Wedding photographers are really awesome people.
They help keep time on your special day so that things don’t run too late. They solve problems on your big day that nobody else can, like how to pin a buttonhole to your jacket for example. They work tirelessly for hours non-stop. The best ones know how to avoid awkward poses and give you authentic candid moments. And above all else, wedding photographers give you something to remember your wedding day by.
By the end of this article, you will not only have a list of the best wedding photographers in Sydney but also how to choose the best wedding photographer for you.
Do years of experience matter?
Does hiring an award-winning professional photographer promise you with the best wedding photography or style of photography?
Does AIPP accreditation matter on this important day of yours?
For those in a rush however, you can skip straight to the recommendations using these anchor links:
- Best female wedding photographers in Sydney
- Best male wedding photographers in Sydney
- Best photography teams in Sydney
Why you shouldn’t judge a wedding photographer by their wedding photography
I know this sounds counter-intuitive but I swear that it’ll make sense in a few minutes. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an engaged couple is hiring the wrong wedding photographer.
With potentially a few thousand dollars down the drain and images you’re not happy with, I’m fairly sure that this isn’t the lasting memory you were after.
For many couples, hiring a wedding photographer is usually high on the wedding planning checklist; typically the second or third wedding vendor that they lock in. Like most things in an open market, wedding photographers come in all price brackets. As you will soon discover, comparing wedding photographers is very different to comparing buying a laptop, car, or household appliance.
For starters, what you get (i.e., the deliverables) are often described differently from one wedding photographer to the next. Some wedding photographers offer upfront packages while others require you to request a quote. Within the field of wedding photography, there is no one set way of doing things.
This is both an advantage as it is a disadvantage.
I want to make it clear that there is no such thing as a best wedding photographer.
No matter the award-winning accolades he or she may have or the number of followers they may have on Instagram, wedding photography is a creative field where you, the customer, has final say on whether you feel a push or pull towards them. Your personal taste may differ to popular opinion or perhaps they don’t. Either way, you get to decide what you like and dislike. And because there are so many factors that come into play here, I strongly recommend that you bookmark this blog post – ‘Questions You Should Ask A Wedding Photographer (And Yourself!) Before You Hire Them’ for a later time.
It sounds rather silly but you should not judge a wedding photographer on their wedding photography alone.
Let me explain.
One of the reasons why you won’t see any images shown on this page (bar from the top one) is because images alone are a poor representation of a wedding photographer.
A single image, especially a hero image, fails to communicate the most important aspect of wedding photographer- context. A single image can often produce an inaccurate first impression which can lead you to hiring the wrong photographer based on unverified assumptions.
Hero images are typically what you will find on Instagram, such as the one shown below.
Many wedding blogs recommend that you should ask to see an entire set of images taken from a wedding (i.e., not just the highlights but every single file that was delivered). This is sound advice but it shouldn’t form the basis for hiring or not hiring a particular wedding photographer. Even when you come across entire galleries that look amazing, your wedding day is probably going to be very different. Context is everything and here are some examples to illustrate my point:
- The people portrayed in a wedding photographer’s portfolio are the outgoing adventurous type. They’re comfortable being expressive with their emotions and are extroverts whereas you and your partner are private and the conservative type.
- The majority of wedding photos shown in a wedding photographer’s portfolio are outdoor weddings, held on private farm properties in country Australia, elaborately styled by a wedding stylist using $20,000 of florals alone. Your wedding ceremony, however, is a religious ceremony inside a church and your wedding reception is going to be at a function centre. Furthermore, your entire budget for florals is a tenth of $20,000.
- You come across a wedding photographer who has amazing portraits however on your wedding day, you have allowed little to no time for portraits.
- You’re having a lunchtime reception, during summer, and your photography coverage will wrap up hours before sunset. Yet, you have chosen a wedding photographer based on their incredible night time photos.
In the above examples, can you see how your expectations and reality do not align? Whilst your wedding photographer will do their best in any given situation (because that is their job), you cannot expect them to produce you something that wasn’t there and/or didn’t happen. This is on you.
How to avoid hiring the wrong Sydney wedding photographer
Here is a quick framework to help you avoid hiring the wrong wedding photographer:
- First look at their portfolio and identify things that you like (emotions captured, use of lighting, editing style, angles etc.). List them down.
- Ask the wedding photographer for their availability.
- Ask to see some further examples of weddings that are similar to your wedding plans (e.g., similar location, same time of day, same season/weather, similar traditions).
- If you like what you see, arrange for a telephone or in-person meeting.
- Ask the wedding photographer these four questions.
- Hire the one that meets all your requirements (pricing, personality, portfolio, contractual terms).
Generally speaking, award-winning badges and claims of AIPP accreditation have minimal correlation to getting the best wedding day experience. Similarly, there is nothing stopping you from hiring a Melbourne, Brisbane, Hunter Valley or Adelaide photographer for your Sydney wedding. We were recently flown to Perth to film and photograph an all-day wedding so don’t let the location of the photographer be a barrier to getting the best person fit for the job.
When quality matters to you then you must avoid wedding photographers who offer large discounts. You can usually spot a budget wedding photographer by their wedding photography packages. That is, they will usually include a free pre-wedding session and even a wedding album for less than $3,000.
Cheap Australian wedding photographers are typically inexperienced or are wedding photography studios who have a churn and burn business model.
And with this framework to hiring the right wedding photographer for you, here is the information you have been patiently waiting for – the best wedding photographers in Sydney. Enjoy!
There are definitely advantages to having a female lead wedding photographer.
For most women, having a female photographer in the room while they’re getting dressed is probably much more comfortable than having a male present. As a result, the resulting images may be more natural rather than forced.
Outside of the changing room, a female wedding photographer tends to be more attentive to when the bride’s dress is out of place or when a bride’s hair needs fixing.
For the longest time, wedding photography was dominated by males and I am proud to recommend so many incredible female wedding photographers available across Sydney-NSW.
Here are 11 of the very best.
- Ann Marie Yuen Photography
- Anna Turner (Capture Mag Emerging Wedding Photographer Finalist)
- Cassandra Ladru Photography
- Girl In The White Dress
- Lara Hotz
- Linda Truong Photography
- Nicole Bodle
- Samantha Heather
- Sonja Cenic Photography
- Nina Claire Photography
- Zoe Morley
- At Dusk
- Callan Robinson Photography
- Dan Cartwright Photography
- Hilary Cam Photography
- Jack Chauvel
- Jack Gilchrist
- Justin Aaron Photography
- Olguin Photography
- Oliver Smith Photo
- Robert Meredith
- Scott Sursplice Photography
Often husband and wife teams (but not always), sometimes having a team is better than a solo photographer (especially for long wedding days or large cultural weddings). So here are the 5 best photography teams for your wedding.
- Fiona + Bobby Photography
- The Evoke Company (Matt, Casy + Holly)
- White Lane Studios (Ali + Sam)
Is this list of top wedding photographers trustworthy?
Lists such as the one you’re reading right now are typically published by publications that profit from revenue from advertisers or membership subscriptions. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this however, they rarely disclose this critical information
For complete transparency, I am disclosing hereby that (i) I am a wedding photographer and owner of Angus Porter Photography with over nine years experience in the field, and that (ii) every wedding photographer mentioned here has not paid to be here (nor will I approach them for a fee, monetary or otherwise to remain on this list).
So why am I recommending my colleagues?
Unfortunately, like any industry, there are some bad apples. I want to help you avoid these bad apples so the best way I can do so without naming and shaming (and opening myself up to litigation) is to recommend awesome people; awesome people like the ones mentioned above (who sometimes work for angusporter.com).