If you’re newly engaged I’m sure you’ve started dreaming about your wedding day and looking at a ton of websites planning the perfect day! So with all this choice how do you choose a wedding photography studio?
I’ve worked in the wedding photography industry over the past 10 years in multiple studios both as a photographer and in the offices, and am here to offer you a unique perspective about wedding photography and the options that are available to couples.
First you need to understand the differences in each studio type from large multi-shooter studios to boutique studios and everything in between. These options are quite varied and not often easy to distinguish so how do you decide what style is best for you?
The friend/family member
Often these are hobbyists, they love taking pictures but have very little experience when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of photography or weddings and their knowledge on delivering more than just a disk of images to you is limited. If your budget is incredibly limited or photography is not a priority and you’re okay with whatever images you get then this is a great low budget option. Somethings to consider when hiring or asking a friend or family member to shoot your wedding; you need to understand that you are putting a lot of stress on that person and they will not get to enjoy your wedding in the same way as if they were a guest! (I have photographed friends and families weddings and there is a definite difference between getting to hang out and enjoy a wedding and being in work mode.) If that person does not capture the images you envisioned or something happens where they lose the images you are putting that relationship at risk!
A new photographer
A new photographer is aspiring to become an experienced photographer. The benefit of a new photographer is that they are eager and everything is new! Some questions to ask them are how many weddings have they photographed on their own, as an assistant or a second shooter? Often the new photographer doesn’t have all the necessary equipment for the variety of situations that can be encountered on a wedding day. It’s not just about knowing how to shoot in ideal conditions because weddings rarely have ideal conditions. It’s knowing if they understand the timing of a wedding day. The photographer often controls the pace of the day so if you have a tight timeline more experience is best to get the images you want!
The multiple wedding studio
This is a studio that may have a variety of focuses not just photography and video but DJ services, limo services, etc…. They rely on freelance photographers of varying skill levels and they are dealing with multiple weddings on any given day. You are one of many that day and can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. You will be working with multiple people from the person or people at the office who signs your contract and gathers details of your wedding day to the photographer who you meet the day of your wedding except potentially if you did an engagement session with them prior to the day, to the photo editor and album designer. As a bride or groom you need to understand that the photographer is just hired for the day and therefore not as invested in your wedding day. You must be comfortable with the unknown to some degree, and like and trust those working in the studio to have the best photographers on their staff. Because they have several weddings going on their rates are usually higher than the new photographer but not as high as a boutique photographer.
A boutique photography studio
A boutique photographer only takes on a limited number of jobs and tends to devote a great amount of time to each couple before, during and after their wedding. They have perfected their craft, the products they offer and their services. They get to know and understand your needs and are about more than just the wedding day! They are there to help you preserve those memories for your children and grandchildren and if they don’t guide and educate you they feel like they’ve done you a disservice! They truly invest in your wedding day as much as you do! As such you will always pay more for their services but know that you will be in good hands.
So how do you know what kind of studio they are? Look at their website. Read the about us section, check out their reviews and then you can ask the questions. How many weddings have you photographed? How many weddings do you photograph on a day? How many photographers do you have on staff? How many weddings do you photograph in a year? How long will it take to receive my products?
I hope this helps you to figure out what kind of studio you’re meeting with and if you want to learn more about how to hire a wedding photographer I’m here to help.