Looking back at photo album, at my phone lock screen image, or even at my personal social media profile photos, I'm brought back to that special day--my wedding! Whenever I look back at any photo of our wedding, I feel as if I'm transported back to that day. Goosebumps appear, my heart swells with emotion, and I tend to want to run and smother my husband with kisses (I don't think he minds ) But I wouldn't have all these amazing feelings and beautiful photos without first hiring one of the most important vendors you'll hire for your wedding = your photographer (and/or videographer). Below, I'll let you know our experience and some advice so you can make the best decision.
As I've stated earlier with all things vendor series, you must know what your budget is for your photographer. If memory catching is high up on your priority list, you'll want to allow a healthy budget for the big day. From my experience (in my area and in 2015), full wedding day photographers ranged from $3k - $5k. I hope I haven't scared you off! Just remember, you receive what you paid for, so you may want to ask a family member to sponsor or gift a portion of this so you can have these memories.
After you've settled on a budget, you'll want to research photography styles. What do I mean by styles? Well, if you take a look on Pinterest, you'll notice some photographers like to focus on close ups, or landscapes, or they like super soft photos, or they love to incorporate a lot of light. My personal favorite style is from Max Wagner. The way he captures all of the white space and how soft and whimsical each photo is makes my heart burst with admiration. With this style in mind, when we were scouting photographers, I looked at their portfolios to see if they had a similar style. Of course, there is only one Max Wagner, however, like an creative, you can ask your photographer if this is a direction they could do. I mentioned key words like "white space" "play on light" "magical" and our chosen photographer knew exactly what we wanted. I also showed him a slew of examples so he could have a direction. Additionally, he gave off a good vibe and we knew we could trust him capturing our most prized day (thus far!)
Before the wedding, we gave our photographer a set list of photos we explicitly wanted to capture and let him know he could do whatever he creatively thought was best; but to make sure he captured what we wanted. Wedding photographers know what their doing and, for the most part, will already know to capture these moments. If you're a control freak and you know about design and composition, you'll want to make sure you're clearly communicating with your photographer what you want and there shouldn't be any issues.
After the wedding, you'll be anticipating those photos, however it's important to allow the photographer to a) do his job in editing your photos, and b) remember you're not his only wedding! You should have an estimated timeline of when to expect those photos and if you think you're missing any, a polite email should do the trick.
Below are a couple of my absolute favorite from our photographer R&R Photography (Bay Area, CA).\
Maybe some of you are thinking you don't have the budget to hire a professional photographer and want to opt for family + friends. If you don't have the budget, you don't have the budget and you work with what you have. It won't change your day. However, if you're just trying to save a dollar, I'd highly recommend reconsidering. Our photographer gave us a slew of advice, took the initiative to help run our rehearsal and told us where to stand for photos, and lead the entire photography session during the wedding. It's important to remember these creatives aren't just point-and-shoot fellas. They are professionals! They know the correct lighting to make you look amazing. They know how to capture those amazing moments, those smiles, those secret kisses--they know how to capture your wedding so you can look back at these memories and have that amazing feeling I feel everytime I look at them.
Videographers capture the motions, the sounds--the create the memories in motion. I can't dive too deep into videographers, as we did not have the budget to splurge on one, however, I wish we did. Don't get me wrong, our photos bring absolute delight to my heart and soul, however a videographer would have been such a treat to have.
If you can afford one, I would definitely vouch for them. Why? Well here are a couple of reasons why?
- Your vows! They can capture the tremble in your voice, the sweet and honest look in the brides and grooms eyes, and the happy tears the guest's trinkle down their cheeks.
- The speeches! The Dances! The Cake Cutting! Oh there are so many moments in motion that create this feeling that nothing else can do. Even the sounds of the voices bring out an emotion nothing else can do.
- The overall feelings that photos just can't do justice to. They can catch those secret looks. The silly dances. The intense emotions. The magnet pull the bride and groom have for one another.
Another doozy of a post! That sums it up for you RAD Vendor Series! I hope I've helped create some clarity for you in moving forward in your wedding planning journey. As always, send me email if you ever need to chat firstname.lastname@example.org.