The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) is the industry body for professional photographers nationally. More than 2,500 professional photographers are members of the AIPP – many of which are some of the country’s best wedding photographers.
Choosing Your Wedding Photographer
If you are like most other brides and grooms, you have probably spent hours deliberating over everything from the beading on the bridal gown to the roses at the reception… and no doubt you will want every exquisite detail captured in your wedding photographs. Your wedding photos are the only tangible items that remain at the end of the day and become even more priceless as each year goes by.
AIPP photographers must have a minimum of two years’ full-time experience in the industry. They have seen just about everything when it comes to weddings and are used to handling nervous brides and grooms, camera shy bridesmaids, pushy relatives, poorly lit churches and a whole host of diverse locations and situations. They also have the experience to suggest the most flattering poses and locations that lend themselves to gorgeous photography. Best of all, they know how to be in all the right places at the right time, without getting in your way. After all, you want to enjoy your wedding day!
Wedding Photography Packages
What to Expect
A professional wedding photographer offer brides and grooms a range of photography packages as incentives to earn your business and add value to your wedding photography experience. Attractive as these packages are, it can be difficult to work out the true value of one photographer’s package versus others when each is expressed so differently. However if you know what to expect, the whole process is so much easier.
Choosing a Package that Suits You
Whether you choose the basic package of a premium photographer or the works from a less expensive photographer is entirely up to you. Do you place greater value on a larger album or on the photographer being at your wedding from start to finish? Will you be requiring many extra photos and albums for family and friends? Are enlargements for your home important or perhaps, having an incredibly creative album full of special effects?
Comparing Photographers’ Packages
Photographers structure their packages quite differently. Narrow down to what is essential to you then compare packages that cover the essentials. Another option is to ask each potential photographer what they would charge you for the package that you want.
We won’t lie to you… good photography comes at a cost. However, bad photography is a total waste of money! Quality photography packages range in price from around $1,800 through to $3,600 and above.
Get it all in Writing
Whichever package you do choose in the end, make sure that you get all the details in writing. Discuss and be sure you understand carefully any additional costs which may be incurred such as overtime charges, reprint and enlargement costs, costs for additional album sides, the price of the “Negatives” and any special effects.
Getting the best from your wedding shots
Look your best
This one’s not too hard on your wedding day! You’ve probably been having regular facials, manicures and so on as it is in the lead up to the big day.
If your photographer offers a pre-wedding shoot this a perfect time to do your hair and makeup trial so you can really see how it will look on your photos. (This is also a great opportunity to build a good rapport with your photographer as well as have some shots from your engagement!).
Once in front of the camera on your wedding day, remember to stand up straight with your shoulders back and down. You’ll be amazed what a difference good posture can make!
Communicate with your photographer
Having chosen a photographer whose style you love, you should be sure to communicate clearly and openly your likes, dislikes and needs before your wedding day. Tell him or her of any shots you want to be sure are captured, such as a formal pose with your great grandparents.
Before the wedding you should also discuss potential locations with your photographer and be guided by their suggestions. Your photographer knows which places look best at night, in broad daylight or at dusk and can probably recommend the perfect spots to you.
Give it time
Good photography takes time and it would be unfair to expect your photographer to capture the thirty family shots that you want in only five minutes! Ask your photographer how much time he or she recommends for the number of formal photographs you would like and plan your wedding run sheet around this. The bigger the bridal party, the more time you may need.
The best wedding photos are those in which the bride and groom look relaxed and like they are having fun. If you have a good rapport with your photographer, he or she will be able to help you feel at ease in front of the camera. If you’re still camera shy, try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualising that you and your partner are completely alone.
Enjoy Being the Star of the Show
Last but not least, trust in your photographer and have fun! If you have chosen a good professional photographer and are happy and enjoying yourself on your wedding day, your wedding photos cannot help but be simply stunning.
Let photographers know which parts of the event you definitely want captured. There’s nothing worse than having the photographer miss classic, never-to-be-repeated moments you wanted to immortalise.
After the Reception
Most professional photographers don’t stay until the end of the reception. You may decide to mock the cutting of the cake so the photographer can leave earlier. If you would like to also have photos of throwing the bouquet, or the bride and groom saying goodbye, then you’ll either have to pay the professional photographer to stay or settle for amateur shots from friends and family.
Modern Wedding’s Top Ten Tips on Choosing a Wedding Photographer:
1. Choose a photographer who is a member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP).
2. Ask friends and families whose wedding photographs you like for recommendations.
3. Ask other wedding suppliers and your ceremony and reception venues for referrals.
4. Look through potential photographers’ sample albums as well as albums from whole weddings
(not just the best shots taken from all their weddings).
5. Imagine yourselves in potential photographers’ images to see if their style is well suited to you.
6. Choose a photographer you like and feel comfortable with.
7. Make sure you find out if this photographer is the very same one who will attend on your wedding day.
8. Ask about his or her packages and ascertain whether any of these is right for you and your needs.
9. Take a look at a contract.
10. Have a pre-wedding portrait session as a way to experience your photographer and have
a few beautiful portraits for your home.
For further information about the Australian Institute of Professional Photography,