Planning a Wedding | Episode 2: The Photographer

One of the most important things for a wedding is the photographer, because that’s how your children will get to tease you when your outfits go out of style. Even though it’s a ridiculous idea to print out all the pictures your photographer takes, you still want to like what you’re paying for. Do you want to save on the photos by going under $1000 but have awkward compositions and over-exposed pictures? Do you have a friend or relative who is a freelance photographer and would be willing to do it for free or at a discount? (Or would they prefer to enjoy the day?) Are the pictures extremely important to you and you want to budget more for them?
When Nic and I were researching photographers, we found that there were some in our area that were under $1000 but they had an older style that did not fit the vibe of our wedding or relationship. In Ottawa, the nicer photographers start closer to $2000 including the engagement pictures, so make sure you feel their prices are reasonable.

How to Find Your Style:

  • Search through wedding sites, or even Pinterest’s wedding page, and see what sorts of pictures jump out at you. Are they more formal, candid, or relaxed? Do you want the pictures to be portraiture, journalistic, or candid? Do you want all the little details captured, like buttons on the dress, and the invitations? Not all photographers are good at changing the styles, so when you start looking at their blogs remember that you can’t ask them to change their usual technique. 
  • What is the colouring of the photography like? Is it more realistic, black and white, or some sort of vintage-y vibe? Those differences are easier for photographers to change.
  • Create a collage board or a virtual board like on Pinterest. This way it’s easy to compare people to your style.
Once you’ve determined as a couple what you want your pictures to look like, start searching for photographers in your area. You can very quickly determine if their pictures fit your style by looking at the first page of their site. I also vetoed any page that had music playing in the background, because that fad is so over. 
Create a spreadsheet that includes their name(s), website, email address, what is included in the package you can pay for with your budget, and any other comments you may have. This comparison is challenging because everyone puts their packages together differently. A good idea would be to break down the total by hour so that you know what you’re getting out of it. Don’t forget taxes! Start looking as soon as you can, because when we were emailing people in March 2014 for our June 2015 wedding, many of them were already booked.

Question Guides:

Who is our photographer? Steph from Taylor Clark Photography. Her pictures are stunning, and I am so excited to work with her. I discovered her when I was searching for pictures at the Britannia Yacht Club–I fell in love with her pictures and the BYC.
She got married to her husband Ben this past summer, and it’s the wedding I wish I could afford, so I know that she understands the feel Nic and I are going for with our wedding. Nic and I drove to Kingston at the end of April and had a lot of fun hanging out with her at Starbucks. We ended up not doing our engagement pictures then, because it was pouring rain, but we’re excited for August 9 in Toronto when we’ll try again.

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