Wedding photography has become a lucrative profession for photographers who specialize in capturing special moments.
The average cost of hiring a professional photographer ranges between $1,500-and $3,000.
One of the main concerns for many couples following their big day is to get their wedding photographs back as soon as possible – we all want to see how we looked!
Getting your wedding photos back can sometimes be a lengthy process – but there is a reason behind this.
Wondering why it is taking so long for you to see your snaps? Well, we have put together everything you need to know.
Or maybe you prefer to have a videographer instead? Come check out our article on hiring wedding videographers.
How To Get Great Wedding Photos
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and so it is important to ensure that you have the photos you dream of.
To help ensure that your wedding photos are amazing, here are some top tips to remember:
1. Be Yourself!
You may think that you know what kind of photos you want, but when it comes to taking pictures, you really never do.
So why not try and let the camera do the talking? By trying to force yourself into unnatural poses, you will end up looking and feeling uncomfortable – and this does not make for great photos.
Instead, allow yourself to be natural, and enjoy every moment of your wedding day. Your wedding album will thank you for it later on!
2. Choose An Experienced Photographer
When it comes to choosing a professional wedding photographer, experience counts for a lot.
It is important to do your research, and ensure that you pick a photographer who can bring your style and vision to life.
If you’re unsure about something, then don’t be afraid to ask! You’ll find that many photographers are happy to answer any questions you have, especially if you’ve got a specific idea in mind.
3. Have Fun With Your Photography Package
One of the best things about having your own wedding photographer is that you can decide exactly which packages you prefer.
For example, if you like candid shots, then you should consider hiring a photographer who specializes in capturing these types of shots.
Alternatively, if you want posed shots, then you might want to look at photographers who specialize in this type of photography.
4. Go On Location
Location plays a huge role in how successful your wedding photos will be. Before booking your wedding photographer, it’s worth considering where you’d like to take your photos.
Is there somewhere special that you’d like to shoot? Or maybe you’d like to capture some stunning sunset images. Whatever the case, it’s important to get creative with your location choices.
5. Consider The Weather
The weather can play a big part in whether your wedding photos turn out well or not. For example, if it’s raining heavily, then you may need to rethink your plans.
However, if you have clear skies, then you can go ahead and plan your wedding as usual.
A backup plan is always essential to ensure that you can capture stunning wedding shots no matter the weather!
6. Don’t Forget About Lighting
Lighting is another key factor that can affect the success of your wedding photos. For example, if your venue has a lot of windows, then you could use them to create interesting light effects.
Alternatively, if you’re shooting outdoors, then you could use natural lighting to give your photos a unique feel. Chat to your photographer to get their thoughts – they are sure to have plenty of ideas!
7. Be Open-Minded
As mentioned above, your wedding photographer is going to be responsible for creating beautiful memories of your big day.
As such, it’s important to be open-minded about their ideas. Ask them questions, and see if they have any suggestions for improving your wedding photos.
How To Choose A Good Wedding Photographer
Choosing a good wedding photographer can be difficult. You don’t want to choose someone who’s too expensive, nor do you want to go cheap.
The best thing to do is ask around and look for recommendations.
There are so many different types of wedding photographers out there that finding a good match can be tricky. Here are some tips on choosing the right wedding photographer:
1. Choose A Professional Photographer
You may think that hiring a professional photographer is expensive, but when you consider what you could lose by choosing a less experienced photographer, it really doesn’t seem worth it at all.
Professional photographers are trained in all aspects of photography, including posing, lighting, composition, and post-processing.
This ensures that your wedding photos look stunning, without any awkward poses or out-of-place shadows.
Hiring a local photographer may also prove to be much cheaper than hiring a national or international photographer.
While you might not know exactly who you want to hire until after you’ve booked your wedding, it is always best to start looking locally before you begin searching further afield.
2. Book Early
Booking your wedding photographer well in advance will give you time to review the packages offered, and find the right fit for you.
Many photographers offer discounts for booking multiple months in advance, which makes it even easier to save money on your wedding photography.
3. Ask Lots of Questions
When you first contact a potential photographer, ask them lots of questions.
You should make sure that they understand what you expect from your wedding photos, and how they plan to capture these images.
For example, do they use natural light only, or artificial lights as well? Do they shoot in color or black & white? What kind of lenses do they use?
How long does it take to edit their images? These are just some examples of things that you need to cover during your initial conversation.
4. Check Their Portfolio
Before hiring anyone, make sure that they have a portfolio available online. This should include a range of styles, including portraits, events, and weddings.
If possible, take a look through their work before meeting up, and make sure that it is in alignment with your style and the vision that you have for your own wedding.
