Italy is a great place for a destination wedding. May people from all over the world and expats in Italy get married in Italy. Finding the right photographer for your wedding is essential to give you lasting memories of your big day and having a beautiful album of photos from your wedding is an item which you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. This makes it extremely important to select the right photographer for your event.
Choosing the right photographer for your wedding must take many factors into account because of how important the one off day is! For example, you need to decide whether you like a photographer’s personal style, portfolio and approach to shooting a wedding but you also have to keep more practical considerations in mind.
Ensuring that the photographer meets your budgetary requirements, has experience in the type of venue you’re having your wedding in and even that they can fit you into their schedule are all equally important.
To secure the right photographer for your wedding you’ll need to put aside enough time to research their credentials, study their portfolio and find out if they can fit you in. However, there are other factors that you need to consider when planning a wedding in Italy to make sure that the event goes without a hitch.
Language Barriers – How Good Is Your Italian?
If Italian isn’t your first language, or you don’t speak it at all, then there may well be issues when it comes to explaining your requirements to a photographer. This means that you should always try to find a photographer that speaks pretty good English so you can put across your ideas to them for the wedding shoot.
When you’re doing the research to find a wedding photographer make sure to check their website to see if they regularly work with foreign clients. You can also be more direct and simply send them an email to ask if they do speak English, and if so, how well. Don’t be afraid to refuse photographers whose English is hard to understand because this will save you problems during the shoot. Many photographers outside of the big cities like Rome, Milan, Venice or Florence may not have websites!
What Type Of Photography Style Do You Want?
When it comes to selecting a photographer for your wedding their own style of work should be of primary concern to you. This is a decision that you’ll have to make in conjunction with your partner and although it’s highly subjective a quick glance through a photographer’s portfolio should give you the insights into their work that you need.
Some photographers will specialize in a more traditional wedding look while others will gravitate towards vintage shoots, photojournalism style work or moody fine art. All of this must be taken into consideration when selecting the right photographer for your event. If you fail to properly explore the personal style of a photographer then you may find that you’re disappointed by the wedding photoshoot; something that you want to avoid at all costs. A photographer who is comfortable shooting wedding photos in the vineyards of Tuscany might not be the photographer you are looking for if your wedding is in Florence. NOTE: Most photographers are not very good at using drones. So if drone photography and videography is important to you, then you have to discuss that prior to signing the contract.
When it comes to selecting a style of wedding photography that you would like, it’s better to work backwards. Start by establishing what you don’t like first. Then, you can cross off the photographers whose work you definitely don’t like and only after that begin to narrow down your search to the ones you do like.
This is easier said than done. Many photographers will not have good portfolios on their websites. So you will have to contact them and then decide.
The Personality Of The Photographer Matters.
Of course, the technical abilities of a wedding photographer are essential to take into account but you also need to enjoy being around them. Having a compatible personality with the photographer will lead to more authentic results as well as you having more fun while working with them.
If, for example, you are planning quite a formal wedding then you might not want to work with a photographer who is bubbly, jokes around and doesn’t put you at ease. Alternatively, if you’re a fun loving person then you’ll be happier working with someone who has a similar ‘vibe’ to you and your partner.
It’s easy to overlook the personality of a wedding photographer but where possible you should try to get a sense of who they are, as well as what they can technically do, before making a final decision. This may sound like a minor consideration but since you’re going to be spending quite a bit of time with the photographer it’s always better if you naturally get along well.
To find out if you really do get along well you should call the photographer, or Skype them, before you make a decision. Usually, you’ll get a feeling for whether you can work well with them very quickly when you start to speak to them in person. You can then use this as a reliable guide to whether you’ll enjoy working with them on your wedding day.
Always Set A Budget!
It can be all too tempting to get carried away while booking and arranging something as exciting as a wedding photoshoot – it is a one off special day after all! However, it will make your search for the right photographer much less stressful if you have already set yourself a budget and are willing to stick to it.
Of course, when you’re deciding on a budget you should always leave a little extra money set aside in case you come across a photographer that is absolutely perfect but slightly more expensive than you had hoped for. Nonetheless, try to set a realistic budget and stick to it!
For a guide to a realistic budget you can start your search by exploring the general prices for photographers in and around the location of your wedding. This will give you a good baseline upon which you can set your budget.
Once you have your budget established you can quickly rule out photographers who significantly exceed it while focusing your research entirely on those who meet your predetermined financial criteria.
Book Your Venue FIRST.
Booking your venue should always be one of the first things you do when you’re planning an Italian wedding. Not only will this let you begin to make your other arrangements but it is also a great starting point for locating the right photographer for your event.
