When it comes to the decisions you make about your wedding day, choosing the right photographer is one of the biggest and most important ones. Choosing the right Bay Area wedding photographer is something you want to get right; your wedding photos are something you’ll keep forever and look back on in years to come. It’s important that you’re happy with your wedding photographer, as lackluster or missed moments can be a major regret after your wedding. So how do you make sure that you choose the right Bay Area wedding photographer?
Decide on a Budget
The first thing you need to do is decide on your budget for your photographer because there is no point in finding one you love, only to realize that they are way out of your price range. Decide on a budget for your Bay Area wedding photographer, and keep in in mind while you browse portfolios.Remember, of all the things you’ll purchase for your wedding day, most will be gone the day after. From the food, the DJ, the venue – all you’ll have are your memories and your photographs to commemorate your wedding. So it makes sense to prioritize photography in your budget.
Find Your Style
You may not be familiar with the different wedding photography styles, so now is the time to learn so that you know what you like and what you don’t. There’s classic, candid, creative, contemporary, color, black-and-white, traditional, or reportage photography, which is also known as photojournalistic or documentary photography; you might want one style, or you might want a mix. The style is a crucial factor to consider when looking for your Bay Area wedding photographer, so it’s a good idea to research as much as you can to know what’s available and quickly work out what you do and don’t like. I consider myself a documentary wedding photographer, which you’ll see throughout my portfolio. However, there are points in the day where you need other styles, including classic for your family photos, a good food photographer for your delicious catering, product photography for your detail shots, or candid for your dance party. I find it’s important to know quite a few different styles, while keeping the same tone throughout your wedding.
Ask for Testimonials
One of the best ways to find a Bay Area wedding photographer is to ask people for recommendations. If you know anyone who has got married recently, ask if you can look at their photos or have a look through their social media, and if you like them, then find out who their photographer was. You can also ask your venue for recommendations and search for online reviews and forums. Any decent photographer will have testimonials that they will happily share with you, or they will put you in touch with previous happy customers.
See a Portfolio
Portfolios are an excellent way to begin your wedding photographer search. However, they never paint the whole story of a wedding. It’s important to know how a photographer approaches each part of the day, not just the prettiest moments that make it onto a highlight reel. Ask to see full wedding albums so you can see the quality, quantity and consistency of photos you will receive for your own wedding.
Does the photographer know your venue?
It always helps if your photographer has been to your venue before and taken photographs there as this means they’ll have experience of the best locations and know the lighting conditions. Venue lists of preferred vendors can also be a great resource. However, being a professional wedding photographer means they excel at photographing all sorts of new locations and situations. With hundreds of venues in the Bay Area, I may not have shot at your venue, but I’ve probably shot at similar ones and will happily scope it out before the wedding with you or on the day of the wedding itself.
Make sure you meet!
Your photographer will be spending a whole day with you, so you need to make sure that you get on well and understand each other. Make sure that you meet them face-to-face, ask questions, go through their portfolio, and see how you feel with them. Do they put you at ease? Do you think they understand what you want? The more relaxed you are around your photographer, the more natural and at ease your photos will be. Make sure you ask questions such as if they will be the one taking the pictures on the day, or will it be someone else? Find out if they will take a good mixture of group shots with portraits and casual shots? Ask if they have photos of things like the first moment you see each other and your parents’ faces? Ask if they have a back-up if anything goes wrong, like if they’re not well on the day?
Book an engagement shoot with Gina B Photography today! It’s a great, no-risk way to see how well we fit together. Couples who book their weddings with me get engagement shoots half off, so inquire today!