How To Choose A Wedding Photographer: 10 Tips For Selecting Wedding Photography
You want your wedding photographer to capture everything that makes your day special, to capture it at its best, to deliver photos that live up to your expectations. Here are 10 tips for selecting wedding photos you can live with throughout your new life together.
- A reputable wedding photographer must have a physical location. It is important to have a physical location where she can find them when she needs them and where she can meet them safely. Traditional wedding photography studios build trust within the community and with their clients. If your wedding photographer doesn’t have a local address (other than a PO Box) that they can share with you, that’s a good reason not to trust them. They may work out of their house, but do you know where it is? An office or physical study is essential for them to be reliable. Would you be willing to have a random stranger come to your house or for you to come to your house? It is safer and more reliable to choose a wedding photographer with a studio or office that you can visit and where you can find your photographer.
- A good wedding photographer should help your day run smoothly. In addition to a dedicated wedding planner, your photographer is the only provider who will spend the entire day with you. A good wedding photographer should make things easy for you. They should solve problems. Your wedding photographer must be flexible. They must be able to adapt and thrive in difficult situations. Learn more about their skills and ask about a difficult lighting scenario, bad weather or other catastrophe and find out how they’ve handled it in the past.
- You need your wedding photographer to focus on you. When you meet a wedding photographer for the first time, do they ask about you, get to know you and find out what you want? Or do they only talk about themselves and what they do? Find a photographer who is willing to take the time to get to know you so you know they understand you and your needs. This is the best way to find out if they are right for you.
- Your wedding photographer must be knowledgeable and helpful. They should offer suggestions on what options you have for different things, give advice on scheduling and setup, be full of ideas, and be ready to make your day and your planning easier. A good photographer is great at planning. Your photographer should work with you prior to an engagement shoot to select clothing and location. Your wedding day photography should be scheduled as part of your day and not as an afterthought. Photography doesn’t have to be an inconvenience – it can be a fun and integral part of your day.
- It may sound strange, but not all wedding photographers are the same and not all photographers are suitable for all clients. If your wedding photographer meets you and finds out what he’s looking for and then tells you that he doesn’t think he’s a good fit for you, it may be surprising, but it’s nothing personal. Wouldn’t you rather be a professional and be honest about this than try to change to suit your needs? Sometimes photographers realize that what they specialize in is not what a client wants. Photographers don’t want to make you unhappy, and if a wedding photographer thinks you might be happier with a different style of photography or a different situation, we’ll tell you before you book so you won’t be disappointed later.
- Price is NOT the most important factor when choosing a wedding photographer – you definitely get what you pay for. Photography is like anything else in life: you get what you pay for. It is not logical to think that you can hire someone for little or no money and get the same results that you would get if you had spent twice what you paid. Price is normally a factor when it comes to quality. The photographers that charge the most are often backed by their reputation, their brand and their experience. You must also understand that your photographs will become the lasting memory of your wedding day. There are two things you should spend money on for your wedding, it should be your venue and your photography. People probably won’t remember the food, you’ll only wear your dress once, and most other things aren’t big investments anyway (flowers, music, makeup). You will look at your wedding photos regularly, perhaps even every day, for the rest of your life. Shouldn’t your wedding photos be great?
- Your wedding photography studio must be insured and licensed as a legal business. Many places actually require insurance from the providers that work there. Camera equipment is expensive and you need to make sure your photographer is fully insured by a reputable insurance company to make sure you are protected. Many photographers are just individuals with cameras and maybe a nifty website. Make sure your photographer is backed by a legitimate and legal company.
- Your wedding photographer should have a backup team and a backup plan. Required: Cameras with two memory card slots that can be written to simultaneously in case one card fails, backup cameras and lenses, a data backup plan that includes off-site backups, and a disaster plan. Protect your investment. If your photographer only has a camera, it is not enough.
- Multiple photographers with your package are much better for you than having just one. Your wedding photographer should have multiple photographers on staff in case someone gets sick or God forbid injured. A lone photographer can’t be in enough places at once to possibly adequately cover a wedding day. For all but the smallest weddings, the wedding photographer must have at least one photographer and one assistant/second photographer. Anything less and you’ll miss important moments, angles and opportunities.
- Your wedding photographer should NOT throw you a photo disk and disappear after the wedding day. Some photographers will sell you a disc of high-resolution photos, give them to you and that’s it. Your wedding photographer should provide value-added services and products after your wedding day, such as photo books or albums, photographic prints, and wall art. Other services to look for include studio screenings and screenings, retouching and editing services, and gift options. A photographer shooting for a record will give you a result that is a completely different set of photos than a photographer shooting with an album in mind or to create a work of art. You’ll get a better selection of photos from a fine art-focused photographer and an heirloom album than one who will shoot and burn a disc for you and call it a day. Do you really want to spend time and money designing your own album? Probably not. Make sure your photographer gives you personal use rights to the images, but you don’t need raw files or ultra-high-resolution photos if your wedding photographer designs an amazing photo album for you, he gives you a disc of JPG digital negatives and offers printing, artwork, and design options after the wedding. Consider what you really need and talk to your photographer about what they offer.
If you choose a wedding photographer that you get along with, whose portfolio or sample photos you enjoy, who offers the products you want, and who you feel you can trust, your wedding photography experience should be a positive one.
Photography is one of the most important decisions you will make for your wedding, and you owe it to yourself and your future legacy to invest in selecting a good wedding photographer instead of the cheapest photographer you can find.