The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Photography
Capturing Your Magical Moments
This ULTIMATE 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 Erie Photography your first stop. Need help understanding Wedding Photography Styles? (Notice the link? Check it out!)
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 10-20% 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/panicked/emotional/happy.
Need a Guide to Wedding Photography Budgeting? Check out: How Much to Spend on Wedding Photography.
These are some things to consider when hiring a pro for your day. This is our Guide to Wedding Photography…I mean..how we think. 😉
Almost In Love
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 you’re choosing the photographer who fits your personality and style the best.
Tell Us About You
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. 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. If you wanted a guide to wedding photography this might really be the key to finding the perfect person to capture your love story. Are they ‘in love’ with your story? Their excitement and enthusiasm should show and you should be comfortable with their personality.
Wow! I Love That Shot!
What else can you find in our guide to wedding photography? How about some back room secrets? You’re attracted to photos that feel natural, but those pics don’t just happen—that’s the mark of a good photographer. 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.
Check Our Our Portfolio!
In our tell all guide to wedding photography we couldn’t leave out social media. 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 photographer’s 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.
Let Us Handle the Roll Call
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 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. Speaking of wedding planners…..she has an amazing guide to wedding photography waiting for you…just gotta reach out!
Fixing Your Minor Blemishes
Find out how much editing the photographer does, like touch ups 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. Just check out this comparison from our sister portrait company Willow & Roots.
Guide to Wedding Photography- 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.
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. (Unless you have an engagement session booked as well.) Then you’ll 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 6-10 hours of coverage, with prices ranging greatly, depending on the photographer’s location and experience. Our recent survey found the national average is $3100, 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?
What’s the Average Cost For a Wedding Photographer in Erie, Pa? Check out How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost?
Delivery & Deadline
Every Wedding Photographer 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 they’re 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.