Guide to Getting the Best Wedding Photos Ever
When you’re older and you look back on your life, you’ll remember your wedding day as one of the biggest days in your life. And yet it’s over so fast; one minute you’re getting your makeup done, the next you’re leaving the reception hall as part of a married couple.
Because so much happens on the day, it will seem like a blur, which is why wedding photos are such an important part of your wedding day.
Having memorable photos will make looking at them in the future feel like you’re re-living your day.
This is in part why it’s hard to choose the right photographer for your day; choosing the wrong photographer can leave you with a lot of regrets later on.
On top of which photographer to go with, you also need to figure out where you want your photos taken, which shots to take and come up with a budget. So if you find yourself in this position now, hopefully this guide will help you out.
DIY vs. Professional Photographers
The first decision to make when it comes to your wedding photos is who is going to take them. Most people opt to have a professional wedding photographer take them, but budget conscious people are also deciding to take matters into their own hands by taking the photos themselves or relying on close friends.
If you’re tossing up between the two, there are a few considerations to make that will help you make your decision. First, what’s your budget for photography? Wedding photographers can charge anywhere from a couple thousand right up to $15,000 and beyond, so if this is beyond you, then maybe DIY is the right way to go for you.
Another consideration is how sentimental you are. If you are the type who loves looking at old photos, then it might be worth spending a little extra to make sure that you have a professional behind the camera. If you decide to DIY then it might be something you regret down the track.
On the other hand, if you’re not that sentimental and you’d much rather have an amazing wedding day, then perhaps you would be better off shifting some of the wedding budget towards the day itself and away from the photography.
When dealing with your budget constraints it’s all about getting the most value you can and that’s going to depend on what you find valuable.
Choosing your Wedding Photographer
If you decide to go ahead and hire a professional, you then need to decide who to choose. A quick Google search brings up around 2.5 million results for “wedding photographers Australia” and while there probably aren’t quite that many, there are still a lot of vendors from which to choose from.
The first thing you need to do is learn to sort the wheat from the chaff. Wedding photography used to be something that only a professional would do, but with the invention of digital cameras, now anyone armed with a digital SLR can call themselves a wedding photographer.
Not to say that there’s anything inherently wrong with that; after all, if you’re on a tight budget then maybe this is just what you’re after, but if you’re after a real professional you need to hire someone who really knows what they’re doing.
The quickest way to tell if the person you’re dealing with is a pro or not is simply to look at their portfolio. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so a portfolio must be worth… a lot.
Once you’ve separated the wheat from the chaff, you’ll want to find the professional photographer who is right for you. You can’t really quantify how good a photographer is since photography is so so subjective, instead you need to rely on your feelings.
Every photographer has their own style, so the key to finding a photographer who works for you is to find someone whose style matches up with your own ideas.
Also think about whether the photos are interesting enough for you. How do the photos make you feel? Can you imagine yourself in the photos and imagine yourself looking at them in the future? You should also spend a little bit of time getting to know the photographer.
It’s not thought of as often as it should be, but since you’re going to be spending a lot of time with the photographer on your big day, you want them to be someone you really get along with. Not just so you enjoy your day a little more either.
Sure, working with someone you like is always preferable to working with someone you don’t like, but that’s not even half the story. A good photographer, someone who you get along with, will get the most out of you.
Their personality will put you at ease and help you smile. The last thing you want to happen is to work with a photographer who is technically excellent but difficult to work with, and as a result doesn’t get the best out of you.
When you’re evaluating your field, remember to evaluate them based on entire albums rather than just the highlights that you see on their websites. Just like with online dating, it’s never a good idea to base your entire idea of someone around their highlight reel.
Once you’ve got a good feeling about someone then there are a final couple of checks that need to be made. First, make sure that you get a look at the contract they typically use and that you understand all the clauses in it. Wedding photographers operate in a few different ways.
Some offer full rights, meaning the photos are yours to do with as you please after the wedding. Others are a little stricter, they’ll often hold the copyright and what you’re allowed to do with the photos is much stricter. Some people are not even able to post their photos to Facebook after the wedding.
Once again there’s no wrong or right way to go about this, but it is something to be aware of and something to discuss with your photographer before you sign anything. You don’t want to have a misunderstanding about something so important to your wedding.
The final consideration when it comes to choosing your photographer is finding out about what happens post-production. This is another area where every photographer is different, so don’t assume that you’ll know what you get post-production. Understand how many photos you’ll receive, how long it will take and if there are any options for retouching.
If you can follow all of the above advice you’ll be well on your way to choosing the best photographer for your day. While it can seem daunting it’s not rocket science, so just use what you’ve learned and trust your gut.
What Shots Should you Take?
Before the wedding, it’s important to give your photographer a list of shots that you’d like taken. It doesn’t have to be an exhaustive list, but if there are any shots that are of particular importance then you’ll want to make sure that the photographer takes them.
You’ll get a lot more shots on top of the ones you specifically ask for, especially if your photographer takes a lot of photos documentary style, but it’s still a good place to start. Remember that each photo will take some time to capture properly, so there does need to be an upper limit on how many shots you request.
Below are listed some popular ideas. You’ll be able to come up with more if you put your thinking cap on, but this should be enough to get you started.
- Shot of something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
- Father reacting to seeing his daughter in her dress
- Bride with her bridesmaids
- Groom with his groomsmen
- Bride and groom making their way to the ceremony
- Bride and groom together
- The bride with her entire family
- The groom with his entire family
- The bride and groom with their entire families
- The bride and groom with their parents
- Shots of the venue before everyone arrives
- The groom as he waits for his bride to arrive
- The bride walking down the aisle
- Both sets of parents
- The bride and groom exchanging vows
- The first kiss
- The new couple leaving together
- Shots of the location before everyone arrives
- The bride and groom arriving
- The bride and groom together at their table
- The first dance
- The cutting of the cake
- Tossing the bouquet
Top Wedding Photography Locations in Australia
Australia is a beautiful place with a plethora of places to choose from when it comes to having your wedding photos taken. Regardless of which state or territory you live in you’re spoiled for choice, which is why we’ve gone ahead and listed some of the most popular places in each major city.
Highly Rated Wedding Photographers in Australia
As outlined above, choosing your wedding photographer can be a tough process to go through. Below is by no means an exhaustive list of wedding photographers, but it is a short list of some of the top wedding photographers in the major cities.