If you follow us in Instagram, you may have already heard my little spiel on the number one thing to ask for when searching for a wedding photographer. But just in case you missed it, please please always ask your pending photographers to see a link or five from full weddings they’ve covered. This should be a link, dropbox file or whatever format they use of the exact deliverables turned over to past clients following the weddings. A pretty leather album doesn’t count, nor does a highlight reel covered by your favorite wedding blog, nor does that one stellar shot you just can’t get over on their social media. It MUST be a full wedding as turned over to a client. No exceptions. And here’s the reason: Any person with a great camera and 8 hours spent on a wedding day can come up with a great shot or two for the gram or even 10 good enough shots to add it to their portfolio on their website, however you are looking for more than 1, 2 or even 10 amazing shots. You are looking for someone who can tell the full story of your wedding day through their images. You should look through these full weddings for things like getting ready images, family portraits, amazing couple’s portraits, candid images of guests enjoying the day, details you’ve obsessed over, landscape shots of the area and overviews of things like the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. Also, we always look for things like the ceremony kiss and those never get back again moments like you dancing with your dad, the tears in your best friend’s eyes when she gives her maid of honor toast and those silly cake cutting shots as well. If a photographer can’t show you a full days work in it’s entirety or even worse can show you one but there’s only a handful of decent images, then I highly suggest you consider another direction.
The image above is from Sydney & Ray’s Ojai wedding as captured by one of our all time favorite photographers, Steve Steinhardt. In this one shot he caught the couple, the first dance, the twinkle in the groom’s eyes, the comfort in the bride’s, the guests swooning and the overall design of the dance floor and ceiling installation. This is the sort of thing you should expect your photographer to capture and so much more.