It’s not ideal, for example, if you’ve settled on the perfect photographer in Venice if you’ve booked the venue in Rome! Once you know where your wedding will be taking place you can begin your search for a photographer in the nearby towns, cities or province in general. Refer to my article on how to go about selecting a location for a wedding in Italy. The location will have a direct impact on your budget.
Should You Hire A Local Photographer For Your Italian Wedding?
In general, it’s going to be far cheaper if you hire a local photographer because otherwise you’ll have to pay for their travel and accommodation before and after the event. A photographer travelling in from further afield will also have to take account for lost work during their travel time which may further raise their prices.
Of course, if your budget allows it and you’re dead set on a particular photographer then it might be worth paying the extra for them to travel to your event. However, usually, it’s going to be better to hire a local photographer rather than one from further afield.
In many cases, local wedding photographers will also already have experience working in the venue and will better understand the lighting, scenery and the best ways to make the most of it.
Many wedding venues actually have a catalog of trusted local photographers that they work with which may be a great option if you’re not sure of where to start your search. Most wedding venues also have a gallery of photos to give their potential clients inspiration and ideas for what they can offer. If you see photos in the venue’s gallery of wedding photos then you can ask them to give you the contact details of the particular photographer.
When you’re arranging a wedding, particularly if it’s overseas, then anything which streamlines the process is worth considering. This will reduce the stress of arranging your wedding and will probably save you money at the same time! Not all the recommendations from a venue will be great but it’s still worth taking them on board when you’re in the early stages of planning your wedding.
Destination Weddings – Hire A Specialist Photographer.
Most Italian weddings for foreigners and Expats are destination weddings. This means that the location plays an important role in the overall experience and feeling of the special day.
Therefore, when you’re hiring a photographer you want to make sure that they have plenty of past experience in shooting destination weddings. Can the photographer really express the essence of the destination? Can they give your event the atmosphere that you want to portray through the destination? These are vital questions to ask a potential photographer when you’re brain storming the event to see if they have the kind of vision that you’re looking for.
You should also check the photographer’s portfolio to see if the kind of work that they have done in the past suits the type of destination wedding that you’re planning.
Check through at least two or three galleries of any potential photographer which show images in a similar type of venue. This applies equally to the scenery of their photoshoots. Do they work on beaches, in churches or in forested areas? All of these factors need to be considered. This will give you a better idea of what they are capable of and whether you should take on their services.
Explore Online Reviews And Social Media.
When you’re thinking about a potential wedding photographer you should always check their social media and website for reviews, past photos and other information that can help to inform your decision.
Reviews from past clients are one of the most valuable sources of information you can find about a photographer because you’ll get a first hand insight into the way they manage a photoshoot. The photographer’s website is another great source of information that you can rely on to learn more about their work and how they could help you.
Ask Around Your Friends Or Others In The Expat Community.
As well as relying on the internet, social media and photographer’s websites, you can also ask your friends, family and other members of the community for their personal recommendations.
You can often get reliable and insightful recommendations and tips from other people who’ve had a wedding in the same venue or town as you are planning to. They may already know the perfect photographer which can save you a great deal of time and stress in your search. So you should certainly make use of your connections; be they friends, family or members of the local community.
Interview Your Preferred Photographers.
It’s always a good idea to interview any photographer that you may want to shoot your wedding. If you’re overseas you can conduct the interview over the phone or, better yet, over Skype or Zoom.
Some of the questions that you should ask include:
- Is the photographer licensed and comprehensively insured.
- How much experience do they have in wedding photography and what are the best examples of their work?
- How long does it take for them to process and send you the photos after the day of your wedding?
- What packages do they offer? Do they produce physical albums or do they just send you the digital image files?
- Do they have a gallery of wedding photos in a similar venue and style to what you’re planning?
- Who will own the rights to the prints and digital copies of the images?
- How much do they charge and what pricing structures do they use?
- Can you schedule a test shoot before the day of the wedding and if so, how much does this cost?
Always be as upfront as you can during the interview because it will be your best chance to get to know the photographer before the event. You should take the opportunity to bring up any concerns you have about the photoshoot; for example maybe you’re worried about being shy in front of the camera or are wondering if the flowers you’re planning are a good match for the venue.
A good photographer will be happy to alleviate any concerns you have and, where appropriate, offer you useful tips and advice for the shoot.
Choosing A Photographer For Your Italian Wedding.
Selecting a photographer for your wedding is extremely important but it can be difficult if you’re making the arrangements from overseas. However, you shouldn’t let this put you off from having your wedding in Italy! The venues, scenery and cuisine in Italy are bound to make your special day unique and memorable – the perfect way to begin your life with your partner.
When you’re planning your wedding it can be very helpful to make a checklist that you can work through while you’re looking for the right photographer. This will ensure that you don’t forget a major detail during your search. You can also use your list to refer to during your interview with the photographer so you confirm everything that you need to know before making a booking.