How to Pick Your Wedding Photographer
Your wedding photographer will capture the most precious moments on the happiest day of your life. So, you shouldn’t put such an important job in the hands of someone you don’t trust or isn’t reliable.
A wedding photographer should be chosen with care. You want to find a professional who has a great reputation for providing brides and grooms with exceptional results. These photos will hang on your walls and be a part of your family’s history from this point forward.
Therefore, you should find only the best wedding photographer who can take care of this very important job for you.
How to Find a Professional in Wedding Photography to Hire
There are several things that you should keep in mind when it comes to looking for a professional wedding photographer to capture your big day. Here are a few steps that will set you on the right path to locating the very best person in the wedding photography industry in your local area.
Step 1 – Choose the Style You Want
Before you start researching the best photographers in your area, you should figure out what type of photography style you have in mind.
Do you want to have a documentary style of photographs that showcase every little event that happens throughout the day such as getting ready, decorating, or rehearsals? Or do you want traditional portrait style photos of the wedding party, bride and groom, family members and during the ceremony?
These are things to consider when choosing a photographer because there may be some who specialize in certain areas more than others.
Step 2 – Do Your Own Research
Your neighbor or co-worker may know the perfect person for you to hire for your big day who will do a perfect job at your wedding, but it is important that you do your own research to find the right photographer who will meet your specific needs and provide you with the wedding photos that you have always dreamed of.
Check out online reviews for wedding photography experts in your area and take the time to find out what former customers have to say about each one you have in mind. Don’t simply rely on suggestions from friends and family members without giving it a second thought, as that could lead to a huge mistake.
Step 3 – Interview Potential Wedding Photographers
If you have more than one wedding photographer in mind and are having problems deciding, you should set up a time to interview each one and find out more about their experience with the type of wedding photography you have in mind.
You can either meet with them face to face or you can do an interview over the phone. You may even want to reach out to them online by email or on their social media page. Any way to get to know the photographer better is a good way to help you make the right decision on who to hire.
Step 4 – Request to See Samples of Their Work
You will be able to make a better decision on which photographer you should go with if you request to see a full wedding album of their past work. Most photographers keep several of their prints from other clients to add to their growing portfolio.
So, they should have some readily available to you to help you get a better idea of what they can do. And if they have a website, the photographer is likely to have plenty of samples for potential customers to check out in their own time.
Find out as much as you can about their past work so that you will have a better understanding of what they are capable of doing with your own wedding photos. You may want to view two or three full galleries of their work, as well as some of their additional projects that may or may not involve wedding photos just to get a good idea of their creativity and range.
And be sure to request to see samples of their work that goes along with your wedding venue such as outdoor wedding photos or pictures taken in low light settings.
Step 5 – Be Critical While Reviewing the Album
Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and provide some constructive criticism as needed to the wedding photographer. After all, you will be paying a lot of money for their services if they are hired. Therefore, you need to make sure that this particular photographer is the person you want for the job.
When reviewing the sample album, look for the key moments that you want captured for your own ceremony. Did they get those photos in any of the samples provided? Did they capture the moment when the bride and groom saw each other for the first time? Was there ever too much clutter in the frame or too much going on in the background that took away from the main image?
It is also important that you detect sensitivity when the photos capture people’s emotions. Make sure that the subjects look relaxed and not like a deer caught in the headlights when they are photographed.
Step 6 – Do Your Personalities Mesh Well?
It may not seem very important at first but check out online reviews for wedding photographers. You will quickly find out if the photographer’s personality doesn’t mesh well with the couple’s, the photo shoot will end up a disaster. This person will be capturing the most memorable day of your life and take photos of you in some very intimate and personal moments. You need to feel comfortable around them so that you can relax and be yourself fin the photos.
Pay attention to their mannerisms while you are talking to them prior to hiring them. Are they anxious? Do they seem timid or do they seem like the type of person who would be the life of the party? They should be able to get along with everyone and make every person being photographed always feel at ease whether it is the mother of the groom or the flower girl.
Getting everyone rounded up for a group photo can be time-consuming and stressful so you want to find a wedding photographer who is calm, relaxed, and capable of waiting around for everyone to gather up for a photo op.
Step 7 – Confirm All Your Photographers
If you are working with a large photo studio for your wedding photos, it is possible that they have more than one photographer on staff and the lead photographer may not be available on the date of your wedding. You will need to specify if you want the lead photographer to take pictures at your wedding on the contract or if you are okay with someone else taking on the job.
If you don’t mind having another photographer do the job, if possible, you should at least meet with them to go over their samples and learn more about their personality before the wedding day. If you are working with an individual wedding photographer, check to see if they will have an assistant with them to help out on the big day.
If you have room in your budget, you may even want to consider hiring a second photographer to take on some of the load, or take a different style of photos if you prefer. Just make sure you confirm who is in charge of what before the wedding day arrives.
Step 8 – Compare All Packages
It is impossible to come up with the exact dollar amount you will pay the photographer until you are sure about which packages you want and how many albums you will need. Packages can range from $2,500 to $15,000 or more for professional photos. So be absolutely certain that you choose the right photographer and you know what you are buying before you sign the check.
When you interview your potential candidates for the job, you should ask for a general estimate for the photos as well as their standard shooting fee, which is very common among professional photographers. You need to find out everything that’s included in the standard package as well as the rates for any extras like special effects or an added engagement photo shoot.
Find out exactly how many hours of coverage are included and how much you will need to pay for any extra time they have allotted.
Step 9 – Ask About Your Rights
Be sure to find out about your rights as a customer and who owns the rights to all the photos taken at your wedding. The photographer has the right to use them as part of their portfolio and can even place them in ads. Any watermarked images or those that have credit to the photographer can’t be copied without their permission in most cases.
However, there are some studios that will allow you to buy the rights to your photos so that you can print and make as many copies as you want.
Choosing the Right Photographer Is an Important Part of the Wedding Process
Choosing the right photographer for your wedding is an important part of your wedding plans. You want to make sure to get the right person for the job so that you will have many beautiful images of your special day to look back on years from now.
Be sure to read up on reviews and interview several photographers before you make a final decision on who should capture your memorable moments.