Glad to have you here!
So, here you are, engaged and trying to put all the pieces together for The Big Event, and it’s a non-stop ride. Which, don’t get me wrong, is great….but sometimes, it would be nice if things could just slow down a bit.
There are so many things to think about and so many people giving you suggestions and advice. It can be hard to know if you’re making the best choices. I’m here to help make choosing a photographer easy. I know you’ve probably seen a picture or two (or a thousand), and you know that pictures are the one thing that you get to keep forever, so how do you pick a photographer? How do you know they’re going to be a good fit? It might feel like a crapshoot. Similar portfolios at similar places shared by photographers saying similar things.
I’m here to help! I’ll show you how to look under the surface and dig a little deeper. I hope that you find the information helpful. If you enjoy it, I’d love to hear what you liked best. Please feel free to pass these tips on to anyone you know who might enjoy them.
Factor 1 - Who are you?
Let’s get started.
Today, I’m going to start with a big question that you need to know the answer to before you go any farther. Here’s what I want you to do. Close your eyes and imagine that it’s a week after your wedding. You’re looking back, thinking about how perfect the day was. Everything went exactly as planned. It was even better than you imagined.
Warm hugs, perfect weather and a great, great day.
Here’s the question: What does the wedding look like?
How would you describe it to a friend? What pictures would you expect to see? How would they look? Paint the picture. Make it so vivid that you can almost hear and smell it. This is important because if you don’t know what you’re looking for, there’s no way to ensure that you will get it.
If you’re not sure what the day looks like, think about the blogs and sites you’ve been looking at or the magazines you’ve read. Which weddings felt like the one that you wanted? Picture yourself in those weddings. Would you be happy if yours felt that way? More than happy? Thrilled even?
Once you know this, let it settle in your mind and we’ll move on from there. In the meantime, if you’d like to share what your perfect day looks like, I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to respond to this email and let me know what matters most on your perfect day.
One of the big assumptions about a wedding is that you need a photographer. After all, if something happens but it wasn’t captured on camera, did it really happen?
Your day was full of joy, love, fun and so many little moments that made the day perfect. You were there for it all, but that doesn’t mean that you saw or remember every part of the day. That’s why you hired a photographer.
Factor 2 - Why do you need a photographer?
Now that you know what your perfect wedding looks like - keep that in mind for the next point.
Today, we’re going to take it a step further. Imagine that it’s now about a month after your wedding and your photographer has just sent you a link to your wedding gallery. You’re about to click the link. You slide the mouse to shift the cursor over the button. You take a deep breath. You pause. You click…
What do you expect to see?
Think very specifically about what’s happening in the pictures and how they look. More importantly, how do they make you feel?
Almost every photographer captures moments. After all, every time the shutter is clicked, a moment is captured. What not all photographers do equally is capture moments and create images that make you feel like you’re experiencing a moment all over again.
When you look through the images in your mind, what stands out? What’s your reaction to the pictures? What types of things are captured? How are they portrayed? Is it heartfelt, offbeat, funny, romantic, intimate…?
As you search for the perfect photographer and look through portfolios, look for the things that match what you want to feel when you look at your own wedding images. If you need a little more help, reach out! I’m here for you.
Factor 3 - What does your idea of relaxed look like?
One of the things that has drastically changed over the years is that weddings have gotten more elaborate. In the past, weddings were often a simple gathering of close friends and family. Today, they’ve become huge productions.
With so many options, it’s important to make sure that your wedding feels like your event and not something that came off a production line. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re living someone else’s day.
Over the years, my experience as a wedding photographer has helped me realize two things. First, there is no one-size-fits-all wedding. Second, many couples describe their wedding as “relaxed”. I’m here to tell you there are many, many different versions of what relaxed looks like. There’s relaxed as a look. And there’s relaxed as a feel. Which is it that you really want?
Are you the type who wants a fête and you don’t mind getting just the tiniest bit fussy? Or are you the type who wants to be there and it doesn’t matter if everything is flawless? It’s fine to want a little of both, or just one or the other. There’s no right or wrong, it’s just important to know what you want.
If style is your thing and you want a wedding in the forest with lots of details, then you want to pay extra attention to how well a photographer captures and shows the style of a wedding and whether they bring out the individual flavor of the event. On the other hand, if the feel of the day is most important to you, then pay extra attention to the character and personality of the images.
A website and images alone won’t give you all the answers. You have to talk with photographers. Find out about their process. Find out how they capture images and what type of interactions they will have with you and the guests. Does their personality mesh with yours? Are they someone you want to spend the day with?
It’s easy to be wooed by the best images, cherry-picked for a portfolio, but don’t forget to think about what’s going on behind the scenes and make sure it fits well with what you want.
Factor 4 - Do you need your photographer to be your friend?
One of the most common things you’ll hear is that since you’ll be spending the whole day with your photographer, you’d better like them. This is true; you should like them. Your photographer will be with you throughout your wedding day and will be in your life for months before and after the wedding.
Here’s what you really need to think about though. What relationship do you want to have with your photographer? More specifically, what type of relationship is going to serve you the best?
Think about your personality and your expectations. While getting along matters, does having a single-serving best friend for a day matter? To some it does. To others, it doesn’t.
A big part of the value that comes with any person you hire is going to come from the service they provide. It’s great if they are fun and charming but it’s also important that they be responsive and take good care of you.
How do you want the service to look? Is staying invisible the most attentive thing your photographer can do? Or do you want them to guide you through every shot, acting almost like a surrogate planner?
Keep in mind, none of these things are mutually exclusive. You can have a friendly relationship with great service. You just have to know what you need and look under the surface to make sure you find the right person.
If you need help getting a better idea of what goes on behind-the-scenes, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’d be happy to jump on a quick phone call with you and help figure out what services you need the most for your day.
Factor 5 - What does your day look like in pictures?
At the start, we talked about how your day should look. Then we talked about how your day should feel. As we wrap up, let’s talk about what you want to see when your wedding is over.
One of the biggest things a photographer does during a wedding is select moments to capture. It’s the one thing you can be sure that no two photographers will do exactly the same. Even photographers who have the same style and the same equipment will select different moments. Where your photographer chooses to focus their attention is everything.
I want you to ask yourself, what gets you excited? What part of the day is the most meaningful? Some people want picture-perfect portraits more than anything. Other people want the little moments that most people won’t see. Others want the style and the feel of the day captured. There are as many possibilities as there are couples. What do you want?
Once you have the answer to that, find out how a photographer handles logistics and what they recommend. Hearing their answers will give you insight into what they prioritize and will help you determine if they’re a good fit.
The amount of time you hire a photographer for, whether there’s a second photographer and the complexity of your day will affect the coverage you get. Bring these things up and get recommendations from the photographer.
Your wedding lasts one day... but your images last forever
Let us help you!
Angled Light Photography is Greenville's fastest wedding photography studio. We specialize in creating and delivering hand-crafted imagery that’s genuine to the couple and their day.
Drop us a line if you'd like to chat over coffee. We'd love to hear about your wedding plans!