My 101 Ultimate Guide To Wedding Photography

Over the bridge at Stonebarn Lodge

Weddings are a time-honoured tradition. The first documented ceremony dates as far back as 2350 B.C. in Mesopotamia, and though many things may have changed over the last 4000 years, one thing hasn’t: weddings have always been an opportunity for family, friends and loved ones to all come together and celebrate the journey you and your partner are taking together. You’re going to want to remember this celebration for decades to come. Today, I’ll be going through my ultimate guide to wedding photography to help you make the all important decision of who will be the best wedding photographer for you.

Modern day

There’s no denying that over the years, the way we’ve been able to celebrate each other has changed. From moving farther and farther away from our hometowns for lifestyle or career opportunities to learning how to function in a Zoom-based world, the chances we have to reconnect with all our nearest and dearest in one space can feel few and far between. But you can bet your people will jump on planes, trains or various automobiles to be there for your wedding!

This gives you, as the happy couple, an amazing opportunity. A chance to not only plan something beautiful together, but to create incredible memories with all of your favourite people. This day also marks the joining together of two households – an important date in your family’s history and one that should be preserved. It’s a sad fact of life that the people we love simply won’t be around forever – having beautiful photos of your loved ones will be something you’ll cherish forever. 

That’s what wedding photography truly is: a couple trusting us with your most important day. So, you’re looking for the Best wedding photographers South West Australia – what are some characteristics that a good wedding photographer will possess? Well, to start, the ability to translate all the emotion of the celebration and give you the chance to relive those feelings for years to come. In the hands of the right wedding photographer, your story will read like an epic tale of love, romance, and bliss – which is why I’m here. 

Below we’re going to take an in-depth look at all of the factors to think about when planning your wedding package.

Things like: 

  • Which type of photography is best for a wedding? 
  • What do most wedding photography packages include? 
  • What are the most important things in photography for weddings? 
  • What are the two main types of wedding photography? 

It can feel like a lot, when it’s listed all out like that! From those four simple questions, it may feel like a hundred more begin popping into your head. By creating this ultimate guide to wedding photography, I hope I’ll be able to answer all of those questions together. 

It’s my goal to make sure you never feel overwhelmed. I’ll pour my soul and heart into your wedding so that you can conserve your energy and focus on getting to enjoy your moment. My job is to tell the story of your love – your job is just to be in love. 

So let’s take a deep breath… (1, 2, 3) Exhale slowly… (1, 2, 3) And get started. 🙂

Storytelling Wedding Photography 

Much like weddings, storytelling is a time-honoured tradition. Long before we had printing presses or digital cameras, it was a respected role to be known as the storyteller of your community. You were given the heady task of ensuring that cultures, traditions and hard-earned lessons were passed from generation to generation. Storytelling has the ability to give us a sense of who we are and where we come from, and to remind us of all the moments that have made this life worth living. 

Being able to tell that story is the most important attribute a wedding photographer can have. It requires more than just being able to pick up a camera or choose certain settings on the latest smartphone. It means spending time with the couple. Putting in a concerted effort towards learning your origin story: everything from how you met, to your first date, to the first time you said ‘I love you’. Each piece of your puzzle comes together to create the big picture. 

It may seem counterintuitive, but some of the most important time you can spend as a wedding photographer is the time you spend without a camera in your hands. It’s the time you’re willing to spend as an active participant in each couple’s journey. What’s their wedding song? Their colour scheme? All of those little components arm a wedding photographer with the information we need to make all of your dreams come true. 

Why it matters

Seems silly? It really isn’t. A favourite song can inform the emotion I bring to your images. Your colour scheme can teach me how far I can go with a dark and moody edit to create drama. It may not seem like it, but all these details play a small but integral role in storyboarding the kind of wedding photo package you need to achieve that perfect wedding scenario. 

When it comes to the most important things in wedding photography, there is nothing more pivotal than being able to take those small moments and transform them into the big picture. 

The Bigger Picture: Editing Style And Capturing Style

We spoke earlier about the ways that weddings have changed over the years. Another key component that has changed is the way that you’re able to tell your story. 

For such a long time, wedding photos were overly posed affairs that more often than not felt stuffy, formal and more like you were taking school photos rather than capturing one of the most monumental moments of your life! Those pictures told the story of who was there, what they wore, what was eaten – but they never seemed to truly capture the essence of who the couple was. 

As the industry has changed, we’ve seen wedding photos become so much more than posed pictures in a frame. They’ve become a well-rounded mixture of photojournalism, fashion, portrait and candid stylings, giving your story the chance to be told the way you see fit. 

Though storytelling is the biggest component of successful wedding photography, determining the kind of styling that will best frame and shape your story, is just as vital. While there are plenty of nuances to consider when it comes to the styling of your photos, the most basic way to break it down is editing style and capturing style. So what are these styles, and how do they impact the kind of photos being taken? 

Capturing style

Capturing style is about your photographer’s approach on the day – the way they shoot. Do they specialise in documentary-style, fly-on-the-wall type candid shots? Or do they prefer a more editorial direction to ensure the composition of your images evokes a sense of the cinematic or fine art? Maybe they like to use a mix of both… Before choosing your photographer, have a think about the way in which you’d like your photographs captured on the day and pay attention to the descriptive words that the photographers use when describing their approach.

