Miami Wedding Photographers Guide
“The Keys” to Great Wedding Pictures in Florida

Miami and photographers go together like beaches and sand. The weather and locale make for a perfect photo-op, making your wedding photos in the Sunshine State the model of perfection. However, before you interrupt an Ocean Drive photo shoot to see if the photographer’s free to do your big day, know that fashion photography and wedding photography are two different art styles—luckily, your shots should be less-expensive.

Southern Florida wedding photographers abound in Miami, and many of them will have a touch of fashion flair in their books.  When choosing, first make sure they have a good fifty weddings to draw from, and get references from friends, relatives, and other vendors. You should book your photographer eight months before your wedding, and after you’ve chosen your site. Miami wedding-photographer prices vary greatly, depending on how many color and/or black & white shots you want, or if you hire two photographers to capture all the best moments. Nowadays, photojournalism is popular. This style of photography “journals” the day with unposed candids, and is yet another wedding option. Expect to pay at least $2,000 for your photographer.

Some photographers charge by the roll, some by the hour. If you’re the kind of couple who say cheese every time you meet a new guest, and want all angles of the five-tier cake shot, get a photographer who charges by the hour. Should you be having a ceremony in an out-of-the-way locale, such as Key West, don’t assume you have to hire a photographer in the greater Miami area. Many touristy spots are big wedding destinations, so you might find a local photographer elsewhere in Southern Florida.

When you’re ready to interview Miami wedding photographers, visit the Miami Local Vendor section for a great list of top Southern Florida photographers.

When interviewing photographers, make sure you like their personality. They will be a “guest” at your wedding, and it’s imperative that you feel comfortable in their presence. Go over must-have shots. In addition to obvious photos, like the first kiss, you want to make sure he gets all your closest relatives and sentimental pics (Nana’s entrance, for example). You’ll have a big advantage if the photographer is familiar with your wedding site; they’ll know the best places to shoot, what the lighting is like, etc. if you’re getting married on one of Miami’s fabulous beaches, make sure the photographer has beach experience. Outside pictures require a completely different sensibility than inside shots, as do day vs. night pictures. Ask the photographer if you can see photos from a complete wedding, not just a “best of” book. You want to get a feel for the way he shoots from beginning to end.

In a hot city like Miami, it’s become increasingly popular to take formal shots before the ceremony. While this does mean the bride and groom will see each other before the wedding, it also means fresh faces and humid-free hair.  If you wait, try to have the shots taken immediately after the ceremony, so guests don’t have to wait a long time for you to arrive at the reception. Get the most important shots out of the way early, before fatigue and alcohol have taken their toll. In your signed and counter-signed contract, know the overtime fees, who shows up and takes photographs if there is an emergency, the hour or roll rate, and what kind of refund you receive if, heaven forbid, any photographs are ruined.
-David Toussaint