Capturing Forever: The Ultimate Wedding Photographer Guide

Your wedding – the most important day of your life, is an exquisite tapestry of the most beautiful human emotions. From love and laughter to bittersweet happiness, the day is filled with the most real plethora of emotions that cannot be explained in words; they are the beauty of Indian weddings.

pre wedding photoshoot

It is these emotions, along with the celebratory, ceremonial, and religious rituals of the wedding that make it a wholesome and heartwarming package. And to experience this package in its ultimate form, miles away from home, you need an authentic Indian wedding photographer in Chicago.

Along with planning and organizing the long lineup of ceremonies and vendors for your big day, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing your photographer. You need a professional and experienced team that is not only well-versed in the cultural nuances of an Indian wedding but is also understanding and capable of bringing your wedding vision to life.

Here is a comprehensive guide on how to go about choosing an efficient Indian wedding photographer in Chicago for your precious day.

Determine your desired style

To avoid getting too overwhelmed with the hundreds of options available in the city, determine the style of photography you desire. Different photographers follow different styles, such as candid documentation, artistic portraiture, a blend of artistic and documentary styles, editorial style, etc. To identify your taste, go through multiple wedding pictures, including your friends and families and Bollywood celebrity weddings online. See which ones seem most attractive and desirable for you. If you like your raw and real emotions shining through, you can use a documentation style. On the other hand, if you like to have an artistic appeal to your photos in terms of poses and frames, you may like an artistic photographer.

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At Shan Photography we like to follow a unique blend of artistic and photojournalistic styles. Our Indian couples love to preserve a traditional touch while embracing modern elements, which is why we like to capture candid moments while also maintaining an artistic appeal through portrait pictures and stills.

Set a budget

Perhaps the most difficult part of navigating a wedding is setting and following a budget. However, it must mandatorily be done so that the celebration does not overshoot your financial capacity or fail to serve the core purpose. As part of your comprehensive wedding budget, set aside a portion for photography. To get an idea of how much to set aside, review several photography companies in the city, seek recommendations from friends, and do ample research to find out an approximate value. Add a margin for contingencies and finalize it. No matter how many companies you review, stick to your budget as a discipline.

Research and shortlist

Once you have your desired style and budget in place, it is time to start looking for suitable options. Consider recommendations from friends and family, research online, go through directories and vendor lists at popular wedding websites such as The Knot, and shortlist a few based on an initial review of their websites. When reviewing evaluate their experience, their style of photography, their prices, the packages, the customization capabilities, etc. Consider their portfolio as an insight into their experience, qualification, and equipment prowess, not as a deciding factor, as it can definitely tell you a lot about the experience and technological capabilities of the team, but not so much about the talents and skillsets they possess.

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Meet and connect with the team

After shortlisting, try to have meetings with each team you shortlist to determine your perfect fit. At this stage, you should ideally have a range of 5 to 6 companies to decide between, among whom you will choose the best fit in terms of your budget, their potential to fulfill your vision, etc.

An authentic Indian wedding photographer in Chicago will resonate with you and give you the confidence to be yourself. Hence look for a team that is supportive, understanding, considerate of your challenges, and not to mention, an expert in Indian weddings. See if you can avail of a pre-wedding photoshoot so that you can familiarize yourself with the crew and make yourself comfortable with the camera. It will also give the team the time and space to get to know you and your challenges better.

Customize and maximize your budget

Negotiate terms and customize the partnership to make the most of the deal. Communicate your vision clearly with the team using reference pictures, graphics, drawings, and more. Customize the company’s package according to your needs; for example, avail of maximum coverage on your wedding day and two pre-wedding events. In case you are not planning to have a Haldi function, try to include an engagement photoshoot. If you are opting for an intimate wedding on the other hand, design a package offering maximum coverage of your functions at a good price, choose to have a wedding album, etc.

Seal the commitment with full clarity

Choose the photography team that offers the most value for your money and serves you well regarding meeting your wedding vision. Communicate clearly and discuss precise details including logistics, timeline and shoot plan of the day, timeline for delivery of photos and albums, specific shots you like to include, number and styles of photos you will receive, special requests, etc. Ensure that all terms of the partnership are impeccably clear and well-comprehended at both ends before sealing the commitment. Once the terms are discussed, put it on paper and sign to start your beautiful journey culminating in a lifetime of memories to cherish.

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Trust your instincts and your photographer

One of the most important indications of a successful partnership is your rapport with the team. If you feel a genuine connection and friendship with the photography team consider hiring them, as there will be enough room to discuss and accommodate as many customizations as possible. Trust your instincts in this regard and proceed with the positive feeling. And once you have decided to hire a team, trust the photographer’s skills. Rest assured, if they are an experienced Indian wedding photographer in Chicago, they will have your wedding covered exactly how you want it.

Hire a team early enough

Last, but not least, make sure to finalize your decision and hire a team early on in your wedding planning stage. This will help you bag the best team before they get booked for your dates. Additionally, this will also help you as well as the team prepare for your wedding, by discussing your vision, arranging pre-wedding shoots, getting to know each other, gathering the necessary equipment and talents if needed, etc.

Wrapping up

Hiring a photographer to capture your big day is a big decision that demands due deliberation and diligence. It is best to start your research and review process early and finalize on a team so that you have the mind space to put in your heart and soul in the review process, and peacefully carry on with the rest of the planning once your photography vendor is decided on. Use this as a guide when scouting for photographers and trust your instincts; it will guide you in the right direction.Contact Shan Photography – a fully equipped authentic Indian wedding photographer in Chicago, to fulfill your wedding vision as beautifully as your love. For more updates please check our Facebook page.

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