Choosing The Perfect Wedding Photographer / by Joseph Miceli

Choosing The Perfect Wedding Photographer

Finding a photographer who'll capture everlasting memories from your special day is one of the most important decisions you'll make for your wedding. These cherished moments can be relived over and over again after the ceremony, ESPECIALLY if snapped by a talented photo maestro. 

We tapped the mind of Ontario-based photographer and frequent Edge Hospitality collaborator Mike Streeter to learn more about this carefully tailored craft.  Personally photographing over 450 weddings himself, Mike's attention to detail and wonderful relationship with brides and grooms is something we wanted to learn a bit more about this month.  Buckle up; it's time to learn everything there is to know about choosing your wedding photographer!

EDGE: What factors do you think a bride or groom should take into consideration when doing their homework to research wedding photographers?

MIKE: When starting your search for a wedding photographer, it's important to realize the main governing factor to what qualifies for you. Are you willing to take the risk of sacrificing quality, reliability and professional integrity in order to save money and find a low-cost photographer? This gives you a clear starting point for your search.

There are low-cost photographers that can provide some amazing images. However, it's likely that they are entry level and have not yet realized the true value of what they are offering or the amount of work that they have ahead of them. They may not be properly equipped to continue to operate in the event of a camera malfunction, or they may not realize the importance of quickly securing multiple back-ups of wedding images across different data storage devices.m These are just a few important points.

EDGE: How early before the wedding should brides and grooms start seeking a photographer?

MIKE: This depends on how important a certain photographer or style is to your wedding vendor team. In my experience, the more sought after wedding photographers get booked quickly, 9 months to 18 months before the wedding date. It always makes sense to book secure any vendor early to avoid disappointment. Have everyone booked within 3 to 6 months before your wedding date to alleviate unnecessary stress.

EDGE: Should brides and grooms have a specific checklist of what they want to be captured? If so, what are some things that often get overlooked?

MIKE: An experienced professional photographer will not need a checklist of shots, If you like the photographer's style and hired him/her based on what you want then you should let them do what they do best. One exception would be to have a list of groups of family photos listed out so that nobody important gets overlooked or missed in the commotion. As the photographer is unlikely to know everyone by name, you could assign a family member to round up the groups of people required for each listed photo.

EDGE: Would you say that there are different styles that wedding photography can be done, or is there a traditional format for capturing the highest quality images at events?

MIKE: There are many different styles of wedding photography, and this is another thing you should have researched before beginning your search. There are photographers that deliver a very traditional style of photography, there are photographers that deliver a very editorial style and others that offer a photo-journalistic style. And after you have chosen which you want for your big day you need to find one that utilizes an editing style that pleases you. There is lots of homework to do before you start to meet with your favourites.

EDGE: I want to talk about the presentation once the wedding gallery is completed as well. What factors should brides and grooms take into consideration as far deliverables?

MIKE: This is more research. What do they want at the end? Do they want something physical to hold in their hands, hang on their walls and have their visitors leaf through while in their home? Or do they want high-resolution digital images to use when creating their own albums or prints? Most photographers offer all these options and more.

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