Your wedding and elopement photos shouldn’t just be beautiful, they should tell the emotional narrative of your wedding day—from the look on your spouse’s face as you come down the aisle to cutting a rug on the dance floor they need to capture what the best day ever looked like. As a wedding planning couple it can be a daunting task to even distill down exactly what it is you’re looking for but choosing a wedding photographer who you click with and who’s work you just love can make the biggest difference on your wedding day. We are here to take the stress out of the process and let you know some things you should consider before laying down your hard earned cash for that deposit. Here are some things to ask yourself when finding the wedding photographer or elopement photographer of your dreams.
The style of wedding photography you’re drawn to is going to be one of those things that you can put your finger on without doing much research. We all have just innate visual preferences and often times you can’t quite say why you love that photographer so much other than you like the way their photos look, this is all about their style.
Start a collection on Instagram or a Pinterest board and collect the photos that move you. Make sure when you look at those photos you feel something. Pay close attention to see what they have in common. Is it a shooting style (i.e. a ton of candids, or editorial posed photos?). It could be the editing style, is there a ton of darkness and deep shadows that give a moodiness you love? Or, are the photos really light and clean almost like they were shot on old film?
A very large part of a photographer’s art is their editing style. I have heard of photographer’s who will edit in six different styles and let you choose. I can tell you this is not what you want, usually this is someone who is just beginning and they haven’t yet defined their style. You want to find a photographer who knows they are a credible expert that edits in a consistent way.Otherwise, you could end up with edits that look “off” it is so much better to find a photographer with an established aesthetic that you love.
They have honed-in on the craft of their editing and they know that editing style well, you will end up with photos that look edited well for that style. On that note don’t ask a wedding photographer to change their editing style for you, for one if they are established in their craft they will say no, for two it can be insulting you should definitely choose someone that in your eyes would require no tweaks because you love and trust what they do.
Here are some terms you may run across in your search for a wedding photographer in regards to editing…
Dark and moody (Deep shadows, all around darker feel to the imagery.)
Light and airy (The sky is generally white, wedding gowns are super bright and glowing but a lot of the detail is lost).
HDR editing (very sharp very crisp almost graphic).
Desaturated (the color palette is more subdued, right now it is especially seen in greens).
The Matte look (kind of a vintage look with little contrast, almost flat looking).
Fine art (shot on film or made to look as if it were).
Cinematic (inspiration is taken from the big screen).
I wouldn’t get too concerned about these terms because many photographers don’t fall strictly into just one of these categories it was just more in case you were curious. It’s not just a photographer’s editing style that develops their style as a whole, it is also their shooting style, how they capture your day.
Here are some common wedding photography shooting styles…
Photojournalistic approach (the events of the wedding day are captured as they happen).
Candid (Like photojournalistic but with a bit more emphasis on styling)
Formal Portraiture (traditional, posed shots like what you may see in your parents wedding album).
Creative Portraiture (posed photos in unconventional or artistic backdrops)
Editorial Portraiture (inspiration is taken from fashion or magazines and brought into the posing on a wedding day).
Artistic Photography (unique compositions, artistic use of light and shadow, images may be shot through something to give a different look).
You’ve never laughed or cried at a posed photo but you may have cringed at how cheesy they can be. We like to produce photos that don’t make you want to shrivel up and die inside. That said we also know that many of our couples want a little direction so they don’t look back on their photos like “what was I doing with my hands, how awkward!”
We know we walk a fine line between documentary wedding photography and posed wedding portraits that have a relaxed and natural feel to them. We are foodies and we love flavor not just in our food but also in our photographic style so we spice things up with a little artistic flair. We don’t fall into one category or another, our style is like a recipe and we use all of the ingredients available to us to create something that is unique to the two of you and the vibe of the day.
We know when to hang back and allow things to naturally evolve but we also know when to step in with some gentle guidance. We are your right hand people on the day, getting you drinks, running messages back and forth, fluffing dresses and keeping your timeline on point but there are also times where we try to be more invisible. Truly it’s a magic act and we have finessed it over the years.
Our best work is produced when our couples trust us implicitly, if you have a rigid prescription of what you want your photos to look like we won’t be the right fit for you. We do believe wedding photography is an art and you need to give artists space to produce their best work. You have to leave that space in your heart and mind for the unimaginable, we want to give you what you never knew you wanted until you have it right there glaring you in the face and saying this is what it’s all about.
