Your wedding photography questions answered by Daria Nova
This material was published on Bespoke Bride blog last year, but I'd like to keep it on my blog as well as these wedding photography questions regularly come up in my conversations with the future brides and grooms. It will be particularly useful for the couples who just got engaged over the festive season and looking to start planning their wedding day.
1. How soon should we book a photographer?
I highly recommend booking your wedding photographer as soon as you have a wedding date in mind. Often photographers get fully booked up to 1-2 years in advance, meaning that your favourite photographer may not be available if you leave it till last minute. Remember, your outfits will be packed away, the cake will be eaten, and the invitations recycled, though the memories of your most special day will live on in your photographs for years and years to come.
2. What should we expect from our photographer on the day?
This will depend on the type of photography you chose to go for. With a traditional wedding photographer, be prepared to follow their instructions for many posed shots. However, if don’t particularly like having your pictures taken and want to receive a photographic story of your day full of genuine emotions, unique personalities and all the priceless moments of the day, you may want to go for an experienced documentary wedding photographer. You can trust them to blend into the background and unobtrusively capture your big day. You often won’t even realise you are being photographed, which will allow the day to happen naturally.
3. How many hours do we need to book a photographer for?
This is every couple’s personal preference. You can choose to have only your ceremony documented or half day, but I would always recommend going for a full day package (please feel free to check out some of the packages I offer by clicking here). Your wedding is one of the most special experiences in your life and it goes so very quickly while your wedding photographs will be the only lasting memories of your big day. Photographs can tell the story of the day and remind you of the emotions and all the important details that can easily fade away: the look on the bride’s mum’s face when she puts on her wedding dress for the first time, the happy tears of the new husband during his speech, the groovy moves of the best man on the dance floor.
4. How do we find a photographer we like?
Start with deciding on the style you like (for example, documentary for more candid photography, traditional for more formal and posed portraiture, fine art for more artistic and creative approach). Don’t forget to check photographers’ full weddings though to make sure that there is consistency in the quality of their photographs and all the images match the style you are after.
Then, agree on how much you can invest in your wedding photography. When thinking about your photography budget, remember your photos will be the biggest reminder of your big day. There is no need to restrict yourself looking for a photographer from a particular region as most wedding photographers travel. You will only need to cover their travel and accommodation, which can be actually quite reasonable.
Finally, make sure you connect with your wedding photographer. Most photographers will offer a free pre-wedding consultation. Use this opportunity to get to know each other and ensure you click. They are capturing one of the most special days in your life, make sure you are comfortable with them sharing that day with you.
5. How do we make sure our photographer takes all the pictures we want on the day?
It is a good idea to meet with your photographer before the wedding, ideally at the venue, so you can all run through the day ensuring there are no surprises for the photographer. They can also make sure they are in the right place at the right moment to capture all the important details of the day. If you want to ensure they cover particular moments and photograph specific guests, highlight this before the wedding and provide them with a list of all these details in advance. Remember, weddings can sometimes throw in surprises, so be open to changes and allow for flexibility. If you planned an outdoor wedding and it is pouring outside, you may not get your perfect sunny shot, but what you’ll get is something more exciting and memorable.
6. How can we overcome our nerves when having our picture taken?
You should get some initial reassurance after speaking with your wedding photographer for the first time. Ask them how they work and what their approach is. Consider a pre-wedding photoshoot. It can be a fantastic opportunity for you to practice in front of the camera and get a little bit more comfortable in front of the photographer. Plus, you will get another set of beautiful images, which you can use for the thank you cards, signing frames, save the date cards or display them at home. Being an introvert, I myself prefer to stay behind the camera, and I know first hand how stressful weddings and having your pictures taken can be. My style is unobtrusive and ideal for those who are natural introverts.
7. What should we expect to receive after the wedding. Number of images, format etc.
This will depend on the photographer and the type of the package you decide to go for. Many photographers offer only digital images, meaning you’ll receive all your digital photographs in printable format. Some will include a photo album or offer an option to have it arranged. Make sure you confirm all the details of the wedding photography package and that you are happy with what’s included before you sign the contract and pay the deposit. I offer a digital only package as well as a package with a printed album. You can check the details here.
8. Should we provide food for our photographer at the wedding?
This is totally up to you. But remember it’s a long tiring day for a photographer who is often working from very early in the morning capturing the bridal preparation and well through to the dancing. You will benefit more from a well-fed photographer. I recommend sitting your photographer with your guests. It will help your guests and your photographer to feel more relaxed and allow for more natural and fun shots. Though some photographers may prefer to have some breathing space and eat their pre-packed meal on their own. Just make sure you discuss this with your photographer beforehand.
9. Should I have an unplugged ceremony?
Absolutely, it is an opportunity for your guests to actually enjoy your special day without any distractions and worrying about getting the right shot and help your photographer to get those lovely shots without the obstruction in the form of personal phones, cameras and tablets. Ask your photographer to provide you with a few images shortly after the big day to share with your guests to feed their curiosity for the win-win situation.
10. What’s the difference between ‘natural’ & ‘posed’ photography?
Natural photography includes candid images of your day. The photographs capture the moments exactly as they happen telling you the story of the day. Your photographer won’t be intruding on the day and will allow for the day to happen naturally. Expect your photographer to have a bigger role in your day with the posed photography. There will be directed shots of you and your family and guests at the various backgrounds.