I feel so lucky to have so many great photographers to learn from here in Birmingham, and I also love being a bride and knowing that I’m learning things that will help other brides as they plan. I’m hoping to alternate my EAD posts between personal planning and photography advice but currently I feel really inspired to help shape the way people think about their wedding photography in a tech-driven world where everyone has a camera and the budget bride is tempted to just start a flickr account for all of their guests to upload (which might be perfect for you, and if so rock on!), for example. I’d been on the fence about how much to use my personal photo experiences to encourage those who are not photographers, and this really drove me over the edge:
I spent Monday through Wednesday at the A Bryan Photo Workshop and I loved it! It was amazing, and really changed the way I feel about what makes a great photographer, and it really isn’t all about how well they shoot. The workshop really helped me re-evaluate the role of the photographer in the big day and helped reassure me about my decision to allot a pretty large portion of my budget to my photography. I would like to encourage brides (and grooms!) to think about what they want out of their photography, how important the images will be to them (or in some cases their parents), what style you like, what you expect at the end of the process. Decide on these things before you begin your search.
photo of me shooting an e-session by Camille Beasley
I will not give you a checklist of things to ask or give you an outline for a package that you must have or else, and if you do want such a thing the best I can give you is my personal preferences and my reasons; which would be great for you if you are just like me. But you probably aren’t. What I will say is that no matter who you are you probably want someone with great customer service and you are so much more likely to achieve it if your photographer has also invested in you. Your relationship with your photographer is a relationship and it will work out so much better if you can get to know one another, chat, laugh, have fun. Meeting your potential photographers is a great thing if it is available to you; see if you click! If your photographer can get to know and love you they will also love shooting your wedding. It really does show when a photographer loves the couple they are working with! If you can’t meet with them you still need a dialogue and it probably shouldn’t be just about the wedding! I love to know how people met (and I love talking about my fiance and my wedding planning to clients as well), where they’re from, what they do, etc.
If your best friend was an amazing photographer wouldn’t you love to have them shoot your wedding? Me too! This process is a little reversed, but hopefully if you are contacting a photographer it is because you love their work, now find one that you love for who they are as well! You really do deserve to be treated with excellence in every step of your planning process and in my opinion the photographer is most important.
I can’t wait to share more about the workshop but for now let me just say that I loved meeting the staff of A Bryan Photo, Lara Casey, Bill from Richard Photo Labs, and all of the participants in the workshop. They are amazing people with a passion for photography and couples in love and it is awesome to remember why I love photography so much. And, if you keep up with A Bryan’s or Amelia’s blogs… stay tuned for a dance feud.
And, if you have any questions about photography that you think I might be able to answer for you please do! As a bride and a photographer I’ve probably struggled over the same issues you have and I really want your wedding to be all that you want it to be!