With the technology of digital cameras, more and more people are becoming good photographers and choosing a friend or family member to shoot your wedding for free or a low cost is definitely an option to consider. However, there are some things to be said for professional photography that are worth the cost. My family carefully considered all the options in this area and we were very happy with what we chose in the end.
In choosing a photographer, here are some things to think about:
- If you have a family member or friend who is a professional photographer, I would start by asking them. Their close relationship to you may allow for a price reduction without a quality reduction. However, consider how close they are to you and if you would prefer for them to sit and enjoy the ceremony or be kneeling in the aisle to catch your first kiss on "film".
- If you have a family member or friend who takes good pictures, consider them as an option. Look at some of their work. Find out if they have ever shot a wedding or helped shoot a wedding before. Talk to them about how comfortable they would be doing it for you. They may be a great option for your wallet, but think about if they will produce the kind of pictures you really hope for. Do they have knowledge and experience with lighting, exposure, artistry, portraits, and managing groups of people. We highly considered several different options within this realm however in the end we decided against it because of the quality of photos I hoped to have.
- If you want a professional photographer, I would suggest starting with someone you know or a referral from a trusted source. Knowing the experience someone else has had with a photographer can speak volumes to choosing them for yourselves.
- If you do not have any referrals, get online and start searching. Read reviews, look at their work, and contact them. Our photography decision was pretty stressful for me at first as our leads kept falling through and nothing seemed to be the right choice. One day, I got online and found about 12 possibilities. I emailed or called all of them to find out if they were even available on my wedding day. That narrowed it down by a few. I did all the reading online about them that I could and looked at their pictures to see what I liked. Two really stood out to me and one called me back right away and was able to meet within a few days!
- Think about what kind of photos you want, how you want to get them in the end, and what your budget is. All of these factors are important in choosing a photographer. Some will be a great fit for you and others just won't based on their style or package options. I knew I wanted a photojournalist style and some creative shots. My dad being big into photography wanted to be able to get most, if not all, of the images rather than a select package. My dad, fiance, and I met with Matt McKnight, the photographer I had found online. We all liked him right away. He was personable, professional, humorous, easy-going, and willing to work with us and create a package that fit our needs and desires. We chose him as our photographer and I am so glad we did.
- Do an engagement photo session with your photographer. I think this is really important so that you can get comfortable with your photographer and they can also get to know you. Especially with photojournalism, it's important I think for the photographer to see you and your fiance, watch how you interact, and get an idea of how best to capture your special moments. Engagement photos are also great for Save-the-Dates, Invitations, framed prints, or a photo guest book. Plus, I personally think it's a lot of fun to get picture taken.
Our photographer was a lot of fun. We really enjoyed working with him and we love the pictures he captured! He and his assistant were with us all day long. They both did an amazing job documenting all the little details and big events throughout the day. At the same time, they were able to blend in and not be a big distracting during the ceremony or reception. There were so many times I wasn't even aware they were taking pictures but then when we saw the images later we were so glad they had been there snapping away. I loved that we could combine my ideas for shots with their expertise and creativity to get great results! I love my wedding pictures and I look forward to viewing them for years to come!
Most of the photos on this blog are credit of my photographer and his assistant. Their website links are at the bottom of this post.
|I love how the assistant got a picture of the lead photographer hiding in the background.|
|Capturing family portraits|
|Not gonna lie, it was pretty fun being followed by a camera all day.|
|The assistant photographer captures the vows.|
Here are some of our favorite engagement pictures:
We used some of our engagement pictures for decor:
And I made a photo book with lots of blank spaces, which we used as a guest book.