Picking your wedding photographer

The flowers have wilted, the champagne has gone flat and the dress is tucked away in the attic. The only thing reminding you of your day are your photos. The laughs, the tears, the hugs and lets not forget the drunk friend that danced all night. But there’s more to your wedding photos than just pictures, there’s a full story that you want to tell.

Your photo album should begin at “Once upon a time”….and end with “Happily ever after”.

This is the story of how we picked our wedding photographer Olga (Olga Thomas Photography). I included some photos from our wedding and some tips that I think are necessary for picking the best photographer for your day.

Candid Moments

Candid Moments

 

1. Research between 3-5 photographers. Give yourself time- good photographers book fast! Look at how they capture other special events, objects, people, kids, mothers, candid moments etc. You have to remember yes your wedding consists of the bride and groom, but there’s also little ones (flower girl, ring bearer), objects (rings, garter, table settings), funny moments (someone laughing at a joke, kids running around). What is their style? Are they invested in social media? Do they have award winning photos? Olga is one of the top photographers in the Milwaukee area, can’t beat that!
2. Five important questions you want to ask:

Cost (yes this is probably first on everyone’s mind)
Hours of service
The package (engagement shoot? albums? rights to photos for print, online gallery)
Willing to travel
When are my photos ready?
Lets break down the 5 questions above:

Cost? wedding photography is not where you want to limit yourself. Have a budget in mind (ours at the time was $2700-$3000) but we also wanted the best of the best. Nowadays,on average wedding photography is $2500-$3500. You may cringe at these numbers, but you have to keep in mind the photographer is not shooting with a disposable camera, Nikon lenses alone cost upwards $2000 and that doesn’t include the camera body, editing software and other necessary equipment.

Girl Time

Girl Time

Hours of service? We went with Olga’s 12 hour wedding day package. Why 12? this gives you and your photographer enough time to capture EVERYTHING. From makeup/hair, putting on the dress, guests arriving at the church, ceremony, portraits, reception, and end of the night shots. I feel like 7-8 hours doesn’t give you enough time unless your reception immediately follows your ceremony but then you won’t get the portrait photos, which I felt were the most important.
The package? Our 12 hour package included complimentary engagement shoot, all rights to all the photos, 3 sets of CDs with all the high-resolution photos ready for print, and recently, our photographer included an online gallery through PASS, and lets not forget the talent behind the camera. This means our photographer took time and long hours of editing behind the scenes for us to get exactly the photos we wanted.

Some people may argue, well for this price that’s not enough. You can’t be greedy and you can’t win everything. In the end, I loved the idea of having all the high-resolution photos. That way in a few years, I can switch out the photos on my wall to different poses from our wedding day. Think long and hard about what is more important to you to get the most out of your package.
Willing to travel? Our photographer is based in the Milwaukee area but she was willing to travel near and far for ours and others as well. Some photographers are willing to give you a discount for a destination wedding so ask!

When are my photos ready? The question most photographers probably get annoyed with. In our contract it stated up to 4 months. Photos that get captured through an expensive camera, by a talented photographer, still may need some editing touches -adjusting lighting for a rainy day, cropping people out of photos and more. . Having anxiety over your yellow stained teeth? pimple on your bridesmaid’s chin? These are not a click away but take hours of editing. And you have to think your wedding is not the only one being edited! Expect for good photos to take upwards of 2-4 months of editing. I was not in a hurry because I knew they would end up perfect. Being patient with your photographer will help you out in the end. We got ours in 2.5 months and received over 1000 of them!

Couture Meets Gone with the Wind

Couture Meets Gone with the Wind

In the end, I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer and who knows, you may even end up on their blog, be invited to their future wedding and might become lifetime friends.

Now start looking for yours!

Photos by : Olga Thomas Photography

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