Post COVID-19 : How To Go About Hiring A Wedding Photographer in 2020

As the restrictions post Coronavirus (COVID-19) start to lift and wedding planning is getting back on track, we want to help brides and grooms in their search to hire a wedding photographer because if we have been reminded of anything being in isolation and separated from our loved ones, it’s truly important to capture memories of the people we love through photographs.


Planning A Wedding During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As of June 2020, weddings in NSW during COVID-19 in addition to the couple, the people conducting or assisting in the conduct of the wedding, a photographer, videographer, and up to 20 guests (including adults and children) may attend a wedding. People attending will be required to provide their name and contact details so that they can be used for contact tracing.

For detailed information about weddings in Canberra and the ACT during COVID-19 click here

For detailed information about ceremonies and weddings in Victoria during COVID-19 click here

In Queensland, weddings can have a maximum attendance of 20 guests in addition to the celebrant and the couple with social distancing and hygiene requirements in place. It is important, if you are sick, that you do not go to a wedding. For up-to-date information about how many people you can have at a wedding in Queensland during COVID-19 click here

How many people can attend a wedding in Tasmania? Weddings can be conducted with no more than 10 people, excluding the couple getting married and those required to facilitate the wedding. This applies to both indoor and outdoor weddings. For up-to-date information about weddings in Tasmania during COVID-19 click here

In South Australia, weddings or religious ceremonies are permitted as long as they adhere to maximum occupancy and density requirements. For detailed information about weddings in South Australia during COVID-19 click here

For more information about weddings in the Northern Territory during COVID-19 click here

In WA, weddings up to 100 people are allowed. For up-to-date information about weddings in Western Australia during COVID-19 click here

These numbers are likely to change as the months progress so please keep up to date with what you can and can’t do under the Australian Government Rules via each States websites below:

Getting Married In NSW during COVID-19
Getting Married In Canberra, ACT during COVID-19
Getting Married In Victoria during COVID-19
Getting Married in Queensland during COVID-19
Getting Married In Tasmania during COVID-19
Getting Married In South Australia during COVID-19
Getting Married In The Northern Territory during COVID-19
Getting Married In WA during COVID-19

Fingers crossed we don’t experience a second wave of the Coronavirus Pandemic and hope to see the number of guests increase back to the normal 80-120+ guests as soon as its safe to do so.


Hiring A Wedding Photographer In 2020

Whether you are planning to have a smaller celebration in 2020 or (fingers crossed) a back to normal big wedding in 2021, you will need to lock in your wedding date and venue pretty quickly as couples who have had to postpone their 2020 wedding date due to the Coronavirus will be rescheduling their wedding most likely for sometime in 2021. The best advice we can offer is get in quick with booking your date, venue and suppliers immediately!

Once you have locked in your date and venue, the next major supplier to check off your list is your wedding photographer.

Those wedding photographers in high demand will possibly even be booked out for 2021 already from a combination of their 2020 couples having to reschedule and couples that got in early to secure their favourite photographer for their big day.

So for couples who are fussy about having the photographer they have followed on Instagram for years shoot their wedding, and rightly so as your photographs are the one tangible thing you will have left after the day as your memories, you need to jump on to booking your photographer ASAP!

How do you go about finding a wedding photographer? Well unless you have a photographer or two bookmarked as your hot favourite, we have answered all those pressing questions below so lets get started.


Start Your Photographer Search

The photographs will shape how you remember your wedding forever. Making an informed educated decision applies to any of the suppliers you are investing a huge chunk of change into, but the added pressure that your photos will be one of few tangible memories remaining to remind not only you but your family and friends of your special day, so choose wisely.


What Style of Wedding Photography Do You Even Like?

If you can start from a place of knowing what style of photography you like then you are a step ahead already.

Do you like documentary style photos which is more about telling the story and capturing the moments in a more natural and candid way. No posed or tacky photos will have you searching for a documentary wedding photographer or a photojournalist.

Or are you more of a traditional couple that likes classic posed, structured photos? Then a more traditional photographer is what you are after.

Do light, bright and airy photos take your breath away when it comes to photography? Choosing a fine art wedding photographer would be the way to go.

Also a big part of a photographer’s style is their editing so something to consider is do you like their editing style? Some photographers edit their photos with a more light and airy feel, others more timeless and natural, whereas others are dark and moody.

Don’t over think this one, trust your gut instincts as you browse through photography portfolios whether it be their website or on instagram. Flag any photographer profiles you absolutely love based on the style of their work. This is a good place to start – then you can start narrowing down your choices based on other things like location and pricing.


