Your wedding photography is what brings it all together on your wedding day. This is why when you are planning your wedding, finding the best wedding photographers is crucial. Their role in the wedding is more than just clicking images. It is their ability to create and capture candid moments that set them apart from the rest.
That day is full of various emotions – your parent’s happiness and sadness, your excitement and emotions – an exceptional photographer should be able to capture it all. So, today we will discuss the qualities of the best wedding photographers and a detailed guide on how to find them. You can also find out some hidden insights on what to expect in the photography process!
What are the best wedding photographers in this industry made of? A few of the most important factors are:
It’s not about just standing behind a camera and clicking away. The best wedding photographers have to be creative narrators of the love story they witness. They should be able to turn simple moments into extraordinary captures. They have to weave together the whole story. Bring the couple’s personalities, the wedding, the emotions – all in their photography!
While understanding how to handle photography equipment is mandatory, the best wedding photographers know their tools inside and out. Along with that, they understand various lightning environments, compositions, and how to play with indoor and outdoor factors.
Apart from basic photography equipment, the best wedding photographers also keep up with the latest trends and it’s equipment like drones or vintage film cameras.
Knowing how to work a wedding cannot be taught or explained. This is where experience comes into play. Each wedding, especially in the Indian sub-continent is different from the other.
The rituals, the ceremonies – the best wedding photographers have the experience of keeping a tab of all of them. Having the experience of understanding which moments are crucial is a skill that has to be learned, not taught.
Weddings are all about people. One of the most important skills that makes an ordinary photographer an extraordinary one is their communication skills with people at weddings. They need to be able to communicate with the couple and their family.
They also need to be empathetic as weddings tend to get emotional. Being cheerful yet sensitive to capture the true essence of the wedding is a skill that the best wedding photographers have!
Preparation is important to finding the best wedding photographers. Before you shortlist, read up about potential photographers online. Do your research on photography styles (traditional, photojournalistic, play of lights, candid, mix) and see if those potential photographers match that.
Before approaching any wedding photography team, you must set a budget with your partner. It’s very easy to get swayed once you like someone’s work and that is not how you should go about it.
Take into account the number of events you are planning, how many hours you will need coverage for, and if you want videography and album costs, and then set a budget. If you are planning a destination wedding, take into account travel and stay costs too.
Where can you find wedding photographers? Everywhere! Use wedding portals to check out probable photographers in your city, browse Instagram to check out their profiles or ask friends and family for references.
Once you have found them online, go to their websites to see full albums or simply message them to share a few. That is how you will understand if their style matches yours.
Once you have a shortlist of the potential best wedding photographers, get in touch with them. Have the first round by messaging them to inquire about their rates. Once you have the rates, further shortlist based on that.
Post that, call them or have a video call with them to chat with them about their style and other specifications like wedding events, your expectations, and their deliverables.
Take this opportunity to check if your personalities match and whether the photography team will be a good fit to interact with your friends and family. You want a photographer who will understand your wedding vision.
Having a contract in place is very important with wedding vendors. Have everything mentioned explicitly in the contract. Advance amount, all the dates and timings of the events, number of photographers committed, deliverables, commercials, cancellation policy, and non-controllable factors like COVID. Only when both parties are comfortable with everything, sign the contract.
Creating a clear road map during this process will help both parties to manage expectations. This will help in a better understanding of the photography process too. Once the contract is done, these are the usual steps followed by most wedding photographers.
A consultation will take place to discuss your wedding timelines. When you want to schedule your pre-wedding shoot. What outfits are you planning on wearing to determine key shots? If there are any outfit changes between events and you need getting-ready shots, this is a good time to tell your team.
If you are planning a pre-wedding shoot, this will most likely happen a few weeks before the wedding. Use this time to interact with the photographer so that they get to know you better. This is also the only time when you can have your images taken at your pace because, on the wedding day, it will move according to event timings. So use this time well.
On your big day, the photographer will arrive early, capturing moments as they unfold. Ensure they have enough space in your getting-ready room to click photos. They should be almost invisible, discreetly capturing moments without being intrusive. Here are some ideas for the getting ready photos for the bride and groom.
They will also set up some time between the events for solo and couple shots. Do not skip this – the best couple of shots are captured here.
Once all the events are done, the photography team will work on the post-production of your images and videos. This may take anywhere between a couple of weeks to a few months, depending on what was committed in the contract. If you need a few images immediately, ensure that you tell your photography team beforehand.
Once all the editing and finalizing are done, expect a digital delivery of all the images. If you have paid for a physical album, the printing will happen only after you select the images and share them with the team. Here are 5 unique ideas for your wedding album!
At Vivek Krishnan Photography, we discuss deliverables very clearly at the beginning. Lots of brides are opting for reels and immediate content for social media purposes and that has to be built into the contract. Please ensure you speak to your team accordingly.
Finalizing your wedding photographer is a very underrated wedding decision. This will impact the wonderful memories you look back on in years to come, so make it well. Take the time to do your research, understand what you and your partner want, and then look for someone who will fulfill that vision.
Remember, you’re not just hiring someone to ‘take photos’ – you’re entrusting them with capturing the emotion, joy, and beauty of your special day.
Jan 24, 2024