I’ve worked with Stefanie Fournier many times now on numerous projects including weddings. I’ve invited her here to write a blurb on how to choose a wedding photographer. Let’s see what she has to say!
Choosing a wedding photographer is a difficult decision, it’s one of the biggest part of your day and next to your venue it is usually the next thing people book. It is also one of the bigger expenses of your day so you want to feel confident in your choice! But for most people, they haven’t been married yet, and so they have no idea where to begin when picking the right wedding photographer for you. Hopefully this will give you some things to look for when picking out that person that is going to freeze the moments of one of the best days of your life.
Usually wedding photographers are booked based on a few simple criteria – shooting style, editing style, experience, personality and budget.
Experience is a big factor in choosing a wedding photographer as you want to be sure that him or her had been faced with various challenges of a wedding day and know how to solve them. With close to 100 weddings booked over the years, I have seen so many weddings and can anticipate important moments, help with scheduling, offer tips and use ninja like skills in just a fraction of a moment. The more experience your photographer has, the less you have to worry! Usually experience comes with a business side too – after a few solid years in the industry, we know a lot about it! You also want to make sure your photographer is a legit business – with licensing, insurance and backup gear. This will ensure they show up on your wedding day prepared and won’t back out at the last minute! Although it’s not a necessity, but booking a photographer who does this for a full time job also helps show that they are experienced enough to sustain a living doing what they love and will do anything to protect it and give you the best possible experience.
Shooting style is how photographers see the moment. If you take two photographers who have different shooting styles and put them side by side, they can in theory take almost the same photo but it will still look different! When looking for the perfect wedding photographer for your day – pay attention to the moments that they capture – are they happy ones, serious ones, a bit of both? Think about the photos you’d like to have. They also may have different angles, does the photographer you like the most shoot wide with lots of scenery, or narrow with intimate moments, or is there lots going on in a photo. Also pay attention to what is in the photo – is it busy with a lot going on in the moment, or do they solely focus on the subjects. A photographer can have all these aspects in their portfolio but just looking at them to see how they capture them and how it speaks to you. We personally love WIDE scenery shots and then CLOSE intimate shots. We do often have a bit of the documentary of everyone else at your wedding but we do like to focus on the couple and portraits of those important to you.
Editing style is how the photographer takes their original photo and then puts their own personal style on it. Some photographers have a bit of a dark or edgy look, others may be contrasty, while others may be light and airy. Some have bright, bold colours while others are muted and more pastel. Sometimes editing can take an original photo and make it look completely different or other times editing can just improve the photo slightly, but keep it fairly true to form. It’s all in your preference! We personally I love providing our couples with bright, colourful imagery that looks true to what it did in real life. We believe it’s timeless and doesn’t follow current treads so that when you look back at your photos in 10 years you still love the style!
Personality is also important when choosing a photographer as you want to mesh with them well and also like hanging out with them for a day or more. When you are looking through a photographer’s bio, about me video or even when you meet them in person, make sure it’s someone that you feel you can chat candidly with, has an easy going nature and seems like someone you’ll connect with. Because at the end of the day, a photographer who is easy to relate to will relate well to you and capture your day well.
Lastly, everyone has a budget! Pick a photographer that fits into your budget but don’t get hung up on all the extras you may *think* you need. Chat to your ideal photographer about their packages, you will often find that many photographers can capture the essence of your entire day in 7-9 hours instead of 12-13hrs and while a 2nd photographer may be handy, an experienced well-trained professional will often be more than enough by themselves! They can often chat to you about your needs and priorities and may find something that works for you. This happens a lot with our potential clients and once we get chatting to them they often figure out they think they need more than they do and are thrilled when we actually do fit into their budgets!
If you’re looking for a photographer for your wedding, we would love to chat with you to see how we can make this process easier for you at www.sfournierphotography.com