Choosing a Photographer – Two Most Important Factors


Your wedding photographs will be the only lasting reminder of your wedding day when it’s all said and done. You’ll hear this more that once when looking for a photographer, but it’s true. There is no “do over” with wedding photography so you need to get it right the first time. With so much as stake, you might ask what’s really important when looking for a wedding photographer? There are two factors to consider above all else.

1. Do I like their photography?

2. Do I like the photographer personally?

Seems pretty obvious but often times those two factors get lost in the list of other considerations such as the photography cost and the advice of others. Ultimately, this is a decision for you, because these photographs will become your first family heirlooms.

You’ve probably had a mental picture of your ideal wedding for years and possibly since childhood. This is your opportunity to make those pictures in your head a reality. Now ask yourself “What do I really want my wedding photos to look like?” Do you want documentary photos of you and your guests having the time of their lives? Do you want photos of you and your new spouse interacting naturally and romantically? Do you crave those fashion forward high-impact artistic poses? Do you want more traditional family portraits that serve as historical record of your family at this specific place in time? More than likely you want a little bit of everything and most kauai photographers offer a blend of photographic compositions. You just need to find a photographer you love who offers the right mix you’re after.

Another less obvious factor in wedding photography is the post-processing of your photographs. This includes basic edits such as color correction all the way to beauty retouching. You’ll want to know if your photographer retouches your photos especially if [god forbid] you have a breakout. Will all your images receive some level of adjusting or will they be left untouched out of camera? Many digital photographers also add artistic treatments to your photographs such as black & white photo conversions, desaturated vintage like color treatments, and other fine art textures. Remember, you’ll be looking at these photos with your grandchildren so try to think outside what is trendy in wedding photography today. Most couples want their wedding photos to be timeless. Think about what timeless photography means to you.

Once you have a better idea of what type of wedding photography you’re looking for it is time to do some research. Don’t just do a Google search for “[your city] wedding photographer” and click on the top three listings. Check out some photographer directories like ISPWP, WPJA, and Best of Wedding Photography. These professional associations are invitation only so you are more likely to find a skilled and artful photographer here. Once you’ve narrowed your search to a handful of photographers you like, you’ll want to look at more than just their wedding portfolio. It’s important to see more than just the highlights of a photographer’s body of work. Make sure to see at least 50-100 photographs of a wedding from beginning to end. The photographer’s photo blog is a good place to see a full body of work from each individual event. You might also want to look at their Facebook & Twitter pages to see how they interact with their clients. Search for reviews from past brides and read about their experiences with them. Now that you’ve complied all your research and have a short list of the photographers you’re most excited about, it’s time to set up consultations with them to see who they are in real life.

Now it’s time to get to that second most important factor when selecting your wedding photographer, “Do I like them personally?” Don’t underestimate the importance of liking your photographer because most likely, they’ll be spending the bulk of your wedding day right beside you. The last thing any bride or groom wants on their wedding day is to feel tense or annoyed, especially due to a vendor. A good part of your wedding day will take place behind the scenes as you get ready and spend time with your family and bridal party. Weddings can be stressful so it’s always best to be surrounded by people who relax and support you. This goes for your wedding vendors too. If you really like your photographer and feel a personal connection with them it will be easier to let your guard down and let the day unfold naturally. On the flip side, a photographer who sees you as friend and more than just a paycheck is going to work much harder to get you amazing images. Your relationship with your photographer will also last much longer than just your wedding day because after the wedding is over, the photographer’s work has just begun. They will not only be working on the editing your photographs but working closely with you to create a wedding album that tells the story of your day. It’s not uncommon for the relationship between the wedding client and photographer to last a couple years from the first meeting to the delivery of the final products. Imagine being forced to spend two years with someone you don’t like. Sounds pretty awful!

So here’s the bottom line. If the photography featured on a wedding photographer’s website and blog are not what you want, chances are you will be disappointed with the final results. Each photographer see’s the world in a unique way and has a specific creative vision. It’s unfair to ask a photographer to change for you so pick a photographer that is already a good fit for you creatively. Also, chances are if you don’t like the photographer in the first meeting then you probably won’t like them on your wedding day and it will be reflected in your pictures. Trust your instincts and pick a photographer that makes you feel comfortable.



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