We can say without a doubt that your wedding photos are going to be the BEST reminder of one of the most amazing days of your life. Long after the wedding cake is eaten, your wedding dress is put away in storage, and all your thank you notes are mailed out, your wedding photos are going to be what you look back on to relive all those sweet, fun, and joyous moments from when you said “I Do” to the partner of your dreams.
That’s why wedding photography is often one of the most important parts of a bride’s plans. But finding the right wedding photographers in a sea of talented artists can be overwhelming, and figuring out details like hours, style, and specific shots can be an exhausting addition to an already stressful day. Add on top of that the fact that your wedding photography will most likely be one of your biggest budget items…well, it’s a lot to think about!
Here are a few behind-the-scenes tips from wedding photographers that will help you figure out how to get the most out of your wedding photography budget and get the amazing wedding photos you deserve.
- You get what you pay for. At the end of the day, wedding photography is like most things—the cost you pay oftentimes reflects the quality you receive. Wedding photography is a lot more than pressing a button on a camera; it’s expensive equipment, hours editing, and multiple shooters. If a photographer’s low price seems too good to be true, it probably is! If you need to save money on your wedding photographer, consider prioritizing your timeline for them to attend fewer hours or putting photography on your wedding registry. Get more wedding budget tips here!
- They want to help with your timeline. Many wedding photographers have been to literally hundreds of weddings. They’re experts! Letting them help plan your wedding timeline ensures you’ll have a smooth event with lots of time for photos. They can often provide tips on details like how early you should start getting ready and whether or not to have a first look.
- Having an unplugged wedding may be the best decision you ever make. It seems fun to scroll through social media with your new spouse in the morning checking out photos from your wedding, but allowing guests to snap 8 million shots of the ceremony can be a photographer’s worst nightmare! Guests often don’t recognize the fact that a paid photographer is taking photos and can jump in the way of important shots. Consider asking guests to put their mobile devices and cameras away during the ceremony.
- Trust your photographer and ditch the list. There’s nothing wrong with surfing Pinterest for inspiration or loving a friend’s wedding photos, but if you come gripping a long list of group photo ideas for your bridal party, it can be tricky to manage. All couples and photo locations are different. If the photographer is trying too hard to replicate someone else’s work, they may miss the moment right in front of them: you and your spouse. Also, locations and lighting play a huge factor in whether or not certain photos can work. So, sure, if you want that superhero shirt photo with your guy and his groomsmen, come prepared and request it! But know that you might not get every shot on your list—and that’s OK. If you spent time researching wedding photographers and found the right one, they’ll be able to take great photos.
- Lighting, lighting, lighting. If you want great photos, lighting has to be a priority. It’s the golden rule of photography, and too many brides forget that while planning their wedding. It affects your portraits, but also your little moments and your getting ready photos. Consider spaces with lots of natural light and when your photographer suggests dipping out for around 10 minutes during the sunset, do it!
- Even in this digital age, consider investing in prints. Sure, you want a killer cover photo for Facebook—but more importantly, consider getting a family heirloom that you can physically treasure. After spending tons of money on a wedding photographer, it can seem agonizing to spend even more money on a wedding album, but having your images and being able to physically flip through them is an amazing feeling that you shouldn’t miss out on. If you can’t afford an album right away, consider ordering one at a later date, or saving some cash by utilizing an online service to create your wedding album.
Wedding photographers really are experts in the industry. Spend time researching, find the right one—and trust them to deliver the most beautiful photos of your life!