Do you remember “playing wedding” with your friends as a little girl?? I usually had my jelly sandals on, a pillowcase veil (Monica Gellar style), and one of our favorite princess costume dresses. At some point, my grandmother bought me an actual wedding dress costume, and I loved it with my whole heart! While odds are, your current plans are a little less Cinderella, and a little more Martha Stewart, you’re still dreaming up that fairytale day – and the photos that memorialize it!
Here’s the thing – you CAN’T change your photos. (If you’re thinking Duh, Sydne – just hear me out!) Your wedding day only happens once – and you want it to be preserved in a way you will be over-the-moon, shout-from-the-rooftops thrilled with! Because a few months after your wedding, you’ll only have two things left – your new spouse, and your portraits, so you better make sure they’re both pretty fabulous!!
Here are the 4 things you absolutely HAVE to know before you book your wedding photographer!
1) Do they have an aesthetic you absolutely love?
I have the luxury of living in what we lovingly refer to as “photography land”, where my Instagram feed is beautifully curated, and my brain is bombarded with beautiful white images all the time. This has given me a crazy amount of time to think about the visual style I love, and made me pretty aware of the styles I’m less drawn to. So let me break it down for you.
Look around your house at the colors you use to decorate, look at your wardrobe, at the magazines you love, and the homes you’ve pinned to your decor boards! See what kind of themes you can spot and go from there!
If you’re house is mellow with low key lighting, odds are you don’t want a bright and airy or vibrant photographer! If, however, your home is a little more Chip & JoJo, then a bright photographer will create pieces you can’t wait to hang on your walls.
It’s also crazy important that the aesthetic of your photographer is in line with the feeling you’re hoping to remember when you open up your little time capsule (I.e. your wedding album), and look back at this amazing day, 20, 30, 60 years from now. Do you want it to feel dark and moody? Golden and grainy? Light and airy? True to life?
Joyful? Romantic? Serious? Sultry?
You’ll remember the emotions of this short season through your images far more than actual memory, so make sure the pictures you have created mirror how you feel about each other!
The heirlooms created that day will outlive all of us – how do you want your story to be told?
2) Do they feel like Monica & Rachel, or Rory and Paris (the early years)?
You want a photographer that feels like white on rice, like black on coffee, like fries with your frosty! You want them to be an effortless addition to your bridal party – not someone you feel awkward in front of. And here’s why.
In our heads, our weddings will be a magical day of dancing, and kissing our now-husband. In reality, it’s a blink of a whirlwind, filled with hair, makeup, gowns, loads of portraits, countless hugs, hellos, tears and well wishes – and your photographer is likely there for all of it. Odds are, you’ll spend more time with us than you will with each other!
Which means it’s crazy important that you’re completely comfortable with whoever you’re picking. We’ll be there as you try not to cry off your makeup, as you laugh with your girls, as you strip down and finally have that “this-is-real-life” moment as you step into your gown.
Make sure you get to meet your prospective photographer, face to face, and make sure that they’re easy to click with!
3) Do they include an engagement session?
Obviously it’s nice if you can have gorgeous portraits to announce your engagement, and send save the dates with! But we believe this is a vital piece of the complete wedding experience for a different reason all together!
We decided right out the gate that we were going to gift our couples a complimentary engagement session, so they never have to debate over adding one or not! And we do that for a very intentional reason.
It give us the gift of time together! It’s a set time to celebrate such a beautiful and short season in your life, and create something beautiful to remember it by. But it also gives us the opportunity to work together before the wedding! Our couples can get out any front-of-camera-jidders, so they feel super comfortable come the big day, and they get to learn our poses and prompts to make things smooth when those “first look” and husband and wife portraits come around!
On smooth days, where everything is running beautifully, it’s just nice to turn around a bunch of variety for them…
But when the timeline is drastically behind and the planner is panicking, we can still create beautiful portraits you’ll be ecstatic to hang on your wall, because you’re already comfortable with us and our posing system!
It’s amazing! Like, holy-toledo-life-changing amazing!
Obviously we’re a bit partial to making sure you shoot engagements with your wedding photographer!
4) Do they only deliver digitals, or do they offer products too?
There are generally two kinds of photographers out there – those who simply deliver digitals, and those who specialize in creating a tangible product like heirloom albums, wall art, and canvas!
Ask yourselves which one you prefer!
If you have a knack for design and decor, you probably will pick images for print with no problem.
But if the idea of having to design your album is beyond overwhelming, or if you’ll agonize over which images will look best at which sizes, it’s probably best to pick a photographer who knows the ins and outs of print!
We actually have a passion for both our print and digitals! We’re artists and sentimentalists at heart, so the power of printing your photos can’t be overemphasized! That’s why we include print credit in our wedding collections! We also love this digital age we’re in, and think our brides do too!
Take the time to really study the images you’re obsessing over on pinterest to narrow your search, find a photographer that feels like a friend (who happens to have rave reviews), get to know each other before the big day, and cherish the images you create for a lifetime!!!