Looking for the perfect wedding photographer?

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Planning a wedding is not an easy task, there’s many important decisions to be made, like the venue, the dress, the flowers. The wedding photographer is one of your most crucial choices: your wedding photographs will last a lifetime, they are the images that you will show to your children, grandchildren, to your friends and relatives. 

Your first instinct is to start a google search with the words “wedding photographer + city-you-live-in”, and that gives you an endless list of very talented people. There are so many wedding photographers out there, and they each have a different vision of how to capture your wedding day.

Now you feel overwhelmed, I know, but that’s why I want to share this article with you: how can you choose the wedding photographer that fits your wishes and your needs?

First of all, ask around

Even in the age of internet and social media, personal referrals are still the best way to find a wedding photographer. Ask your family and friends: they probably share the same taste and have a similar budget to you; and if they were happy with their photographs, there’s a good chance you will be too. They will tell you about their experience with that particular photographer, from the first meeting to the photo delivery.

The style

Once you have some names in mind, have a look at their portfolio, website, instagram feed. Ask yourself if you like the images you see, and what you like about them: whether is the classic posed portraits or spontaneous candid images, or whether is the strong contrast and colours or the natural feel; try to narrow down what draws your attention.

But be realistic: if you’ve chosen a small and intimate venue downtown for your wedding, look for inspiration within that concept, rather than falling in love with open, airy outdoor wedding photos. 

What about their personality?

It might sound unnecessary, but their personality will affect the way they work with you. Remember that passion is the key, and if they’re passionate about their work not only will they give you their best, but they will walk the extra mile to meet your needs. 

Honesty is also another quality to look for: ask them what are their weaknesses. A professional  photographer will definitely tell you.

Tell them what you want

They might have extensive experience in shooting weddings, but wedding photographers can’t read your mind. Talk to them in detail about what you wish for.

Don’t take for granted that they will take a photo of every person attending the wedding: they don’t know your guests, and have no idea whether someone is your best friend or a distant relative. In this regard, I’ve found very useful to make a list of people that bride and groom want to be photographed with: for example their grandma, siblings, childhood friends.

Agree on the details

Think carefully about the price. If you are spending a lot of money on your wedding day and you want to save on the photographer, you might regret it later. Remember that with time your own memory will fade, and the only thing that will stand the test of time is your wedding photographs. How much are you willing to pay for magical memories?

Talk to your wedding photographer and ask about the price in details, in order to avoid surprises: is the transport included? And what happens if you ask them to stay for one more hour? 

Also, ask them how many wedding photographs you will receive, when you will receive them, and how (digital file? prints?). 

Now relax

If you have chosen a professional photographer, you can now relax, as they will take care of everything for you. You can enjoy your wedding day with your family and friends, and trust the photographer to create the memories you desire.

The colour of sun and wheat

As a wedding photographer, there’s one thing that I notice every time I step into a church: tones and colours. 
Here in Denmark there’s a lot of white and grey, sometimes blue tiles, sometimes red bricks, and a lot of dark wood: usually, the atmosphere is quite cold.
In the warm south of Europe the dominant colour is yellow. The colour of sun and wheat.
Where I am from, it’s very common to find old buildings made of tuff: palaces and churches with big, rough, porous bricks. It looks like a soft sponge that you can squeeze. 
In some other areas, like in Sicily, the most common rock is yellow marble.
These rocks contribute to give your photos a sense of warmth that you couldn’t achieve otherwise.
And as a wedding photographer, that’s very important.

The importance of details in wedding photography

When we think about wedding photographs our mind goes to the main events of the day: the ceremony, the cake, the portraits.
Between these big moments though, there are small elements that are as relevant, and there is one thing that a good wedding photographer should never overlook: the details.
Shooting weddings is stressful, there is so much going on in one day. But months and months of planning go into that single day, and capturing all the aspects of it becomes crucial. It’s our job as wedding photographers to freeze in time something that took so much time and effort: couples may have dreamt about this day for a long time, thinking about every single detail, pondering over every aspect of their wedding day. Yes, even the place cards at the table.
It’s something they want to remember, and it's our responsibility to create their memories.
Many wedding photographers for example take lots of photos of the bride's dress, and then they neglect the shoes. If we try so see things from the bride's point of view, we'll soon understand the importance of details: she has carefully chosen her shoes among many, because of their fabric, colour, whatever. She wants to remember them. And yes of course she will have hundreds of photos with her shoes on, but a photo of the shoes before she even wears them will preserve their memory forever: it will be like the first time she saw them.

Making decisions

Yesterday I met a couple getting married next year, to talk about their wedding photos. It was our first meeting, so we talked a bit of what we do and what we like, and I explained them why I love shooting weddings: because it’s very challenging. 
During a wedding you have no control over the location, the weather, the light, the rain, the mood, the development of the event. You can’t decide where and when to take photos: if it’s outdoor and in bright sun, you’ll just have to adjust to that. You can’t waste time deciding what to do, or you’ll miss the moment, and the “moment” is the very core of wedding photography. 
It’s a matter of making decisions as fast as possible.
This picture I’m showing you was taken in very poor light conditions: there was no direct light on the couple and - stupid me - I didn’t have the time to go get my flash and put it on my camera. It was so dark that my camera had issues with the focus. Luckily for me, my camera can deal pretty well with high ISO, so the only option was: high ISO, combined with the largest aperture possible. 
There.

What if it rains?

In Italy, especially in the south, if you plan your wedding between May and September you have almost no chances of rain. But now I live in Denmark and it rains A LOT in the nordic countries.
It took me a while to get used to shoot under the rain, but as a wedding photographer you have to work with what you get. When I finally stopped complaining about the rain, I noticed the endless possibilities that the “bad” weather gives you: the light is simply amazing, the rain makes all the colors pop, photos with umbrellas are nice and cute, people are more spontaneous and they tend to completely forget about the photographer. Besides, imagine the awesome story you will tell about how you nailed a big storm on your wedding day.
Like they say: wet bride, lucky bride.

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