HOW TO FIND YOUR PERFECT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Weddings are a very exciting time in the lives of a couple. It can also be very stressful, booking the right photographer and understanding clearly what is included in your package (and what is not) is key in the successful capture of your memories in the way that you envisage them.
To ensure that Jaana is a compatible match to your special day, we follow a process to establish a consistent predictable outcome with clear expectations and an understanding of what you as newlyweds will be paying for,
Each of the below steps are reviewed as part of contracting Jaana Brown Photography - and should be followed for any photographer you engage,
STEP 1 - RESEARCH
Like with any big investment it is important to learn exactly what it is before you dive right it. Researching and discovering what you want is the most important step you will take in the process of engaging your photography provider.
Pick a style
Learn what it is that you love about wedding photography.
Do you love filters, are you into candid moments, do you find whimsy or moody is your thing, perhaps you like your photos filled with light.
Every photographer has a style and you need to know what yours is to choose a photographer that matches that.
Research photographers in your area and seek out options that match your budget and your style needs.
Choose someone who has great reviews, or can provide them, and has a large constant portfolio.
Once you have your short list, phone and speak to photographers, check availability and obtain quotes to compare packages.
Did you gel with them on the phone, could they easily answer your questions? Get a feel for them and if you feel you could work together.
Decide on your first and back up choices and book a meeting.
Once you have decided on your short list, now is time to meet with your photographers and decide whom you want to capture your big day.
Successful photographers will be interviewing you as much as you are them to ensure that you are a good match.
During this meeting, they should be able to provide samples of their work and discuss recent weddings. You will complete step 2 during this meeting.
STEP 2 - NUT OUT THE DETAILS
Nobody likes surprises and time not invested properly in step 1 can leave you both frustrated at the resulting images. To avoid disappointment be sure to invest time in discussing the detail as part of your first meeting, particularly if you are happy with the initial quote, the style and gel with your photographer.
Be sure understand the ins and outs of each of the below sections so that you are well prepared and understand what you are paying for.
Discuss what it will cost you including:
- Is a meal required for your photographer?
- How many locations and what travel is covered/cost?
- Is 'Photoshopping' included and what does that look like exactly?
-What happens if we go overtime?
- How many photographers are included?
-How many photos do you get to keep?
- How do deposits work and when are payments due?
- Are there any other costs?
- Do we own our photos? Discuss copyrights & Model releases.
Talk about the timing of your big day, as soon as your photographer arrives the clock starts ticking.
Have you booked enough time to capture everything you want to be recorded?
Create a mud map for what your rough day may look like and flesh out how much time will be needed for each section.
Discuss what to expect the resulting images to look like and how many to expect for each section.
Decide how many hours to book your photographer.
Discuss what will happen on the day
Book in dates for:
The wedding rehearsal
Visits to venues
Due dates for shoot lists
Due dates for shoot plans
Chat about plans if it rains and how this impacts your photos, and what to expect.
Set a go-to person for family portraits (who knows everyone) that can help shuffle people into those shots.
Chat about the photographer's style on site and how they work with people.
Chat about the dress code.
Chat about paparazzi guests.
Discuss house rules.
Establish an ecceptable level of capture.
Discuss how long it takes for you to get your photos.
Discuss which way you will receive them. Is a USB included? Will they be backed up on cloud?
Are prints or digitals included and how many?
Understand that the process is only just starting when your wedding is done.
STEP 3 - TIME TO LOCK IN YOUR PROVIDER
Good photographers will often have limited availability. This means once you decide you are ready to move and you understand the process its time to lock it in so you don't miss out.
There is always terms and conditions - your contract should detail everything covered in steps 1 & 2 along with information on what happens if you cancel before the day, deposits, payments and finalisation of your account.
Contracts are a must, do not engage a photographer who isnt prepared to produce a contract.
Pay your deposit, this is generally 50%.
Be aware that if you pull out, within a certain number of weeks of your wedding, you will loose your deposit.
Start your payment plan if you have arranged one, or arrange a date for the final payment to be made.
This is almost always before the wedding.
Get copies of all the paperwork to keep on file.
STEP 4 - PREPARE FOR YOUR WEDDING
Make dates to visit each of the locations of your wedding with your photographer.
Visit at the approximate time that you plan on being at that location, to discuss light, expectations and the mud map for your day;.
If you don't provide your photographer with a list of photos that you must have, you can not be upset if they are not captured.
Invest time in preparing a list of must have photos place them in order of when they should be shot, this includes a list of photos of people and things that you dont want missed.
Photographers are there to capture your day but they can not assume what is most important about it as each bride differs.
Have your photographer attend your rehearsal if possible.
This will allow them to meet bridal party members, get to know important people in your service and help them to understand the flow of what will be happening and when such that they can best capture your memories.
7 days out from the wedding finalise your shoot plan with your photographer.
If you establish you need more hours, book them.
Experianced photographers should be able to provide a shoot plan that includes, contact details, the timing, information on the venues and the shoot list.
You have your photographer locked in but what happens next? You have alot to coorinate and arrange in preparation for your big day. Don't let the details slip though to the keeper. Being prepared will allow you to take full advantage of your photographers skill set and allow them to capture your memories in the way you are expecting.
STEP 5 - PROCESSING & DELIVERY
Now that you have tied the knot, it is easy to get excited about wanting to see your photos. But the process has only just begun for your photographer so be sure to do the following.
Revisit your contract and remind yourself of what you are expecting, the number of photos, the timing of delivery, the style you asked for.
Photographers are usually booked 12 months in advance and its easy to forget what you locked in. So revisit it to be sure your expectations match what you have paid for.
The time spend on site taking your images is the smallest and quickest part of the process for your photographer.
You can expect 4-12 hours of work for each hour they spent with you. Consider also if you are married in peak, they will have multiple weddings on.
Sit back and relax and wait for your images to come, it will be worth the wait.
Once ready take delivery of your images, share them, love them and order your prints.
You have finished the process, be sure to leave your photographer a review to allow them to market their skills to future clients.