your standard, no-frills wedding photography with the picture selection determined specifically by you and your significant other (ex. asking for pictures of a certain table of guests, the first dance, etc.).
Photojournalism is similar to how the media shoots their photography, with the wedding photographer blending into the background and taking pictures as the events goes on to create a certain flow to his or her work.
Illustrative is a combination of the first two types of wedding photography we discussed. This is where the photographer gets the group you want a photo of together, tells them what the purpose is for, and then the group acts naturally while the photographer gets his or her shots.
Natural Light is exactly what it means. Pictures are taken under the current conditions and are not altered. This requires a photographer with skilled in that style of wedding photography given he or she must account for shadows, the lack of a camera flash, and does not have a time limit to get it a sunset shot or something along those lines.
Documentary is a wedding photography style that gives the photographer complete freedom to shoot a wedding as he or she sees it. This means they will emphasize angles and are more dramatic than the other types. You and your significant other will be highlighted more by contrasting a grainer background, giving off a natural, free-flowing look when really it was completely planned by the photographer. An interesting choice to consider give it’s uniqueness with a quality photographer.
Edgy Bold is an unconventional method that uses odd camera angles and tilts to shoot from different perspectives. For example, the picture of the bride and groom about to receive their rings would include the picture of the ring bearer in the foreground. There are no traditional shots if you exclusively use this method, so ask your photographer for a mix with traditional style pictures if you choose someone who specializes in this area of wedding photography.
The second step is doing your research on which style is best for you and is in your area. You want to select three to five wedding photographers to interview. Price is another factor in selection, most wedding photography packages start at $2,500 and go as high as $15,000 depending on the package. A wedding photography package will include the number of shots, number of hours, shots per specific event, and of course style of the pictures taken. Most middle and higher end photographers will have assistants with them to get a complete view of the event, whereas lower end ones will likely be a one man band.
The third and final step is setting up the interviews. At the meeting, you will cover wedding photography package specifics, ask and/or see examples of their work, image rights, and see if your personalities connect. Things to look at in their work are sharpness of the image, thought put into it (ex. Was the lighting right? Is there too much or too little space?), and how well they captured the mood. Personality of the wedding photographer will play a big role in your decision: are they outgoing? Introverted? How controlling are they? Will they bother guests or will they be too afraid to ask for the shots you desire?
After you sit through all the meetings, sit down with your significant other and narrow the decision down. If you can’t decide, don’t be afraid to ask for more samples or expand your search. Wedding photography is an expensive decision and one that will impact how you remember your big day as a couple forever!