But Wait, Aren't You A Wedding Photographer?
Yes, yes I am. And as a wedding photographer I want to challenge your perspective on what wedding photography IS, and what it COULD BE. Follow along with me, here.
A lot of times, photography is one of those things that gets added to the checklist. You know what I mean. "We need a venue, dress, cake, photographer, party favors, officiant...", but I want you to rephrase that a little in your mind. Why do you need those things? Obviously, you need a marriage license and an officiant to actually get married, that's a given. And with the exception of certain communities where it's acceptable to do so, you probably need to be wearing clothes when all that happens. But everything else is tradition, it's not a necessary part of the day. I want you to read that again, and then take a sigh of relief. If you don't NEED something, what do those things become? A luxury! And if something is a luxury, you can then give yourself permission to get what you WANT, not what you NEED. You NEED a car, but you WANT a BMW. You NEED a phone, but you WANT an iPhone. You NEED a place to live, but you WANT a penthouse apartment (or a farmhouse with a great view, we're not here to pigeonhole anyone.)
The other reason why you should consider a professional photographer an unnecessary part of the day is that every guest that you invite is going to have a camera in their pocket. They're going to get every angle of every important moment, share everything on social media the same day, tag you with your hashtags and make sure everyone knows what a great time they're having and how excited they are for you! You get memories AND a sweet thank you note all rolled into one!
OK, So I Don't NEED A Photographer. So now what?
Now you start looking for your perfect photographer! Ok, Ok, I know I just told you you didn't need one. So if you don't need a photographer to get a ton of wedding pictures from your day, why would you WANT one?
Because a photographer is an artist. An artist that you have commissioned to create beautiful artwork for you, and that can elevate your wedding day from a beautiful experience to a cherished, curated collection of art that you can enjoy for the rest of your life. Yes, it's true that much of what we do on a wedding day is capture the unscripted, candid moments that occur throughout the day. Family, friends, toasts, dancing, all the joyous memories that you are busy experiencing, we're there to capture and save for you for all time. But a professional photographer brings a unique vision to your wedding day, leveraging light and shadow, joy and love, passion and emotion to create images that speak to who you are as individuals, and who you are moving forward, as a couple. To make sure that every decision that you've made to make your wedding day perfect is highlighted in a beautiful and natural way.
So How Do I Choose My Perfect Photographer?
The first question you should ask yourself is "How do I want to experience my photographs?". A photographer is not just there to take pictures on your wedding day. They are going to guide you through the process of creating these images, from your first meeting, engagement sessions, designing invitations, adjusting timelines, capturing your wedding day, the editing and the post processing of your images, and delivering your photographs in a way that speaks to your desires as a couple. Maybe you just want your digital images, and that's great! You should choose a photographer who is going to deliver beautiful images for you in a way that's convenient, and walk you through which images they love, and the best way to save them and share them (image size matters on social media). Maybe you know you want a ton of your images displayed on your walls and decorating your home. Find a photographer that can help you arrange your space and deliver your images in a way that looks beautiful and feels like home. Professional photographers have access to specialized print labs that other people don't, and designing albums and wall art collections is something that we have a lot of experience with, and love to do. Make sure you're communicating with your photographer what your intentions are for your images, so that they can best serve you.
Personality is very important, because as photographers, we spend more time with you on your wedding day than almost anyone else. You want to make sure that the person you're hiring is someone who makes you feel at ease, that you trust to walk you through all of the hectic parts of the day, and that you can rely on for their guidance and expertise to make sure you look and feel amazing on your wedding day.
Finally, and probably most obviously, you want to find someone whose style matches your aesthetic. Terms like "light and airy", "dark and moody", "bright and vibrant" all can have different meanings to different people, so make sure you browse a photographers portfolio and see how they tend to deliver their images, so you get a good baseline for what you can expect.
I want you to give yourself permission to invest in the things that you value, whether that's your photography, your venue, or anything else, and plan your wedding day accordingly. You deserve to have the day that YOU want, and the only person who can make that decision is you. If you'd like more info on wedding photography, or have questions about planning the perfect wedding day for you, feel free to reach out to me at Jordan@jordanroepkephotography.com, and congratulations!