Wedding Planning 101
Your photographer is often one of the first—and most important—items on your wedding to-do list. Here, Daniel Nydick of Daniel NydickRead More
Daniel Nydick, a Scotch Plains–based wedding photographer, offers clients a unique experience with attentive one-on-one service. He is known for his creativity, dramatic imagery and candid storytelling. Here he answers questions you may have about hiring a photographer for your wedding.
How do I decide on a photographer?
Every couple deserves to have their perfect fit, even if it isn’t me. Your photographer isn’t a typical vendor. You need someone who takes the butterflies away, someone you trust, someone you’re willing to put faith in to capture your wedding’s moments and memories—from intimate to epic and everything in between.
Style is what initially inspires your search. That’s only the first step, though. Package and service options, and the level of customer service are also important. Is the photographer a “gig worker” for a high-volume studio that sends out 10 photographers to 10 different weddings per day? I’m the polar opposite who takes the time to get to know you and be there for you along the way to ensure your vision comes to fruition.
As the only person who will be by your side through every moment of your day, vibe is everything. This is the one aspect where a boutique studio experience is very different than a high-volume studio. You deserve a trusted friend and tour guide. What my brides enjoy most is my personal, attentive service. It’s one of the many perks of working with a boutique studio.
What level of personal connection, interaction and planning should they offer?
There’s more to a photographer than just taking photos. My approach is very hands-on. I handle every aspect of my business by myself. Why? I want you to rest your head on your pillow knowing that everything is taken care of.
I wouldn’t leave that up to a receptionist or customer service representative. A detailed timeline sets up the day for success. I create an itinerary that factors in travel time for everybody, and I also compile photo lists such as personal details, family and wedding-party must- have photos, and more.
Do I need to send my photographer a shotlist?
After looking at complete beginning-to-end wedding galleries from your prospective photographer (a must before booking), you’ll get a feel for their vision and how they’ll tell your story.
Yes, family and wedding-party lists are helpful. But beware of shotlists you see on Pinterest, which can create unrealistic expectations. A lot of what you see comes from styled shoots where anyone in a staged environment can take nice photos. In the real world, we plan for time constraints, backups if the weather isn’t cooperating, as well as the human element, such as the 10 to 20 people with you from the minute the day starts who may have already begun drinking before I’ve even arrived. Give yourself the gift of letting your day feel like a celebration, not a photoshoot.
For an analogy, if you hire Bruno Mars to sing at your wedding, do you trust him to put together an amazing set, or would you ask him to play other artists’ top hits? Basically, the more super-specific shots requested, the less time (and brain space) your photographer will have to create imagery that drew you to them in the first place.
Are engagement sessions worth it?
Everyone is nervous in front of a camera. Myself included. This is why engagement sessions are invaluable. They’re the best two-hour date you’ll ever have—with photos to show for it. On the outside, it’s time spent hugging, laughing, loving and basking in who you are as a couple. But engagement sessions are actually where we really get to jam. I learn how you make each other laugh, blush, play and express your love. This is how we create imagery together that will resonate in your hearts.
Do I need an album?
Photos are meant to be felt, not scrolled on a screen. This is why I shoot every wedding with a visual inheritance album in mind. I tell a story through still imagery, and that story will ultimately live in hardcover for eternity. Why? Candids, in-between moments, details and, in my case, epic portraits all tell a story. Once the lights go down, once the party’s over, all you have left is your photos; and they deserve to be seen and felt, not scrolled through on a phone screen.