Guest Post by Amy Leavitt of Mad Love Weddings
Maybe you noticed this week that there is a new option in the navigation bar up at the top. It’s one of the new features on Little Vegas Wedding – a Las Vegas Wedding Photographer Directory.
Finding a wedding photographer that fits your budget, your photography wants, personality and is available on your wedding date can be hard work sometimes, so I hope this directory helps make it a little easier.
After you find someone, what’s next, though? Well Amy Leavitt, one half of the team at Mad Love Weddings, a Little Vegas Wedding Photographer Directory member, crafted this guest post to help you get the most out of your wedding photographer and work with them effectively. It’s the best way to manage expectations on both ends!
I thought there were a lot of helpful tips and pointers in here, no matter who you hire to capture your wedding day, so read on!
You’ve planned the perfect wedding, one you’ve always dreamed about. From the carefully selected colors, decorations, centerpieces, flowers and all the other details, you want a professional wedding photographer to capture it all.
Whether you’ve splurged on your dream wedding photographer, or if you’re on a budget, you really want to be sure you get the most out of your photographer.
After all the time and money spent on the dress, flowers, reception, food, cake, etc., the photographs are the only thing you will have that documents your wedding day. We’ve come up with a few tips to help you get the very best from whoever you choose to be your wedding photographer.
1. Do Your Research
Be sure you are hiring someone reputable, who at least has an online presence where you can view their portfolio of wedding images. This is really a service where “get what you pay for.”
The best wedding photographers in Las Vegas are not charging just a few hundred dollars. Your cousin’s boyfriend’s sister who wants the experience may not create lasting memories for you to treasure. This is a one shot deal, so be sure you are getting a professional wedding photographer whose wedding photos you absolutely love.
Keep in mind that all of us photographers have to start somewhere, and there are many new wedding photographers who are talented and are producing amazing work. Just be sure to check their portfolio. The kind of work you see in their portfolio is the kind of photos you will get of your wedding. I cannot stress this enough. What you see is what you get.
How are their Photoshop skills? Are their images too dark or too light? Are they consistent or are they all over the place (some are fabulous and some are really bad.) Do their images move you? Do you connect with them emotionally?
Are Shots of the Details on your Must Have Photo List?
2. Discuss Priority Photos
Make sure your photographer knows your priority shots: Many photographers will have a Shot List – a list of traditional wedding shots. Be sure to let your photographer know which photos are most important to you. Don’t assume the photographer knows what shots you are expecting. We can’t possibly know that your childhood best friend will be there and you really wanted a photo with her. We wedding photographers do best when you tell us exactly what shots you want!
3. Create a Timeline of Events
A big problem many wedding photographers have is not having enough time scheduled for portraits. Problems may arise on the big day, and weddings often run late. Be sure to talk to your photographer in advance about setting up a schedule that gives plenty of time for wedding photos. If your photographer isn’t rushed, she can take her time getting the best, most creative and most flattering photographs of you and your spouse.
Be sure to let your photographer know when and where you want to take photos and keep in mind that certain locations at certain times of day may not work. Inside a church may be too dark, and if there’s not enough time to set up lights, it may not be the best idea.
A good photographer will always tell you what will and won’t work. Wedding photographers are not magicians, and they should tell you if something just won’t work.
4. Consider Setting Up a “First Look”
Some brides don’t want their groom to see them in their wedding dress before the ceremony. We know this is a personal choice, but as wedding photographers, we highly recommend you consider a “first look”. When the groom sees his bride for the first time in her dress, it’s a wonderful, intimate moment that should be captured! But before you make your final decision, talk this over with your photographer.
5. See the Light
When you are checking venues, be sure to notice the lighting situation and report this to your photographer, or better yet, have them go check it out beforehand!
Lighting can vary greatly between the ceremony location and reception and it’s important that your photographer is prepared. In general, the most flattering type of light is in open shade, or the “golden hour”, about an hour before sunset, when the sun is low in the sky.
This can create beautiful, warm, romantic images, so keep that in mind when planning your timeline. Even pro photographers have a difficult time focusing in low light situations, so keep that in mind during the reception – the photographer may need a place to set up a light in the reception room.
6. Do You Require a Second Shooter?
Having a second shooter provides the best possible coverage of your event. Here at Mad Love Wedding Photography, both Cindy and I shoot all weddings, so you always have a team of professional photographers.
For example, one of us concentrates on the bride and the other concentrates on the groom to ensure we capture both sides of the same event. Also, equipment failure is always a possibility, but with two photographers, you lessen the damage substantially as it’s highly unlikely both photographer’s equipment will fail at the same time. Ask your photographer if they provide a second shooter – if they don’t, discuss the options for one.
7. Organizing Group Shots
Consider assigning a family member or friend to help with the group shots. Everything goes much smoother if someone who knows the family is there to help herd people into each type of grouping. Also, be sure to add more time for group wedding shots if you are planning to do a large group shot. Larger groups always take time to arrange.
We hope these tips will help you in selecting and working with your wedding photographer. Of course, we hope you choose us – but we realize that there are many different styles to choose from.
All photos in this post are courtesy Mad Love Weddings.