You are staring at that shinny new ring on your finger and trying to become accustomed to the weight of it. Even though you have been hoping for this for so long, it still seems strange to you that you are actually PLANNING YOUR WEDDING...FOR REAL! No more hypothetical Pinterest boards, it's time for the real deal.
Where do you start? There are so many things to think about: Venues, Dresses, Flowers, Guestbooks, Table Settings, Guests Lists...PHOTOGRAPHERS.... All of it will fall into place, but we typically find that most couples focus on booking the perfect venue first, because that finalizes their date, and then they move on to booking their photographer.
The photographer, the one you will trust to capture all of those special memories on the big day.
We know that it is a huge, and probably daunting, task to wade through all of the options of photographers available. How do you even begin?
In our experience, we have distilled the process down to a few tips that I would love to pass on to you.
1. Determine Your Budget: Really, the photographs from your wedding day are the only real heirlooms you will have from your day. Even if you hire a videographer, we find that couples turn again and again to the images displayed on the walls of their homes and in their albums to remember and relive their day. Your photographs are the only wedding expense that will GAIN value with time. Food will be digested, flowers will wilt, DJs will go home. There is something wonderful about the gleeful surprise of fantastic pictures from your wedding day and nothing worse than the nauseous feeling of disappointment knowing the pictures are bad and there are no second chances. The day will come and go. There is only one shot at those images. (The pun was kind of intended). :-)
We photograph weddings with a wide range of budgets, but our clients have one thing in common: they appreciate beautiful wedding images and trust us to capture their big day to become heirlooms for generations to come.
2. Assess Your Photographer's Personality: This is one that many may not realize is so important, but the personality of your photographer is critical. Obviously, you want to find someone that you don't mind being around, because they will be there for most of the day, but the photographer also holds a lot of power in how smoothly the day flows.
We begin about 6 weeks before the wedding to help you create a timeline that will guide us for the photos of the day. This isn't to inhibit creativity but to allow time for it. If we have a plan, it lowers stress and creates space for us to make the beautiful photographs that you see in our portfolio. This also allows us to adjust for unexpected circumstances and be a calming presence on your big day, because the last thing you want is to be stressed on your wedding day.
3. Ask Your Questions: Don't be afraid to ask any question you would like. We know that it is scary trusting a photographer, and we want you to feel at ease. There are all kinds of lists online to guide you with questions to ask. Some photographers sneeze at these, but I think they are great. They will probably enlighten you to questions you would have never thought to ask.
To help you out a bit, here are some of the answers to some of the questions that I think are most important.
Yes, we ALWAYS bring backup equipment.
We are licensed and insured.
I would love to show you an entire wedding gallery. Actually, I would love to show you several. Any photographer can show you their greatest hits, but you need to know what you will actually receive and how consistent the shots will be.
We have been shooting wedding exclusively since 2011. Since then, we have shot high glamor to country barn weddings and everything in between. We love the unique styles and personalities of every wedding.
Our style utilizes a variety of styles to give you the best balance of photos on your wedding day. Overall, we lean toward natural images that bring out the personality of the day and the two of you to most perfectly tell your love story. We blend into the background during the ceremony and when necessary throughout the day, but aren't afraid to step up and be bold when the time arises.
You will ALWAYS have Erika as the lead shooter.
4. Go with your Gut: If you have any hesitation about a photographer you are considering...run...far...far...away.
5. Have fun: Enjoy this time. Drink in every minute of this planning process. It's supposed to be fun and should be.
I hope this helps someone, even just a little.
Erika Brown Photography is a wedding and engagement photographer based in Indianapolis, Indiana but frequently travels to Atlanta, Georgia and other fabulous destinations worldwide to photography fabulous couples. www.ErikaBrownPhotography.com