I’m really pleased that Sara invited me along to talk to you about how to choose a photographer for your shabby chic wedding.
I’m a photographer, as well as a bride to be, so I have some very recent experience of trying to find a photographer that suits the style of my wedding and I also know what it’s like to be behind the camera.
As far as finding my own wedding photographer goes, it was tough. Like any bride to be I was pretty overwhelmed by the choices available. Things were made a little bit more tricky because both my husband to be and I are both photographers and we both like very different styles of photography. We managed to find someone who suited us both in the end but it did involve a quite a lot of looking around.
The way I see it is that there are a couple of ways to pick a photographer. You either fall head over heels in love with their photographic style or you find a few different ones that you like, meet them and choose the one who you click with and gets you and your day.
If you do pick a photographer because you fall in love with their work, wonderful.
If you shortlist and pick someone based on the fact that they get you, wonderful.
If you’re still a bit confused and not sure whether the photographers you’ve picked will deliver what you want, it’s worth baring in mind that whilst good photographers will have developed their own style, they can usually work within the style to create images that meet a specific need and if they can’t they should tell you.
For example, you might want your whole wedding shot in a vintage style but you might need one or two formal posed shots that are edited in a more traditional way, for the grandparents.
It’s always worth trying to be as clear as possibly about what you’re after. If you want them to focus on producing soft, romantic and pretty images tell them. If you prefer quirkier images let them know. Point out the images in their portfolio that made you fall in love with their work in the first place.
There are loads of different ways to implement a shabby chic theme for your wedding. Are you aiming for distressed, mismatched and quirky? Maybe you like the pretty, soft and romantic elements? Are you going for a look that’s more eclectic or paired down chic? Or maybe you’re throwing together all kinds of shabby chic loveliness to create a wonderful mish-mash.
Either way, you might want to have an idea of the look that you’re aiming for before you look for a photographer.
You might also want to consider providing them with a moodboard of photographic images, including images by other photographers, to give them an idea of the style of photography that you like.
If you’re right at the beginning of your search for a photographer and don’t know where to start, there are a few photography styles that naturally lend themselves to a shabby chic wedding.
Contemporary photography can really compliment your décor and set up. Within contemporary photography, you’ll find people (like me!) who create images with a touch of vintage style and this can work really well with a shabby chic theme.
Contemporary, fine-art and vintage photographers tend to create soft, romantic and pretty images with a focus on all of the details that you’ve worked so hard on. Whilst they’ll document your day, they might also set up some shots of you away from everyone else, to make sure you get some beautiful portraits.
The documentary, photojournalistic or reportage styles of photography can work too. This approach tends to give a straight forward record of the day with more of a focus on the people and events as they unfold, rather than set-up shots.
You could also consider more classical wedding photography as a way of having a timeless record of your day, with more posed formal shots.
Realistically, most photographers will usually provide a mixture of approaches. From my own perspective, I do a lot of documentary, some fine-art posed shots of the bride and groom (or groom and groom/bride and bride) and then as many formal shots as are requested.
What ever style of photography you choose, your photographer should meet with you before the wedding, to talk through your plans, ideas and the bits of the wedding that are going to be the most special to you.
If you have any questions about wedding photography, do feel free to drop me a line via my website and I’ll be happy to help if I can.