Ask For Recommendations

Recently married family members, friends and work colleagues and even other suppliers such as event planners are all great resources for finding a good reputable photographer.

Wedding magazines and blogs can also be a great way of vetting popular photographers if you are going for one that shoots in a style that fits with the current wedding trends.

Narrow your list down to 5-10 choices, then jump on their website and Instagram profile to get really familiar with their work. Browse through a few of the wedding galleries and noting what you love as well as anything you don’t like. This will give you a good feel for their style, voice for telling the story and just a general vibe of their personality.

Photographers’ online portfolios can be deceiving though. From showing just the hero shots from a wide variety of weddings to showing images from a styled wedding photoshoot (a fake wedding), which don’t show how the photographer performs on an actual wedding day under time and lighting constraints. Make sure you ask to see images taken from a full wedding day from a few real-life weddings.

Then narrow you list down to 2-3 photographers and jump on a phone call with them. Chat about your wedding and what is important to you. This is where you will see if you connect on a personal level. Ask about their experience, how long have they been shooting weddings. Remember a photographer is with you the entire day and you want someone you are comfortable around, trust and most importantly can have a laugh with.

We wouldn’t be doing right by you if we didn’t also warn you again things to look out for as negatives. Steer clear of anyone who isn’t on the same page or doesn’t align with your vision or values, and tries to push you into spending beyond your budget. Another thing to steer clear of is someone whose ego and shooting for their portfolio, competitions or feature in a magazine is more important to them than your day – well unless that matches with your goals too … haha.


Ask About Their Experience Photographing Weddings

These days there are so many ways you can learn photography so a qualification, degree or any formal study is not necessarily a sign of a good photographer.

A wedding photographer needs to understand the technical side of photography and well versed in how their camera gear works, but experience in the field shooting weddings is extremly important.

Wedding days can be stressful, dealing with nervous brides, things happening spontaneously, so a photographer needs to be able to adapt quickly and change camera settings fast to capture candid moments and reactions.

Ideally, a photographer with at least 2 years experience in the field and by 2 years we mean as a full-time photographer shooting a minimum of 15 weddings a year. Otherwise, you could end up with a person who just picked up a digital camera and decided to be a wedding photographer.


Read The Contract — Who Owns The Copyright To Your Wedding Photos?

As with any contract, before signing read it front front to back and especially the fine print.

Under Australian Copyright Law, the copyright owner of domestic photography, ie. weddings and family portraiture, the client (you) own the copyright. However, most photographers will have it written into the contract that you ‘transfer’ or ‘reassign’ copyright over to them (the photographer). They must also verbally identify they are having you sign the copyright over. This is nothing to be alarmed about, it is standard practice among most professional Australian wedding photographers to protect their rights as the original creator of the work. Mostly and simply it is just so the photographer can share the images on their website and social media to advertise their work to attract future couples and keep business doors open.

When the photographer reassigns the copyright to them, they will state something along the lines of you the client having personal-use rights or possibly even shared copyright which allows you to use, print and share the photographs for your own personal purposes such as printing to hang on the walls, create an album and share on social media.

It is important to understand your rights and what you can do with the images. For example sharing photos with other suppliers or a wedding magazine or blog might be in breach of the contract and get you in some serious hot water with your photographer resulting in some seriously awkward conversations and possibly get sued. We recommend you speak with your photographer if you have any concerns.

Read about who owns the copyright to your wedding photos and What You Need To Know About Copyright When Booking A Wedding Photographer HERE


Ways To Avoid The Wedding Budget Blowout

Avoid wedding budget blowout by getting the best person you can afford. Rather than hiring a less experienced photographer or family friend to shoot your wedding, try reducing the hours of coverage that way your most important parts of the day will have gorgeous photos. Also cutting down the photographers package to remove prints and albums as you can always get prints and albums after the wedding when the budget has recovered.

In fact, because we are independent to photographers, we find couples come to us sometimes 1, 2 or 3 years after their wedding to get their album printed.

Just last year we had a couple who were married 20 years ago come to us to have their wedding photos printed in an album. Sadly we can’t share that album with you as it was a high-profile Australian actor and his wife’s wedding. Despite their wedding being shot of film, we were able to take the prints which had been transferred to digital files and print them in one of our fine art albums. This was truly a special album for us to create because of the nostalgia that film photography still holds today.

We hope this helps you find a wedding photographer while planning a wedding during this pandemic and lead you to having the best day ever.