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You spend several months planning one special day, you feel like the day passes you by like a whirlwind and you etch as many mental moments in your brain. As the day comes to an end and weeks pass by, all you want is to relive the best moments of your life captured by your ideal Wedding Photographer. Choosing the right photographer for your wedding is crucial. We take a look at the key considerations when pulling the trigger on one of our many SA Wedding Photographers.
1. Cultures Accommodated by Wedding Photographer
In today's modern society we see a fusion of cultures in couples (think Priyanka and Nick) or couples simply want to incorporate a contemporary element into otherwise age-old traditions (think chic African Traditional weddings). While you may have your heart set on a certain photographer and videographer, it is important to enquire their experience and depth of knowledge of your culture as you wouldn't want the most sacred rituals and traditions missed. You may also want to brief your photographer on signs of respect and disrespect during your proceedings.
2. Photo and Video Style of Wedding Photographer
There are many different styles of photography and videography. You can find out what you prefer by going through a photographers photo and video portfolio. Broadly speaking there are 6 options (which you can also filter for on our advanced search):
When you think of that perfect portrait album that includes all the shots requested, in perfect pose (with assistance from the Photography team of course) that will stand the test of time. The photographers and assistants will position you and their equipment to ensure every snap is picture perfect.
Image: Lilly Leigh Photography
Think reality TV or a wedding of a Kardashian. This style is typically used in media where real-time shots and video are used. The photography team will follow you around and capture many in the moment shots exuding the emotions of the day. The photographer becomes a fly on the wall, not seen to ensure you and your guests remain authentic and in the spur of the moment.
Image: Sam Piyar Photography
Think royal wedding of Meghan Markel and Prince Harry. This is a very formal and positioned style of photography where precision is crucial. The photography team may use enhanced lighting, different angles and various seating and standing positions to create a very royal portrait collection of the bridal couple and your guests.
Image: Christiaan David Photography
Traditional/Classic and Photojournalism/Documentary come together to create Illustrative photography. Here, photographers will encourage you to interact with each other and be in the moment. The photographer will then pair this with varying environments, lighting and assist with placing you in different lighting and settings. This is typically used for an engagement shoot. This is the best of both worlds being the spontaneity meets technical photography structure.
Image: Estilo Photography
Think Vogue Magazine. Stepping into the enhanced media industry, some brides like the idea of commercial photography. This style is characterised by creating artistic focal points, enhancing lighting and photographic effects enough to place you in a glamorous magazine!
Image: Darrell Fraser Photography
The name captures the style; the photography team intelligently uses natural light (and shadows) with different times of the day to capture your photos using the natural lighting. This replaces the need for flash photography and captures a very natural wedding story.
Image: Mighty Fine Photography
The Photojournalism and High Fashion styles have landed a position in the top 20 photography trends this year. Other trends included pre-wedding photo shoots to enjoy your actual wedding day to its max; drone footage, smoke bombs for effect and engagement shoots in dramatic locations.
3. Experience and Staffing of Wedding Photographer
Two important aspects are the experience of a photographer and their staffing ability. Experienced photographers will ensure your wedding flows smoothly, they will be quick to adapt to any problems on the day and will be willing to make a plan where needed. Staffing is critical for bigger weddings, you should inquire how many photographers and assistants will be allocated to your wedding; how much will they be able to cover, at the very least the bride, the groom, and the guests. If a photographer falls ill on the day or cannot arrive on the day due to unforeseen circumstances, what back up plan do they have? Photographers often have a photography network and reach out to their colleagues for these situations. For your own peace of mind, find out in advance.
4. Personality of Wedding Photographer
This may be overlooked due to other factors like date availability or budget; however, this could make or break a great wedding experience. Your personality should be at ease with that of your photographer, there are many great photographers out there that go above and beyond to make your day special so spend the time and ask the questions that ensure the selected photography vendor is the right fit for you as the bridal couple.
5. Services offered by Wedding Photographer
Some photographers offer isolates services while others offer a one-stop solution. Depending on what is important to you, it is a good idea to determine what is covered and what is not. Some photographers fly solo with just one assistant and others do videography only. This may be a great option for intimate weddings or where the specialist focus is valued by the bridal couple. Others offer teams of photography and videography that gel together on the day, drone footage, engagement shoots, back up plans and albums. South Africa is country number 8 in the world that still looks for wedding albums! Sometimes the packaged deal may be more value for money than seeking different vendors to focus on different items. Think about your preference and enquire on one or multiple services offered by your photographer.
6. Cost of Wedding Photographer
We would all love an unlimited pot of money to plan our wedding, but regardless of opulence, we all have our limits and we all value certain aspects of our wedding over others. Knowing how much you value your memories on the day will guide you on allocating your budget. Wedding photography packages vary. Higher skilled photographers are of course going to be more expensive but pay attention to what you receive for this price. God forbid that lack of background checks and experience leads to no photos and videos. Do your homework and make fair comparisons! Bride Control offers a variety of photographers across wedding photography prices, select your filters and narrow your search.
7. Deal Breaker Shots with Wedding Photographer
This is something you can control. Once you have paired your personality with that of your photographer, you have made a selection in your price range and the style of your wedding shots; you can start to share your deal breaker shots. These are photos that you cannot and will not want to be left out on the day, the ones you prioritise at all costs. These may be that shot with your grandparents, first look and announcement as Mr and Mrs Share your shot list with your photographer so that they can adequately plan.
8. Reviews of Wedding Photographer
Found a "great" photographer with a "too good to be true" price, saying all the right things and got you reaching out for your deposit already? Do yourself a favour and check out their reviews. Bride Control has a reviews section by real brides that have engaged and used these vendors for their weddings. Have a look at what your fellow brides have said, there are also great tips in these reviews. Also use other sources like their website, Facebook page, and independent sources. One last note, pay it forward, review the vendors you engage with and help out future brides. You can also play 20 questions to cover your bases, 20 Questions to my Wedding Photographer
Your wedding photographer becomes part of your trusted advisor panel; you do after all have to book them sometimes years in advance! They are always willing to share their knowledge and plan with you. Ready to select your Wedding Photographer? Do an advanced search (you will find this on the left) on the best SA Wedding Photographers. Search my Wedding Photographer