How To Find the Right Wedding Photographer
You're in love. The question has been popped. You're now scouring the pages of New York Magazine's Wedding Edition...and Style Me Pretty....and The Knot....and Martha Stewart Weddings looking for inspiration and wedding professionals who you can trust to make your dream day a reality. It's exciting. It's fun. It's inspiring. It's totally and completely......overwhelming! After your exhaustive search you've come to realize that there are more New York City wedding photographers than there are people in New York City. Fear not. We get it and are here to help you find the perfect photographer for you and your wedding!
You and your wedding photographer have a special relationship. It's through their eyes that you will be reliving your wedding day for the rest of your lives. Here are some of the key components we believe every Bride and Groom-to-be should consider on their search for their perfect photographer match:
How Do the Photos Move You?
When perusing a wedding photographer's website, do you feel transported? Or do you feel as though the style, content and feel is indistinguishable from almost every other website you've visited thus far? The greatest of photographers are able to elicit, at the very least, the feeling of being there and, at most, the feeling of I wish I was there! The best wedding photography, in our opinion, provides a looking glass through which you can see the past with an enlightened and entertained eye. Like the best writers, it is our job to paint a picture of our subjects that communicates something authentic, real and meaningful that is relatable to others. If you don't feel this within the first few moments of visiting a wedding photographer's site, perhaps it's time to move on.
Chemistry is Everything.
Once you've narrowed down your choices, it's time to make a connection - a first date, if you will. While you're not going to marry your wedding photographer, you are inviting them to play a crucial role in a very personal and momentous life event. As such, having a sit down with a handful of your favorite wedding photographers is a really smart idea. When you meet, does it feel comfortable and natural chatting with the person who may be following you around with a camera for 8 hours on one of the most meaningful days of your life? Or is it kind of like sitting across the table from a date who keeps talking about their cat-centric stamp collection? While someone's work may speak to you, you want to be certain that person has the right temperament to tell your story - that they get you. It is our belief that this level of comfort is paramount in selecting the right wedding photographer for you. When you are at ease, you are willing to let your guard down which allows a photographer to capture a side of you that is authentic and real. Bottomline....make sure you jive and are excited for that "second date" before making such a big investment.
Who Turned the Lights Down?
If your wedding is like most, there will be an indoor reception. In fact, you will most likely spend a disproportionate amount of time indoors on your wedding day. Going hand-in-hand with indoor receptions is "low light". Finding a photographer who is extremely adept at shooting indoors is more difficult and important than you probably know. Some of New York's best wedding venues (The University Club, The Bowery Hotel, Cipriani, The Gramercy Park Hotel, Angel Orensanz, etc.) are going to require a photographer who can easily adapt to shooting in low light conditions. One of the biggest challenges in wedding photography is being able to illuminate a dark room in a way that both retains the ambiance of the room you invested a lot of time and money to design, as well as capture the people occupying that room in a beautiful way. So, be certain you focus a good amount of time looking at photographers' indoor work under challenging lighting scenarios. The importance of light in photography can not be understated. Nice, flattering light isn't always readily available. Finding a wedding photographer who understands how to create that light is invaluable.
When it Comes to Style, Avoid Hiring a "Square".
The best part about being a wedding photographer is that, creatively, you get to wear many hats. From still-life, to portraiture, to editorial to photojournalism- a wedding photographer needs to be extremely well-rounded in order to comprehensively and creatively tell the story of an entire wedding day. There are certainly some photographers who are better known for one facet over another, whether it be "classic", "photojournalistic", "artistic" or "editorial". Understanding your style is certainly important. However, beware when honing in on a particular style that the photographer you choose is not a "square" - that is to say, find someone who is well-rounded. A versatile photographer can handle the many facets of telling the story of your wedding day.
When Viewing Portfolios, More is.....More.
Photography websites are a great introduction to an artist's work. The purpose of a site is to offer a primer on a photographer's visual worldview. Images are handpicked, curated and presented with the utmost care. When someone's work has caught your eye, be sure to request access to as much of their work as you'd like to see - not just what the photographer wants you to see. In order to get a really thorough sense of what a wedding photographer is capable of, you will need to do a deep dive into their work. Most importantly, you want to be absolutely certain that your photographer can handle all of the scenarios that your wedding day will present.
When you Know, you Know!
After the dizzying process of searching for a New York City Wedding Photographer - culling through 1,000's of images, scouring the blogs, dozens of websites and considering advice from friends who have done it before you - it's time to pull the trigger. As with most difficult decisions in life, sometimes it's not about crunching the numbers or analyzing the metrics. Sometimes, the answer resides in your instincts....it just feels right. Take that leap and more times than not, you'll be right.
HAVE QUESTIONS FOR DAVE ABOUT HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOUR WEDDING? DROP ME A LINE.