Hire a Wedding Photography Pro

Getting photos of your elopement should be a priority, and you should take care to choose the right photographer. While there are many ways that elopement weddings can cost much less than traditional weddings, you should make sure to hire a wedding photography pro. Cut back on other services instead. Your photos will last a lifetime!

For many years, “wedding photographers” have routinely charged $750 and up for their services. Once upon a time, these exorbitant charges might have been justified. However, technology and the internet have made photography a completely different medium than it was even a decade ago. In addition, unlike the traditional wedding, your elopement will be a much shorter affair. For big weddings, a photographer would have to block out an entire day to follow the happy couple around before, during, and after the wedding and reception for the standard photos expected by everyone who attends the nuptials. Elopements, being simplified in every way, however, won’t require more than an hour or two of a shutter snapper’s time. Still, this doesn’t mean you should record your elopement ceremony via your Cousin Beatrice’s smartphone.

Find a skilled photographer using online classified sites. Don’t call anyone who doesn’t have an online presence, however. Whether the photographer has an online portfolio on his or her own website, or Facebook, or Instagram isn’t as important as having a portfolio that is readily available somewhere online. This way, you can “try before you buy” as you can see how a specific photographer has captured special marriage moments for others. Here are some other wedding photography tips to keep in mind when planning your elopement:

  • He or she must be flexible. You’re planning a ceremony that is a bit of a departure from the norm – that is, different from a traditional wedding. So find someone who doesn’t have a rigid temperament. The photographer should be able to accommodate your elopement ceremony, not the other way around.
  • What kind of equipment will be used? You don’t have to know the difference between a Nikon or a Canon or whether a certain filter works with a specific telephoto lens. That’s the job of the guy or gal you hire to photograph your elopement. However, make sure that the individual you use has professional grade equipment. Ask what he or she intends to use. Get brand names and the types of cameras, and look them up. You don’t want someone showing up with a basic “point and shoot” camera without a tripod or top-notch flash equipment. If you’re hiring a pro or skilled amateur, they should have the equipment to go along with their knowledge of photography.
  • Cost is a major consideration. As mentioned above, the photographer you hire should be less expensive for your elopement vs. a traditional wedding. They will be spending less time at your elopement getting the necessary photos as opposed to a “big” wedding ceremony.
  • But don’t go too cheap. On the other hand, make sure you hire an experienced photographer. Notice that we didn’t say hire a professional photographer. There are many, many accomplished photographers who work out of their homes or shoot events as a side business. The photographer’s online portfolio will show you what kind of work that they do, regardless of their label.
  • Ask about copyrights. There are photographers out there who will shoot your elopement ceremony, then put all of their work onto a CD-ROM disk and mail it to you. You then have the free reign to upload, print, alter, and reproduce as many of the photos as you wish without concern about copyrights. Find one of these photographers. The traditional wedding photographers’ stance that “you don’t own the copyrights to your wedding photos, I do” is a bit archaic and should be done away with as the technology changes.
  • Promptness is key. Try to get the names of others who have used the photographer’s services. You want to make sure that the photographer that you eventually hire not only shows up at the venue where you’ll be married, but does so a little bit early in order to get all the photos you wish.
  • A deposit is normal, and might even be desirable. If the photographer that you want doesn’t require a deposit, you should still have some guarantee in place that he or she will show up when you “elope”. In this
    way, a deposit of, say, 25% of the total cost of the photographer’s services is a good thing.
  • Lighting is tricky, especially at outdoor elopement venues. Many couples who consider elopement want to get married at beaches, parks, ranches, or other outdoor locations. Because of this, natural lighting is a very big issue for photos, and this fact alone almost requires the services of a professional or very experienced amateur photographer. Keep this in mind.

An experienced photographer for your elopement ceremony doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Don’t get married, even in a simple ceremony, without a polished photographer present to catch moments that you’ll treasure forever. While you can find officiants or guests who will be willing to take plenty of photos for you, they will never be able to get every angle or every available shot. Spend a couple of hundred bucks and follow the wedding photography tips above to hire the right person to capture your elopement. You’ll be glad you did!