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Lavan Photography

Suite 741 / 1 Queens Rd

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Telephone : 61426051600

Tips for Choosing a Wedding Photographer

A wedding is only one day, but photographs last a lifetime. It is important to choose a photographer that not only understands you as a couple, but also has the skills needed to capture your special day. Choosing a photographer may seem like a daunting task, but using this guide can help you find the perfect photographer.

First, begin by screening photographers through their website and social media. You can find these photographers through many means. Wedding Wire, The Knot, #WeddingPhotographer on Instagram, and local Bride to Bride Facebook groups are a few places to start.

Once you find a photographer to screen, start by looking at the photos used on their home page on their website, or their most recent photos on social media. Do these photos speak to you? Do you have a (positive) reaction to them? If you enjoy these photos at first glance, move to the next step. If these photos are not right for you, continue looking.

Next, look for information on pricing. On websites, look for a page titled "Investment." Are they within your budget for a photographer? Do they offer multiple packages? Are their prices listed on the page, or do you have to contact them to see packages? Most photographers will at least offer a ballpark figure for their average wedding cost. If they do not offer at least an estimated figure, you do not have to rule them out just yet, but wait on contacting them until you go to the next step. If they are in budget, great! If they are not, move on to the next option. Possibly write down the business's name in case your budget has some wiggle room to revisit later.

Now, the fun part. Look through every single photo you can get on your screen. Look at wedding photos, engagements, family photos. Look at everything. The photos published online are the photographer's best work. These are the photos they deem the best of the best. Here are a few things to look for while examining these photos.

Look at pockets in posed photos, especially for anyone wearing a suit. A great photographer will care about every part of the photograph. This includes a bulge in a pocket caused by a wallet, keys, or cell phone.

Look for a pattern in their posing. Does every couple photo have the same repeating poses? More importantly, do you like these poses? A photographer, by nature, will have go-to poses for their clients. These are angles that always look flattering or always produce a great shot. Make sure you like these poses as much as the photographer does.

Look for candid photos. Do the candid photos look forced or natural? To an extent, this may be the subject, but a good photographer can make even the least photogenic subject look like a natural in front of the camera.

Next, look for photographs that are both taken indoor and outdoor. Taking outdoor photographs is easier to master, but taking photographs indoor that looks natural and not overly edited takes special equipment and special skills. If the indoor photos look just as good as outdoor photos, great! If not, consider whether you will need any photos indoors.

Your goal is to find 3 to 5 photographers you like after the tests above, so you can have a few options once you are ready to contact them. If you have not already done so, send each photographer you have deemed a viable option to your fiance.

Next, find a trusted friend or family member to look over your choices as well. Send them the links to their sites/social media only and ask them to rank them from their favorite to least favorite. This may be a great task for the bridal party or parents of the bride/groom who would like to be more involved.

While your friend/family member looks through the options, you and your fiance rank each photographer separately. Once you receive all the feedback, compare the results. If there are any major discrepancies, talk about why each person feels this way about the photographer. Your friend may have seen a red flag you did not notice.

Finally, it is time to reach out to your top photographers. Remember, you will want someone responsive, but know that most successful wedding photographers are busy on the weekends, so do not expect them to return your call on a Saturday. Email or call them during the week if possible, and give them 24-48 hours to respond.

Talking on the phone will give you the best way to feel out the photographer. Make sure this is a person you feel you can trust with your wedding photos. If you must email for initial contact, before you hire them, make sure to either meet them in person or talk on the phone with them to make sure you trust them.

Once you begin talking, make sure to ask the following questions before hiring them.

Are you available for our date?
Have you shot at this venue before? If not, will you take a venue tour with us?
How long is the turnaround for photos? Will this be guaranteed in the contract? (One month is standard here.)
Will you please provide a full wedding gallery for me to view? (Most are happy to provide references as well as full galleries.)
How many hours of coverage does this package include?
Approximately how many photos will we receive from this package?
If you are to become ill before the ceremony, do you have a different photographer you will send in your place? May I see some of their work?
Is there an option to add a second shooter?
What is the guest count average for the weddings you shoot? (This will let you know if they are comfortable with larger weddings if you are having one)
Are you familiar with this tradition? Do you have photos from shooting this part of the ceremony? (This will be great for Catholic ceremonies, Hand Fasting, or any cultural tradition you would like to include in your ceremony)
Why did you become a wedding photographer?
Do you offer payment plans? When is final payment due?

Once you have spoken with them, and maybe even have met with them, choose your package and get ready to sign the contract for your wedding photographer. Congratulations! You are now one step closer to getting married!

Lavan Photography - Melbourne Wedding Photographer and Videographer
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