Your photographer’s style: looking beyond their portfolio
When it comes time to pick a wedding photographer, one of the biggest factors will be the photographer's style. But, what is the best way to know exactly what your photographer’s style is? To start, take a close look at their portfolio on their website. Here you should see consistency in composition, editing, style of weddings, and personality of the people in the photographs. If you don’t see that consistency, look elsewhere.
You should also see mostly wedding photographs. This is a good sign that your wedding specializes in just weddings, and therefore is an expert on the subject. If you see lots and lots of different types of photography offerings, your photographer may not give their full attention to wedding photography.
While it’s important to take a look at a photographer’s website, portfolios only show part of the picture (haha, no pun intended!). Photographers have taken the time to comb through hundreds of their photos and post only the best of the best for you to see, so you must look beyond just their portfolio.
Beware of “styled shoots!” It’s not uncommon for photographers to create faux mini weddings to gain experience and make new vendor-friends. There can be some really great images created at a shoot like this, but it’s important to remember that styled shoots are a much more controlled environment, often with models and/or no timeline constraints.
If a few photos from styled shoots appear in a portfolio here and there, it’s not a big deal; in fact, styled shoots are a great way for photographers to show what their ideal clients' wedding would look like. Comparing a styled shoot to your own wedding style can help you determine if that photographer's vision aligns with yous. Just make sure you’re seeing just as much or more photos from real weddings in their portfolio. A photographer that has only styled shoot images might not have enough experience from real weddings.
After you've viewed a portfolio, the next step is to reach out to the photographer to set up a consultation. During this time, ask to see more work, specifically of wedding albums, so you can get a feel of what to expect your entire wedding story to look like. If you don’t have time for an in-person consultation, ask the photographer to send you a link to an entire real wedding ... bonus points if it’s a wedding that took place at your venue! This gives you the chance to see how your photographer really works, from top to bottom.
Have you seen my portfolio? Would you like to see some of my albums or real weddings? I’ll be glad to show you! Just email me!