YOUR wedding day is an important day. You should only get one chance to get it right, so preparation and planning is paramount.
It will be a long day, and a day that lives long in your memories – everything from the catering, especially the cake, through to the venue, floral adornments and the ceremony needs careful consideration and planning.
Plan as a couple, although, naturally, you will find each partner will focus first on those things that most interest, or concern them.
While planning is still in the earliest stages, first tackle the issues that might be emotional – especially the list of who to invite, and the arrangements for their seating at the reception.
Photography is a bit of a “sleeper” because although it is not one of the essential elements (a venue, a celebrant, the dress, Best Man, Maid of Honour), or one of the very important elements (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flowers, reception venue, food and seating), it is the thing that will determine how you remember your most important day.
Good photography will ensure you have the most beautiful moments captured forever. As you grow old together, the photographs and video (if you choose that option as well) will become reference points for that moment when you officially committed to each other for life.
In some ways, although it isn’t central to the conduct of the ceremony, the reception or the day itself, it is THE most important factor.
Choosing, and planning the photography of your wedding day, should be an issue tackled on its own.
Shop around, and look for the best option available. Develop a list of criteria and be sure to compare each photographer, each business, each offer against that list before making your decision.
Here’s a starting place for that list:
- Ensure the photographer(s) is technically able. Look at their previous work and check it dispassionately for the most basic aspects of the craft. Is the central part of the photograph in focus? Is the subject of each photograph properly lit? Are there shadows across faces, are there bright spots – particularly on faces? Check that the photographs are bright and well-framed. Look at the contrast – if the photograph appears “flat” or dull, it may be under-exposed. If there are “burnt-out” patches, it may be over-exposed. They’re simple things, and, at their worst, really obvious, but it pays to scrutinise previous work carefully, it’s the best indicator of technical skill you have… until you get your own photographs.
- Ensure they have an artistic flair. Do the posed photographs look like posed photographs where everybody is rigid and wooden, staring dutifully at the camera? The best photographers ensure their subjects are relaxed and natural, and, as a result, the best photographers get the best photographs in every situation.
- Ensure they understand the venue. Ask if they’re familiar with your choice of venue. You might even be able to see photographs from previous weddings they covered at that venue. It’s not a show-stopper if the photographer is not familiar with the particular venue for your wedding, but it is important that they have a proven ability to work in a range of conditions, including the conditions they will encounter on your wedding day.
- Are they alert to the candid snapshot? Some of the best memories are the spontaneous things that happen on the day… the flowergirl making faces at the page boy, or Granddad in a dancefloor boogie with the happy couple. Look for examples in their past work of their ability to be in the right place at the right time to capture those moments.
- The price should be reasonable. Don’t be tempted to stint on price and simply choose the cheapest option. Check the price is not unreasonable, and look for any special offers the company may have that might suit your situation, such as bluebendphotography|deals.
- Finally, just as important as technical ability is the people skills of the photographer(s). Do you like them? You’re going to give them control of the whole gathering for at least a short time during the day. Are they personable, charming, and generally, good with people? Chances are, that if you and your partner like them, most of your guests will too.
Good photography will ensure you will not only be able to refresh your memories of your wedding day whenever you want, you will also be able to share the most special day of your life with everybody who comes into your life throughout your life.
Photography moments really are forever.