How do you choose a photographer or videographer?

For most, the wedding photographer is one of the biggest decisions to finalize. Choosing someone that will capture your forever moments is a big responsibility and often leads to a lot of confusion and procrastination. We totally get it. The number of photographers to work through, all the various styles and packages can be incredibly daunting if you do not know what to look for.

We truly want your planning and wedding journey to be memorable so here are some tips to help you find a photographer, work through the packages, and feel comfortable to book.

  1. Familiarise yourself with the costs

This first step is very important. Before you do anything we recommend you familiarise yourself with what the typical costs are, what your budget allows, and what you are willing to pay.

Familiarize yourself with typical costs:

There is an incredible cost breakdown in the Bruidsgids magazine. This will give you a great idea of what to expect to pay for anything wedding, photographer and videographer included.

What is your budget - deciding how much you can or want to spend before you do anything will eliminate a lot of stress, unnecessary admin, and sorrow. If you know what margins to stick to it will help a lot in deciding who to contact and who to skip. Nothing worse than having your heart set on a supplier you can not afford.

What are you willing to pay - not everyone will rank the same things as important. Decide on a percentage breakdown of your total budget and how much your want to spend on what supplier. Some brides are willing to spend 10% on their photographer because they are happy with a few beautiful pictures, while other ladies will give 50% of their budget to the photographer because nothing else is as important.

2. Decide on a style you like

Spend some time researching what you like. It seems like there is too many to choose from, but looking closer you will see it comes down to only a few key things.

Light/Airy or Moody - most photographers decide between either a lighter / brighter finished look (showcasing the colours more), or a darker more saturated look (less colours).

Posed, documentary or mixed

Some photographers stick to a more posed style - think magazine cover perfection. With video the final product is very lux.

Some do documentary only which means there is very little posing happening, more them standing on the sidelines and capturing all authentic moments as they happen. This style really emphasizes emotion in photo and video.

Mixed - we like to believe we fall in this category. Photos and videos are a mix of posed and authentic to give you a beautiful balance of both.

3. Shop around

Now that you know what to expect price-wise as well as the style you prefer you can start looking around for someone who fits your needs. A great starting point is wedding directories like Bruidsgids and SA Weddings.

If you have a venue in mind have a look on their social media, most likely they will share work from their preferred suppliers (however do not let it discourage you if your favourite photographer has not been to your venue - a good photo/videographer does not have to know the venue beforehand).

4. Word of mouth

Ask friends and family for recommendations and reviews, as well as social media groups. This will give you an honest review of first-hand experience from another bride. There goes a lot into being a great photo/videographer other than a great portfolio.

5. Get price-lists

Now that you have a short list of potential photographers / videographers contact them for pricing and package information. Like we mentioned above, there goes a lot into being a great photo/videographer other than a great portfolio. When you contact them you will get a feel of how they talk to you, how they interact with you, and how quickly they respond. This will give a lot of insight into how the overall experience could be if you decide to book with them.

6. Meet for a coffee

This is another super important step. Once you feel happy with the portfolio and overall interaction over email / phone you need to meet them for a coffee and make sure you feel their vibe in person. You will spend most of your day with this person next to you, if your personalities clash it will take away from the experience and the final product.

7. Trust your gut

Hopefully, when you reach this point you will know that you have found the one and seal the deal :) If your heart tells you no, meet with another photo/videographer and compare your options.

8. Engagement shoot

If you are very uneasy about choosing someone book them for an engagement shoot and see how it goes. You will easily know when you receive the end product if they are your match.

There is a perfect match for you out there. And just like you found your hubby to be, you will find your photo/videographer to be. Keep an open mind, do your research and trust your cut.

Enjoy the planning beautiful bride-to-be.

With love,

Lucinda & Karel

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