Rather than creating a big ‘to do’ list that can be quite overwhleming, we recommend breaking things down into the areas that are top priorities: the invitations and stationery, the cake, your ceremony & reception, your dress & your ‘maids dress, flowers and of course, the photography.
Your big day will live with you for the rest of your married life, so why not make sure the images reflect your happy day? Finding the right photographer is paramount, and can be a stressful task!
We spoke to the very talented Shannon Pawsey, owner of Sorrento Wedding Photography, whom has been featured a number of times on Something Borrowed. Shannon has some great tips on choosing a photographer and gives us a top list of questions to ask your potential photographer!
Based on approximately a one year engagement, here’s a quick guide of ‘to-do’ tasks for finding your perfect photographer.
- Look at real-life weddings and find a style of photograph that suits what you’re after.
- Create a scrapbook of photographs that resonate with you and your partner to be able to show your potential photographer what you’re after
- Ask your friends about their photographers and see if they might be worth recommending
- Make a shortlist of photographers that you are interested in and give them a call to chat. If you like them over the phone, set up a time for you and your partner to go meet with them
- Compare quotes! It’s a lucrative market, and make sure you’re getting the inclusions you want for your big day whether it’s a photo book, enlarged photographs, or a digital copy of all your photos. Also make sure there are no extra costs like travel costs or accommodation etc.
- Once you find ‘the one’ make sure you book and put down a deposit as early as possible. Confirm all your details in writing with your photographer just to be sure.
- Meet with your photographer and confirm all the details of the event
- Sit down with your photographer and go through a specific list of shots and poses you want them to capture. Ensure you have a full list of favourite family and friends that you want included in your photos
- Finalise the location and choose a backup plan for bad weather
- Call and confirm any last minute details
- Get excited for the big day!
Shannon’s key piece of advice when choosing a photographer is to decide on a photography style first. Then you know who to shortlist!
The best advice would be to ask around – a lot of our new clients are referred from past brides and friends.- Shannon Pawsey
Given that every photographer shoots differently – some look posed, and others are more natural, it’s important to identify the type of photography you are after. Today, Shannon feels the natural approach seems most popular with brides. Many brides like a fresh, natural magazine look for their own wedding too so you will need to look around for photographers able to achieve this feel for your wedding pictures. A great place to start are wedding magazines and blogs, as you’ll want to share reference photographs with your photographer to make sure you get the type of shots you’re after.
Top 10 Questions to ask your Photographer
You will get a really good indication of how professional your wedding photographer is from how they answer a few of these questions. A professional photographer will be able to answer these questions easily and you will be able to get a good idea if these are the type of people you would like along on your day.- Shannon Pawsey
1. Why do you like shooting weddings?
2. Is wedding photography your full time profession? How long have you been photographing weddings?
3. What kind of equipment to you use, and do you have backup equipment?
4. What is included in this package?
5. Do I receive high resolution files so I can print my own images?
6. Am I guaranteed the photographer I choose on my wedding day?
7. Will there be one or two photographers?
8. Have you worked at the venue before? If so, do you have any sample images from that venue that you have taken?
9. Do you keep multiple backups of your images? How long?
10. What kind of input can we have on the direction of shots?
11. Do you charge for travel?
12. What happens once we book in our day with you?
13. How long until we receive our photos?
Of course in planning your wedding, there’s always budget considerations! Shannon isn’t convinced that price is the best way to measure the photographer you choose.
“Price particularly in weddings does not necessarily mean quality. Be sure that the photographer is showing you more than a handful of pictures from their best wedding. At Sorrento Weddings we show all of our weddings on the blog which helps our brides see how well we do each and every time we photograph – not just a lucky few pictures,” says Pawsey.
No matter which photographer you choose, just make sure you feel a connection with them. They are going to be spending the whole day with you and partner, capturing all your special moments.
Thanks so much to Shannon for contributing his views, hopefully it helps you guys in when planning your wedding and finding that special photographer for your big day!
We’d love to hear from you about questions you found helpful when searching for your photographer, or any tips you have that worked for you!