A crucial component of every wedding ceremony is capturing the joyous proceedings on camera to create enduring mementos of this important life event. Photographs of this joyous rite of passage indelibly preserve the promise of this special day, and enable the bride and groom to reminisce and reflect upon this momentous turning point in their lives. Photographs provide the couple with a tangible symbol of their happiness and exuberance as they publicly formalized their relationship and officially embarked on their life together.
Choosing a Wedding Photography Style
Before selecting a wedding photographer, the couple must decide on the type of wedding photography they prefer–whether traditional, casual, contemporary, photojournalism or very formal. They also need to determine whether they want color photographs, or black-and-white. These basic preferences are determined by the type of wedding ceremony the couple has chosen; the geographic location of the ceremony and the reception; the season in which the event will occur, the time of day; and whether the event will be held indoors or outside.
The couple should have an estimate of the total size of the wedding party, including bridesmaids, groomsmen and even a ring bearer. They also need to have an estimate of the total guest list. Most importantly, the couple needs to decide on the total budget for their wedding photography.
These important parameters will help the couple narrow down the range of prospective wedding photographers they will choose from and the specific type of photographs to be taken as well and number of pictures they would like to have.
Hiring your Wedding Photographer
Weddings are emotional events, but securing a wedding photographer requires business acumen and careful dispassionate planning. Wedding photography is typically quite expensive, but the high cost does not always guarantee excellent results.
The key to outstanding photographs that admirably capture the beauty and drama of the wedding day is finding a wedding photographer with a high degree of professionalism, experience, and talent. The photographer should also have a documented portfolio of achievement that will allow the couple to see his photographic style.
The couple should be prepared to request and check references of prospective photographers from satisfied clients whose weddings and photographic requirements were similar to theirs. They should also certify that the photographer specializes in wedding photography. The couple should interview candidates to learn if their personalities are compatible.
The couple needs to be feel confident that they can entrust this individual with this very special project and that they will be comfortable with the prospect of inviting the individual into the intimate proceedings of their wedding day. Finally, the couple must find a photographer who can draw up a legally binding contract that precisely documents what both parties have agreed to.
The contract should specify all important details, including the number of hours the photographer will be on site; whether the photographs will be conducted as part of a standard package, or customized; whether a photographic assistant will be needed; and the extent of any editing to be performed.
The Wedding Photography Check List
Once the couple has confidently selected a wedding photographer, they need to finalize their decision concerning the type and number of wedding photographs they wish. They also need to decide whether they would like to include engagement photos, candid photos, a complete wedding album, and any customized photos.
At this stage, the couple should work closely with the photographer to formulate a detailed checklist of the exact type and number of photos they prefer. Typical choices include pre-wedding photos of the bride and groom and members of the wedding party, the dress, and other pre-ceremony preparations. Some couples choose to include in their checklist a pre-ceremony bridal portrait; including parents of the bride and groom, maid of honor, and best man; and stills of wedding details.
During the ceremony, the checklist can include pictures of the wedding party walking down the aisle, the couple exchanging vows, rings and loving glances, and the post-ceremony procession. Reception photos are typically desired as well. These often include formal photos of cutting the cake, the couple’s first dance, the wedding party table, and the couple’s interactions with key guests. A range of candid photos may be included, to capture the spirit of the day.
Looking back after the wedding
Months after the wedding has passed, it is the photographs that brings the couple back to their wedding day. There may be many moments that they never would have seen had it not been captured by the photographer. There may be a mood or a special look that the couple shared with each other that may not longer be in their minds but the photograph can bring that all back. So why get a wedding photographer? To be able to relive each beautiful moment of a once in a lifetime event at any time you wish captured in a timeless photo.