Tips for Getting Wedding Photos You Absolutely Love!
1. Book Early
After all is said and done, your wedding images are the only tangible memories you’ll have left from your wedding day. Since the best photographers always get booked first, it is so important to book early! In fact, most wedding consultants recommend securing your photographer at least nine to sixteen months in advance.
There can be financial benefits from booking your photographer early too! Several photographers offer payment plans over a series of months and might even offer you a discounted price for booking early. By booking ahead of time you’ll save yourself unneeded stress and could potentially save your bank account some stress as well!
2. Avoid Extremes
There are hundreds of wedding photographers in the Chicagoland area. Most of which fall into three different categories; big-box chains, local independent studios, and individual photographers.
There’s a huge difference between working with a big-box photography company and an individual photographer. So if you’re searching for the best features from both, we suggest hiring a local independent studio. These studios are typically large enough to provide backup photographers and equipment; as well as proper insurance, regular business hours, an actual location you can visit, stability (as in: they will still be in business when your wedding day arrives!), and a full staff of professionals to help you every step of the way.
What’s special about these kinds of studios is that while they can certainly feel large, they are small enough to provide you with the very best photography and the very best individualized service to boot. Want peace of mind when it comes to your wedding photography? Booking a reputable, local photography studio is your best bet!
3. Meet Your Photographer in Person
Setting aside time to meet with your photographer in person is vital to the wedding planning process. It’s hard to gauge someone’s expertise, style and personality via e-mail or over the phone. Your wedding photographer plays a very intimate role in your big day, after all, and it’s best to feel completely comfortable with your photographer ahead of time. They’ll be capturing all of the special moments, big and small, while you focus on enjoying the best day of your life!
Meeting with your photographer ahead of time gives you a one-on-one chance to really ensure they’re going to be a good fit for you. Photographers can be super helpful when discussing day-of details and help you create a timeline that will assist with general photo group coordinating. We suggest bringing some images as examples of your style and posing preferences to share with your photographer at that time too. Booking a photographic artist who will fully understand how to navigate YOUR wedding day and provide service that works best for YOU will guarantee your day runs as smoothly as possible.
4. Create a Formal Shot List
Many brides and grooms have the mentality that since their wedding photographer is an obvious expert in their field, no further direction about what kind of photos they want should be provided. We strongly disagree! Creating a formal shot list to share with your photographer is one of the most important things you can do when planning for your wedding day.
Photographers aren’t mind readers – remember that! Style preferences vary for every couple and it’s the photographer’s job to mold to exactly what their clients’ need. Doing so is next to impossible though if a shot list of some sort is not discussed or provided.
Maybe you’re not a fan of super posed portraits and would rather have more candid photos taken on your big day. Maybe detail shots are high on your priority list because you’ve worked hard hand-making many of your reception décor pieces. The possibilities are endless, really.
Photographers may not know who is who in your family either! Have a group shot list and a point-person to help coordinate formal group photos too. Just be sure to provide your photographer with a list of exactly what you’re looking for during your wedding day, and all will be well.
5. Plan for Traffic
This is something that it not always on everyone’s radar but is so, very important. Wedding day transportation can take twice as long as you think it will, especially in Chicago! Plan for it, or you might cut your photo-taking time in half.
Find out how much time your photographer will need and work on a realistic time schedule. Build a solid wedding day timeline with the help of a planner or coordinator, if you can. No one wants to feel rushed or overwhelmed on their wedding day and nothing will mess up your wedding day photos more than trying to fit everything into an unrealistic timeline.
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