Below are 5 tips on what to look for when choosing a wedding photographer and how to plan and prepare for capturing the most memorable moments of your big day.
1. Getting Started
Choose someone that you trust, have been referred to, and/or has great online reviews. Make sure that you love their style and that it’s consistent. Ensure that their professional camera gear is fully insured and that they have liability insurance. I always tell couples to first choose their venue and wedding date. Their second task should be locking in their wedding photographer – since we can book up to 2 years in advance!
Speak with the photographer beforehand to convey your vision. This is YOUR day and you get to call the shots. Your photographer should make you feel comfortable and you should trust them to help “manage” your wedding party, family formal photos, etc., so that you can relax and enjoy your wedding.
The spot that you choose for family & bridal party photos and/or “First Look” photos, should be a location that means something to you or a place that you love. Another item to consider is shade. Does the location have shady spots where the photographer can capture your images in a nicely lit, with even light – even on a bright and sunny day?
If you have children in your wedding party, keep in mind that they have a short attention span. Include any elders and/or children in the first set of formals so that they can join cocktail hour or take a break when needed. There are some locations that may require a permit and/or permission, so make sure that you or the photographer clears all appropriate avenues prior to the shoot.
4. Time of Day
My favorite time to shoot that produces the most magical images is during the “golden hour,” which is the hour (or two) before sunset. The light is perfect at this time - not too strong, and will give a beautifully well-lit and warm look to your photos since there is no direct sunlight from above. Also during this time, it is significantly cooler outside, which is helpful for summer weddings. Plan ahead and research when the sun is scheduled to set on your wedding day. If you are getting married outside right before sunset and wish to have all of your formals shot outside as well, that can take up to an hour and you may end up shooting in the dark, or being forced to move the photos inside the venue. Scheduling your timeline appropriately with your photographer around your priorities and light/time of day will reduce stress and produce gorgeous photos.
Set expectations with your family, friends and bridal party members in advance. Relay your timeline and expectations to everyone so there will be less of a chance that your photo session will be delayed. If your guests feel like they are part of the process, they will be much more relaxed and excited for the role that they play in your big day.
I hope these pointers help you navigate the process of choosing a wedding photographer and help plan your special day!
Brooke Whicher is the award-winning owner of Brooke Whicher Photography, LLC. She is a passionate and bold lifestyle and wedding photographer, serving Boston and the North Shore areas. “When it comes to life behind my lens, I strive to capture the beauty in every moment in order for you to have not only a thrilling experience in front of the camera, but also photographs that will last a lifetime. Let's explore the beauty that flows from your personal story and the memories that you wish to cherish forever. I would be honored to take part in telling your story...”