Top 10 Tips for Perfect Wedding Photography

December 4, 2014

Top 10 Tips for Picture Perfect Wedding Photography

1. Do Your Homework — Early.

[x_gap size=”3em”]

About a year before your wedding date, start your search by asking recent couples you know for recs and browsing websites and blogs (like http://www.theknot.com/Vendors/San-Francisco-Greater-Bay-Area-Photographers/).

Look at a few highlight galleries of weddings from each photographer to get a sense of their quality and style. But realize that these are their best clips from multiple weddings, so once you like someone, ask to see a full wedding or two.

Take a flip through Paul & Sarah’s complete online gallery to get a idea of what each couple receives at Apollo Fotografie.

2. Think Critically.

[x_gap size=”3em”]

As you review photos, consider key moments you want to capture at your own wedding: Did this shooter get great shots you’d also like? Look for thoughtful compositions and that images and people are in focus (unless they’re meant to be grainy). Make sure people look relaxed, and not spooked by the camera.

3. Set Up a Meeting in Person, on Skype, or Over the Phone.

You can’t always properly vet a photographer by looks alone. Once you have a short list of people whose work you like — and you’ve determined they’re in your price range and are free on your date — try to set up a meeting to go over all the details. We can schedule the meeting for later in the evening after you get out of work!

4. Compare Packages.

[x_gap size=”3em”]

Ask about what’s included in the standard package, plus any additional fees. In particular, find out how many hours of shooting are included. Most packages include about eight hours and cover everything from getting ready to the end of the reception. It’s usually better to pay for more coverage if there’s a chance you’ll run over, especially if you’re planning a big finale exit (overtime is normally charged at a higher rate).

Check out our 2015 Pricing Guide.

5. Check References.

Online reviews are great, and that should be part of your research. Look to see if the reviews confirm that the couples got the shots they wanted and were happy with the service they paid for.

Our couple are buzzing over at our Yelp page & on The Knot.com.

6. Sign a Contract / Create an Official Invoice.

Once you’ve chosen your photographer, sign a contract that has everything — from the date of the wedding and the hours they’ll cover to postproduction work and how you’ll receive the final product — laid out in black and white.

Download our Artist-Client Agreement for our terms & conditions.

7. Schedule an Engagement Shoot.

[x_gap size=”3em”]

Once you hire a photographer, a pre wedding photo shoot kills many birds with one stone: It’s a great opportunity to get comfortable having your picture taken as well as have a built-in save-the-date photo. You’ll be able to give your pro feedback on what photos you liked and didn’t before your wedding day.

Follow us on Pinterest and start a board for how you want your engagement session to “feel” in terms of style, aesthetic, & lighting. We customize each photo session to match your individual inspirations.

Check out one of our latest engagement shoots!

8. Make a (Reasonable) Shot List.

[x_gap size=”3em”]

Don’t waste time trying to get every last combo of grandparents, siblings and cousins. Stick to a few important shots, and ask your maid of honor or another member of the wedding party to help orchestrate them on the day of. Include whether you want shots in black and white or color, and don’t forget to mention any particular décor items you want captured (for instance, the DIY napkin holders you got carpal tunnel syndrome from weaving). While you’re sending these notes, attach a few photos of yourself that you think you look amazing in, so he’ll know how you want to look on your wedding day. And include any side notes about the actual day, like your grandma has a bad hip and can’t stand too long.

We have a series of questionnaires that every one of our couples receives to help us make their big day, “perfect.” 

This shot list is one of them.

9. Take First-Look Photos.

[x_gap size=”3em”]

If you don’t want to miss a minute of your cocktail hour, schedule your portrait photos before the ceremony. Bonus: You’ll be less nervous to walk down the aisle and your hair and makeup will be perfectly fresh for the photos.

Check out Sarah & Paul’s blog to get inspired for how a first look session can fit seamlessly into your wedding.

10. Just Enjoy the Day.

[x_gap size=”3em”]

Try not to sweat the small stuff, like a relocation of your portrait shoot because of rain or your flower girl melting down during the family shots. And allow your photographer to keep you on schedule, to frame the shots and to know what will look best — remember, that’s why you hired them.

If you’re always looking for the camera, it won’t capture you quietly chatting with your new spouse or laughing with your friends. Your photographer should be the one worrying about capturing those moments — not you!

…Want to customize the packages in our 2015 Pricing Guide to meet your particular budget & needs?

Create Your Custom Estimate

Top 10 tips for perfect wedding photography by Apollo Fotografie