Booking Your Photographer. What You Need To Know!
So you've chosen your venue and you are now ready to make the next big decision, for most couples, this would be your photographer.
A decision that impacts on how and where your memories of your day will live for the rest of your life.
Pair this with the constant growth and demand for digital images, from your Facebook and Instagram to your family all over the globe and it's easy to see that the job of the photographer over the last few years has not only changed immensely but also grown in importance.
We got together with one of our suggested photographers Chenique Slier to sit down and chat about some of the things you need to take into consideration when not only choosing your photographer but also building a comfortable and productive relationship with them.
Chenique has shot both her fair share of weddings at Umtamvuna River Lodge and at various venues around the country and over the past years and has grown into one of our top few photographers on the South Coast. We were thrilled to have her on board for this blog and all the insights she gave us will hopefully prove invaluable to you.
For more information on Chenique and how to book her for your wedding visit her instagram on @chenique.slier.
Lets get stuck into it:
1. Understanding different photography styles:
Every photographer has a unique approach to how they capture the fine details of the day. It's crucial to understand and to know how to differentiate these unique styles before booking a photographer. You will find that some photographers prefer to go the way of your traditional orchestrated images where the scene is posed and constructed before being photographed as opposed to photographers such as Chenique who prefer to document your day as naturally as possible.
"I love the authenticity and romance behind shooting a natural moment, with natural light, exactly the way it unfolds, raw emotions, where you can see the bride and grooms comfort with both the moment and each other. Real, Raw emotions."
Here are 3 basic examples of wedding photography styles that can easily be identified:
A. Photojournalistic / Documentary Wedding Photography
Often mixed with traditional wedding photography, this style resembles reportage and documentary shooting, in which the photographer takes on a more natural approach in telling the story of the day, mostly using natural light. Traditional wedding photography is often used only during family portraits. A lot of creativity is required for this wedding photography style, not to mention some serious skill in quickly aiming, adjusting camera settings, framing, and shooting as moments unfold around the photographer.
The result is obviously more natural. This style results in natural images that will evoke a flood of emotions.
B. Traditional Wedding Photography:
If you look at wedding photo albums, they tend to include a lot of traditional shots. These are usually classic and posed, such as group shots of the couple with the entourage and their families, shots of the cake cutting and wine toasting, and the first kiss of the couple as husband and wife. Though photographers have been practicing this style for decades, both shooters and clients find that its the best way to achieve key shots of the day and timeless photos of the couples friends and family together.
This style typically requires the photographer to get involved in guiding, directing and posing the wedding party for photos.
C. Editorial Wedding Photographers
Editorial photographers use creativity to generate high visual impact and quality posed images. This wedding photography style has a luxurious and dramatic look and feel, also a lot of editing is required during the postproduction to develop these types of images. This style of photography gives the photographers style in the photos as opposed to the mood of the wedding.
Now that it's easier to differentiate a few commonly known different wedding photography styles, take the time to browse through the portfolios of different photographers to get a sense of your own personal taste and expectations.
Every photographer has a unique approach to how they capture all the fine details of the day, so keep on mind that there is no right or wrong way, that is the beauty of art.
2. Before booking your photographer:
Once you've narrowed down your short list to two or three potential photographers, meet with each in person (or by video chat if logistics are tough) to see if you feel comfortable around them. Chenique can't stress enough how important this is almost as crucial as their skills behind the camera.
Ultimately, you will be sharing all of your priceless wedding day moments with your photographer by your side and if you're at ease, you'll not only enjoy yourself more, but your photographer will also get better shots.
Win-win! Aside from your gut instinct, ask these questions before choosing a photographer:
1. Please Specify what each of your wedding packages includes?
2. Please explain the editing process?
Why you want to know: After the wedding day your photographer will cull, color balance and retouch your collection, These are techniques photographers use to make images look perfect. Some photographers will polish every individual photograph, while others will show you untouched proofs and work their magic only on the images you order or in some cases only do advanced retouching on a selected amount of your entire collection.
3. What are the complications of booking a wedding package which includes Drone Images:
Why you want to know: As we have all become a custom to the natural beauty and difference in drone images the demand for a drone photo on your day has become more and more popular it is very important that you are aware of its limitations. As much as your photographer would love to use their drone at any opportunity, it is almost impossible for them to guaranty that it will be possible on the day, from rain and wind to even the surrounding areas legal restrictions.
You will need to keep this all in mind if you have a specific aerial shot for the day in mind.
3. Ask about your timeline and ask for helpful suggestions:
Why you want to know:
A well experienced and well-organized photographer will ensure that the order of the day will run smoothly which in return results in more beautiful images thanks to more ''time''. There are obviously many different influences that do impact the timeline of your day but your photographer will often have the best suggestions on how to make it all come together while still having enough time and more importantly enough light to get the beautiful images that you want.
A few suggestions:
a. Getting ready on the same premises.
This will save your photographer time in traveling from place to place in order to get the relevant getting ready images of your day.
Consider making use of the ceremony venue for your creative session. Even though nearly all of your photographers will be more than willing to drive to get the perfect shot it is important to take into account that traveling from location to location is time-consuming, especially in the winter months as you might lose light a lot quicker than anticipated.
b. Leaving the timing of family portraits flexible. Without overlooking the importance of these photos to you and your family for the day they are also not as dependent on good light as that of your creative, often photographers can make the necessary adjustments with artificial light to still get the perfect family portraits while making the most of the golden hour for your creative session. Having a detailed list containing a detailed structure and the names of these close family members will speed up the process and leave more time for your creative session.
Last but not least a little food for thought,
Understanding Why most photographers do not offer RAW images:
Once again with the growth of social media and the increase in popularity of newbie photographers, it is becoming increasingly popular for couples to request raw files from their photographers.
RAW files are unedited files straight out of the camera and therefore are not an accurate representation of a photographers work or brand.
Chenique provides the perfect analogy for this:
If you ordered a cake from the best bakery in town, would you expect the baker to deliver you a tray full of the ingredients?
I wouldn't. I hired the baker for a cake. Not an unfinished product. To me, it is vital to only deliver products that meet my standard of excellence. Clients hire me based on my portfolio: My finished work. Editing an image is part of that process.
That about does it for our photography guidelines for your wedding day. If you wish to view any more images from Chenique please feel free to follow the links to her social profiles below and ask her any further questions you may have. She will gladly help you.
Catch up with us next week as we go through the necessary information you need when booking your DJ.