A good wedding photographer has experience taking photos at weddings and knows what works and what doesn’t.
Make sure that you find out exactly how much experience your prospective wedding photographer has had with weddings, and ask for references.
You also want to know whether or not they have taken photos of weddings similar to yours so that you can see how well they do when faced with similar challenges – this will offer you the peace of mind that they can make your wedding photos as perfect as possible.
5. Meet In Person
Meeting in person is always better than over the phone. You can judge a lot more about someone by seeing them in real life, rather than just listening to them talk.
When you meet in person, you’ll get a chance to see how professional they are, and you can tell if they’re going to be able to capture the day as you’d hoped.
You will also be spending quite a lot of time with your photographer, so it is important that you make sure you both click and are on the same page.
6. Do They Have References?
If they don’t have references, it’s probably a bad sign. Find out why they haven’t got any, and if they can explain why. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and try to get as much information as possible.
This is your big day, so you need to feel comfortable with your photographer, and confident that they will be able to bring your vision to life.
7. How Much Will They Charge?
It’s important to understand the cost of hiring your wedding photographer. Most people assume that hiring a professional will cost thousands of dollars, but this isn’t necessarily true.
Many photographers offer packages at affordable prices, and others charge per image.
You may even find that you can hire a photographer for an hourly rate, although this is rarer these days.
Make sure that you know what you’re getting into when you start looking for a wedding photographer, and stick to your budget.
You may also find that your photographer charges more for extra prints, or prints in different sizes, so make sure that you understand what you are paying for before you commit to anything.
8. What Are Their Terms Of Service?
You should always read the terms of service carefully before signing anything. Some companies will require you to pay upfront, or give you no refunds if things go wrong.
Other companies will offer full refunds if something goes wrong, or if you aren’t happy with the end product.
Read all of the fine print thoroughly, and make sure that you understand everything that you agree to – this will help you to avoid any nasty surprises later on.
9. Can They Work Around Your Schedule?
Some people like to plan ahead, while others prefer to leave everything until the last minute. If you’re one of the latter, then you might not be able to use a photographer who requires a set schedule.
However, most photographers will be flexible enough to accommodate you and will be willing to adapt to suit your needs.
It is important to book in plenty of time, as the best photographers tend to get very busy very quickly, particularly during peak wedding season.
10. Do They Offer Any Freebies?
Some photographers will offer free sessions, free prints, or other incentives to encourage new customers to work with them.
These can be great ways of finding a good photographer, but make sure that you check their terms and conditions first, and only take up offers from reputable businesses.
This can be a nice way to grab some extra photos while sticking to your budget.
11. Is There A Backup Plan In Case Something Goes Wrong?
If you’ve hired a wedding photographer, then chances are there is going to be a lot of stress involved in the lead-up to your wedding day.
You want to make sure that you have someone available to capture those special moments, and if something does happen, you don’t want to worry about whether or not you’ll still have access to your images.
Ask your potential wedding photographer how they deal with emergencies, and if they provide backup services, and ensure that you have the peace of mind you need to relax and enjoy your wedding.
12. How Quickly Will The Photographer Reply To Emails And Phone Calls?
It’s important to establish a good working relationship with your wedding photographer, and this means being responsive to emails and phone calls.
If you send an email asking questions about your wedding photography package, it would be helpful if you receive a quick reply.
Similarly, if you call your photographer, it would be useful if you were able to speak to a real person rather than just leaving voicemails.
This is also great for extra reassurance, and good communication during the planning process also suggests that you will get your final photographs back more quickly.
Taking Wedding Photos: The Process
Getting gorgeous wedding photos is not just as simple as pointing the camera and clicking the shot.
There are a number of steps involved that can have an impact on how long the overall process takes from start to finish, and we will take a closer look at these below.
1. Choose Your Photographer
Before you begin looking for a wedding photographer, you need to make sure that you know what kind of photographs you would like to receive.
This way, you can narrow down your search accordingly.
If you already have a particular style in mind, then you can simply choose a photographer who specializes in that kind of photography.
Otherwise, you may want to think about choosing a photographer based on their portfolio.
2. Meet Them In Person
Once you have chosen a photographer, it’s time to meet them in person. You don’t necessarily have to book them straight away, but it’s good to do so as soon as possible.
During your meeting, ask lots of questions and find out more about their experience, qualifications, and other things that you might need to know.
3. Set Up An Agreement
Once you’ve met with your potential wedding photographer, you should set up an agreement. This details everything from pricing to payment terms and includes all the information that you both agree upon.
