Most wedding websites and planners recommend booking your wedding photographer a year in advance from your wedding date. As full-time professional wedding photographers we can attest that it is always best to book your photographer as soon as possible, especially if you are getting married during a peak season (May, June, September through November). Why is it important to book a photographer so early? All photographers do during your wedding day is take photos, right? Are quality wedding photographers that in-demand? Being wedding photographers for 5 years, we have an insider’s view as to what photographers do, whether it’s us or another talented photographer. Let’s explore why great wedding photographers are so in demand, and what they do other than just take beautiful photos.
They Plan Ahead
One great question to ask a prospective wedding photographer is if they have shot at your venue before. If they haven’t, this isn’t a deal breaker, just nice to know. Kala and I shoot at many new venues every year (in fact this year we have worked at over 10 new venues). If they haven’t worked there before, they may plan a tour or talk to other photographers that have worked at the venue. This allows them to know what they may need at the venue. Just showing up to your big day with a good camera may not always work. Some venues may be darker or not have as many windows, therefore extra lighting or flashes may be needed. Photographers that care about their couples are prepared and never go into their day blind. They have as much information and knowledge as they can to do their best in giving their client the photos of their dreams!
They Work with All Your Other Vendors
Kala and I learned early on that we want to give our couples the best wedding experience possible. Doing so is extremely difficult if you are an island by yourself during the wedding day taking photos. Working with other vendors, assisting in making your day special, is a necessity. We may talk to your coordinator a few times in the months proceeding to your wedding. Maybe working up ideas and finalizing your wedding day timelines. Then collaborating with your DJ to make sure everyone is on the same page during the reception and everyone is ready for the first dances and bouquet toss.
They Enforce Your Timeline
One thing I wish all couples understood before their day, is how fast your wedding day goes. ‘Wedding time’ isn’t like regular time, it feels like a quarter of regular time. One hour for photos? Feels like 15 or 20 minutes. So great photographers are going to know and stick to your timeline. We have all been guests at a wedding where the bride and groom go off for photos after their ceremony and they are gone for an hour and a half. Dinner gets pushed back and guests are upset. An experienced photographer that cares about you will stick to your timeline, they will make sure you get everything you need in the times that you need it. They may even keep you on time during portions of your day that aren’t centered around photography.
They Make Everyone Feel Comfortable
Kala and I have photographer friend that we love. We understand that we can’t shoot every wedding so we work in our community of photographers to know others that are successful and work similarly to ourselves. One connecting principle that all successful photographers that we know have is they keep you, your spouse, and bridal party comfortable taking photos. Mine and Kala’s goal is that you won’t even feel like we are photographing. We are just friends hanging out on your wedding day. When you are relaxed in front of the camera it shows in your images. If your nervous or anxious it will show through as well.
They Catch Moments You’ll Miss
You won’t see everything that goes on during your wedding day. Some parts of your day that you plan meticulously you may not even be a part of. A quality photographer is going to cover all the parts of your day. Maybe you and your husband-to-be send each other letters. You won’t be there when they read your letter, but you don’t want to miss it. From big moments to small, your photographer should cover it all, from your first kiss to your great uncle getting down on the dance floor. These are moments you can relive later and cherish forever.
They Become Your Friend
This one I can’t attest to that every high-quality photographer, but I can give plenty of examples of our couples that we are still friends with years after being their wedding photographers. A wedding photographer that you have hired may be there to do a job, and they may be fantastic. Kala and I just feel that when you become our friends, we want to do so much more for you than just be your photographer. It adds a passion to our work when we are photographing our friend’s wedding. We look even harder for shots that we want you to have, because you always want your friends to have the best.
So, if you are looking to book us as your wedding photographer you now have an inside look at the other responsibilities that we take on for you so that your big day is all you dreamed it would be. If your looking at booking a different photographer, be sure to ask if they cover some of these tasks in making your day the best it can be!