Choosing Who Captures Your Wedding Memories Will Cost You One Way or Another

The ability to get to work on time, whether you’re in NYC, LA or Dallas, is based solely on your experience of the commute. You know that by leaving just three minutes earlier, you would avoid the high school kids, but still allowing you to weave in and out of traffic while still obtaining your coffee without being late. Allocating your time throughout the day, especially if it’s a routine task, becomes second nature and efficiency becomes key. Regardless if it’s a job, or your routine to put your kids to bed, you become an expert due to your daily-lived experiences. Nothing could be more in the event you’re hiring your first expert photographer, whether fashion or wedding.
As a working fashion/portrait photographer, I often find myself in the same scenarios of trying to explain to prospective clients why they should hire a wedding photographer for their big day. I had the privilege of talking to Erica Camille and Kristin Reimer, both expert international wedding photographers based in NYC, and the main point all three of us would agree on is knowing how to be efficient with your time when the date of the shoot arrives. When speaking to Kristin she mentions, “Having a background in how to navigate around problems while still thinking on your toes to be creative and get the shot can be tricky if you aren’t used to them: Family dynamics, dealing with restrictions in a church or other venue, understanding the timeline intimately.”
Family dynamics are definitely not something I think about when walking onto a set, nor is that something that comes into consideration when planning a shoot. When shooting a wedding, you’re shooting at minimum 10 people, which is a seldom scenario in the world of fashion photography. In fashion, you become meticulous about detail, about each strand of hair, about the correct foundation to match the lighting set-up, and every wrinkle that the untrained eye would never catch. Knowing how to please your client, which at many times—unlike the wedding realm—is a recurring client, and being aware of what details to be conscientious about to cater to that specific client. As a fashion photographer, my sole focus is to make the clothing look impeccable and to draw customers into buying the product.
On the contrary, you hire a wedding photographer to capture the emotion and the spirit of the day. “Documentary-style wedding photography” is how Erica describes her aesthetic and is the exact key term I would recommend any bride-to-be to look for when hiring a wedding photographer. As Erica continues to state, “the ability to capture a moment as it unfolds vs staging them” is the biggest difference between wedding and fashion photography. You hire a wedding photographer for the entire day to capture everything from the prep to the first dance. You want someone to know where to position themselves, at the exact time, and know exactly what to focus on to get those images that grab your attention for that one extra second, just because the wedding photographer becomes an expert at blending into the background to capture moments like the first tear you’ve ever seen your father shed. Those images are the ones that will grip your heart years down the line and bring you back to a specific moment, just as impactful as your favorite song in high school that draws the memory of your first crush within a milli-second.
The expectation between the two photographers should be drastically different. A fashion photographer may shoot an entire wedding and you may get 40 images in return, because they’re used to narrowing down selections to just the top images, as what’s repeated in our minds is that you don’t need repetitive images of the same situations in the same clothing. On the other hand, both Erica and Kristin agree on an average of 800+ edited images and unlike a fashion photographer, they’re able to provide albums and online gallery settings, as well as printing packages for those quantities, which would never cross my mind. After realizing everything that a wedding photographer is responsible for and how diligent they have to be in order to capture so many situations, with such restrictive lighting scenarios, the prices for their services are not just to capture one of the most important days in your life, but to make it seem as easy and effortless so that you don’t have to worry about missing anything to be able to share such an exhilarating day.

Our contributing writer Toni Smalilagic is a New York City based fashion and style photographer that travels extensively to capture the most amazing people in the world through the use of the camera.  To view his work please visit:

To book the amazing photographers that WBM had the honor of interviewing please go to the following:

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