Milwaukee Wedding Photographers

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Wedding Photographer

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Milwaukee Wedding Photographer

Black and white with Bride and Groom dancing taken by Milwaukee wedding photographer Realife Photography

As you plan your wedding, you have some big decisions to make about who will provide you with the services you need. You work so hard on every detail, but how do you know what pictures you really want? Will your photographer understand how you want to remember your beautiful day? As we’ve walked with our couples through both planning photos and examining the final work, we’ve become familiar with what couples want to see most. Yes, you want the kiss, first dance, and the cake cutting, but you also want so much more. How did it feel to be there? How can I relive that happy energy of having my family and friends gathered in one place?

Here are a few tips on making a selection for your wedding photographer. To be sure your photographer has experience in all of these areas, view samples of their work. They should show you albums from several Milwaukee weddings, so you get the mood of each wedding, not just a few of their favorite images!

1 Family Formals

These may go overlooked, or even get a bad wrap. Let me start by dispelling a few myths.

Myth one: these pictures are unimportant and never get used.

Truth: one of husband’s favorite pictures is of himself, the groom, and his great grandmother. It is the last time they took a picture together, and a lasting memory. I’ve seen this repeated again and again with our clients and their families. The people in our lives are what matter most. These pictures are treasured after your special day, and taking them should be in your photographer’s routine.

Myth two: family formals are boring and awful.

Truth: they can be fun! As your day progresses, it gets busier and busier. Take this time to enjoy a few laughs or special moment with extended family. The photographer should be able to keep a light and unstressed energy as they get people in place and stay on your timeline, while you relax and enjoy the moment.

Myth #3: family formals take forever

Truth: we have gotten the family formals down to a science, and they can be over quickly if your photographer is well organized. We take one shot of the large group, and then work our way down to smaller groupings. This allows anyone with special needs, especially grandparents and young children to take the shots they need and then find a seat or move on to the reception.

You’ll also want to see examples from your potential Milwaukee wedding photographers to see how they handle challenging lighting situations. Family formals usually take place after the ceremony at the church, which can have challenging lighting conditions and your photographer should be able to compensate for that. They should look as beautiful as the rest of their pictures.

It helps to have any special requests (like all the cousins with grandma) thought out ahead of time, letting people who you’d like to be in the picture know when and where to be before the big day. A great resource is your wedding party. They can help gather family members who may have strayed to the bathroom or the parking lot.

2 Wedding Party

Here there is a lot of variety; sometimes we stay at one location, other times we are chauffeured to a variety of destinations. Regardless, this is time to have fun! We generally offer these elements:

The entire wedding party
Bride with bridesmaids
Bride with each individual bridesmaid
Groom with groomsmen
Groom with each individual groomsmen

One of our personal favorite shots is our stylized group shot with the entire wedding party. We set the stage, you strike a pose, everyone has fun and the results are spectacular for you to enjoy!

3 family candids

Unposed candids of family are something very special. They capture the excitement and heartfelt joy had by all. This is why we like to arrive for the getting ready shots. It’s not quite fancy time yet, but those moments spent with your closest family and friends are memories that are quite precious. They can be dismissed by some photographers. Everyone is full of nerves, and it doesn’t feel like one of the big events of the day. But the hugs, the looks exchanged, and the laughs are moments you’ll enjoy cherishing for a lifetime.

Having your photographers present also helps ease nerves throughout the day. When it comes time for people to look at the camera for formals, they are quite comfortable and able loosen up.

4  Pictures of the couple!

These pictures should seem obvious, but some aspects can be forgotten. When just the two of you step away for a few pictures, it gives you the opportunity to take a breath, and relax. We’ll invite you out a few times to do just that. Taking a break to enjoy the person you love is one of the best gifts we can give you on your wedding day! Let’s look at some couples shots that should come easily to your photographer.

The Couple Together Close Up

You will want full lengths to show off your dress, but don’t forget the close ups.

These showcase little details as well as capture emotions and expressions that say so much. These shots needn’t be planned or difficult. It should be a natural part of your photographer’s workflow just as it comes naturally for the two of you to be together.

Bride and Groom Artwork

Our desire is to give you something beautiful to enjoy in your home. We want you to have  something stunning and dramatic, that may include surrounding architecture or natural elements. An image that moves you when you see it, and takes your breath away. This piece of art is not only enchanting, but personalized and co-created with you on your wedding day.

Bride and Groom Candid

This is one of the many benefits of working with a photography team having multiple photographers. While your photographer is focusing on posed shots, their second shooter is capturing those special moments that would go unnoticed. Our photographers use different lenses and angles giving you more variety and more pictures in less time.

Individual Bridal and Groom Portrait

These so often get neglected by photographers! But after the wedding the Bride wants to see herself in a portrait looking radiant. These don’t take long, and turn out beautiful and artistic. You want your photographer to take close up, mid and full length. Get goofy! Experiment with a mix of expressions and movement. Have fun!

5 Experience

When considering photographers, you want to see more than a few images. You want to see what their clients receive after the wedding. Our clients receive an album and when meeting with us you will see several of our albums from wedding we’ve done in the Milwaukee area. We are familiar with many of Milwaukee’s great venues, and an experience wedding photographer should always be ready to explore new places as well. They should be able to handle challenging lighting situation, rain, and anything else!