Booking a wedding photographer is quite a complicated process. Although it really shouldn’t be. We recently wrote an article about the introductory meeting with your wedding photographer. Before you have that meeting, of course you are going to select one or more photographers. It is for this reason that we are writing this article.
Of course again with our own wedding photos in it, because we love to show them off. In addition, we want to give you a few things to think about. Because you can only make that choice once. So five things to watch out for.
1. Exactly what style am I looking for?
Or rather. Does the wedding photographer’s portfolio match the style I want?
There are many wedding photographers in the Netherlands. And almost every photographer has a website featuring his or her best wedding photos. And I suspect you have already looked at some of it and may not be able to see the wood for the trees at some point.
Tip: Create a folder on your desktop or a folder on Pinterest that contains your favorite photos. And see if you can find the best wedding photographer that way.
Booking a wedding photographer: What do you like?
Are you looking for photojournalistic images, photos that are made completely on-the-fly? Or would you just like to get direction from the wedding photographer, because you don’t quite know “how” you want to be photographed, just know that you want some nice posed portraits. And the photo shoot, do you guys actually want it?
A mix between photojournalism and a bit more polished is also possible. We often photograph the day as photojournalistically and loosely as possible, while making a few suggestions during the photoshoot. Then you have the best of both worlds. But try to figure out for yourself what you feel best about. And most of all, ask your partner what he/she wants and expects as well.
2. What is the price: is this the best wedding coverage I can get for my budget?
The oft-asked question, “why is a wedding photographer so expensive?” makes pretty good sense. The answer to that question is a mix of the experience of the best wedding photographer, the amount of weddings he/she shoots per year, the number of photos you get edited or not, the number of photographers who come to shoot, and whether or not you get an album with your reportage. In addition, you should also consider how long it will take to see the photos.
And how is the personal contact you have with your photographer? The Perfect Wedding writes that on average you pay about 1200 euros for a good wedding photographer, but then it doesn’t say what exactly you get.
Determine your budget together
So before you set up a budget, it’s good to consider what you want. Do you want a wedding album? Do you choose to do a wedding shoot from early morning to late evening? Do you want one or two wedding photographers? And do you actually want an average wedding photographer, or do you think having the best wedding photographer is really important?
About 10% of the budget goes to your wedding photographer
Based on those questions, you can see if you want to go with the idea that a wedding photographer takes up about 8-10% of the budget on average or if you think, “looking at those averages, I want slightly different wedding photos than I often see.”
Tip: check to see if you will be charged extra afterwards. For example, for the design of the wedding album, for printing photos, for travel and/or parking costs or for post-processing the photos.
3. What is the quality: do I get what I pay for?
You see a lot of individual photos online, but the ones we suspect will be worth more to you later are the ones you don’t print as quickly. See if it is possible to see more photos of 1 reportage. For example, through the blog section of the website of the photographers you have your eye on.
And when you schedule an interview, see if you can see a wedding album of 1 complete wedding, rather than an album containing “the best wedding photos.” Because really, anyone can take a few great photos at a wedding, it’s all about making sure that a reportage is good from A to Z.
How is the wedding album?
Also, take a look at the wedding album if you want to book a wedding photographer. This may be with lay-flat pages, the album may have a real leather cover, it may have a storage box, or maybe you don’t want a wedding album at all and just skip this paragraph. And how is the layout of the album? Does it match what you had in mind? We once experienced that a couple wanted an album with a totally different layout than we make. They wanted a relatively busy album, while we make our albums as timeless as possible. It is good to know this before you book, because then you can look for someone who fits you perfectly.
How many photos will I get when I book this wedding photographer?
And how many photos do you actually get delivered? Are those photos all edited and high resolution? And are they without a watermark? Can you use the photos on social media and share the online gallery with your family? All small things that can affect how satisfied you are going to be with the work later.
Paying per individual photo?
One photographer has couples pay per individual photo and another delivers everything the same evening on a DVD. There is so much difference between them. So be sure to ask about what you can expect. Minor side note: more is not always better. Because looking at 4000 photos of 1 day can quickly become boring ;) We find that our wedding reportages end up with 250 to 500 photos, depending on the content of the wedding day, the number of guests and the amount of travel time.
4. Feeling: do I have that “click” with my photographer?
We experienced it ourselves when we were looking for a wedding venue: 1 of the managers started to give her own interpretation of the day without knowing anything about us. “And then you guys are going to toast there with champagne, and then the bridesmaids can sprinkle pink flowers, and then people can speak”… Errr… we don’t drink alcohol and we didn’t have any (bridesmaids) at that point.
For us, that immediately made the conversation have a strange beginning. And when a bride and groom sat down on the couch with us the other day and told us that they just wanted to feel like their wedding was unique and not just another boho wedding at that mega cool venue, I was extra convinced again: feeling is important.
A little connection…
Just like we as photographers make the best wedding pictures when we are completely in our element, you also want to feel that your day is in safe hands.That connection, I used to not really believe in it, but now I know that as a couple and a wedding vendor you need a certain connection.
Of course, you don’t have to become best friends, but we like to be able to feel the emotions of the bride and groom a little, so that the photos also become more natural and real. Do you share that feeling with us? Great!
5. What is the professionalism of my wedding photographer?
Can I trust this photographer with my wedding day?
“And then it turned out that the photographer had forgotten to put a card in the camera. Or “the camera batteries were dead, could you believe that?”. We hear horror stories like this more often. And to be perfectly honest, an accident is always waiting to happen, photographers are just human too. We certainly do too. But…. that doesn’t mean that as a photographer you can’t try to minimize that possibility of human failure. You can carry extra cameras, batteries, flashes, lenses, memory cards and much more.
All these investments cost money, of course, and not every photographer has that to spare. See if you can trust your photographer with your beautiful wedding. I actually only know colleagues who work very hard and mostly go for safety. However, that is not to say that there are not novice photographers who take just a little more risk. We ourselves, of course, started somewhere at the bottom of the ladder. But by now we are shooting with 4 cameras and have a bag full of spare equipment. Because you never know ;)
Dark wedding venue
Of course, there is always a chance that it will rain and you will get married inside. Can your wedding photographer handle difficult lighting situations in dark wedding halls? Is he or she used to flash if necessary? Can he or she also beautifully photograph the party night? Again, this is different for many photographers. Again, just keep asking until you are sure that the moments that are important to you will come out well in the photo.
Extra Tip: if the photographer has a section on his/her with wedding photography reviews, references or opinions from couples, be sure to check it out. The more reviews, the more likely they are to give a good impression of the photographer.
Ready? Book your wedding photographer!
Then, when everything is completely clear, in terms of style, budget, quality, click and trust, you can move on to booking. Most photographers I know work with a reservation fee and a contract, so that your arrangements are fixed from both sides. And if everything is arranged, then you can move on to arranging the rest of your wedding. Good luck and have fun! If you have any questions or want to check your wedding date. Please click here.