Upstate South Carolina Weddings
You’re newly engaged to the love of your life.
You’re narrowing down venues, invitation lists, food ideas, music – the whole nine yards.
The decision comes for you to choose a wedding photographer and you don’t know where to start or what red flags to look out for.
You’re considering going with the cheapest option you can find, so you can wipe your hands, have your decision made, and you can move on to other things.
STOP! Stop right there!
Do not just settle for the cheapest option. We’re here to help alleviate some of your burdens, and educate you on the danger of not investing in a professional photographer on your wedding day.
We’ll give you some things to look out for, and discuss some things you may not have thought about in the midst of all your planning.
Low Price Points
Now, we’re not at all knocking beginner wedding photographers, because we’ve all been there! We’ve all started somewhere, right?
The only way to gain experience is by putting yourself out there and practicing.
Looking at a wedding photographer with a low price could indicate a lack of experience in dealing with specific shots. If they only have a handful of weddings under their belt and on their website, it’s possible they are not entirely comfortable in dealing with big groups of family and friends.
This could ultimately be a red flag for your wedding day.
What do we suggest? Experiment before your wedding day, not on it. If you have found a wedding photographer in your price range, experiment with a couples sessions. “Test drive the car” as they say, and see how things go.
Do you feel comfortable with the photographer? Do they seem well organized? Are they able to comfortably direct you and your significant other to get natural poses? Do they seem to have professional equipment? These are all things to keep in mind.
You want someone who will be able to handle the unexpected. In order to do that, the wedding photographer needs to be equipped with the proper gear to handle spontaneous emergencies or changes in the plan.
Part of being a professional wedding photographer means staying up to date with the latest gear and knowing what lenses are appropriate for specific moments. Bringing more SD cards than you’ll probably need, just in case. Extra batteries for both their camera and their flash(es). Things like reflectors are also important for balancing out some difficult lighting situations.
Not always, but oftentimes a professional wedding photographer will work with a “second shooter” or an assistant. Basically, this doubles the chances of them capturing all of your special moments and not missing a single beat.
This can be especially important when you have weddings on the larger side.
Beginner wedding photographers who are just starting out probably won’t have the budget to bring in a second photographer. Then again, If you are having a rather small wedding, or micro wedding, this might not be a concern of yours. If that’s the case, read on to our next points!
Insurance/Liability & Contracts
When narrowing down your choices, definitely keep in mind that a professional wedding photographer will have clear systems in place to protect both themselves and you. With that, be sure they provide a contract at all.
If they don’t have an official contract, you are not dealing with a professional wedding photographer.
Feel free to ask your potential wedding photographer about their insurance coverage, and to explain any any all of the points on their contract. Make sure nothing is missing!
Here are some things to keep in mind to make sure your wedding photographer explains in full detail and includes in their contract:
- How many photos will be edited and delivered to you
- Do/will they provide both film and photo
- Any extra options, like photo albums or USBs
- Length of coverage on your special day
- Deposit amounts
- What happens if the photographer gets sick
These are just a few of many things to keep in mind that might help when figuring out the final details with your wedding photographer.
When you’re looking at possible wedding photographer options, really look at their website in depth. Someone who is inexperienced is not going to provide a lot of consistent work.
From their posing to their editing, you should look at both with a detailed eye.
Remember, you can’t get those moments back. You aren’t going to have a second wedding to get another chance at photographs. It will make your wedding day all the better if you know, well beforehand, that you can count on the consistent style of the wedding photographer.
There shouldn’t be any surprises in the quality or consistency of your photographs.
Another thing to keep in mind is the specifics of their work to what you want in your photos. What I mean by that is, look for images on their website that mirror moments you know you’re going to want photographed.
Detailed shots of your engagement rings, shoes, dress, tuxedo, cufflinks, perfume bottle – anything.
Whether your wedding reception is an indoor event or falls into the late evening at an outdoor venue, there are going to be moments that don’t provide much light. Look for comparison photos on the photographers website that showcase those low light moments.
Can they maintain clarity, focus, and also capture that action that we all want to remember?
I mean, we all want to remember when your 60 year old uncle attempts to breakdance in the middle of Old Town Road, am I right?
Make sure your wedding photographer has proof they can capture the specific moments you know you want to remember from your wedding day.
When you and your significant other look back at your photos, it’s important that you look comfortable, natural, and happy. A wedding photographer that is just starting out might not have a confident grasp on positioning, lighting, and determining the most flattering angles.
By thoroughly looking through the wedding photographer’s websites, you’ll be able to get a sense for those things. If they have couples in uncomfortable or unnatural poses on their website, that most likely will reflect onto your photos as well. Also pay attention to the colors and editing qualities of the photographs.
Editing is difficult, and it can take a long time to master a consistent brand and style. In researching different wedding photographers, you should be able to differentiate between who is just starting out and learning the ropes, and who has already climbed just a little bit higher.
Confidence is something we all struggle with in any career. It’s totally natural, and oftentimes we grow into that confidence over time.
When talking about a wedding photographer’s confidence on your wedding day, that is a very important attribute.
Naturally, someone who has been photographing for a longer period of time will be more confident in dealing with the bridesmaids, friends, family, grandparents, nieces, nephews, everyone!
A professional wedding photographer that has experience will be able to firmly control your wedding party and family portraits with clear direction, while a newer wedding photographer might struggle to speak up. In that same regard, a professional wedding photographer will know when to let moments ride out.
They will know when to not direct and instead, just see what beautiful moments unfold in a documentary style fashion.
Trust us, you want your wedding photographer to have versatility to read the crowd, read moments, and use their professional judgement to create exceptional work.
We hoped this article helped alleviate some stress in planning your wedding day, and clarified some major points to remember when choosing a professional wedding photographer.
This day is all about you and your significant other, so get the photographs that you both deserve, and can cherish for years to come!