Hiring your wedding photographer to capture one of the biggest days of your life can be a daunting task! There are millions of photographers, how are you supposed to narrow it down to just ONE?! Trust me, I get it, I was just in your shoes, as I got married in June 2022. There are so many things to consider and questions that need asking including one that Pinterest wont tell you about – asking photographers for examples of their full wedding galleries! This is something many people don’t think to ask a for, but it is one of the biggest tips on hiring a wedding photographer I can give you. Keep scrolling to learn what to look for and all about the importance of full galleries.
01. Determine what photography style you love
First, do you want “light and airy” or “dark and moody” or like my style, more true to color? Just to name a few. I personally love showing colors as they are. If you have a beautiful sunny day in the spring with colorful flowers, I want you to look back and know the color that your florals were, the colors of the outdoors, bridesmaid dresses, and the guest’s outfits.
This is a big thing to take into consideration. How do you envision your day and what do you want those memories to look and feel like?
To take it a step further, past the coloring of the images, look at the people in the image. Are they captured candidly or strategically posed?
When looking for wedding photographers, ask to see a FULL gallery
What is the importance of a full gallery? Keep in mind that what photographers are showing on their Instagram and website is some of their best work. Typically, you’re not seeing pictures of guests, family pictures, or cocktail hour. I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure that a photographer’s gallery includes all of these moments:
– Getting Ready and Details (if the couple wants this time photographed)
-Individual pictures of the couple
-The Formalities (first look(s), walking down the aisle, family photos, bridal party photos, reception entrances, special dances, cake cutting, speeches)
-The Candids (friends and family laughing, meeting, enjoying time together) Sometimes these are the perfectly imperfect moments. The moments that you look back on and have a memory about or evoke a FEELING
-The Details (reception tables, florals, signage, all the decor)
-Cocktail Hour. Is the decor and food here captured? Are there some group pictures and candids? Are there pictures of the couple mingling with their guests?
– Not everyone will be on the dance floor all night. Are there pictures of couples sitting at their tables? People hanging out NOT on the dance floor?
-Night Portraits of the Couple (if there is time/the couple wants them)
Why wouldn’t my wedding photographer capture all these moments?
Every photographer works differently and delivers a different number of images for a wedding. When hiring your photographer, take the time to look at FULL galleries and see what speaks to you, because I promise, that not all galleries are the same. Some photographers may not know to capture certain moments or details due to lack of experience or, simply, just because it’s not their style and a part of what they offer.
Questions to ask yourself while looking at full galleries:
1. Is the photographer taking multiple angles of what is happening (during the ceremony, speeches, dances)?
2. How is the gallery organized? Are there tabs? Is it easy to find the pictures you’d want to post or do you have to scroll through 800 pictures to find the reception photos?
3. Are there a mix of vertical and horizontal pictures?
4. Are there pictures of guests? Casual group photos, guest’s reactions, the “in-between moments”, candids
5. With pictures of the couple, is there a good variety (different scenery, poses, angles)?
6. Can you see people’s personalities in the pictures?
7. Are there pictures of parents with their friends/family?
8. Are black and white photos included?
9. Anyone can photograph on a well lit day – how does the photographer handle low light situations, such as a dark reception room? Can you see the ambiance of the candles? How do they utilize lighting and shadows?
If your gallery is 99% pictures of the couple, the photographer is not capturing the event to its fullest.
I hope this helped you with your journey in finding and hiring a wedding photographer! If it did, click here to read this blog on “Tips for Booking Your Dream Venue.” And if you’re looking for someone to capture your wedding day click here to contact me!