Wedding Photography Unveiled
By Meghan Chalfant
From your engagement and throughout your special day, wedding photography gives couples the opportunity to treasure each milestone for years to come; including all of those details you worked so hard on. After speaking with some of the top professionals in wedding photography, here is what you need to know when it comes to documenting your picture perfect day.
Why professional photography?
Capturing your wedding is one of the most important details for many reasons. It documents all of your details, captures moments you may miss, and tells a wonderful story of the day’s events as it unfolds. Jessica Urzua of Jessica Lauren Photography shared that not making photography a priority on your wedding day is a huge mistake. This will be your remembrance from your once-in-a-lifetime event that you will be able to show to your children. “Years from now when the wedding is just a distant memory, you can always go back and relive that day through your pictures. There is no other investment you will make, that will give you years and years of memories like your wedding photographs,” Jessica Urzua added.
Finding a professional
Whether you already know the photography style you’re looking for or not, meeting with professionals is imperative before making a decision. Start your search by referring to magazines such as Contemporary Bride Magazine and schedule meetings to speak with potential photographers. Use the appointment to ask questions, address concerns, and view their work and albums, as well as seeing if your personalities fit together. After all, you will likely be spending the entire day with this person and the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable. Don’t forget to make sure the photographer you’re interested in has the wedding date available prior to scheduling an appointment. You would hate to fall in love with a photographer and find out the date is already booked.
Noble Milton of Noble Studios advises couples to “Inspect the work of the photographer who took the photos and ask intricate questions about how and why he/she shot the photos.” Take into consideration the photographer’s creativity, energy, and overall experience. These are all qualities to pay attention to. Sure, anyone can purchase high quality cameras, lenses, and even backup equipment, but when it comes to a true professional, he/she will have years of experience, training, and even awards to back up their reputation.
Once you’ve narrowed down the potential companies, assess their work and what each has to offer. If you’re still unsure, schedule an additional appointment to clarify any concerns you may have. Many companies are now using social media to their advantage by updating their blog and Facebook pages, for example, with their most recent work which gives you the opportunity to see more photographs and even testimonials. Most professionals are reserved months sometimes years in advance, so research and book as soon as you and your to-be come to a final decision. “Make sure to review the contract and have a clear understanding of what is included and agreed upon. That way, nothing is subject to debate afterwards or on the day of,” mentioned Alex Ruchaevsky from Abacus Wedding Studios.
After a photographer is selected, schedule a time to take your engagement pictures. This photo shoot acts as a “test run” to solidify your decision about the photographer. An engagement shoot will allow you to feel more comfortable in front of the camera, as well as getting to know your photographer better. You will learn their style and figure out what works best for you. In return, your photographer will become more aware of what angles you look best in and have a better understanding of what makes the two of you unique.
“Most couples do not routinely take two or three hour photo shoots together and it can be awkward for your wedding the first time you do long periods of shooting together. Engagement sessions help the couples decide what their photographic style is. Someone may come in and insist that they want their whole wedding outside in a park and then during an engagement session realize that they prefer an indoor location with gardens,” noted the Girls of Heyn Photography.
Additionally, engagement pictures allow the couple to be more audacious when it comes to choosing a location. On the wedding day, you will be more limited to the types of pictures you can take, meanwhile, during the engagement shoot you have the chance to play in water, sit on the beach or grass, and even go on rides at an amusement park. The Girls of Heyn Photography added “E-sessions are your opportunity to explore and try new things because you can always stay out longer or reshoot them.” It’s during the engagement session, where you will discover exactly what you’re trying to convey in your pictures, while the photographer can smooth out any potential issues prior to the wedding day.
To have and to hold
Since your wedding celebration will only happen once, it’s important to be as prepared as possible before the big day. Do your homework through researching and viewing wedding photographs. By jotting down specific pictures you like or don’t like you’re formulating a photography style. Communicate all of these ideas with your photographer so they know what you’re expecting from them. Compile and provide the professional with a short list of must-have shots, especially if there are special or unique pictures you want him/her to capture.
When all is said and done, trust your photographer on your wedding day. Relax, take each moment in, and have fun. “Worrying about every little wedding detail instead of enjoying yourself is a huge mistake,” shared Sean Patrick of Sean Patrick Photography. “Have fun and enjoy yourselves. That way your pictures will look natural and your personalities will shine through.”