Looking for a wedding photographer

Getting married in Albuquerque or Santa Fe? Who will be your wedding photographer?

Here is a list of things you should consider when selecting a wedding photographer.

Personality

When selecting a wedding photographer you are selecting more than just a photographer for your wedding day. You are hiring a wedding photographer that will be with you, your family and your group for the entire wedding day. Personality is a huge part of the selection process and should not be overlooked or discounted.

Your wedding photographer can set the tone for your entire wedding day and your bridal party. It can impact your wedding photography. You will likely be working with your wedding photographer for a year or longer by the time you factor in engagement session and post wedding photography and albums.

Price

Price is certainly a factor when choosing your Albuquerque or Santa Fe wedding photographer, but it should not be the only thing that matters. There are far too many horror stories of brides who selected a wedding photographer strictly based on price. Or, they selected a family member or friend to be their wedding photographer. In the end, it turns out to be a foolish choice. Your wedding photography is all that you will have to remember your wedding day.

Wedding Albums

What will you do with all your images from your wedding photographer? Most people decide to put them into a beautiful wedding album that your wedding photographer should provide for you. Don’t underestimate the importance of a wedding album for your wedding day. It will be your new family heirloom and a keepsake you will have for generations to remember your Albuquerque or Santa Fe wedding.

When selecting a wedding photographer, you should look for an album that represents you and your family. Wedding albums come in all shapes and sizes. You should ask your wedding photographer, 1) How many pages will come in the album? 2) How many images will be in the album? 3) What options are available for your album?

Coverage

When planning your Albuquerque or Santa Fe wedding, something you should consider is how many hours is your wedding photographer offering to cover your wedding day? You should want your wedding photographer to be with you documenting all the moments of your wedding day. Isn’t that what you’re hiring them for? Consider what your wedding day timeline is going to be and make sure your wedding photographer is going to be there with you. A typical wedding day should be about 8-10 hours.

Be careful. Some wedding photographers offer cut-rate prices by offering you less than adequate wedding coverage for your day. Hidden costs may be the additional hours required.

Number of wedding photographers

How many photographers will your wedding day photographer have at your event? Most events need at least two wedding photographers. This insures that your wedding photographer is focused on working with you and your group and directing the day. This allows a second photographer to cover things going on at the same time. It’s sometimes those little things that get missed, but a second wedding photographer can capture them with beautiful or sentimental images.

Wedding Photographer’s style

Every photographer is different and they all have their own unique style. But, most photographers are categorized in the following styles:

Classic

These are images that stand the test of time. They look like the photos from your parents or grandparents wedding. They can also include some artistic license to make them beautiful.

Artistic

This is where a photographer takes an ordinary scene and makes it more than a simple snapshot. Angles, light and content. The photographer is trying to tell the story but with artistic flare. Again, each photographer has their own method of doing this.

Photojournalist/Lifestyle

Lifestyle is photojournalism for the modern age. The photojournalist will capture the day with photographs that tell a story. They are candid images mostly in natural light. But even a photojournalist can capture images that look candid when they are posed. Subjects looking at the camera are generally not in this style.

Dramatic

Photographers wanting dramatic images usually are using off camera flash techniques and creating images which are unique. Natural light can also be used. A photographer creating these style of images will want to spend some extra time with a couple to achieve these types of images. The photographer will work with the couple in advance to make sure time is set aside in the timeline for the day to allow for these images and the time to travel to specific locations. Although some photographers wish to do these style of images, it does not mean the entire set of photos are in this style.

Documentary

These are spontaneous and candid images of people, décor and action taken in the moment.  Very much like photojournalist.

What style are you looking to hire? Consider that many photographers are not just one style but a combination of two or more. Consider what types of photographs you enjoy looking at. Are they high fashion, casual, unique, artistic or dramatic? Or, maybe a combination of all. Ask the photographer what his/her strengths are in photography. It might be their background or technical training. It can be just what they enjoy doing.

Some photographers still use film. Some use both film and digital and some are strictly digital. Ask them which type of media they use.  Ask yourself if that’s important to you. Today’s modern digital cameras take amazing photographs, but film still has a unique look that’s different from digital.  With modern digital photography, editing can get very advanced or it can stay simple and elegant. Look to see how much editing a photographer does. See if their editing style is something you enjoy.

Besides the technical part of media type (film vs digital), the make and model of camera is not what makes a photographer. It really is their style and skill. Some photographers can use older equipment and take much better photographs that someone with brand new equipment.  Asking a photographer what kinds of equipment they use will generate a wide range of answers. Yet, it won’t tell you much about their style or skill.  If you are looking for large prints for your home, you should at least know if the photographer can produce images that are clean and sharp.  This is where newer digital equipment can make a difference.

Consider your wedding day timeline.  Is the wedding day going to start in the middle of the day and end late at night, or will the entire day be during daylight hours? Is the wedding ceremony in a church, indoors, or will it be an outdoor wedding? Will the reception be indoors or outdoors? These are all considerations for a photographer who needs to be prepared for a variety of different light situations. Is the photographer ready for low lit churches that do not allow flash photography? If the photographer is using flash, is it on camera or off camera?  Does the photographer shoot every photograph with flash? Does the photographer use only existing light?  The setting of your wedding day may be a very easy setting for a photographer or one that challenges their skills. Find out how they will shoot in those settings. Their answers will tell you a lot about their skill and abilities.  Find a photographer that can handle those situations unique to your wedding day.

And one final issue. Ask the photographer his/her technique for capturing images during the ceremony. What is their personal philosophy for getting that amazing image? Are they running around all over the place and even getting up close? Or, do they quietly stand back and allow the wedding ceremony to be the most important event? A good wedding photographer will be able to quietly capture those moments and not be a distraction to the ceremony.  The best compliment a good photographer can get is when the mother of the bride sees the wedding ceremony images and says, “I didn’t even notice you were there.”

 

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