Wedding Wednesday: Should I Hire a ‘Trendy’ Photographer?

According to The Knot’s latest figures, a photographer typically costs about 8% of your wedding budget. For those of us trying to spend less than the $31k national wedding average (who perhaps cut out a reception band, a planner, or a videographer to have extra left over for the best photos) a high-quality photographer might take up a much larger percentage of the total spent. To make sure that money is spent correctly, my ridiculously-talented wedding photographer Lillian Peters of Chameleon Imagery has agreed to share some tips and tricks to help all future brides and grooms. Up first we deal with the problem Pinterest and other wedding-focused websites have created: When it comes to photos, do I go trendy, or do I stick with timeless?

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The internet makes it so easy to see countless wedding photos, and many vary greatly from those of our parents and grandparents. How would you describe ‘trendy’ wedding photos? Could you describe a few examples?

Occasionally I get emails from people asking if I do trendy edits. Many of them describe this as sort of like an Instagram filter look. I am by no means hating on Instagram, because I’m definitely an Insta-addict, but most of these photos have a very high-contrast look with over-saturated colors that fall more on the warmer side. I feel like wedding pictures edited in this style are like the puffy sleeve wedding dresses of the 80’s (sorry Mom!) Right now, they’re popular and people love it, but 10 to 20 years from now, brides will look at their wedding photos and say, “What was I thinking?!”

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How about ‘timeless’ wedding photos? Could you describe a few examples?

Clean edits with natural looking colors that are vibrant, but not over the top, are what I would describe as a “timeless look.” Essentially, you don’t want to be able to name the exact year your wedding was in with just a quick glance at the photos. If you look at your relatives’ photos from years and years ago, and you still think to yourself, “Wow! That’s gorgeous!” it’s probably a timeless look. Think classy like Jackie Kennedy! And you can never go wrong with a good black-and-white image!

What should brides-to-be keep in mind about ‘trendy’ wedding photos?

There’s no shame in loving the trendy photo styles! If vintage filters and Pinterest poses are what you adore, then by all means, it’s your day and you should have them! But make sure your photographer has enough artistic merit to be able to create art that is unique to you and your significant other on your special day.

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Is there a proper balance to the amount of ‘trendy’ and ‘timeless’ photos that should be taken on a couple’s wedding day?

If you want the trendy-looking edits on your pictures, make sure your photographer can also provide you with the original files or a clean-edit version of each photo. That way, when the “Sierra” and “Earlybird” Instagram look is no longer in fashion, you still have beautiful, clean images to be proud of from your wedding day!

Should most photographers who can shoot one style be able to shoot the other?

There are many different artists for many different kinds of people. There are some photographers that are flexible and well-rounded in their style, and there are some that have perfected their niche. When you see a photographer’s portfolio you will probably get a good idea of which kind they seem to be!

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Are there any warning signs brides-to-be should look out for in regards to ‘trendy’ photos or photographers?

If every photo in a photographer’s portfolio looks like it is only Pinterest pose after Pinterest pose, you should probably ask to see some examples of their photojournalistic images. While some photographers specialize in a photojournalism style more than others, every good wedding photographer needs to be able to capture candid moments. Those uninterrupted genuine memories are what will tell the story of your day!

Keep an eye out for more tips from Lillian in the coming months! (And engagement photos soon! Eek!)


Hey dolls! This post was sponsored, but all the opinions are my own.

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