Wedding Photography: Don’t cheap out on your 8x10 love
After the centerpieces are swiped off the tables and everyone's feet are tired from the aches of celebration, what will you have? If you're doing photo AND video, well you'll have that too. But for us, the photography was the one item on the to-do list that had the longest shelf life and therefore the longest value.
How to start the conversation
First, grab your partner and imagine your wedding has passed. Envision your photos hanging on your walls, maybe imagine looking inside the wedding album. Now, write down your Musts, Coulds, and Won'ts to complete an AstroWed favorite, the MaCaW chart!
Our Wedding Photographs MUST BE: ___________________________________
Our Wedding Photographs COULD BE: ___________________________________
Our Wedding Photographs WON'T BE: ___________________________________
Guess what? You've just created a wedding vision. NICE! Now that you know what you want as an end result (the actual photos), let's talk about who you'd like to be behind that camera.
What to look for in a Wedding Photographer
Beyond looking through a potential photographer’s portfolio, there are a few key attributes to look for. She/he should be…
- Collaborative about working with you on your wedding vision
- Transparent about quotes and pricing (Red Flag: Avoid working with anyone who never mentions costs)
- Creative and shows in a portfolio that matches your needs or matches the style of you as a couple (I freeze under most photo circumstances so I asked for help and noted any photographers with lots of great candid shots rather than staged).
- Organized, organized, organized! If your vendors are organized, your frustrations and worries will sail far, far away (trust me).
We used the MaCaW chart to lay out these expectations and more to prep for our research. Have a look:
Start calling potential vendors that appear to meet your vision
- Do a phone call and walk them through your wedding vision, even if it’s incredibly early in the game.
- Share what kind of atmosphere you hope to have and what types of people will be attending the wedding.
- If the photographer’s personality shines through, if they’re honest, and if they have their shit together, this is a winning vendor my friends.
- The ability to find an artist (photographers are artists too!) who is savvy enough to give you an organized proposal, a shot list, and clearly stated payment terms is nearly a unicorn.
- Don’t be shy in hunting for the right photographer for YOU.
Other questions you might want to consider:
- Are you available on our chosen date?
- When do you need signed contracts?
- Deposit required?
- Ask about my favorite photo(s) in their portfolio. Can we do things like that?
- What do we get at the end with this package?
- Are you open to traveling for our wedding?
- Do you need a second shooter?
- How far in advance do you want to get there?
- Engagement shoot?
- When does that need to happen?
Bottom line: Your photographer may be your most important vendor. Everything else can go wrong — the rain may come, the food may be terrible, but at the end of the day, this person is your creative problem solver, there to capture the happiness and love surrounding your big day. It’s worth paying for tangible memories of this momentous occasion.
SPEND ALL YOUR MONEY HERE. Seriously.
Don’t cheap out or ask a friend to do it, unless he or she is a professional. Have photos to complement your mental memories. Be smart, be picky, and don’t discount your 8x10 love
Full sample worksheet below! (AKA: Sneak preview of what's inside each AstroWed Workbook)
Click the image to download a PDF version.