Planning your wedding comes with a lot of excitement and eagerness. You want to make all the right choices because once the day finally comes, it'll go by like a flash. While you should enjoy every moment, you will definitely want to relive it forever. You want those memories to last a lifetime. The best way to draw value out of all you put into your wedding day is to make these moments tangible.
1. KNOW THEIR MISSION STATEMENT
Knowing your vendor's philosophy is not always important for your wedding day. However, you are with your wedding photographer probably more than your own spouse on your special. You probably want to make sure you get along with them. The best place to start is to look at their "About" page. Those pages are carefully constructed to give you a sense of who the photographer is and how they work. From there, you should easily figure out what they stand for and why they do what they do. You should look for written philosophies that just feel right. From there, see if that feeling continues when you meet with the photographer in person or talk to them on the phone.
// What does Soul Focus stand for?
2. KNOW YOUR BUDGET
The first thing you want to do is research all the wedding photographers you know of and in your area. Pick out ones that have their prices posted publicly. This will give you a general idea of what it costs and a realistic starting point. Other big factors include the timeline and shot list expectations.
For example, Soul Focus offers three different packages based on time. If you are trying to save money, but photos of the prep and getting ready aspect of the day are important to you, perhaps you’ll be willing to cut some time off capturing the reception. Things like adding a second photographer will also contribute to the final quote and how many photos you'll receive. Just be ready to think about those kind of decisions and communicate with your partner about what is important to you both .
3. KNOW YOUR STYLE
Look for not only what you like now, but what will last for generations to come. Looking beyond photography trends will lead you to discover your true taste. I suggest making a collection of your favorite wedding photos you've seen. Ponder of why you like them: is it their editing style, creativeness, composition, lifestyle appeal? What is it that strikes your interest? Then, discover which photographer meets those requirements.
4. REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Every photographer has strengths and weaknesses. It’s pretty easy to get a sense of what someone’s strengths are (like taking stunning photographs). The important thing is to get an accurate sense of what a given photographer’s weaknesses are.
You can do this through conversation with a photographer. Merely ask them what their weaknesses are. A professional should tell you (Id' suggest you run away if they say they have none). You can also talk with past clients of theirs. Through past clients, you can truly get a feel for how they work and what they liked or did not like about them.
// See reviews about Soul Focus
5. LOOK BEYOND PORTFOLIO HIGHLIGHTS
Really dig deep into a photographer's website. Look for not only bride and groom photos, but look at reception photos, decoration shots, etc. This will allow you to see a more comprehensive range, from family portraits to reception detail shots. Look for real, honest, raw moments. These images will capture soul, genuine moments.
6. USE AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION AS A TRIAL RUN
An engagement session with a photographer lets you and your partner meet them in person, get to know them, see how they work on the job, and see their style firsthand. I personally love having an engagement session with couples before their wedding. Most couples are not used to getting their picture taken, so having a little session before the wedding gives them time to get used to you and more comfortable with you. It also helps me see how best to encourage them, find out what they are comfortable with, and what makes me feel more like a friend shooting their wedding. Engagement sessions give people confidence. Once they receive their photos, they see that they are a beautiful and unique couple. As a result, they are usually less anxious about the photos the day of the wedding.