The Guide to Wedding Photography

How to capture all Your Unique Moments-

‘From ring selfie to sparkler exit—and look your best in every shot!’


This Guide to Wedding Photography offers you information to think about while planning and hiring your Wedding Photographer. We hope you enjoy this read. 

Wedding photos offer you both immediate gratification (morning-after I.G. post!) and lifelong memories (decades from now, your granddaughter will be in awe of your style). With that much pressure, of course, you want to capture images you’ll love! To pull that off, first, you need to establish what you like—and what you, um, really hate—in wedding photography. You can do this by checking out Instagram accounts and browsing real wedding features on our site, and our social media feeds.

Three major styles are trending right now: classic (lots of composed shots with natural lighting), artsy (dark contrasts and filters), and truly creative, meaning the approach is unique to the photographer. Decide which style best fits your personality and aesthetic, then start asking around for recommendations—and make Silver & Sage Studios – Wedding Photography your first stop.

wedding photography

Narrow You List of Wedding Photographers

After you’ve narrowed down what and whom you like, send inquiries to all prospects. Feel free to blast emails (not texts) to multiple photographers, and be sure to mention how you heard of them and include your wedding date, guest count, and venue. (Knowing the scale and place helps the photographer figure a rough quote, which subsequently helps you determine if they are in your budget.)

This is just an information exchange. “We’ll get to know each other later!” Once you have a few finalists, ask to see three full photo galleries of events that are similar in size to your wedding. Looking at a full gallery helps you assess their consistency over hundreds of shots and proves they didn’t just get lucky with the half dozen snaps on their Insta.

Finally, schedule a time to get to know this person (talk on the phone, grab a coffee), and then discuss numbers in detail, such as rates, travel expenses, and hours of coverage. On average, couples shell out 12 percent of their total budget on photography—but remember, there’s no hard rule on that. (Your wedding, your priorities.) If there was ever a time to make a decision based on personality more than money, your photographer pick is it: This is a person who is going to see you at your most stressed/Spanxencased/emotional/happy.

Don’t you want to sit next to someone you like on that roller coaster?

Is This Photographer The One?

You might feel like there’s no real Guide to Wedding Photography. But, picking the perfect Wedding Day Photographer for your big day is easier than you might imagine. We’ve created a list of questions to ask the pros you’re considering to make sure your choosing the photographer who fits your personality and style the best.

wedding photography
wedding photography

What should I tell you about us?

A photographer needs to be a little bit in love with their couples. “That’s how we create our best work.” Remember, we’re capturing this Epic Moment in your love story. We need to have a relationship with you to understand how to capture your day. Silver & Sage Studios Wedding Photography is focused on getting to know you. We’ll use Online Planning Forms and be there to talk about your relationship and your Wedding Day goals. We want to feel like a familiar friend on your Wedding Day so you’re relaxed and enjoy yourself.

How did you capture this shot that I love?

You’re attracted to photos that feel natural, but those pics don’t just happen—that’s the mark of great wedding photography. Ask what our secrets are, whether it’s adjusting your hair or telling jokes; we have key prompts to make you feel comfortable and natural. A Professional Wedding Photographer will also have some technical training and know how to create images that are more than just pictures. Each image we capture is a snapshot into your love story. 

wedding photography
wedding photography

Can I see your favorite Instastory?

Wedding Photography Instagram stories are a great way to get to know each other. Social media helps you get familiar and friendly before the wedding—and feel comfortable together on the big day. We use Moodboards on Pinterest as well. Getting to know your photographers personality, style, and sense of humor before your Wedding Day will make it more successful. It will also help you pick out the right photographer for you. If you’re wondering what a Mood Board is….reach out and we’ll tell you all about them.

How do you help make the day run smoothly?

The last thing your wedding needs is to become school picture day. “Efficiency is key. Your photographer should have a system that works and that people love.” Our Wedding Photographers at Silver & Sage Studios have a secret weapon in their arsenal. They’ve all been hand trained by a real Wedding Planner on the timing and flow of a Wedding Day. This helps them to keep things moving while also making sure you have the most amazing time at your Wedding. After all, pictures are important, but so is your family and friends. You’ll want to enjoy your time with them as well.

