How to choose the best wedding photographer – Wedding planning service, wedding venues in Toronto
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How to choose the best wedding photographer

wedding photographer taking photo of-newly-married-couple

Wedding Photographer taking photos of a newly married couple in the park

No vendor is more important than the Wedding photography who allows you to relive your entire day, from you say I do right up to the evening toasts. It is the responsibility of the wedding photographer to capture the most important moments and help create precious memories for the bride and groom.
It is a wedding photographer’s responsibility to capture the best moments and create a great memory for the couples. Your recollection of the events of this special occasion can only go so far, you’ll want romantic pictures to look back on and treasure. Good photography is not about simply clicking on the automatic focus feature and shooting away with the family camera. It’s an art that requires experience, skill, and planning. The last thing you want to do is place this important responsibility in the hands of someone inexperienced, so be very careful about whom you choose as your wedding photographer.

Beware of the so-called “professional” photographers who aren’t experienced. Imagine how you’d feel after finding out the entire ceremony was photographed with the lens cap on. Or discovering there is only enough battery power to take half the pictures you planned.  Or do you want to remember your wedding day as a series of conventional staged poses that a photographer does with all wedding couples, or do you want to see a picture album with real wedding moments?  There are countless stories of couples that have received less-than-quality work for their money. Don’t be next!

Don’t take a risk on an inexperienced wedding photographer. Take the time to find a photographer who knows what they are doing. There is no substitute for the education and experience of a professional photographer. Speak to family members, coworkers, and friends to find a good wedding photographer. Your local wedding business directory such as is a great resource. The Toronto Wedding box has many wedding photographers from the entire GTA. 


Know a professional wedding photographer

Most photographers offer packages based on the number of hours you will need for the day of the wedding. In addition, most photographers offer a la carte services including things like engagement shoots and albums. Pick and choose a package that is right for you and your style of wedding. Go ahead and look for the best value, but remember: You will do yourself a big favor by opting to pay a little more for a quality job. The cost of having a bad photographer is considerably more In most cases good photographers will have an extensive website with galleries of the weddings and events that they have shot in addition to albums in their studios. Many experienced photographers are involved in various organizations like WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) and WPJA (Wedding Photojournalist Association), which means they are actively involved in educating themselves. Since technology rapidly changes every day, so does photography. Again, an educated and experienced photographer is your best bet!

Toronto wedding photographer taking pictures of couple

In the end, if you find several photographers that meet your specific criteria, it makes it easier. Why? Then it all just comes down to personality. Keep in mind your photographer is with you all day long on your wedding day You want to make sure you like them and can be comfortable. Your photographer will be taking photos of you while you are getting dressed and while you kiss after saying “I do.” Don’t you want that person to feel like family that day?

Remember: A photographer’s high price tag does not necessarily mean you’ll be getting high quality. A low-price tag, however, is a pretty reliable sign that you’re likely to see low-quality results or that the photographer has less experience. This is one wedding expense that really is worth the money, time, and effort that it requires.

In some cases, your photographer may use a second shooter or an assistant. A second shooter is not the same as an assistant. When you are in the midst of hiring a photographer, you will want to know if he or she is charging for a second shooter or an assistant.

A second shooter is exactly that: a second professional photographer at your wedding. A second shooter is typically needed for larger weddings and large wedding parties if you plan to have posed family portraits.

On the other hand, an assistant photographer does not typically look for other photos to take that day. Assistants help photographers get the lenses that they need to set up lighting and carry their bags around all day. The assistant is not a vastly experienced photographer. Many assistants are interns and are learning the job.

Your photographer will likely charge you extra if a second shooter is needed, but not if an assistant is.

Don’t be afraid to ask your wedding photographer a lot of questions. You are making an important choice and they are using to being asked questions.

You need to find out about your prospective photographer’s experience and style and the best way to do this is by asking the right questions.


Questions to ask your wedding photographer

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you specialize in weddings?
  • Have you taken photos at my ceremony and reception sites
  • Are you a full-time photographer?
  • What kinds of packages do you offer?
  • What’s included in each package?
  • How many pictures do you typically take at a wedding of my size?
  • What is your hourly fee if the wedding goes over time?
  • Is there a fee for travel?
  • Will I be able to purchase additional prints in the future?
  • Can I see some of your recent work?

As the photographer answers your questions you will get clues to their experience. There’s more to this than asking the questions, of course, and since you may not have any experience in working with professional photographers, an explanation of some of the previous questions follows. Steer clear of part-time photographers who only occasionally handle weddings. They’re not likely to have the equipment and experience of an expert in the field, and their lack of commitment to this line of work will show in the final product. You want a full-time photographer, not someone who does this as a hobby, and not someone who’s trying to line her pockets by doing this as a side job. If you’re planning to work with a studio, choose one that specializes in weddings.

Only experienced wedding photographers know all the nuances of photographing a wedding, like how to avoid problems, when to fade into the background, and the best way to compose a great shot when working with a crowd. If you are on a tighter budget, less experienced photographers will typically be less expensive; just be sure to pick one with a good eye. One thing to look for in a less experienced photographer is if she or he has trained or interned with another more experienced photographer. Be sure to look thoroughly at less experienced photographers’ portfolios and ask the same questions you would any other photographer. Be cautious and ask the photographer to go to your venue before the actual wedding day to find great spaces for photo locations.

Try to avoid very large studios that appear to use the assembly-line approach. Often they utilize anywhere from fifteen to 100 photographers and won’t guarantee which one will show up on your wedding day, or how qualified he or she is to do the job.

If you find a studio you’d like to work with, always ask to see sample wedding images that were taken by the same photographer who will be working at your wedding. If the studio can’t or won’t supply them, find another one to work with. A high-quality studio or photographer will take three times as many photos as you signed on for, to give you the best and broadest selection. Note that studios may charge for the photographer’s travel time, or for overtime if the job runs longer than expected. Ask for prices upfront. Be sure to find out what the prices are for additional prints you may want to order beyond your original album package (if you order one).

Photojournalistic versus Traditional If you think that hiring a photographer is just asking the right questions and liking his personality, you have yet to come to the realization that there are two types of photography styles.

There is the photojournalist-style (or documentary-style) photography, and there are still couples all over the world that prefer traditional wedding photography.

What is the difference?

Photojournalistic Style is a newspaper-style where wedding photography takes the photos as they happen.

The photographer’s job is to simply tell the story of your wedding day without playing any role in it. The photographer is an observer who captures images. Photojournalistic wedding photography is all about being real and showing the facts of the day with no influence from the photographer (think newspaper-style).

There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to the true photojournalistic style wedding photography.

photojournalistic-style of wedding


  • Your album will look like the story of your wedding day
  • Photos tend to look natural and unposed
  • Without posed photography, there tends to be less stress of herding wedding parties and families


Disadvantages are:

  • There typically are no family portraits (for true documentary style)
  • There is an incredible amount of unpredictability
  • You may not always have the most flattering images of you and your family


Traditional Style

Traditional wedding photography is all about planned and posed photos with lots of control by the photographer. There is almost always a very definite timeline, schedule, and a detailed list of photographs that must be taken with lots of direction and possible lighting. If it requires a ton of setup and time, it typically means traditional photography. Like photojournalistic photography, traditional photography has its own advantages and disadvantages


Advantages are:

  • Your family will be delighted to have all of the family posed portraits that

they now don’t have to pay for!

. With planning, there is a certain amount of control.


Disadvantages are:

  • Posed images tend to be very time consuming and stressful for all of

the people involved in the posing and the timeline of the day.


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