ISO Photographer for My Wedding!
Updated: Jan 5
As a wedding and event coordinator, I hear this and see this title all the time! Brides and grooms searching the swap and shop pages or asking their friends for a recommendation for a photographer. However, photography (and videography) are artistic expressions based on the talent and style of the photographer (Just go ahead and assume that I also mean Videographers as well, from here on out). There is actually quite a bit to consider, besides the cost.
I get it! Budget is always a factor and when you start to look at the costs of all your wedding vendors, you start to panic a little. But, before you post on Facebook that you want a "budget friendly photographer", think about what it is you really want from your photographer and which photographer is going to fit your style more.
Before we get to the types of photos taken on the day of your wedding, we are going to skip ahead a month or so to the time where you are anxiously waiting for you wedding album. After all, it is the final product that you are truly after, and therefore, it is important to understand how you get there. Photographers do not just hand over their photos unedited. Each photographer has a style of editing that sets them apart from other photographers and it is that style that you are really after.
Most photographers will tell you that your photos will be ready in 6-8 weeks. You may get a sneak peak days after, but most of your photos will be in production for awhile. Only 4% of a photographer's job is taking photos. That's it! 4%! 60% of what they do as photographers is in the editing process. That means, if your photographer spent 10 hours shooting on location at your wedding, they may spend approximately 150 hours in editing. This is why I decided to start here. The editing is what you are looking at when you choose your photographer. Don't skip this process because you are looking for your cheapest vendor. You may find 5 photographers who agree to the same price points, but if you don't like the way your photos were edited, you picked the wrong photographer.
STYLES OF EDITING
There are a lot of editing styles, and they vary with your photographer. many will actually fall between a couple of styles. I am going to give you the three that I see most often, but if you want to further explore your options, I found this site to be very helpful https://expertphotography.com/photo-editing-styles/
RICH AND WARM
Warm and natural earth tones of honeyed yellow, dusky oranges, and deep reds represent the photographer who edits with a rich and warm style. Aesthetically pleasing at a glance, your eyes are drawn into the photo and captivated by it's warmth and expressiveness.
Deep autumn colors like these are emphasized by Kara Shelley with Life Expressions Photography and while her photos play with shadows, they all have a warm glow that makes you feel like a fire on a winter's night.
DARK AND MOODY
Dark and moody photography is very emotional. It invokes thought and uses shadow, instead of light, to draw attention to the subject. Somewhat melancholy in nature, a dark and moody wedding photo is quite sensual in that it provokes all your senses.
Juliana Noelle Jumper is a wonderful example of this style of photographer. Her art is passionate and emotive, creating a sense of poetry in her work. Your eye is drawn to the subjects because of how they are romantically framed by the shadows.
LIGHT AND VIBRANT
Where dark and moody emphasizes the shadows, Light and Vibrant editing plays with color and light to create bright, natural photos for a classic look that stands the test of time. The light and vibrant style is cheerful and creates a sense joy.
My friend, Elizabeth Golden at eGolden Moments, Photo and Film, is an exceptionally vibrant and artistic photographer. A touch of whimsey and fun can be seen in every one of her photos and you recognize that a good time has been had by all.
DETERMINING YOUR STYLE
You can start to determine what style fits you best by looking around your home or your bedroom. How have you decorated your personal living space? Do you lean towards warm colors and natural lighting, bright and airy spaces with clean lines and pops of color, or deep saturated cool spaces with lots of stained wood? Whatever room you feel the most at home in says a great deal about your style and will help you feel out the right photographer for you.
Then, look at websites. Start with the three that I listed above. You should notice that each photographer's website is as distinct as their photography. Kara Shelley's website is saturated with the same genuine warmth that her personality exudes, while Elizabeth's Golden's pages scream, "I am playful and energetic". Juliana Jumper's page is everything that her photos are; classic and elegant. If their websites match the personality of the images in their galleries, then you have found a photographer who has a solid grasp of who they are and therefore, are not likely to change things up on you.
This will hopefully help you narrow down your search to your top 10-15 photographers and/or videographers. Join me next week when I go over the next part of the process to narrow down the best photographer for you; Candid VS Posed Photos.