The beautiful wedding you spent months planning will go by in a flash, but the photos will last forever. To get the pictures you really want, choose your photographer carefully and make sure you are both on the same page about what will happen on the big day. There are many talented wedding photographers. but they have different styles and price packages. Danny Fishman of The Visual Image, a popular wedding photographer with decades of experience, gave us some suggestions about how to work with a photographer for the best experience.
How do I choose a photographer?
Fishman said most of their clients are through word of mouth. Ask friends for recommendations and look at portfolios online or in person. You’ll notice differences. Some photographers like dramatic shots with an artistic flair, while others strive to capture the event in a straightforward way. The most important requirement in choosing a photographer is to find someone you’re comfortable with. Fishman emphasized that you have to feel a rapport with the photographer or it will show in the portraits. A photographer who connects with clients can encourage smiles, laughs and all around simcha.
What is included in the price?
Studios have different packages with a range of prices based on the number of people working, how long they are there and what is included in the finished product. A standard package includes two photographers and one videographer. Packages can include one or more photo albums with a specified number of photos.
How many photographers do I need?
You should have at least two photographers. There’s a lot going on at the same time at an Orthodox wedding. The bride and bridesmaids are getting ready in one room, the groom and groomsmen in another. At the beginning there’s the bedeken and the tish. After the ceremony, men and women dance in separate sections. One photographer can’t be in two places at the same time. Many couples are adding a photojournalist. That photographer’s job is to get shots at different angles, or get reaction shots in addition to the posed ones. A photojournalist can add more color, or concentrate on documenting emotions.
Do I need video?
Video is another expense, but most families today include video so they can look back and relive the excitement—or see what they missed! You have to make a similar choice about how many videographers to have. One videographer will be going back and forth between the men’s and women’s sections, and may miss some of the action you’d like to see. The “trailer” or short video is a popular add-on. It’s nice to have and captures the feel of the wedding in highlights.
Who is in the portraits?
The larger the immediate families, the more time portraits will take. While there are classic family combinations, go over the list to make sure you get all the ones you want. Let the photographer know if you want any extended family members included. When the couple wants all their photos together taken after the chuppah, that can be a long wait for guests. Visual Image often takes family portraits before the chuppah and leaves space to edit in the couple.
How does the photographer know who to photograph during dinner and dancing?
Photographers have a sense of what makes a good shot. By the time the reception is underway, they have an idea of who is important to the couple and their families. But you have to let the photographer know in advance if you want photos of specific guests. They won’t know to photograph a beloved friend or relative who flew in for your simcha unless you tell them. Table shots will remind you of who was there to share your simcha. Give your photographer the numbers of any tables you want photographed. Photographers will not automatically take table shots, as it is very time-consuming.
How do I choose the photos I want?
Today, couples can view their photos in a private online portal and make their choices. Fishman said The Visual Image is one of the few studios that still give couples prints, so they can look them over and put them into groups to make decisions. The package you pay for will state the number of photos you can put in an album. Parent albums are another choice families can make.
Just getting started? When you have a date, book your photographer as soon as you can. There is still a lot of competition for photographers due to the backlog of rescheduled weddings from the lockdown. Do your research to make a choice and then have as many follow up conversations as needed to nail down the details. You’ll be sure to get photos you’ll treasure for years to come.
By Bracha Schwartz