Am I the best gold coast wedding photographer? Is anyone the best gold coast wedding photographer. The short answer is. Probably not. And I’d like to use my 10 years of experience as A wedding photographer, who I think goes alright. To explain why wedding photographers are a lot like Goldilocks porridge. You need to find one that’s the best fit for you, and your wedding. And while the front page of google may not always help you find your absolute best gold Coast wedding photographer I’d like to guide you in how you can find a really really good one. (Even if you don’t pick me)
It’s definitely true that there are awful wedding photographers. I hear horror stories at every wedding I photograph. Sometimes I consider writing them down and putting them on my website instead of testimonials. People losing all their wedding photos. Photographers taking couples money, and then never showing up to the wedding. Then there’s just the bossy photographer, the lazy photographer, and those who are lovely.. but just take really unflattering photos of everyone’s double chins.But there’s actually a LOT of incredibly talented wedding photographers who could rightly claim to be “the best” but, what makes a photographer the best wedding photographer for you.There’s a surprising amount of factors we could look at but there’s some really big keys that I think matter more than any others. So let’s get them out of the way first.
Obviously, it’s a given that they’ll need to take amazing wedding photos. You can’t get around it. If the photos suck. You don’t wanna book that photographer. So with that out of the way lets get into the other things that you’re going to want to consider as you consider your hunt for the best gold coast wedding photographer… FOR YOU.
PERSONALITY: This is so damn important. Your photographer will be likely with you from your getting ready pictures till late into the dance floor. They will be standing quite close to you. (maybe we should consider body odour as another metric) But this person needs to be someone you’d wanna hang it with in close proximity for your entire wedding day. It’s pretty close to them being an extra member of your bridal party. And you pick your bridal party really carefully because you want the right energy around you on your wedding day. Likewise… the energy coming from your photographer really matters too. If you BOTH, don’t gel with your photographer it will not only effect your enjoyment of the day… but it also effects the photos. If I can connect with my couples like we’re best friends, the photos are actually at least 20% better. Not because I’m more creatively motivated by the highs of friendship feels, but because if my couple are feeling really connected to me, they’re going to be relaxed and act how they normally act around people they feel safe with. This will make for much more authentic photographs that feel a thousand times more sentimental later and everyone looks their best when they’re truly being themselves.
Photographers have different styles, and you can tell from what they show on their blog and their social media what style of wedding they’re trying to book. If you’re having a rustic bushdance in Byron Bay, and your looking through photographers sites that only show fancy black tie weddings on the Brisbane River. You could ask them to show you some full galleries of weddings at venues similar to yours. But black tie vs bogan hoedown aside.. There’s some key elements to a photographers style that you might not notice at first. But these do matter in my opinion.
Are the poses stationary.. or is their movement in the images. There are photographers that like to capture things as they unfold. And photographers who like to pause proceedings to set it up perfectly. Neither are the best or wrong. They’re just different. Most photographers do a little of both. But you want to pay attention to what you like better and what the photographers you’re choosing from predominantly do. (another reason it’s important to go deep into peoples blog. Not just scroll through an instagram feed of hero shots. Just like you wouldn’t judge how epic someones life is off their insta highlight reel, you shouldn’t just a photographer by the best photo they took at every 5th wedding they shoot.
How close up do they shoot. If you’re having a wedding down in the gold coast hinterland or somewhere with beautiful surrounds.. Who knows maybe you’re having a glasshouse mountains elopement. Either way, you want to see how different photographers incorporate the landscape into their photos. Do they shoot up super close or do they find ways to use the landscape as a third character and include the landscape into the story.
If you’re getting married in a busy city setting. A lot of extreme closeups can be a really good way to cut out the busyness of the backgrounds and still give you really crisp photos.
Things that DO NOT mean someone is the best photographer for you. Because they’re on the front page of google.. or had enough money to pay for an add to be on the front page of Google. Google sadly has no taste in wedding photography, And the best photographers I know, aren’t on the front page of google for anything because they’re busy taking amazing care of their couples and taking amazing wedding photos so they don’t have time to spend 10 hours a week crafting clever phrases to feed the hungry search engine beast. OR they’re just booking amazing clients through word of mouth because their work is so good that they also don’t need to fuss around with google. INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS: For so many reasons don’t just book your photographer straight from instagram because they have a ton of followers. It’s surprisingly easy to curate an instagram feed that’s got one good photo from every wedding and then most of the photos aren’t even from weddings.
PRICE: More money doesn’t not automatically equal better photographer. Sometimes it does and you’re paying for unmatched levels of experience and technical skills. Often booking cheaper photographers can mean you’re risking inexperience, poor backup procedures and cheaper camera equipment and others behind the scenes things like not having good organisation structures to make sure they know where they’ve gotta be on time. But there’s something to be said for checking the value of peoples work and allowing them to communicate why their pricing is justified and not just going.. well It says 10k for full day coverage so it MUST BE AMAZING. It might be… But it also might not be. MAKE SURE YOU SEE THEIR BLOG! look through multiple weddings on their blog. And if you’re still not sure ask them if they’d be willing to show you a full gallery of what they’d normally send to a client. I often do this for couples and some photographers choose not to. And that doesn’t mean they’re not amazing. But you can definitely ask the question and a lot times you’ll get a yes. Seeing full galleries and lots of full length blog posts gives you a really good feel that a photographer can tell the story over the whole day. Not just take a couple of bangers at sunset. (Most people can probably do that) but can they make great images in a cramped getting ready room, a dark reception and at lunch time outside a sweaty gold coast wedding chapel? That’s what you want to know.
I hear couples say all the time, “oh we just want a few nice photos to remember the day with” And that’s all well and good. But you’re spending a huge amount of time, energy and money getting ready for the biggest celebration of your life. And most of the things you spent that time, energy and money on don’t come home with you after the honeymoon. Your flowers go in the bin, as does the left over food, If you’re lucky you’ll take home a dress you’ll likely never wear again, a slice of strangely well preserved fruit cake, your spouse… and your wedding photos. So make sure you hire someone who can take great pictures all through the day and night.
Things I recommend you flat out avoid all together if you care about getting anything close to the best wedding photographer for the big day.
Studios that get you to sign an agreement that’s between you and the studio not you and the specific photographer. If you don’t know exactly who your wedding photographer will be on the day. You’re asking for trouble. You could get the intern, and you could be paying top dollar for the worst photographer at the studio. Also, the point I made already about having a good personality match with your photographer.. just won’t happen if you meet them at the ceremony for the first time like some weird married at first sight situation. Nobody wants this for you.
Wedding photographers who are too busy to give you the time of day to answer your questions and make time to meet with you (at least virtually) If they don’t value taking the time to get to know your story and what’s most important to you guys about your celebration, but ironically have a segment on their website about how their a “story teller” just click away. Nobody has the right to “tell your story” if they’re not taking the time to listen to it first.
Moral of the story, it's a big call who you invite to spend the rest of your life with. It's a smaller... but still fairly big call who you invite to your wedding as a stranger to take pictures of your when you're not looking. You want someone you gel with, who you trust and who has similar values and creative visions for your day.
Maybe that's me, you can stalk heaps of my work on this site as well as more blogs with wedding tips like this one too. But it also might not be and I would hate for you to waste your time trying to hire me if I'm not the right fit for you. So do your own research. And even if you don't like my work. Shoot me an email and tell me what you're looking for and I'll be more than happy to point you in the direction of some photographers who'll be your goldilocks porridge.
Happy wedding planning!