A Wedding Photographer’s Guide To Choosing A Wedding Photographer

Mistakes To Avoid Choosing A Wedding Photographer

Some brides make the mistake of selecting their wedding photographer without researching what they’re really getting for their money. “You get your negatives” sounds great, but when do you get them? The original price sounds great, but how much are extra prints? So often, brides buy a package knowing they don’t want everything in it, but they think they’re getting a deal because it’s all together. Nope, sorry, photography is not like buying a “value meal” at McDonald’s! To be sure, you must research before you decide. Visit as many studios as you can. As a courtesy, please call them first and set an appointment. If they’re friendly or if they call you back quickly, they’ll most likely have better standards of service. Ask if they have any information they can mail or email to you. Meet the photographer. Search through their website with a fine-toothed comb. Do you see any loopholes or issues? The biggest reason people make mistakes in hiring photographers is that they don’t have experience doing it! They’ve never had to hire photographers, and most likely their last experience with a professional photographer was a friend’s wedding, and the grumpy, sweaty, old guy was either a bore or an annoying jerk.

Find someone who cares more about your wedding images than they do about their own packages and policies. Someone you know will help your wedding run smoothly and efficiently. Choose someone that you can communicate with someone that truly understands how you want your wedding to feel. How do you know? When you talk to her, she’s more interested in learning about you than describing all of the print sizes and prices

Is this someone that will add to the fun and emotion of your wedding? Remember your friend’s photographer, the grumpy, sweaty, old guy that was a boring, annoying jerk? Steer clear of that! Get someone that will make the work of posed pictures fun, memorable, and exciting! How can you tell who’s cool? When you talk to the photographer, ask how she feels about your family members taking pictures over her shoulder! If she stays relaxed, then everyone will have a good time.

Look for someone who has some flexibility in styles. See what they have to offer. Some of the styles you may want to consider are Traditional, Black & White, Candid, Romantic, or Photo-journalistic. Check to see how they handle both indoor and outdoor situations. Can they do fine portraiture as well as a truly candid style? Find out what they have for you. Remember that the photographer’s creativity and personality (and your rapport with him/her) is what makes your wedding images unique, and your expressions more genuine!

Find someone who has as few restrictions as possible regarding packages, number of prints, limiting locations, and limiting the amount of film they shoot. Prepaid, pre-designed packages limit the creativity of the photographer. Creativity does not come from a pre-packaged album containing, for example, 24- 8x10s. If you’re paying for an album, it should look and feel like a storybook! Think of it, not like a photo album, but an illustrated storybook that uses no words to tell the story. In most cases, packages are NOT a good thing because the photographer “knows” beforehand what he needs to shoot and will only strive for those images.

STEPS TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

When choosing your wedding photographer, you want to ensure they create the wedding album you’ve always dreamed of. We’ve spoken to the professionals to get some key insight on how to find the right wedding photographer.

Your wedding photographer should capture every detail of your big day. From your place card holders to your hair accessories and your makeup applications, it’s your photographer’s responsibility to capture it all. This way, you don’t have to rely completely on memory

It pays to have the best

While you can get a good deal with a photographer who’s new to the industry, you do need to find someone you trust to get it right. Perfection comes with experience.

Browse your photographer’s portfolio

Look through the portfolio of any photographer you’re considering. You won’t just be looking for examples of the weddings they’ve captured. You’ll also be looking at their different styles and approaches. When you find the photos that resonate with you, you’ve found your style and photographer.

Decide on the right style

A professional photographer distinguishes all the subtleties of shooting a wedding. They’ll know exactly when to photograph your groom as he first sees you walking down the aisle, how to achieve the perfect confetti shot, and what to do in the event of rain. A creative and flexible approach often results in the most breathtaking and brilliant wedding photographs.

TOP TIPS FOR CHOOSING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

So, you have a dress, the suits, flowers, cake and a band….but what is the one thing that will remain an everlasting memory of your wedding day? Your photos should be a beautiful and timeless account of the most important day of your life and should help every bride and groom to re-live the romance and excitement allover again.

Image quality/style

The quality of a photographer’s portfolio should be the first thing that captures your attention. A good photographer should be able to offer clients a variety of styles, capturing the personalities of the bride and groom and showcasing the happiness and fun of the day. Be clear on what style you would like and make sure the photographer can provide this in their portfolio.

