An Essential Guide to Choosing Your Wedding Photographer
Updated: May 30
No matter how much you want to keep all your beautiful moments in the safe box of your mind, completely relying on your memory doesn’t really work.
Therefore, it’s so significant that on the day of Saying I Do to your lifetime partner, you must hire a pro who would help you encapsulate all the details of your wedding.
If you’re currently looking for a wedding photographer in Melbourne and yet you don’t know how to practically choose the best fit, this blog is for you!
How to Select the Best Wedding Photographer Melbourne
It is a wedding photographer’s job to shoot every little detail of your special day.
Thus, our team believes that finding the best pro for your needs and preferences is a must to ensure that all the picture-worthy moments and details of your wedding are wonderfully captured.
Besides, your wedding only happens once and once it’s over, it is over!
If 3 months after your wedding, you found out that you don’t like the output of your chosen photographer, there’s no other way to recapture all the lovely and amazing things that took place during your day. There is no turning back!
So, if you’re still confused about picking your photographer among the wide pool of candidates, we have listed below all the helpful considerations that will help you come up with your final choice.
It is indeed our pleasure to assist you in making one of the most important (and most risky) decisions for your wedding!
Without further ado, let’s dive into the tips and tricks on selecting the best man or woman behind the big lens.
1. Decide on Your Style
Prior to researching for a list of candidates, you must first be aware of the wedding photography style that you’re particularly interested in.
This way, you’ll be able to niche down your research in choosing the prospective photographers for your day.
For instance, searching “wedding photographer Melbourne” in Google is much more overwhelming than typing “candid wedding photographer Melbourne” in the search bar.
To decide on what type of imagery you love most, you can immerse yourself in various sources such as Instagram, Pinterest, and even blogs.
Research for wedding photography ideas and you can pin them in your Pinterest Boards or include some Instagram portraits in your “Saved” section.
Once you collected enough inspirations, try to analyze what made them interesting for you! You can ask your partner what among your selections works best for both of your preferences.
If you haven’t heard about the most popular wedding photography style, here’s a list of brief details and definitions:
Please note that you don’t have to niche down in one particular style if you don’t want to. There are some photographers who can do a blend of two or three styles of photography and you might want to consider these types of shooters.
If, however, you’re really keen for one specific style, you must exert your research efforts on finding a photographer that specializes in the type of flair that you love.
2. Do Your Research
Here comes the tough part! Good thing, technology has provided couples with tools to make vendor research more bearable for them.
Of course, let’s not forget about our middle-aged wise friend, Google. Just by typing “classic wedding photographer” in the search bar, you’ll already be presented with numerous classic photographers to select from.
From Google ads to website pages, you’ll surely be introduced with wedding photography packages and options to browse through.
You could also go through some international listings offered by authority wedding websites such as Wedding Wire, The Knot, and Style Me Pretty. These listings will allow you to see some details about the photographer’s websites, social media accounts, and client feedback.
Once you see photographers that you are interested in, take advantage of all the links and details that are presented in these listings.
3. Know that it Pays to Hire the Best Wedding Photographer
“I’m looking for someone to capture my wedding without paying an arm and leg.”
I know that you’d love to save money and maximize your budget as much as you can, but please, don’t EVER inquire like this to any of your wedding vendors (including your wedding photographer).
Wedding photography is an art and hiring the best wedding photographer requires you to pay for the best art.
Yup, you might score some good deals from anywhere across the web, but you need to choose someone who you trust to do the job right. Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, remember?
So instead of screaming in excitement after finding the cheapest deal among the competition, think it through before saying I Do to any photographer. And oh, don’t forget to do the next steps!
4. Set Up an In-Person Interview
Building rapport with your wedding vendors is a crucial step to ensure that you’d be comfortable all throughout your day. This is especially true for the person behind the massive camera.
If I’m not mistaken, you wouldn’t want to feel uneasy with someone who’s closely capturing your intimate wedding moments, right?
After your thorough research, choose 3-5 photographers that you like and ask them about their availability for your wedding date. If your prospective shooters are still available for your big day, try to arrange some meetup so you could personally meet the people behind the lens.
