How to Choose a Wedding Photographer: BONUS Tips!

Read The Complete Guide first, then follow up with these bonus tips! They’ll be divided by section, just like the guide. Make yourself comfortable!

1. SELF

Tip: What to do when you meet a photographer in person.

If you’ve read a photographer’s About session and decided to meet her in person, take action! Send an email saying you’d like to meet. Or hopefully, reply to an email. If you’ve met this photographer at an event, SHE should be contacting YOU! The meeting place may vary from a Starbucks to a studio, but I prefer to give my brides the royal treatment and invite them, along with their fiancés, over for a nice dinner. Make time for meetings and go in with an open mind—you’ll get to know a photographer best when she’s in her element.

Show up on time and be ready to ask questions and take notes {if you’re that kind of person}. You don’t have to stress about what to talk about, though. She should take charge and lead the way, whether that means getting to know you first or jumping right in to explaining the process of working with her. During this time you’ll also learn more about Style and Services, so you might know you love her by the end of the meeting, or you might need some time to think. Either is fine! Just stay in touch with your candidates during your decision making process so that they know whether to pencil you in, put it in ink, or make your date available to another bride.

Question: I’m an extrovert, but many of my friends are introverts. Do I need a photographer who’s as outgoing as I am or is it okay to use a quiet one?

Answer: Of course it’s okay! The main thing to consider is whether you could be friends with a photographer—as long as you don’t have to change who you are when you’re spending your wedding day with her, you’re good to go!

Question: What are EPP’s Netflix recommendations?

Answer: Glad you asked. 30 Rock, Scrubs, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, Friends, Raising Hope, Parks and Rec, Better Off Ted, Pretty Little Liars, Drop Dead Diva, Gossip Girl, My Name is Earl, Hart of Dixie, 90210, The Ranch, Private Practice, The IT Crowd, Psych, Baby Daddy, and Grounded for Life. Editing means lots of time at home for me; I could go on!

 

2. STYLE

Tip: One difference in a poorly edited photo and a well-edited one.

It can be hard to tell if skin tones are correct or not! Is that person orange or is it just a warm, sunny day? Is that person blue or is it just cloudy? To help you out, here’s an example of a cloudy day photo and its too-orange counterpart and a sunny day photo and a too-blue counterpart.

Cloudy/Just Right                                                           Cloudy/Too Orange

badcomp1

Sunny/Just Right                                                            Sunny/Too Blue

badcomp2You’ll notice that the good engagement photo and the bad bridal photo are a similar “temperature,” as are the bad engagement photo and the good bridal photo. It all depends on the context! The bad engagement photo looks weird because you can see the clouds, but the color looks too “warm.” The bad bridal photo looks weird because you can see the reflection of the sun, but the color looks too “cool.”

Question: I asked a photographer to see a wedding gallery and though most of the photos are great, there are some that look pretty bad to me. Should I be concerned?

Answer: It depends! Check if all of the important moments are covered in the good photo category. Also, consider why the photographer might have included the not-so-good photos. Could it be a candid photo of a loved one that the bride would really treasure? Sometimes we include great moments even if we fell short on the technique, and that’s a good thing! At the very least, each “scene” should have a consistent “look” to it, even if some photos are better than others.

Question: What’s the difference between natural and artificial light?

Answer: You probably already understand that natural light means light that is already present in the room or outdoors while artificial light involves flashes and other light sources that the photographer brings. In general, natural light looks more like real life while artificial light often gives a dramatic contrast. Lots of artificial light is a personal preference for some, but I’ve found that most situations have more beautiful, natural light available than you think, even at night, and I love the soft, creamy look of photos taken without a flash. However, if it’s pitch black at your reception, I’ll break out my lighting equipment and rock that, too.

 

3. SERVICES

Tip: Why extras add value.

I glazed over this in the Guide, but there’s more to it! We’ll talk more about the importance of engagement and bridal sessions later, but here are some ways specific add-ons add value:

Albums. The biggest one people miss out on! Think of how much value your wedding photos lose if you can’t easily show your favorites to someone. Professional albums are expensive, but it’s for good reason. They are of HIGH quality, and a lot of work goes into designing them perfectly. Sure, you can make one yourself on Shutterfly, but there’s a 95% chance your pictures will look bad or it’s going to fall apart in a few years or you’re going to get frustrated making it. This is your wedding, not your weekend beach trip. You want something that you can pull off the shelf and show to your grandchildren one day.

Prints and canvases. The same principle applies here! You can get your prints from Walgreens, but they aren’t going to look good! Recently they somehow managed to make one of my brides’ lips look black. That won’t happen if you order professional prints! Even better–get a canvas. That’s something you can really hang on your wall forever, a keepsake that can be passed down, a way to ensure your wedding photos won’t be forgotten. Physical photos are an investment, but can you imagine spending so much on high quality wedding photography and then getting low quality prints? It’s not good sense!

Additional hours. Think about every part of your wedding day. Getting ready. You’ve spent money on makeup artists, hair stylists, mimosas, and monogrammed robes for your bridesmaids. Should you leave that part of the day out of the photos? Your exit. You’ve bought special sparklers and walking through them is going to be in the top 3 moments of your wedding. Should you cut your photography short and miss it? The question here is can you afford NOT to extend your professional photography time over the whole day? You’re spending money on a whole day, so you should have the whole story captured.

Question: Why does EPP have only one package?

Answer: I’ve found that people often have very specific budgets and like to build their own package to fit it, so I’ve made that easier with the three-step system. If you have hesitations about your wedding photography, you can start out with an engagement session to get to know my work better before you book your coverage. The Platinum package is for those of you who already know you want to go all in and get the best value and experience possible! You can find my pricing here!

 

If you have other questions, I’ll answer them! Contact me if you’ve thought of any or if you’d like to talk to me about your wedding photography!