Personality

As a bride and groom, you put a lot of trust and faith in your wedding photographer. In order to get the best images and a true account of the most important day of your life, it is imperative that you feel comfortable and relaxed in their presence

Value for money/cost

This can often be a deciding factor for a lot of brides and grooms and although it is a vital element, it should not be the basis for your decision. High-end prices do not always guarantee the highest quality but likewise, reasonable pricing does not always depict low quality

Experience

The experience a photographer has will play a large part in the organisation and structure of the day. I am sure many photographers will agree that they have often played the role of coordinator, photographer, master of ceremonies and children’s entertainer. Taking the photos is just a small part of being a wedding photographer and without the necessary experience and the ability to perform under constant pressure important moments can be easily missed

Tips When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

You’re engaged!   Time to celebrate and then start talking wedding plans.  If you are having a wedding there are a lot of little details to think about.  Where do you start?  Maybe you know you don’t want to have a large wedding and instead are planning an intimate destination elopement.  Hopefully you’ll want to have a photographer to capture your elopement as well.  No matter how large or small your wedding celebration is, hiring a professional photographer to capture all the love, emotion and in-between moments during your celebration will be well worth it to have images of your celebration to hold onto forever.

Time to Research

Once you’ve set a date it might be time to start researching wedding photographers.  Generally speaking photographers are booked 6 months to one year out.  I know from experience narrowing down a photographer can be tough.  There are so many creative, talented individuals in this industry and I had a huge list of potential photographers to choose from.

Where are They Cutting Corners

I don’t want to claim all inexpensive photographers are not good at what they do; everyone has to start somewhere and many do have a great eye but as you determine where you need to cut corners on wedding planning maybe those insanely cheap photographers are also cutting corners somewhere too.  When you hire an experienced wedding photographer, you aren’t just paying someone to be a warm body to click the camera.  You are paying for the experience.  Their experience shooting weddings and THE overall experience from start to finish.   Your wedding day is going to be filled with amazing moments, emotions and don’t forget those little imperfect moments too…..  one of those imperfect moments should NOT be worrying about your wedding photographer.

Have a clear idea of the STYLE you like.  This will help you narrow down the selection of photographers.   Are you attracted to more traditional photography, posed images and pretty smiles starting at the camera?  Do you prefer a documentary feel where the photographer goes unnoticed with no posed images?  Is a candid style that captures the big emotions and little details to tell the story of the entire day your preference?  Are you looking for someone who is going to unnaturally pose each image, interrupting the natural moments from happening or someone who is going to go with the flow, capturing the dirt on your dress while you walk through a mountain field, quietly soaking in the beauty of day?

Get to know your photographer.  Do your personalities mesh well?  Your photographer is going to spend a greater chunk of the day with you…. make sure you can tolerate them and maybe even like them.  😉  Just because your family feels obligated to use the local photographer you have known since you were a child…. doesn’t mean you need to.  I saw this happen once and said photographer ended up passed out drunk under a tree before the reception started.  NO JOKE.  It’s your wedding day.  Pick someone who’s work you are drawn to.  I love getting to know each of my clients better — doing this creates great rapport which is actually important when creating images filled with REAL emotion.  When you look at a photo, I want you to feel something.

Advice For Choosing A Wedding Photographer

With all of the excitement and anticipation that comes with planning your wedding, the day finally comes and passes more quickly than you’d even imagine. While you should savor each moment, one thing is for sure: you’ll want to relive it forever. The best way to draw value out of all you put into your wedding day is to make these moments tangible. So we’ve asked a handful of our favorite pros for their best advice on choosing a wedding photographer to document this day.

Land on a budget

There are several things to consider when coming up with your number, and once you have it set, many ways to apply it toward the services you need most.

“The first thing I would suggest when setting your initial budget is get into research mode! Find a few wedding photographers in your area that post rates publicly on their websites, just so you can get a general idea of what things cost and start with a realistic jumping off point. The other big factors can be timeline and shot list expectations—for example, I offer a sliding scale depending on the length of hours I would be needed on the day. If you are trying to save money, but photos of the prep and getting ready aspect of the day are important to you, perhaps you’ll be willing to cut some time off capturing the reception. Things like adding a second photographer will also contribute to the final quote. Just be ready to think about those kind of decisions and communicate with your partner about what is important to you both!”

Know your style

Find not only what appeals to you now, but will for generations to come. Looking beyond photography trends will lead you to discover your true taste.

“Even for the couples who aren’t photography savvy, I’d suggest making a collection of your favorite wedding photos that you’ve seen, and ask yourself why you like them — is it the editing, composition, their ability to capture emotion? Then find a photographer that does that thing really well, and show them your collection to get aligned.”