So, a few days ago I mentioned that I would put up some information on Wedding Photography...sometimes a controversial issue! Mainly due to cost, many couples struggle with this decision. Personally I feel that wedding photography is not only as important, but also as personal as the type of undergarments the bride chooses to wear!
There are many types of photographers....different styles, personalities, approaches to the art. I call it art because it IS an art form, and when it is your WEDDING day, it becomes very very personal. You want a photographer who will not only take the key shots (walking down the aisle, groom's reaction to the bride's beautiful entrance, the first kiss, family shots, etc), but also one who will capture the essence of your day! There's always videography, but lets face it, how many times are you REALLY going to watch the video of your vows? Most couples who choose to do the videography choose this option due to special friends and/or family who are unable to attend their wedding. But pictures are something you will display in your home, on your walls, and give to your family! (especially your parents, even more so if they are the ones paying for it!!!)
I ALWAYS recommend to my brides to first set a budget for photography. THEN start looking at photographers that are in your budget. Photography for your wedding can be anywhere from $500 (any less, and I really tell them to be completely SURE the photographer is worth it!! There is HOURS Of post-processing in wedding photography...at LEAST 20, typically close to 100 and this is factored into the price you pay) to over $10,000.
Once you have set a budget, really do alot of research, what style you want, if you want a traditional wedding style, or the current trend of "photo journalism" type coverage. Then look at what type of post-event processing you want (airbrushing, toning, changing the colors, sepia, black & white, etc. The possibilities are ENDLESS!!!), and then start interviewing.
In the age of digital (because 99% of wedding photographers shoot in digital these days...it's more cost effective, and you can do more effects. Airbrushing is SO MUCH EASIER in digital! Any photographer worth their weight will be able to do this in a way that is natural and NOT weird looking) more pictures are shot, and you can even go the route of not having your photographer make your wedding album or any proofs. They can throw it all up on a website for you to share with your family and friends, and throw everything on a CD for you to print yourself. They will probably need to be contacted if you want SUPER DUPER huge pictures (large than 16x20 usually), but this keeps costs WAY down, and gives the couple a little more flexibility and time to create their wedding album.
Photography, there are many options. From finding a fabulous photographer who is just starting out in weddings (this takes trust, but if you are on a budget, I recommend it. I personally keep a list of this type of photographers, and you can get your entire wedding with engagements & bridal sessions for under $1,000) to the super-duper pro who's done more weddings than they can possibly remember (this category goes for photographers who have done at LEAST 100 weddings. You will also pay a HUGE premium for this type of photographer....at the least $3500 is the base price...but you'll average around $5,000 if you want albums, engagement session, and bridal sessions. Some of these types of photographers even cover the rehearsal, which I think is really awesome. You'll have some great memories of what is usually a fun relaxed family affair!!
I do have some favorite photographers, but I never EVER push them on my brides....because while I do like some vendors, how they work, their personalities, etc, every bride had a different idea of what SHE wants (okay, the groom too!), and I feel that while I can give recommendations, when it comes to the wedding photography, it's just such a personal thing!
My top three Photographers here in Texas
Laura Haney Photography (Excellent photographs, and great pricing for those brides on a budget)
Stacey Reeves Photography (quite a unique gal. I've got some fantastic pictures of her "dancing" at a recent wedding!!!!)
Ed Verosky Photography (while based in Austin, he is FABULOUS. I just adore him and his work!!!!)
Of course there are others I love....and I have a huge list of great photographers. These are just some I enjoy working with, and they are all a pretty good range as far as pricing, so it gives you some different ideas on how much to spend!
And one parting word of advice. Please please PLEASE do not count on Uncle Joe to take your wedding pictures!!!! UNLESS he is an experienced wedding photographer and is also willing to actually give you some type of contract (just to put everything down in stone, and gives you options if he drinks too much and just gets shots of your shoes). Just because he has a nice camera does NOT mean he knows how to use it for a wedding!!! This is just something I feel so strongly about. If your budget is tight...cut something else out. Alcohol, special favors, those super designer invitations....you HAVE to have good photography, because you can never EVER recreate the 'bridal glow' that you will only have on your wedding day! Sorry guys, re-doing them, it's just not going to be the same. TRUST me on this one!!!
Photography credits go to Adair Weddings and Ed Verosky Photography.