It doesn’t have to be like a stiff business meeting, and you can be as casual as you would like! Ask them about the past weddings that they did in your chosen venue (if there’s any) and don’t forget to tell them about your beautiful visions for your day.
You could also inform these wedding photographers about other significant details such as the number of your wedding party, the number of your guests, and your ideal portrait shots.
Aside from being a way of collaboration, your prospective photographers need these details so he can properly suggest a perfect run sheet for your big day!
5. Check Wedding Albums Analytically
Showing the highlights of the shooters’ work, a portfolio comes in handy for browsing through their best works in the past. However, deciding solely according to the photographer’s portfolio is not the most practical thing to do.
You shouldn’t rely on the highlights alone and you should seek a whole rounded idea of how they deliver their services.
Politely ask your potential candidates if they can show you 3 or 4 complete galleries of the real weddings that they worked in the past. Most likely than not, they’ll be happy to grant your request!
You can also ask them if they can provide you with a full wedding gallery that has the same setup as yours.
If you booked a beach venue for your special day, you could ask for photo collections in the same setting.
If you’re thinking about a garden wedding during the first hours of the sunrise, you might want to see some real wedding galleries with identical timeframes.
6. Inquire about their Backup Plans
No matter how much you perfectly planned a wedding, there are still some matters that are out of your control.
Most probably than not, unexpected things happen, and you can’t afford to hire a photographer who doesn’t have a solid Plan B.
Ask your photographer if they have backup plans when worst-case scenarios take place. Do they have at least two cameras as a precautionary measure? Do they own multiple lenses in case something unpleasant happens to the first equipment?
You should also inquire about their Plan B and Plan C for the storage of your images. What are their precautionary methods to ensure that your wedding photos won’t be corrupted?
JF Studio, a team of wedding photographers in Melbourne, gears their cameras with dual memory cards to ensure that there are 2 copies of the clients’ images in each of the equipment. Once the party is over, it is their standard procedure to backup the photos in 3 different locations for added security.
8. Ask about the Terms of Agreement
Is it mandatory that you allow your photographer to post your photos for promotional and marketing purposes for his business?
Do you need to tag them or watermark their name in every wedding image that you will post on social media?
Does the wedding photography package include a royalty fee for your photos? Are you allowed to print the pictures on your own or should you buy the rights to the images beforehand?
Before you sign any binding contract or say yes to any candidate, make sure that your rights and the photographers’ rights are clear to you.
During your meeting, ask the potential photographer about the terms of agreements that you should know about to avoid false expectations.
9. Compare Offers
Now that you’re done with the inquiry and interview process, it’s time to decide which among the pool of candidates is the best fit for you and your partner!
Don’t forget to ask your top prospects about the wedding photography packages that they offer. Aside from the non-negotiables such as style, work ethics, and equipment, you should also consider the wedding shoot offers that these professionals have provided.
Here’s a tip: instead of focusing solely on the price factor, choose the package that’s most worth it!
10. Let Him Know About the Crucial Details
Once you’ve chosen the best one among the pool of options, don’t forget to inform your photographer about the vital details of your wedding!
Let him know about your closest estimate of your guest number. Most of the time, it is a standard for photographers to traditionally shoot all your guests.
In addition to this, you should also inform your photographer about the exact number of your wedding party. How many are your bridesmaids? How many are the groomsmen? Do you have a maid of honor? The bigger the wedding party, the longer the time required for the shooting schedule.
Also, don’t forget to tell your photographer about the number of your family and extended family members. A family photoshoot is a must and the person behind the lens needs a headcount so he could create a reliable estimation of time!
You get the idea.
Looking for the Best Candid Wedding Photographer Melbourne?
Perhaps you’re planning to tie the knot in the stunning metro of Melbourne, and you must have been looking for a local photographer in Victoria’s capital.
If candid wedding photography seems interesting to you, we could help you decide on the best team of professionals for your needs!
JF Studio, a team of wedding photographers in Melbourne, specializes in shooting candid wedding moments around the city. These savvy shooters focus on providing quality services through their fresh perspective in photography.
To know more about JF Studio and its team, don’t hesitate to drop them a message!