Featuring Work by ShutterFreek
The last thing you want is to feel like your photographer didn't live up to your expectations. Odds are this is your first (and only) wedding. You've probably heard horror stories of what other brides went through with their wedding experience. Don't worry, in this article, we'll share our interview questions with Paul & Katie of ShutterFreek who gave brides some excellent tips to share on how to pick the photographer of your dreams.
For those who are meeting Paul & Katie of ShutterFreek for the first time, they're best friends in love who photograph and video adventure elopements; they remain one of the top vendors in their field and are a must-follow on Instagram. Below we'll dive into the advice they have for brides when selecting a wedding photographer.
#1. What's a common question Brides Usually Have When They Meet You?
"We're awkward in front of the camera. Will you direct us and tell us what to do when we're taking photos?"
"Of course!! Part of what makes a couple's experience unique with us is our ability to help you feel comfortable and natural in front of the camera. We have special engaging techniques that help you interact in ways that are authentically you. Sometimes that will involve being serious, other times laughing hysterically, and other times simply reflecting on your unique friendship. Just show up and we'll do the rest."
#2. What's something you think every bride should know about booking a photographer?
On your Wedding Day, your photographer should feel like a close friend...
"This is what enables couples to feel themselves in front of the camera. Get to know your photographer. What are their interests in music, movies, TV? What are their view on marriage & family? What is their dress style? What editing style & aesthetic do they gravitate toward? Most photographers try to communicate with a certain audience through their portfolio. We want to reach like-minded people, so post imagery from people we connected with.
As photographers, if we didn't care for a certain aesthetic at a wedding, we typically won't promote it through our portfolios. That's not to say we don't encourage couples to make their wedding style a personal choice, it just means that we have a preference for what we feature. As an example, if you're wanting a Country-themed Wedding with sunflowers & burlap, but the photographer you're wanting has ZERO SIGNS of Western-themed weddings on their site or Instagram, chances are they're aren't a fan of that style. And that's ok.
Just go out and find one that IS your style. If your theme, interests & values are aligned with that of your photographer(s), chances are you're going to make some serious magic together because you will enjoy the time together. If you're super extraverted and outgoing, DON'T hire a highly artistic yet introverted photographer for your Wedding Day. You'll likely regret it."
#3. What are 3 things that make a great photographer?
Every time, the answer is...
"1) Experience. There's no substitute for experience. Not only does experience translate to quality, but it also translates to a stress-free wedding day. We've been shooting Weddings collectively for over 15 years (yes, we're old). We've shot over 1,000 Weddings at this point. That experience becomes invaluable when you have dysfunctional cogs built into your Wedding Day. A hyper-experienced photographer will know how to help manage your timeline, connect you with reliable and talented vendors, understand the most efficient way to utilize time and light, and most importantly take of things that have the potential to be stressful before they even happen. A seasoned photographer is like having a backup planner/coordinator built into one."
"2) Personality. I can't tell you how many Weddings we've shot where people are coming up to us at the end of the event, sometimes even tipping us, telling us how awesome of a job we had done that day. This is all before they've even seen one photo in the camera. For all they know, every photo was out of focus or improperly exposed. Why is this happening? This response is a direct result of our outgoing, fun-loving, kind, compassionate, enthusiastic, optimistic, hard-working, and mildly funny personalities.
We go into every event wanting to make new friends. We're eager to make authentic connections with as many people as we possibly can. And did I mention we work our butts off to go above and beyond what the average photographer will do at an event? Sometimes we're sprinting to get the shot. We never sit still. We cover all the angles. And when it's time to shoot portraits, we make people laugh and we help them feel gorgeous. "Show me your friendship" is my personal favorite go-to line to get the best responses out of people."
"3) Gear. Gear isn't everything but it definitely helps. So what's in the bag? At any given time we're packing upwards of $50K worth of canon mirrorless and DJI equipment. We want lenses that are the fastest and sharpest possible. Bodies that will shoot super high resolutions + high frame rates with superior autofocus intelligence. We want gear that combined with our eye and talent will produce the finest possible end product. With great gear your ability for accuracy and creativity are limitless. Could I cover a Wedding effectively with an iPhone 12? Sure! No problem. Would it be the same result compared to a $10,000 body + lens? Not even close."
There is a huge difference between an Adventure Elopement Photographer who shows up for an afternoon for a hike, ceremony, and romantic portrait session & an Extreme Adventure Elopement cinematographer who plans, coordinates, photographs & films a 24-48 hour Elopement Experience. Watch this if you have time.
We're thankful to Paul & Katie for their time to help us answer some useful advice around booking a wedding photographer. Nothing makes us happier than knowing you'll have the resources needed to find the right wedding vendors for you. After all, the more you know, the more ideal your wedding day or elopement will be. Congratulations on your engagement and we wish you all the best from Zion Brides!
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