How To Find Your Perfect Wedding Photographer

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Finding the right photographer is one of the most important decisions couples make in planning their wedding. With all the different styles, prices, and personalities - It can be a very overwhelming choice to make! Picking the wrong photographer can have huge consequences too... While the wedding itself will last a single day - the album that stores all your memories will last forever.

Tip 1

Browse portfolios and find a style that resonates with you

There's 4 main types of wedding photographers.

  • Documentary: Instead of a series of posed photos, these are candid or spontaneous pictures of people, décor and the action. Typical shots might include the lavish raw bar before guests start digging in, your motley crew of cousins dancing, or you and your bridesmaids laughing, champagne in hand. With a purely photojournalistic photographer, you'll very rarely see people staring at the camera—the photos capture the moments exactly as they happened, and together they tell a story.

  • Portraiture: If you prefer classic portraits (think: your parents' wedding album), go with a traditional photographer who specializes in portraiture. These are posed shots of the two of you, your friends and family in front of various backdrops. That's not to say there isn't room for creativity in this category. While some photographers will pose subjects in more traditional spots (like at the ceremony altar or out on the lawn of the country club) and in more formal poses (standing as a group together), others take portraiture further into the creative realm with a more dramatic composition (the couple sitting on a lounge chair at their hip hotel reception venue, or holding hands in the middle of a nearby dirt road with the mountains in the background).

  • Fine Art: Though it's similar to documentary photography, this style gives the shooter greater artistic license to infuse their particular point of view and style into your photographs. So while the shots reflect reality, it's the photographer's reality. The photos are dramatic and gorgeous, but are—or look as though they were—shot on film with a grainier, dreamier, more muted appearance. Not all photographers who take a fine-art approach shoot portraits, so if it's really important to your mom to have posed family shots, look for someone who does both, or consider hiring a second shooter for the portrait sessions.

  • Edgy and Bold: This style of photography, an offshoot of fine art, is marked by outside-the-box, tilted angles and unconventional framing. So instead of a straight-on shot of the couple exchanging vows at the altar, the photo might look tilted, with an object like an altar arrangement or a candle in the foreground. Or the photo of the bride having her makeup done might be shot from above, with an emphasis on the eye shadow brush rather than on her face. Even a single portrait of a bridesmaid might be shot so her face takes over only the bottom right of the photo and the rest of the space is filled with the wall or whatever's behind her.

Our studio has a huge focus on shooting in a documentary style, but also incorporates the other styles throughout a wedding day for variety and interest.

Groom getting kiss from Groomsman | Huguenot Mill Wedding Greenville SC

Tip 2

Love your photographer's personality!

Don't underestimate the importance liking and bonding with your photographer. Is the photographer excited by your vision when you describe it? When they make suggestions, do they present them in a clear and respectful way, or are they timid? Are their mannerisms off-putting? In order to get the best photos, go with a pro who has a firm grasp of social graces but is bold enough to go out hunting for great images and who, above all, puts you at ease and doesn't irritate you in any way.

Remember: They'll be shadowing your every move, and the more comfortable both of you are with the photographer, the better the photos will turn out. Likewise, you don't want the photographer to offend or annoy any guests, but to shoot them in their best light in an unobtrusive way. To get the best photos, your photographer needs to be assertive enough to seek out great moments, cajoling enough to coax relaxed smiles and natural stances from guests, and calm enough to be a positive force. They should ask lots of questions and be a good listener.

Tip 3

Hire a true professional!

Just do a google search on "terrible wedding photography" and you'll find horror stories of people who chose the cheap photographer or a friend with a camera to document the most important day in their life.

Your wedding will last a day, but your album will last a lifetime. Not only that - it's going to be one of the most valuable possessions you'll have to pass down to your children. Don't leave this important task of documenting your wedding to anyone with a digital camera and a website.

It's also important to find out about the equipment they shoot with. Professional cameras have dual card slots to record the same image to two places as it's taken. What would happen if a card went bad? Do they have a backup copy of those images that were lost?

Also, how do they store images after the wedding? Is there a backup in case of disk failure or fire or theft? These are all considerations professional photographers take into account to protect your wedding day memories.

Bride and Groom Dancing in Huguenot Mill Wedding Downtown Greenville

Tip 4

View full wedding portfolios with a critical eye!

Although a photographers website will give you a great idea of what can be achieved at your own wedding, be sure and ask to see a full gallery as well. Often times a photographer will only post their absolute best work - leaving out important times of the day because they're not able to photograph them well.

Some things to look out for:

  1. Are they able to shoot in any environment they encounter? Every person with a camera can shoot outdoors on a nice day and get a great photo, but what happens when the lights go down during the reception? So many photographers don't understand how to use strobes and lighting which leads to terrible church ceremony and dance floor shots.

  2. Is there a consistent style and flow to the gallery? Are the images of seemingly random things or could you write a story about the couple by looking through the album? Are the colors consistent and do you think you would be proud to have each image in that gallery?

  3. Do you see what's important to you? If you're interested in getting lots of images of you and your future hubby looking at the camera, but those type of images aren't showcased on a website - that photog probably isn't a good fit for you. Dreaming of getting incredible bridal portraits you can hang in your home but don't see any in the gallery? You might want to look elsewhere. Want those killer dance floor shots and dramatic magazine type photos of your friends gettin' jiggy with it? Be sure to see some dance images taken during the after party!

Couple Dancing | Huguenot Mill Wedding Greenville SC

Tip 5

Be sure your photographer doesn’t skimp on quality!

Because we understand being entrusted with people's memoreis is a privilege and a responsibility every album is handmade with care and love. We believe your images will be treasured for a long time, and we'd like to give you the perfect showcase for them.

Our Premier Albums are made from luxury full grain Italian leather. It's the timeless choice to hold your wedding day images. Our leather albums are artisan made using full grain hides for a soft, supple cover that feel great to touch and ages gracefully. 

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