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Selecting the Right Wedding Photographer
Over the years photographing weddings, I have met a wide variety of brides, but they all have one quality in common—they desire beautiful photography. I hope these photography tips will be helpful when it comes finding a photographer who will create images you will love and treasure for decades after the wedding day.
First off, what is your personality and do you feel comfortable with the photographer you are going to hire? Remember that above all other vendors, the photographer will be by your side for most (if not all) of the wedding day. Trust the photographer you hire; if you feel like you cannot trust them, don’t hire them. If you have the tendency to be in charge of everything, release some of that control over to them. You will enjoy your wedding day even more, and it will give your photographer the freedom they need to relax and focus on the creative process of crafting beautiful photographs of you and your loved ones. Remember, these are the images that you will treasure for decades; therefore it’s important to hire a skilled photographer with beautiful work whom you trust.
Secondly, you need to look at their work and ask, “Do I imagine myself in their images?” If their work doesn’t line up with your wedding style, then they may not be the right match. You don’t want to be hiring someone who shoots with a high fashion style when you may be having a country wedding with a softer feel.
Another question to ask is, “How well does the photographer handle difficult lighting situations?” Is your wedding going to be at night? Ask them about their process for lighting and dealing with low light situations. It’s critical for you to hire someone who can handle this challenge. If your wedding is going to be at the beach under harsh bright light, ask to see some images from their past beach weddings.
It is important to find a photographer who will coordinate and work with you and/or your event coordinator to find the ideal lighting schedule for your wedding day. For example, if your ceremony ends at sunset and you plan on taking your bride & groom photos after the ceremony, chances are you will be disappointed when you realize all of your portraits with your groom will be shot in dark lighting situations. Instead, why not plan the ceremony an hour and a half ahead of the sunset time, then you will have the perfect amount of time and ideal light for bride and groom portraits (the most important images of the day!) Photography is primarily about light, so the wedding photographer you hire should be involved with helping you make the lighting the best it can be.
In case you find that hiring a wedding photographer is more expensive than you initially planned for, here is a helpful tip: it is more important to hire a photographer you love with less products and fewer hours of coverage than one who is mediocre but gives full coverage and extra gimmicks. You want to have the best photographs possible, not more products and useless hours of coverage on your big day.
One way to cut costs is at the reception. You generally don’t need a photographer at the reception for more than two hours because the first dance, toasts, and cake cutting generally occur at the beginning of the night. You will not treasure all of the random dancing scenes at the reception and with this realization, you will discover that it was a waste of your money to have the photographer present for the entire time. If you desire “the exit” from the reception covered, ask the photographer if you can hire their assistant for that purpose. Here’s a little secret, photographers don’t particularly enjoy shooting the reception for hours on end, so they will love you all the more for asking them about this!
Last, make sure that you are relaxed and well rested on your wedding day. If some things are not finished, don’t worry. If the flowers aren’t “just right”, it’s okay. The MOST IMPORTANT THING is to have a commitment to love each other in your marriage from day one.
See Key to Savannah's Wedding Listings for more information on planning your Savannah Wedding. To find out more about Nate and Laura, and Open Light Studio, visit their website: http://www.OpenLightStudio.com.