Some things to consider to ensure you are choosing the perfect wedding photographer for your big day
Your wedding photographer will capture treasured memories. They will show you looking your most beautiful and handsome. They will show all your family and friends together in a way that they likely won’t be again. The importance of getting good wedding photographs cannot be understated.
That’s why it’s so important to take your time in choosing your wedding photographer. This is a decision you want to get right. Otherwise, you might be looking at dark or blurry photos after your big day has come and gone. Or you might miss important shots.
Look at Recent Work Samples
Photographers readily share samples of their work on their websites. The trouble is that those photos are the best of the best. Photographers carefully curate those images so they show potential clients only the best that they can do. You might end up with an equally stunning photo or two in your wedding album, but there are no guarantees.
Website galleries also show work that spans a photographer’s career. If you look at the photographer’s Facebook page, you’ll see the most recent work. To get the best idea of what you can expect from a photographer in your wedding album, you should look at as many samples from as many sources as possible.
Look at the old and the new to see the growth of the person’s technique. Look at different wedding styles to see how the photographer’s vision was captured. Look at different settings to see how the photographer handled different lighting and other factors. Don’t let a few photographs sell you – get the bigger picture by looking at what the photographer has done over time and in different situations.
Ask about Style and Specialities
Some photographers are great at shooting in black and white. Others are better at shooting photos that look like they came out of a magazine spread. Some are great at portraiture, and others are great at action shots. The first step is to know out what style you want. If you don’t know, research!
Ask potential photographers whether they have a particular style or speciality that they love to shoot. Sometimes the answer may be obvious from the person’s portfolio, but sometimes it may not. Finding a photographer whose passion, is shooting the style you want, can make all the difference.
While you may be told your preferred style can be done, ask how many weddings they have done in this style. Does your photographer sound confident? Can they show you evidence? Never assume anything. Always ask before you make the hire.
Confirm the Photographer to Shoot the Wedding
Many wedding photographers work independently. However, some work for a company. Others have a team that works under them. You may look at a gallery online and assume that the photographer who took those photos will be the one shooting your wedding. Then someone entirely different shows up on your big day. You may even interview with a different person than the one who shows up to photograph your wedding.
Always confirm what photographer will be at your wedding. Even if you are dealing with an individual, always ask if they will be shooting the wedding or if they will have assistants who will do some of the work. Again, you don’t want to make an assumption and then end up disappointed.
Know What Photos are Provided
Wedding photographers take hundreds of pictures during your wedding ceremony and reception. Unfortunately, you don’t get even close to all of them. You usually get a selection of photos that have been selected by the photographer. (Many times, these are the shots the photographer considers the best.) Sometimes, you get to review the photos and select the ones you want yourself. Even then, the photographer might cull the photos you see so that you don’t get a glimpse at the bad shots.
Typically, the price you pay to hire a wedding photographer includes the person’s time, as well as a certain number of photos. Find out whether digital or physical photographs are provided and how many. Ask whether you will get the rights to the photographs for digital sharing or reprints or if you will have to order through the photographer. The answers to these questions will make a big impact on the actual cost you end up paying.
Understand Everything Included in the Cost
Wedding photographers are no different than any other wedding vendor in that they have to charge you for their time and their expenses. (And, of course, they still want to make a profit.) The price quote they give you will reflect all of that. To accurately compare costs between wedding photographers, you need to know what is included in the quote.
Some photographers offer nothing more than their time when they give you a quote. Everything else you would want – such as prints or digital photos – must be ordered and cost extra. Some photographers offer a few prints but make you pay for more. Some offer a wedding album with a certain number of prints, and some even offer an album for the parents of the bride and groom.
Ask about extras like additional time if the reception goes late, bridal photos, engagement photos, and so on. Be as clear as you can and negotiate the contract the way you would any other business deal. The better your negotiations, the more photos you may be able to get.
Hire the Perfect Wedding Photographer
Yes, your wedding photographer is an artist, but he or she is also a business person. Make sure you are getting the artist you want to take beautiful photos, as well as the business person you need to give you the best rates. You will end up with a wedding photographer who captures stunning photos of your big day, and you won’t have to break the bank to hire the person. When you look back at your beautiful wedding photos, you’ll be glad you took the extra time to get this decision right.