Finding "The One"

Hiring the right photographer to capture all the moments of your special day is a difficult task, more difficult than most couples realize.  The moments captured will be treasured and passed down onto future generations, and it is a crucial step in the planning process.  Hiring the right person will ensure your memories will be captured exactly as you envisioned them.  It goes beyond an aesthetic.  The right photographer will put your wedding party at ease, create an atmosphere of romance and fantasy and capture it for you and your family to enjoy after the day is over.


Hiring a family friend, or an enthusiastic relative may seem like a great idea, but in the end, you get what you pay for.   Even with adequate equipent, photographing a wedding is best left to professionals, someone who has the experience, wisdom, and knowledge to capture your memories quickly and with expertise.  It takes a degree of vision and artistic talent to translate real time events into static photographs, memories to last a lifetime.  Beyond technical skill, a great wedding photographer understands classic and photojournalistic composition, lighting, has the people skills to put his/her subjects at ease and is an expert retoucher.


The main aspects to consider when choosing "the one" are your own tastes and preferences in photography style, budget, and the "vibe" you have with the photographer.  You will be spending the whole day with your photographer, so make sure you see eye-to-eye on how your day should be shot.

There are several styles of wedding photography: traditional, candid (photojournalistic) and artistic.  A good wedding photographer should have examples of each style in their portfolio.  They ought to be able to do each style well.  An honest portrayal of the day involves all three styles in one album.  Review their work, and make sure you see a proper cross-section and a few weddings they have shot.  When choosing "the one", make sure you connect with them.  If you don't feel an emotional connection to them or their work, its time to keep shopping.


At the end of the day, any professional will tell you quality does cost something.  Going for the cheapest package often ends with disapointment, and reshooting your wedding is never an option. 

All-inclusive packages, with albums, that seem too-affordable-to-be-true, usually stand for lower quality and beginner work.  Packages sold at $5000+, for example, ought to include 2 photographers, at least 8 hours of shooting time and high-end wedding albums.  Shop around and compare apples to apples and make sure you get what you really want.

Remember this above all: Photographs are generally the only tangible memories of a wedding, which means that the photographer's perspective is how you will remember your big day. It's very important to choose carefully.


Make sure you feel a rapport with your photographer.  Some of the more candid shots involve him/her interacting with your wedding part and family.  The more natural the connection, the better the expression in the photograph.  You should feel comfortable inviting your photographer into the "backstage" areas of your wedding day.  As a photographer, you sometimes are required to shoot intimate and private moments, your photographer ought to be calm, reserved and exude positive energy.  Showing personal interest in your day and your family is key.  Hiring someone that treats your special day as "another gig" will be reflected in the shots.

Written by Joel Bedford Photography (c)