Editing style

Editing style refers to the magic that happens after the big day – photographers are artists and we all have our unique style. Head to the gallery pages of our websites or pop on over to our Instas in order to get a feel for our vibe and aesthetic to make sure it matches up with your own dream for the day.

Choosing the style that’s right for you

Maybe you’re looking for a more relaxed wedding photography style, something that captures the comfort and ease with which you and your partner move through life. Maybe you’re a traditionalist who’s envisioned a more grandiose plan for your wedding photography. OR, maybe you don’t quite know at this moment what kind of style will fit you best – that’s OK too! 

When you take time and talk with your photographer, they’ll be able to show you examples of their work and if your visions are lining up – then you’ve got yourself a beautiful match! If your ideas for the day don’t quite align with your photographer’s style, then they will in all likelihood tell you and even recommend someone who might be a better fit. We want our clients to be happy and absolutely LOVE their photos. Of course, we would love to be the one who captures these memories for you but only ever if the fit is right. Your happiness comes first. Always.

The Package: From Big To Small, Your Wedding Photo Package Should Cover It All

We’ve talked about the importance of the story, and the kind of styles you can apply to make that story shine the brightest. Now we’ll take a look at another big factor in your wedding day photo prep: 

  • What kind of package do you need?
  • What do those packages normally come with? 
  • What kind of budget will those packages require?  

The kind of wedding photo package you need is normally determined by what kind of story you’re looking to tell, and what you want to do with those photos once they’re ready. Knowing those factors will help you figure out what package fits best for you. 

Here are some of the components to look at when it comes to what kind of package you need.

How do you want to present the photos? 

Are you looking to create your first family heirloom? Do you want a full, fine art album of your portraits to ensure a tangible keepsake of the day is always available for friends and family? Do you want to be able to offer your guests a digital sneak peek of the photos and videos before they are officially released? Would you rather see beautifully tailored photos on social media that follow the theme of your story versus random cell phone pictures taken by dancing partygoers? Will there be so many guests that your photographer will need an assistant on-hand?

Answering yes to any of those questions means you’re probably going to want to book a full day (generally 9 hours) of coverage. That means capturing the anticipation and excitement as you get ready leading up to the ceremony, all the way to busting out some serious moves on the d-floor in the evening! Your wedding photographer is there to make sure they capture everything leading up to that walk down the aisle (or the beach, or the garden path) and beyond. 

If you’re not so fussed about an album but you’d really like an epic framed pic of the two of you above your mantle piece, then yes I would suggest going for a half day! This allows you to skip ahead a few chapters in your story and go straight for the main events: the vows, the kiss, those first moments of wedded bliss. All the images you couldn’t live without, preserved forever as beautiful memories. 

Choosing between a half- and full-day offering also allows you to budget for your wedding package, giving you the chance to get the most bang for your proverbial buck. And speaking of budgets… 

What kind of budget will I need for these options? 

All of the questions we’ve answered in the last section led us here: figuring out the kind of budget you will need for the kind of wedding photography you’re trying to achieve. 

You Get What You Pay For

Most wedding photographers come with standard package pricing, whether it’s for a full or half day, and every photographer’s budget will be different. So while I won’t be able to tell you the exact amount you’ll need to save to achieve your photography goals, what I can do is tell you that the old adage you hear is true: you absolutely get what you pay for. 

There is so much more to finding a wedding photographer than finding someone who owns a camera and understands lighting. Having a wedding photographer who truly cares about you as a couple is worth its weight in gold, because in order to make a couple’s dreams come true, we have to be more than a photographer. We have to be someone who sets the couple at ease, and helps them understand we are just as invested in their love story as they are. We have to be a planner, a friend, a confidant, an all-hands-on-deck type. 

A good photographer’s many hats

As a wedding photographer, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been on tie-tying duty, boutonnieres pinning or veil re-positioning. I’ve orchestrated last-minute venue changes and taken many a bridal party on 4WD adventure tours for photos. I’m a certified logistical master at making wedding timelines work – and will do everything within my power to make sure your day goes smoothly and is the most incredible experience possible for you and your guests!

Which is why, in the end, the budget is about so much more than how many pictures come with the deal, or how many customizable add-ons you can throw in. It’s truly about the ability to shop around and find the right person for you. 

Of course, it is also about the number of pictures and customizable add-ons – which means you should probably budget anywhere from about $3,000–$6,000+ to guarantee you’re getting what you want. At the core of it, this is the budgeting for a storyteller who actually wants to get your story right. 

The Moral Of The Story

There you have it! The basics, the 101 of wedding photography. We’ve looked at the major components you need to consider, the amount it might cost, the myriad of options on your plate – and even through all that, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what it truly takes to make it all happen. 

The biggest lesson, though, and the thing I want you to walk away with, is this: your wedding has to be as important to your wedding photographer as it is to you. That is what truly separates a storytelling wedding photographer from someone who just takes photos at a wedding. 

This is why you should reach out to me on my website! As your Storytelling wedding photographer in Nannup, I’ll be here to help you make all the rough photography decisions, and all you’ll have to think about is what you’re having for the main course. I promise we’ll carve out all the time we need to make sure your story is told the way you’ve been dreaming it will be.

September 7, 2022

Victoria Baker

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