How to avoid hating your wedding photographer

This article from the NY times has gone a little bit viral this week called “How to avoid hating your wedding photos”. Where a bride went to tick-tock to share her grievances of having a terrible experience with hating the wedding photos she had received after her wedding. At first the bride was happy with her photos when she got them and then as she looked longer she started to find things that she didn’t like and it sort of spiralled from there. She had spent over $8000 USD for her wedding to be captured which definitely is going to make you want to critique things if you’re not super happy. But regardless of whether your wedding photographs were free or cost $10,000 you deserve to love them. Your financial status genuinely shouldn’t factor into whether you get to enjoy the memories you’ve had captured of your wedding.

With all that said. I’d like to weigh in with a few of my own thoughts on how to avoid hating your wedding photographer and the photos they’ve made.

UNDERSTAND THAT ‘BEST’ IS SUBJECTIVE

The best photographer for you, might be completely different to the best photographer for someone else’s wedding. Art is subjective and even if you’re not into highly artistic wedding photos, I am convinced there is a huge difference in what kind of photos one person loves and another person hates. You might hire the absolute best editorial fashion style wedding photographer in the country. And if you were really hoping for a relaxed experience and loads of little moments captured in an unstructured way, you might hate how stiff and curated the photos look.

On the other hand, if you want wedding photos that look highly stylised and really perfect. With the absolute most flattering poses and all of your fancy expensive details perfectly captured. Then hiring someone who’s speciality is documentary style photography and just capturing the moments in an unscripted way might cause a lot of regrets down the line. Finding the best wedding photographer for you means pushing aside ideas of what other people like. What styles are trending on Instagram right now. And taking the time to think about what style you both love the best.

You should also try and fact check if the words people use on their website match the photos on the site. I’ve seen countless photographers who are just changing the wording on their website to current trends but if you look at their photographs it doesn’t match the wording they are using to describe their style.

avoid hating your wedding photographer

AVOID GETTING CAUGHT BY THE LATEST EDITING FADS

There are often new fads catching on through instagram trends of new editing styles for wedding photographers. Funnily enough these trends are obviously pushed by influential photographers who’ve got new editing presets to sell to try and continue making extra profits from these trends. Lately photos have been getting more and more orange and brown, more and more blurry and black and white. There’s nothing wrong with either of these things necessarily. Just take enough time to go through enough photographers portfolios that you can genuinely say you do like that style. There is a common marketing technique which involves using lots of repetition to change how you feel about a product. The simple way it works is that the more times you see something, the more you will feel like it’s cool and be likely to like it. Obviously seeing the most stunningly gorgeous instagram brides and grooms being photographed in ridiculously beautiful locations will look pretty nice no matter the editing style.

This doesn’t mean you have to just choose a wedding photographer who does really natural edits either. You can definitely make a choice you don’t regret to get a photographer with a really edgy style. Just make sure you actually like it! Don’t be tricked by an algorithm that has no interest in how you’ll remember your photos in 20 years time. Choose a style that REALLY works for you guys. If you’re a grungy skater couple and you wanted hyper grainy images that feel like they belong in a 90’s skate magazine. DO IT! just make sure that the style matches what you actually like.

DON’T CONFUSE LOCATION FOR A PHOTOGRAPHERS STYLE

I think this is one of the most common things that I wish couples understood. You see a lot of New York Photographers taking really gorgeous photos around Manhattan backstreets and things and think that there’s a specific look to those beautiful city scape photos.. And then you open another photographers website and might see loads of images of elopements in Iceland or Tasmania and be right to assume that visually the style looks quite different. But the location is simply the backdrop. A good photographer can shoot in any location and make it look pretty magical. But to understand how the photographers style looks in your location you need to almost forget about the backdrop and look at the way they capture the couple and the guests. The amazing location can often be a great distraction from average photographs.

avoid hating your wedding photographer

These two photos above are very very similar… but one is from Hannah & James’ wedding in the middle of Sydney around old buildings and one is from Amber & Dave’s elopement in Uluru. The main difference is the location. If you’re looking for an elopement photographer you’d probably look at the bottom image and think, “This photographer probably isn’t our style.” Or you might be having an elegant inner city wedding and think the Uluru photographer isn’t the right fit for you. It can be hard to do but really try and pick apart the backdrop and focus in on the couple in the photos of whoever you’re choosing. If they can take amazing photos in the city don’t think that their elopement photos out in the woods might not cut it. Differentiating this will help you avoid hating your wedding photos.

DON’T CONFUSE THE COUPLES A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER SHOWS ON THEIR SITE FOR THEIR STYLE

This one is even harder. But important. Photographers don’t want to admit this. But obviously if a couple look like supermodels… Their wedding photos will look pretty good even if the photographer hasn’t done their job amazingly well. A couple who can make ordinary people look like supermodels is someone worth hiring for sure!

It’s absolutely fine to ask a photographer to share a full gallery with you that maybe hasn’t made it onto their website. Some photographers portfolio’s are just stacked full of the most unrealistic couples that no one in their right mind is ever going to look like; even on their wedding day. Even photographers can be fooled by this sort of thing and feel insecure about other photographers work just because the couples they’re showing in their portfolio are gorgeous. I really advise you to do the hard work of trying to discern between whether a photographers style is actually what you like or if they just have gorgeous couples filling their portfolio who you think are the style you’re going for. There is a difference between couples having a wedding like the one you’re planning… and the photographer shooting in the style that works for you.

PERSONALITY IS THE KEY TO NOT HATING YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

Another thing I think people don’t often think about when choosing your wedding photographer is that you will literally have them pretty close by with you for a huge amount of your wedding day. The degree to which you actually enjoy their company and feel like they’re the type of personality you’d actually be friends with in real life is massive. If you’re feeling nervous about having your photographs taken (most people are) Then this becomes even more important. Finding someone who can help you to relax and has the right energy to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera is super important.

avoid hating your wedding photographer

There’s my two cents on how to avoid hating your wedding photographer. Your experience of being photographed matters almost as much as the photos themselves. Making sure you enjoy both should be important