Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important choices you have to make. You need to go through different decision-making and steps in order to choose the right one to capture your special day. Here are some tips on finding that perfect wedding photographer!
1. Photography Style: If you do not know the different wedding photography styles out there, you should research those various styles to see what you like and prefer. Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, you should look up different photographers that have that style in which you are interested in.
2. Professional or Amateur?: Usually, the professional wedding photographers are the well-known ones so they will pop up in the search engine first. This makes it a lot more easier on your part in finding someone who is guaranteed to capture those special moments of yours. Besides, you do not want to find someone who just does it as a hobby and may put your wedding day at a risk. Once you find the different photographers you are interested in, you should narrow it down to a few. Those few should be the photographers you want to meet and get to know.
3. Interview: With those few photographers, you should ask important questions about the service along with questions that are very important to you. For example- Is there a set package or can I customize it? When is the deposit due and the other payments due? What photography equipment do you use?. During the interview, you should also make sure there is chemistry between you and the photographer. This photographer will be there by your side from the beginning to the end of the wedding day. You want to know that both of you click!
4. Appearance: Make sure you pay attention to how the photographer presents themselves when they meet you, but more importantly, know how they will appear on the day of the wedding. You do not want your photographer to come wearing jeans or just sneakers. Normally, many photographers wear all black. They usually wear black dress pants and a black top/blazer on top of a top. Some female photographers even wear black knee-length dresses.
5. Referrals: Every photographer should be able to give you some names for your reference. If they have an issue giving you at least one name or reference, than there might be a problem. You do not always have to get the names directly from the photographer, but you can always ask around for references for a photographer. If your got married, they should be able to give you their input about what they think about the photographer that photograph their wedding day. You can even go to the different vendors and venues to see if they have any recommendations.
6. Contract: Do not sign the contract unless you read it fully! You need to understand the contract completely before you sign it. A contract is a notice for both you and the photographer to understand what services are given along with what is allowed and not allowed. When the photographer and you go over the packages, make sure the items he/she says is included in the contract (no matter if it is written or typed). Here are some things to look for in the contract: photographer’s name and contact information, package list, time of photographer’s arrival and departure, price of service, list of what’s included, and copyright. If there was an issue to arrive and you both are in court, what is written will be what the consent was!
7. Assistant: Most photographers usually need some sort of help during the wedding day, whether it is to carry things around or to help photograph. Check to see if the photographer is going to have one and what the assistant will be doing.
8. Budget: It is understandable that everyone wants to stick to their budget. When you are asking the photographer about their package prices, make sure they are within or close to your limit. If the photographer you are interested in is out of your budget, think about if the photographer you want is worth the extra money. You do not want to choose a photographer just based on your budget because you may be very sorry for a very long time. The images taken by the photographer you decide on will last a lifetime, so make sure the one you choose is the one you will not regret hiring!
9. Time: When you do pick your photographer, make sure you know when everything will be finished around. You should know what the turn around time would be for proofs, album, thank you cards, prints, etc. You do not want to be in shock when the items are not ready when you thought they were going to be.
10. Arrival: One of the most important of all of these tips is to make sure you know which photographer will be showing up. Even though that sounds outrageous, this really does happen more often than not. Ask the photographer to make sure that they are the one that arrives, and if anything was to happen, which photographer would appear. There are wedding photography companies where you will meet the photographer that is supposed to shoot your wedding, and all of a sudden at last-minute, they switch your photographer with someone else.
I hope all of these tips help you with choosing your perfect wedding photographer!