Though you will likely remember every detail of your big day, your wedding photos are important keepsakes that you are sure to cherish for years to come. So, it’s not surprising that many couples worry about how to ensure they get the best quality photography possible. This is made even more difficult due to the fact that you will not see your wedding photography until long after your big day has occurred. (Learn more on how long wedding photos take to get back.)
While you may think that editing your own photos will help overcome this problem, that's probably unnecessary—plus, it’s extremely time-consuming. Here, we’ll break down all the details, so you end up with your dream wedding photos.
If you’re wondering how to edit your wedding photos, don’t. Though you may want—or need—to do some light editing on your own (think cropping an image to size) using simple tools like the Zola Photo Editor, you should leave most of the editing to your professional photographer.
Nearly all wedding photographers take care of the editing process for you, sending you the final images when they are done. However, each professional photographer has their own style and techniques. While they will work with you to ensure you are getting the specific shots you want and may consider any style elements you desire, it’s difficult for a photographer to do something completely different from what they usually do. Instead, it’s best if you focus on finding a photographer whose style matches the aesthetic you want in your wedding photography, then provide them with a list of shots you want them to capture.
The first step in finding the right photographer is understanding the different styles and trends of wedding photography. These aesthetics will ultimately determine how your photographer edits the final images from your big day. As you look for a vendor to work with, make sure you understand these styles, so you can ask the right questions when vetting a photographer.
It’s important to recognize that some styles are achieved in the way the photo is initially taken, while other aesthetics are created during the editing process. As a result, a photographer may combine techniques.
Once you have a clear understanding of the style of photos you want for your big day, it’s time to find the right photographer. Thanks to social media and other tools, like Zola’s Vendor Search, this is a lot easier than you might think. Here are four easy steps to finding the perfect photographer for your style of wedding photos:
1. Research Your Options Start by creating a list of photographers that look like they might be a good fit. This can include people you’ve found on social media, like Instagram or Pinterest, listings on Zola, and personal recommendations you’ve received from friends and family. Then take some time to thoroughly research each, looking at the style and personality of their photos, as well as reviews or testimonials. Narrow down your list to your top three or four choices.
2. Schedule Interviews After you’ve made your top selections, reach out to each photographer to gauge availability and set up an interview. Use this time to ask them questions about their style and editing process. You will also want to share some details about your wedding day venue, wedding style or theme, and what you envision for your photos.
3. Review Their Work If you feel like it’s a good fit, ask your potential photographer to share some wedding album designs to review the details of their work. As you look through these albums, pay attention to the style of the photos, the types of images they took, and the specific moments they captured. This will give you a more well-rounded view of their work, so you know exactly what to expect when working with them.
4. Discuss Post-Production Details Depending on how busy the photographer is and the type of editing they do on your photos, you should expect to wait anywhere from three to 12 weeks for your final images. This is because most wedding photographers shoot raw images, rather than your typical JPEG files, which allows them greater flexibility in editing the final images. However, these files also take much longer to upload. Discuss these details with your photographer, so you know what to expect, including how many images you will receive, when you will be able to see proofs, how proofs will be retouched, and if you will be able to have prints made yourself. This ensures that you are both on the same page about how the process will go, minimizing any problems down the road.
Finding the right photographer will ensure that you do not need to know how to edit wedding photos, while still getting the beautiful images you desire. Rather than worrying about how you might modify the images yourself, focus on nailing the overall style and aesthetic for your wedding photos. This will help you in your search for the perfect photographer for your special day. If you need some extra help finding a photographer that matches your budget and style, Zola vets each vendor we place on our directory so that you can find trusted wedding photographers from Miami, FL to Cincinnati, OH and everything in between.