Make sure that you include anything that you may need during the wedding day, including extra equipment (such as a tripod) and insurance.
4. Book Time With Them
Booking time with your wedding photographer is one of the most important parts of the whole process.
They will need this time to prepare for the shoot, and you will also need to arrange when you will pay them.
5. Start Shooting
After booking time, you’ll now be ready to start taking photos. However, before you begin snapping away, you should check over your contract to make sure that there aren’t any hidden clauses that you haven’t agreed upon.
Also, make sure that you are happy with the price that was quoted to you, and that you understand exactly what is included in the package.
Now that you’re ready to start shooting, it’s time to head to where the action is happening, and have your actual wedding shots taken.
This means that you may probably need to travel somewhere new or unfamiliar, so make sure that you feel comfortable doing so.
6. Edit & Deliver
Now that you have taken some great shots, it’s time to edit them into something special, and the photographer will use this stage to work their magic.
After editing, the final product will be delivered to you.
7. Review And Display
Once you have received your photos, it is time to share copies, display your images, and remember your special day.
How Long Does It Take To Get Wedding Photos Back?
The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions getting wedding photos back is seeing yourself and your new spouse on the big day. But what do you actually mean by “getting them back”?
If you are referring to viewing your images online or downloading them from your memory card, then you will most likely receive them within 24 hours after your wedding.
However, if you are talking about having prints made from your digital files, then it may take longer than expected.
The time frame for printing depends on the size of the image and whether or not they were shot digitally or film-based.
For example, large-format prints (8×10) can take up to two weeks to print. Smaller prints such as 4x6s usually take around three days.
If you ordered prints through an online vendor, then you should expect them to arrive within seven business days.
This includes any shipping delays caused by customs clearance at the destination country.
Getting Your Images Back
There may be several reasons why it takes so long to get your pictures back, and some of these include:
The Photographer’s Workload
Depending on how popular your photographer is, they may have a heavy workload which can slow down the processing and delivery time.
Also, if you hired a local photographer, then they may be working with other clients during the same period.
This can be a particular problem if you are getting married during a very popular time of year (see also: What’s The Cheapest Time Of Year To Get Married?)- usually the summer.
The Destination Country
If you live overseas or are planning on sending your images overseas, then the time it takes to receive your photographs can be seriously delayed.
You will need to wait for your order to clear customs before the receiving them, and some countries require additional paperwork and/or fees before the package can be released, and which can also slow the process down.
Photographers’ Licenses & Copyright Issues
Some countries require a license to make copies of copyrighted material. In addition, some photographers charge extra for making copies of their work.
All of this extra paperwork can increase the time that it takes for you to get your snaps.
The Photographer’s Location
Some photographers prefer to shoot weddings locally because they enjoy being close to their subjects. They also like to keep their equipment and supplies nearby.
If you opt for a photographer from further afield, however, you should expect to be waiting longer for your final snaps.
Post Processing Time
Although this isn’t much of an issue, it does add to the overall turnaround time. Most photographers spend anywhere from one hour to two hours per photo editing.
So, if you’re expecting to get your shots back in just a few days, then you’ll probably need to factor in at least another week for post-production – particularly if you want quality, professional results.
If you chose to ship your prints overseas, then you will need to pay for all of the costs involved.
These could include the cost of international postage, packaging materials, insurance, and even customs clearance charges. Once again, this adds time.
It is important that you communicate well with your photographer.
Make sure that you give them plenty of notice when you would like to collect your photos, and also let them know what date you would like them returned.
It is important to ensure that you keep your photographer updated with details about your address and intended delivery address – any miscommunication here could result in a delay with you receiving your photographs.
Do Wedding Photographers Edit Every Photo?
Yes, most do. However, there are many factors that determine whether or not a photographer edits every single shot.
Some photographers edit only those shots where something has gone wrong, such as blurry shots, or ones where the bride looks unhappy.
Others will edit every shot but will leave a selection of “keepers” for you to choose from. As long as you are happy with the end product, then it doesn’t really matter how your wedding photos were edited.
What Should I Expect From My Wedding Photography Service Provider?
You should expect to receive high-quality digital files within 24 hours of ordering your wedding photography service.
Your provider should also provide you with a detailed invoice detailing the number of images you ordered, along with the total price.
The best way to find out which wedding photographers to hire is by asking friends and family who’ve had their photos taken professionally.
Ask them to recommend photographers to you, and see if they feel comfortable with the experience.
Getting your wedding photos back is an exciting time, but it is important to remember that this process can take a little while, so patience is key.
Don’t worry if you don’t get your photos back right away; they will eventually arrive!
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