We keep our photography editing style genuine in that we are honoring the way things looked on your day. You spend your hard earned money on flowers and décor we don’t want to go and desaturate those beautiful colors. We always try to keep things as close to the human eye as possible but rub that little extra shine on it so that your photos sparkle. We believe with all our hearts that our approach is the best way to serve our couples because we want to leave you with something that will stand the test of time. Fads will come and go but timeless wedding photos will be one of the building blocks of your legacy.
We can’t stress the importance of “clicking” with whomever you choose as your wedding or elopement photographer. How do you feel after reading the “about me” page on their website? Do their Instagram captions inspire you, make you laugh, or make you feel like you’ve known each other for years? If you could see yourself getting along if you had just met at a networking event or party they are probably a good fit.
Does conversation flow pretty naturally? Can you both geek-out together on your love for organization and planning? Or can you bond over their relaxed and care free outlook on life? Either way you are going to want to make sure your personalities are a fit. Your photographer is capturing every little moment which means you will be around each other A LOT. Can you envision them being there while some of these sweet and personal moments take place? If not, it’s on to the next.
Well it’s a little difficult to put ourselves in a nutshell and there are both Ryan and myself and our team members personalities to consider here. But I can tell you this, our team members all vibe with us and Ryan and I clearly vibe with one another (hello, 11 years and one toddler later) so if you click with either of us when you meet us then you will love, Kaitlin, Sarah, Kevin, Carsten and Adam. Our associate photographers and our videographer are the best humans around which is why we snatched them up and made them ours!
Collectively we are people, people (haha, well that sounds funny plural). We love being around people and making connections, life is too short to take too seriously, we have servants hearts and a ton of empathy. We are professionals but are never uptight, we look at the world through a “glass half full” kind of lens, we are a little artsy but we are never pushing photo ideas with our portfolio in mind. We all love a good joke and a sense of humor is a must, we are a little geeky and a little quirky but most of all we all love, love. The love between the two of you, your family, your friends we want to capture all that goodness.
What photos do you care most about on your wedding day? Wedding photographers definitely have parts of the day that they favor or those that they just really excel at. Usually you can glean this information quickly by taking a gander at their Instagram. Do they post a ton of detail photos? Are they posting mostly pre ceremony getting ready photos? Portraits from the portrait session? While you may be able to guess what their favorite part of the day is from their Instagram I can also tell you it may just be worth asking them. We love candid moments from getting ready but in all honestly photos from the portrait session with our couples always perform better on Instagram so while we love the pre ceremony stuff we don’t always show case it.
The more we think of it the more we really can’t choose a favorite part of the day, we love all of the photos of getting ready to the portraits to getting jiggy with it on the dance floor. The truth is we invest in you as humans, we become connected to each part of your wedding day when that happens. If you’re having a ball, living it up, staying in the moment and having the best day ever, we are too!
Products + Services Offered
Another thing you may want to think about when choosing a wedding photographer is what they offer in terms of products and other services. If you really want a boudoir session for example, it may be worth looking into photographers that offer it all. Once you build up that relationship with your wedding photographer its more convenient if they can offer all of the services you desire under the same umbrella. Otherwise, you have to seek out an entirely different photographer for those services. Many wedding photographers also offer videography and again this can be such a time and life saver because you already know, like and trust that photographer so why not keep things with them? Plus it is important when finding a photographer and videographer that they work well together. It can also mean less contracts and less emails to keep track of because it’s all through the same brand. If you’re interested to learn more about Emily’s boudoir experience then you can get more details by filling out the contact form here. If you are interested in checking out our videographer Adams storytelling wedding films you can see some samples here.
Albums, prints and wall art are another thing to consider. If a wedding album is important to you (which it should be its a major family heirloom) you are going to want to check if your photographer offers albums. There are many photographers that are just shoot and burn photographers meaning you only receive your photos on a USB which not to scare you, but they can corrupt and eventually like the floppy disk the technology will become obsolete. We offer wedding albums with every single one of our collections and we haven’t added any cost to the collections since doing so. We do it because we believe that a wedding album is such an important heirloom to preserve your memories. Your wedding will have a story to tell and stories belong in books, you can never experience your wedding day on a computer screen the way you can when it’s laid out in an album.
Seriously, we hope this helped you get more of an idea of what to look for when determining if x, y, or z wedding photographer is “the one”. We photograph love A LOT and one thing we know is that as wedding photographers our work isn’t for everyone and that’s not only okay, that’s GREAT.
We want to attract people who get it, if you get our work and it resonates with you reach out to us and tell us what you’re dreaming up for your wedding day. We take a limited number of couples every year so that we can really focus on our people in a way that allows us to get to know each other better. That way you to feel the safe space to just be yourselves around us allowing us to create photographs filled with life.