The time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day is often referred to as “engagement season” with a high percentage of couples getting engaged during this time. Since so many couples are newly starting their wedding planning journey, we reached out to some of our vendor friends to help give more insight into planning different parts of your wedding.
When it comes to choosing a wedding photographer, you might only know what looks pretty to you. Many couples, having never planned a wedding before, are not familiar with the impact of lighting, a comfortable sense of posing couples, and a photographer’s own personality has on the outcome of your wedding photos.
With the help of An Endless Pursuit and Klaire Dixius Photography, these two are sharing their insights on wedding photography and are passing along helpful information that all couples should consider when looking for your photographer.
Photo by An Endless Pursuit
What are some of the things that couples should ask about when looking to select a photographer for their wedding?
- We have found that a lot of the recommended questions to ask a wedding photographer tend to be very mechanical. Questions like how many images delivered, do you bring backup equipment, or do you have business insurance are great examples of this. Most of these help establish if a photographer runs their business at a professional level, but that should really be table stakes. Most professionals will have similar answers to mechanical questions, which doesn’t provide much in the way of helping a couple make a decision. Instead, we would encourage couples to go deeper with their questions to actually understand the vision of their wedding photographers. For example:
Why do you photograph weddings? This will likely give you an insight based on the answer if the photographer truly loves photographing weddings and show a lot of their personality. It might result in a really boring or cliché answer but that reveals a lot too! An answer will get a lot of variety across photographers and likely lead to other good questions or conversation.
Walk us through a day-in-the-life of you on a wedding. It’s really helpful to go deeper than just knowing that your photographer is fly-on-the-wall journalistic vs directing and posing. Having a photographer describe their process of specific parts of a wedding from getting ready to portraits to the ceremony and reception will give a lot more insight into how they work, but it will also be very informative about what to expect from your photographer throughout the day. This could lead to some really great tips regarding timing for optimal lighting conditions or better understanding how much coverage you actually need.
Do you do anything with your couples between booking and showing up on the wedding to prepare? This can range quite a bit from whether a photographer does location scouting or additional consult calls, and sometimes get even more involved with a photographer giving out homework or surveys to really get to know the story behind their couple. It’s a good idea to know what’s involved for you and understand how this impacts your photographer’s process and approach. – An Endless Pursuit
- In my experience some of the most helpful questions for couples would include:
Why did you become a photographer? This question can enable you to get to know your potential photographer in more ways than one! I personally became a wedding photographer because I became passionate about marriage and honoring it. Because of that, I try to serve my clients by focusing on the images they will most want to frame and pass down to the next generation. I also have enjoyed film photography since high school, and love offering film photography services to my clients!
How would you describe your style? These days there are SO many different styles when it comes to photography. Moody, dark, light, airy, dreamy, high contrast, natural, and so many in between. Make sure you find a photographer that shoots in a way that fits your vision.
What is your favorite thing to photograph at every wedding? Everyone has their favorites. Mine are a bride and groom’s first look, when a bride and her dad see each other for the first time, emotional moments shared between family, and any of the first dances. Asking this question gives you insight into what they love – you could say I love emotion and genuine moments!
What do you recommend in terms of a wedding day timeline? It may take a lot longer than you expect for your photographer to capture certain sections of the day, so it’s always good to ask for a sample timeline or schedule recommendations. Be sure to ask this question before nailing down your specific ceremony or reception time. – Klaire Dixius Photography
Photo by Klaire Dixius Photography
What are some of the things that couples might not realize about wedding photography that you think they should know?
- Natural emotion comes across in photographs. Both good and bad. If we could tell couples one thing, it would be to let go of everything and embrace the present moment of their wedding day, imperfections and all! There’s so much planning and often stress that goes into making a wedding. On the actual wedding day, what’s done is done and it’s time to live in the moment! Most wedding photographers do their best work documenting raw emotion and you turn into a photographer’s dream wedding when everything about the two of you radiates your love and joy. – An Endless Pursuit
- I think most couples don’t realize the time that photography can take or how they can help me create the best possible photos for them. For example, we love to take 30-45 minutes to shoot details first thing when we get there. Otherwise, the day would escape everyone and you might not get an image of the heirloom your grandmother passed down, or a photo of the gown you meticulously picked out. When we enter a bridal suite or a hotel room of people getting ready, clutter can get in the way of beautiful candid photos. Try to keep everything to one side of the room, and it will make it much easier on your photographer! Also, a lot of photographers encourage their couples to do a “First Look.” Not because it makes our jobs easier or because it’s a trend, but because it can make the COUPLE’S day so much better. It allows you to enjoy the day with less anxiety or nervousness. Doing a first look can also enable you to schedule photos with your wedding party and family prior to your ceremony. That way you won’t have to take as many photos between your ceremony and reception! Lastly, some of my favorite Bride and Groom portraits happen when my couples allow me to take them outside for 10 minutes during their reception if that is when the sun is setting. Most of your guests will be busy eating, and you will most likely have these portraits framed and hung on your walls for decades to come! – Klaire Dixius Photography
At 48 Fields, we are a Leesburg Virginia wedding venue for celebrations of all sizes.
Our rustic barns and vast fields are peacefully set in the heart of Northern Virginia wine country.