Signing a contract with any wedding vendor is an exciting moment. One more thing to check off that ever-growing wedding planning checklist! But, these are big decisions to make and ones you want to feel completely at peace with and confident about! Especially when it comes to your Dallas wedding photography. I mean, this is your wedding day we’re talking about here! Once-in-a-lifetime moments you can’t go back and redo… so, how do you know you’ve entrusted these special moments with the right photographer? Start by asking your wedding photographer these important questions:
What Is Your Wedding Experience?
Every wedding photographer is going to offer a different experience and level of service. From their individual personality to their unique process and photography style. You should have a clear understanding of what their process looks and feels like from the moment of booking through final delivery. This will help you to have a clear view of expectations. And ensure that your values and priorities are all in alignment with one another. Ultimately ensuring that you feel 100% confident in your final decision.
What Is your Photography Style?
Photography style plays a huge role in the end product of your wedding images. And every photographer has a different aesthetic and area of expertise that will shine through in their work. Some may focus on a photojournalistic style with primarily candid images; focusing on natural moments as they unfold and raw emotion, these images capture the true essence of your day. Others are experts in posing, staging and lighting so that you look your absolute best; these images aim for that WOW factor and are generally those epic portraits you can’t help but want to plaster all over your walls. While others have a beautiful blend between the two; dancing between anticipating and capturing moments as they unfold naturally and creating very intentional and creative portraits/imagery so you have the best of both worlds.
In addition to the photography style, consider asking about lighting. Many photographers only use natural light. S,o the time of day and lighting of your venue will ultimately play a larger role in not only how you’ll need to structure your wedding timeline, but also in the potential outcome of your final wedding images. While other photographers use additional lighting and light sources to ensure you will receive consistent quality images regardless of the time of day or varied lighting conditions.
What Is Your Wedding Day Personality?
Your wedding day experience will be greatly influenced by your photographer’s wedding day personality. Remember, they will be by your side the entire day. So, it’s important that they jive well with your personality and energy! Are they vibrant, bubbly and able to take charge when necessary (eg: wrangling family for family portraits)? Are they more calming and reserved and prefer to capture moments from the shadows? The type of personality you need from your wedding photographer will depend greatly on your own personality. As well as the collective energy from your family/guests and how you want your wedding day to feel.
How Personal/Custom Is the Experience?
When thinking about your ideal photography experience, there are a few things to consider. How intimate of an experience do you want? What level of service are you hoping for? Would you prefer to work with the same person from beginning to end? Is it important to you that your photographer has an understanding of your relationship and values? Would you like your wedding photographer to go one step further and invest time into understanding what and who matters most to you on your wedding day? Are you happy to have any photographer show up and capture your day, so long as you have images to show for it? Are you looking for guidance during your planning process to ensure that your day is set up in a way that ensures it will be stress-free and still have time to get all the images you’ve been dreaming of?
These are important questions to ask yourself. Some wedding photographers will offer an intimate and personalized experience, allowing you to work with one person from beginning to end. Others might have a team of administrators, associate photographers and/or sales personnel that you will be bounced between throughout the experience. Having an understanding of this process will help ensure you are comfortable with the experience beforehand and are confidently choosing the photographer that’s best aligned with your own values and wants/needs.
What Can I Expect In Delivery?
How many images can you expect to receive? (Most photographers will and can not guarantee any specific number. But it’s helpful to understand a ballpark average to manage expectations.) When can you expect your final images to be delivered? Will they be edited? What degree of editing is included? What’s the process if you’d like to ask for additional editing (anything outside basic color and light corrections)?
How Will I Receive My Images?
Today, a large number of wedding photographers are delivering digital images via a personal online gallery (and/or on a USB for long-term storage). While others focus primarily on printed products (prints, albums, canvases, etc). And some have a blend of the two. Every wedding photographer’s offerings differ, so be sure to ask!
Can I See Samples?
Ask to see samples of their work from an entire wedding day. See how your photographer captures getting-ready, bridal details, the ceremony, candid moments, formal portraits, the reception and everything in between! This will give you a better expectation of what your whole wedding day would look like through their lens.
Do You Offer Albums & Prints?
Ask your wedding photographer if they offer printed products, such as albums, canvases or framed or matted prints – and to see samples of them, if so. It’s helpful to know what the end product would look like working with them. Professional photographers have access to professional labs that are only accessible through photographers. So, if a durable, long-lasting and exceptionally printed heirloom album or canvas is important to you – be sure to work with a photographer that offers that. You will be amazed at the quality difference.
Keep in mind, there are no universal right or wrong answers here. You’re simply searching for the photographer that best aligns with your own personality, values and vision for your wedding day and images! If you’re unsure of what you’re looking for in a photographer, start by asking yourself a few questions first:
- Imagine yourself joyfully and emotionally flipping through your wedding album 5 years from now… now ask yourself: As I’m looking through my wedding album, what images am I seeing? Who is in them? What’s taking place? How do these images make me feel? (Get as specific as you can with these answers, then start your search for a photographer with those answers/feelings/emotions at the forefront of your mind – find someone whose imagery you connect with.)
- What personality type will best jive with us and our friends/family? Do I want someone quiet and reserved? Do I want someone who can match (and control/direct, when necessary) my family’s big and loud energy? (Remember, your photographer will be by your side the entire day. It’s crucial that you jive well together!)
- On a scale of 1-10, how important is my wedding photography to me? If important moments were missed or not captured to my taste, how devastated would I be or not be? Where is photography on my list of priorities? (This will also help you set expectations and prioritize your budget as well.)