Choosing your wedding photographer can be one of the most stressful but important decisions you will make!
One google search will show you the hundreds and hundreds of wedding photographers that there are to choose from. Add to that the hundreds of friends of friends, distant relatives, neighbours, or any other camera enthusiast who has a good camera and have suddenly offered to photograph your wedding for next to nothing!
So who do you choose?
Answer: Make sure you choose a “Real” wedding photographer!
This might seem obvious, but when we say “real” wedding photographer, it doesn’t just mean someone who can take “good” photographs. It means someone that KNOWS weddings.
Here are our key points to remember when trying to decide on a wedding photographer.
Choose aN Experienced Wedding Photographer.
Wedding photography is SOOOOO different from any other type of photography. From a photographers point of view, it is very challenging. There is very limited control with everything! From coping with all-weather elements, unknown lighting conditions they will be facing, anxious brides, well-meaning but controlling family members, time constraints, wedding day mishaps or dramas, and most of all dealing with the pressure to capture EVERY SINGLE MOMENT, moments that will never, ever, happen again!
You basically need a photographer who is quick on their feet, is GREAT with people and has seen it all (or if not has calmness and experience to deal with anything thrown at them). This comes with experience and a proven track record. The New Black Studios team have been in the industry for MANY years and between our team members have captured over 1000 weddings between us.
Don’t risk your wedding day memories to just anyone with a good camera or has some pretty pictures on their Instagram.
2. Choose a Wedding Photography Team You Trust!
Choose a wedding studio you trust! If you have done your research and chosen correctly (not just based on price) than you should be 100% comfortable and confident with your wedding photographer.
- are they responsive to emails?
- been friendly to deal with?
- seem to know what they are talking about?
- Offer advice? (even when you didn’t know you needed it!)
- do I get a good feel about them?
Basically use your instincts and “gut feel”. You know what you like!
We at New Black Studios, have a dedicated studio manager to be responsive to emails and answer any and all questions you may have. We focus on providing great customer service throughout the whole process. Between emails, phone calls, in person catchups and/or skype chats we ensure we have discussed our couple’s thoughts and visions for their wedding and how our team can help capture this all for them. This means you can enjoy the day knowing that your chosen photographer is capturing everything perfectly.
3. Choose a Wedding Photographer that has a Style you Love
Not only do their gallery of photographs need to be of a high quality, you need to love THEIR style. Wedding photography can go from complete photojournalism (ie totally documentary style and photographed with NO involvement/direction from photographer) to high-end glamour style (ie strictly posed, use of off camera flash equipment, model like photography). And many photography teams are somewhere in the middle of these extremes.
If you prefer natural candid photography, don’t choose a photography team that specialises in posed, high-end fashion looking photography! At New Black Studios, although all our wedding photographers have a very natural and candid style, the added bonus of multiple shooters is that some of our team are on different ends of this “natural” spectrum. SOOO if you want mainly natural but want a few posed creative shots we can recommend a team shooter that would be best for you. Similar, if you are totally shy or hate your photo being taken and although you want some traditional shots, would prefer a photographer more towards the photojournalist/documentary style, we can help.
Also note that photographers have different editing techniques. Some post-process their images to be really light and airy. Others prefer to make theirs very dark and moody. Obviously, if there is a style you absolutely must have, then look for photographers who display that style consistently. However, remember that “looks” can just be a trend. What’s on trend now, may be cringeworthy in 20 years. Your wedding photos are like an heirloom that will be cherished for future generations. Keeping the look of your wedding photos more natural and realistic will more likely be the most timeless in nature.
New Black Studios mission with our wedding photography is to be creative, yet authentic. So although we will always give you simple and beautiful natural images, they will also be unique and have a creative flair.
4. Choose a Wedding Photographer that is in your Budget
How much a wedding photographer will cost you is also like asking how much a car costs. There is such a wide range! Just like our car buying analogy you can get yourself a 20year old second hand beat up car or go for a brand new luxury European sports car. It is such a personal choice and depends on whats important to you and what value you place on wedding photography. Although you can definitely find great photographers for CHEAP, these people are RARE and are usually undercharging themselves, so you have to be VERY LUCKY to secure them before they realise their worth (and hopefully they don’t go out of business before your wedding!!).
More often than not, you get what you pay for.
The more expensive wedding photographers can charge more as they have the reputation, skills and experience.
Our suggestion is to do you sums and find your budget range you can afford (& want) to use towards wedding photography. Then research what photography teams are in your budget range and select the best for you from this group.
As we are a studio, we have multiple shooters and can have multiple teams shooting weddings on a particular day. As such we can offer a more diverse range of package options than a solo wedding photographer company, which means we accomodate for more budget ranges. To see our current price list, just drop us a line here.
And Finally….What you DON’T need to look for when choosing your wedding photographer
There are many misconceptions out there on what you need to consider when choosing your wedding photographer. Some of these include:
DON’T just get the most inclusions for your package price. Some photographers create packages and will add lots of little items like “online slideshows”, “enlargement prints”, “presentation folders”, “personalised USB”, “thank you cards” etc etc. We nickname these things as “stuffing fillers”. In reality, they aren’t that important and are just there to make the couple feel like they are getting great value. Whatever your max budget is….use it to get the best photographer you can, regardless if your whole budget just goes to their coverage and digital image files. No point having lots of extra points if you don’t like the images themselves.
DON’T just choose photographers who have won lots of awards. No disrespect to our photographer colleagues who showcase and parade their award wins, but in reality, they don’t mean much to you as a couple. To be honest, many of the industry awards are only distributed to those who “pay” to advertise or enter these competitions.
DON’T get tricked by STYLED shoots. Creative people like photographers love to collaborate with other creatives (eg gown designers, florists, stylists, makeup artists etc) and do what we term “styled shoots”. Photographers LOVE to display these images all over their websites as, to be honest, they are usually stunningly beautiful! But remember these are shot using professional models, all styled perfectly, in controlled conditions and lighting, directed and posed, and with no normal time constraints. PLEASE check and review your wedding photographers REAL WEDDING portfolios and galleries. If you are not sure, ask them is these images you love are all from real weddings!
You will see on New Black Studios social pages we always use the term #realwedding to indicate these images are genuine wedding photography.
Hope this helps steer you through the stress of choosing a wedding photographer. If it has, please leave us a comment below (or list anything else major we have forgotten to include!)
But at the end of the day you just have to trust your gut and choose a photography team you think feels right for your wedding!
Feel free to contact us to check our availability for your wedding date and/or just to chat further :)
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