A great wedding photographer is arguably the most important vendor that you can hire. Your photographer will capture memories of the day that will be treasured for a lifetime.
In the past, wedding photography consisted of one black-and-white photograph that served primarily as proof of the marriage. Now, photography packages can cost thousands of dollars, provide hundreds of images, and involve a small crew. The average cost for photography is $2500-$8000. As tempting as it may be to use amateur photographer or ask a friend to snap photos, you will be glad that you spent the money to hire a professional.
To select a wedding photographer, you should start by asking for recommendations. After you get recommendations, you can read reviews online (pay close attention to customer service), visit their website, and call for availability. If it all works out, then you should meet in person to talk about your vision. Some couples might want lots of formal portraits and others might prefer a journalistic style. Some might want lots of photos of the couple and others might want more of the guests. Bring a shot list of the must-have photos and samples of photos you admire online. You may not feel like you have strong opinions about photography, but you should do research until you have clear ideas about what you would like to see.
In recent years, pre-wedding photography has become a popular way of taking glamour shots that will be displayed at the reception. Brides and grooms will dress in their wedding clothes and have their hair and makeup professionally done. The poses and backdrops are often inspired by fairy tales and can include castles and carriages.
In Western countries, it is more common to take casual engagement shots with your wedding photographer. This is a great opportunity to make sure that you’re a good match with your wedding photographer, take an image for a “save the date” and get some nice photography that you can display in your home. It can be fun to take photos in a place that is meaningful to you, such as a first date location, the college where you met, at a favorite coffee shop, or a park.
The Knot has a comprehensive list of 85 shots that you should ask your wedding photographer to capture. In addition to the popular shots, you should also include:
- Door games
- Bride posing with parasol
- The couple with each set of grandparents
- Individual portraits of the grandparents (grandparents don’t typically have many professional photos of themselves; this will treasured)
- Tea ceremony
Developing wedding photos is a fun way to reminisce over your gorgeous day and fill your home with memories of your celebration. We recommend developing photos within three months of your wedding because these things have a way of not getting done if you wait too long. These albums and wall hangings will serve as beloved family heirlooms, so it’s worth the cost to splurge on the nicest quality print, cover, and paper.
Mixbook has beautiful pre-designed books for those of us who are lacking in the time or creativity department. They have 33 wedding templates that you can upload your wedding photographers onto. You can add captions, stickers, and other elements to personalize. They also offer high-quality canvas prints.
Blurb is an excellent choice for designed savvy people who want maximum control over their photo books. It allows you to upload your own designs created with an InDesign plugin. It also has beautiful professional quality covers and allows you to choose from a variety of paper, including some premium options.
If you’re like us and never know what to buy your Chinese relatives for gifts, you can order smaller photobooks and framed prints for the holidays.