How to choose a wedding photographer

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10.05.2022

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Hi. I´m Mónica Muñoz, I will try to help you in how to choose a wedding photographer. In this post I´m going to explain everything you need to hire a photographer. In this post I am going to try to explain everything you need to know about hiring a photographer for your wedding. Hope my 10 years experience can guide you. One of the first things that comes to your mind when you decide to get married is whether to hire a photographer. According to a survey by The Knot for Forbes, 90% of couples hire a photographer. The truth is that if you don’t hire him or hire the wrong one, you may regret it. Yes, I know that your brother-in-law or your cousin have a “good” camera but… we already know what can happen, hahaha.

the most beautiful bride smile ever taken by a london wedding photographer

How to choose a wedding photographer?

It is important that you know the person who will take your photos. If you don’t have a minimal connection, it will be difficult for that person to do a good job for you. Seriously, take the time to try to get to know each other, either by meeting for a beer or by video call if you don’t live nearby. Ideally, it should be a person who is somewhat similar to you, because that way they can understand what is important and how to capture it.

In our case, our work is based almost exclusively on that first connection. Fall in love with your photographer and his/her work, but may he/she also fall in love with you and your wedding. The aesthetic result and the good use of the tool are important, but it is even more important that they know how to understand the important moments for you.

The best wedding photographer

Don’t think of this as an absolute category. There is not only one type of photographer, so it makes no sense to ask yourself something like that. The best wedding photographer is the one that when you look at its work excites you, transmits you, provokes something in you. That is the best advice I can give you. If he doesn’t make you feel anything, don’t bother going on. Some of you will want Vogue-style wedding portraits and feel like models for a day, others will want photos that seem to jump off the screen and make you vibrate. Try to imagine how you want your wedding to be and if that photographer seems to know how to take photos as you would like to remember everything.

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Experience vs appearance

A photographer with real wedding experience is important. Make sure this person has done enough weddings. You usually see many photo sessions produced, for which people related to the wedding sector (make-up artists, wedding planners, photographers, videographers, caterers, styling…) try to inspire couples or promote themselves. The truth is that although it usually has very showy results, it has nothing to do with a real wedding, where there is no control over time, models and scenarios and where the needs are different. Therefore, make sure that your photographer shows you real material, that makes you connect with what your wedding could be.

¿How to hire a wedding photographer?

Once you have chosen the photographer of your choice, it is normal to sign a small contract. This contains the basic data (DNI and address of the couple, address of the event, date of the wedding, what the order consists of…). In general, when signing the contract, a deposit is requested, for example in my case, it is 30%. Some photographers prefer the rest of the payment on the day of the wedding or when the material is delivered.

¿1 o 2 wedding photographers?

Depends. Many photographers prefer to go with two, to be more comfortable, cover more situations, be calmer, help each other or be able to cover simultaneous moments. This also depends on the type of photographer, some base their style on something more posed, so while they produce those photos, a second photographer covers other things..

It will also depend on the size of your wedding and what you intend to obtain. If you want a photo of each guest, perhaps it is better to have 2 photographers. If you are looking for a specific way of looking at reality, that can be achieved with just one photographer. A second photographer will raise the price. We are only two, Pol making video and me with the photos. For the type of weddings that we do, it is more than enough (and we have been doing this for 10 years…lol)

¿What is a pre wedding session?

A pre-wedding is a photo and/or video session that is done prior to the wedding. For this you can dress as you want or as the photographer suggests and go to a place of your choice to take photos. It is a good opportunity to meet who will take your photos and also have beautiful photos.

¿Photo session after the ceremony, yes or no?

At the end of the ceremony, it is common to do a photo session. It is let’s say the only time where you can have formal portraits (or not) of the two of you on your wedding day. Is it necessary to do the session? Again the answer is: it depends. Well done “formal” portraits are always nice to have, but sometimes couples don’t like posing for the camera.

how to choose a wedding photographer. bride and groom portrait at the their wedding
how to choose a wedding photographer. bride and groom photo session post ceremony at the beach
how to choose a wedding photographer. post ceremony photo session at the beach

If you do not feel comfortable in front of the camera or the photographer does not know how to make you feel comfortable and makes you pose in ways that do not have much to do with your personality, it can generate unnatural photos where you do not feel recognizable. In our case, many couples prefer not to have these types of photos. Also, the time of the session is time that you are not with your people, just at the moment that you most want to finally have a beer and talk to them.

What is documentary wedding photography?

Probably you’ve heard of this. Documentary wedding photography is when the photographer is taking candid photos and narrating the whole day without intervention. You don’t need to be directed or pose. This is a more natural way of doing this work as the photographer flows with the day and is not constantly stopping and directing every scene. If you want the feeling of “real” then you should hire the documentary style, if you prefer this “everything staged” style, then go for a more editorial style.


How Many Hours You Should Book a Photographer For?

Again… lol… it depends. In Spain, it is normal to cover the preparations (makeup, dressing…) until a couple of hours after the party starts. More or less this is about 12 hours. In other countries the photographer work a fixed number of hours and the rest charge for extra hours. Others leave when they consider that everything is already well documented. There are couples who are not interested in being photographed during the preparations. We document the whole day, because in the preparations also because in general they usually have very endearing moments.

Photo album.

This is an important point. Although you can always have an online gallery where you can see all the photos, having an album is very interesting. It is always more powerful to see the album in physical format (especially if it is well designed). It is also a classic to print copies of the album for parents (usually a smaller version in size). Ok, but is it necessary? Here’s a fact: not a few couples have written to me because their hard drive where they had the photos broke or they lost the flash drive and desperately asked if they still had a copy. An observation now: Imagine if you have children and they discover your wedding album in 18 years…. BOOOOOOM…

wedding photobook
wedding album
wedding photoalbum

How long does it take to get your wedding photos back?

This will depend on the amount of work that the photographer has, editing time, the love that he puts into it, etc. There are those who deliver the following week and there are those who take months. Some partners charge extra to expedite delivery. Although you will be very curious about the result, keep in mind that it is a creative process that takes time. Especially for the wedding video, half of the work is editing. In any case, editing the photos is photo by photo and hundreds of photos are usually delivered. Be patient my friend!

how to choose the wedding photographer. Couple in love.

The importance of choosing well and getting along with your photographer.

Think that being a wedding photographer is a job above all humans. Contrary to other professions involved in a wedding, a photographer must be present at all times. When I say present, I mean present with his body and with his soul. It should be sensitive to what’s going on, the kind of people you are and the kind of weddings you’re going to have. In our long experience not only doing weddings in different countries and with different formats, but also sharing with other colleagues and couples, we have understood that it is essential to have a connection with you, otherwise the work always feels colder, distant, without strength.

Think that we are people who are going to be in your privacy and for many hours, so you better treat us well! LOL. It is important that a photographer does not feel like a kind of servant in the service of the boss. It is advisable that he feels comfortable, that he participates. This is not a press conference, this is your wedding!!!.

How to choose a wedding photographer is not easy. We hope we’ve help you. If you need any other type of help, do not hesitate to write me an email at hey@onlytherichters.com. You can also fill out our form here if you want to know more about our services.

With love,
Mónica Muñoz.

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