Choosing a wedding photographer
Your wedding is a huge life event. One of, if not the, biggest.
When all the food is gone, the guests have left, and the band has packed up, all you have to remember your special day are your wedding photos. Maybe a video, some of the guests’ Facebook lives, a marriage and a spouse, of course, but mainly the photos.
Weddings are full of moving parts and emotions can run high. The more preparations you can make prior to the event the better.
A good wedding photographer is a key part of making things run smoothly. Not only do they need to take good photos you like, but they will also be with you the whole day so choosing the right one is important.
Here are some pointers to make it a bit easier.
When you jump on your favourite search engine and start looking for wedding photographers in your area, the first thing you’ll see is their photos. Who’d have guessed? You’ll quickly get a feel for their style and whether you like it or not.
Looking at how they use light and colour, whether they are playful, focus on natural colours, are more subdued or relaxed, and how they capture their subjects.
From this, you should get an idea of how well they will handle photos of your specific location or venue. It might help to imagine yourself in the photos and see how that feels to you.
Once you have found a few photographers that you like and that really speak to you, you can start the next step. Which isn’t about price.
Commercial photographers aren’t shy to display their rates on their website, but independent photographers take a much more personal approach. Sometimes you can quickly rule out some photographers as too expensive. But a word of caution…
Wedding photography budgets
Budgets are important for a wedding but don’t let some fancy vol-au-vents get in the way of the perfect wedding album that you can pass down through the family. Your photographs will last well beyond the event itself and deserve careful thought as to how much you are prepared to spend on them.
Start calling or emailing your prospective photographers and see if you can book a meeting. This is a first sign of putting you and your special day first. It’s a definite red flag if their policies and procedures are more important than you.
Your photographer will be at your wedding all day alongside you. You don’t invite just anyone as a guest, and your photographer is no different.
It’s vitally important that you all get on well, and you’ll learn far more from a face to face meeting than from a website.
This is the best time to find out how the day is going to work from a photographic perspective and what happens after.
On the day your photographer needs to work around you, but they need to be able to do their job at the same time, so find out how they’ll work at the event itself. It may be important to you that they are completely unobtrusive or you may not mind them directing set piece photos.
Know what your getting
It’s not exactly romantic going into the costs and what you get for your money, but this is not the time for nasty surprises. Make sure they will be there for as long as you need them and not charge for extra hours or even extra assistants.
Ask exactly what you get after the wedding and when.
Post editing can mean you don’t get your photos for up to 6 months and you might not get what you expected. To be fair though, a days shoot can easily take 40 hours or even more of editing time.
Make sure you know about any limits to the number of prints you will get, or the rights to the photos. Sometimes a photographer keeps the rights and you don’t even own your own photos. If you want more you could end up paying extra. Clearing this up before hiring them will keep everyone happy.
Perth based wedding photographers
Here are a few Perth based wedding photographers to have a look at. From their brief bios, you can get an idea of their style and philosophy and decide if you’d like to find out more about what they do.
Carly is an arty introvert, quiet and reserved, perfectly happy spending time at home with a book and a cup of tea. Or a glass of wine and a couple of cats. She considers this amusing as most weekends she’s at other peoples’ wedding parties.
She’s been into photography since her teens and has been doing weddings full time since 2009.
She likes to use natural light and surroundings in a documentary style that emphasises colour. Portraying the intense emotions of the day is important to her, but so is capturing the light-hearted fun that happens too.
She likes to focus on the family connections and celebrations, and allow the couple to relive the joy and emotions of the day. “It’s incredibly rewarding to hand over photographs that bring back peoples memories of a beautiful day.”
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Ross loves surfing and surf photography as well as weddings. After an overseas trip where he started taking street photographs he was so inspired when he got back he took a photography course at TAFE in Perth, and it went from there.
He likes the mix of taking a technical photo with the spontaneous street and surf style. He’s shot weddings at the red cliffs of Kununurra and Lake Como in Italy, but for him, it’s not so much the locations as the happiness of the event and the interactions between people.
Tyler is a dad to twins and a baby boy.
His favourite wedding shoot was the first one he ever did for a friend. It cemented the importance of his job recording this special day for family and friends.
Unlike many wedding photographers, he is a true specialist exclusively shooting weddings. He has a candid documentary style recording events as they unfold but isn’t afraid to use some gentle direction to help things along.
A lot of time is spent in post-shoot editing where he takes care to match the energy of the shots to a suitable post-production effect adding more visual vibrancy to the high energy shots while keeping the overall feel of the album.
Some of his favourite shoots have been in Italy with tiny intimate weddings in backyards which he loves because of the wonderful close interactions between the guests.
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Jimmy and Shona are self-taught and have been photographers for ten years. They have a street-slash-documentary style with a quirky combination of fine art portraiture in the mix.
Weddings are private and intimate occasions so they consider it a privilege to be invited to take part in such an important family event to document it for the couple and the family.
One of their most unusual weddings was in Greece for a couple from Mauritius.
When they are not snapping at weddings they love hiking in remote wilderness in the beauty of nature.
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