Wedding Photographers in Erie PA - Silver & Sage Studios - Wedding Photography
Wedding Photographers in Erie PA - Silver & Sage Studios - Wedding Photography

Will you fix my zits?

Find out how much editing the photographer does, like touchups and filters (and if it costs extra). Some Wedding Photographers seem like an amazing deal, but that’s because they shoot in a form that doesn’t allow much editing and then just hand you a bunch of unedited digitals. A Professional understands what in camera settings to use to capture an image that can be polished later to shine like a gem. Bring anything you’re self-conscious about to the attention of any photographer and ask them how they’re going to handle it. Another sign of a pro you can trust is that they’re going to understand that you like your right side better than your left and they’ll be creative enough to capture images that are flattering to you. And, if you have something you know you want fixed, they should be able to offer you editing on those images. Wedding Photography is a lifetime investment in your memories.

What You Get For Your Money

Photographers usually have standard packages plus add-on expenses. Here’s a look at what you can reasonably expect with Wedding Photography.


You may book up to a year in advance, but don’t expect to be in constant contact. After you sign the contract, you probably won’t really hear from them until the month before the wedding. (Except for your Engagement Session, that is.) Then meet to put together a list of must-have pics (like group shots with Grandma). But remember, the best pics are candid, so don’t load them down with too many guidelines. Our Policy is open communication any time you have a question or concern. We send Planning Forms to each couple as soon as they book so you can start giving us the information to make your day a success!


A standard job usually includes 8-80 hours of coverage, with prices ranging greatly, depending on the photographer’s location and experience. Our recent survey found the national average is $3,600, while the high end tends to be about $20,000 and up to (are you sitting down? Is your dad?) $60,000. Each additional hour is about $300-$500. Some Photographers include a Second Shooter while others will charge a day of fee or an hourly rate for a Second Shooter. It’s essential to know what’s included in the package. You also have to ask yourself: Is just Average okay for my Wedding Day? Silver & Sage Wedding Photography Investment usually averages $3,500.

Delivery and deadline: 

Every Wedding Photography is different when it comes to Delivery of your Photos. Some will post a few sneak peeks that night or the next day to their Facebook or Instagram Story. Some will make you anxiously wait until their sure the editing is perfect and ready to reveal to the world. We tend to release a few teasers within 7-10 days on Social Media depending on how busy our Wedding Season is at the time. You can expect a delivery of a Full Viewing (or Proofing) Gallery anywhere from 6-12 weeks with a pro who’s taking the time to polish each image to perfection. Our average delivery time is 6-8 weeks depending on the size of your Bridal Party & Family and the length of your Wedding Day. More pictures, means more editing time. 

Delivery also includes how you receive your images after your Wedding Day. It’s super important that you know this. While some photographers hand over all your digital images, many Higher End Professionals retain the rights to those photos and will tell you what you get as part of your Wedding Day Collection. Each of our Collections explain what combination of Printed Images and Digitals are included. The average cost of Digital Images across the nation can range from $25-$250 with most photographers charging about $75 for digitals. The average cost of an 8X10 Print is $25-$75. Make sure you check out what the cost is of your photos beforehand so you can budget correctly.

How To Be Photogenic, Even if You’re Camera-shy

Communicating with your Photographer is the key to getting the most flattering images. Tell your photographer what makes you self-conscious. If we know a bride is uncomfortable about her arms, then we mindful of that. Trust the pro to guide and position you. Foundation is your friend. So many brides want a natural look, so they skip base and load on the concealer, says a makeup artist friend of ours. “Flash photography turns that into a reverse raccoon eye.” The fix? An even canvas of tinted moisturizer, which looks flattering in every light. 

Remember, you’ll be smiling a lot. “Consider what your face looks like when you’re smiling,” says Patton, and apply makeup with that in mind, concentrating blush on the apples of your cheeks, drawing a long swoop of liner on upper lids, and adhering false lashes at the eyes’ outer corners. Fake it till you make it. Grinning on demand can feel awkward; we ask our clients to give me their best fake laughs. It feels so goofy that real laughter quickly follows.