Choosing the RIGHT Wedding Photographer for Your Wedding

Here are a few tips I’ve put together on choosing the right wedding photographer.

Always ask to see a completed wedding album. It’s easy for any wedding photographer to show you a ‘Best Of…’ image selection but this could only be 20-30 images taken from 20-30 weddings. It’s easy for anybody to get one good photo from each wedding but it takes a quality photographer to provide consistent results throughout the whole day. Having said that, also ask to see an album of their best work, it also gives you a good idea of what they are capable of!

Are they qualified? With more and more wedding photographers entering the market it can be very hard to select the right one for you. A good judgement is to see whether their peers are willing to give them acknowledgment for their work too. With a highly qualified wedding photographer you know you are getting someone who takes pride in their work and wants the letters after their name to show this.

Do I like this guy? You’re not just asking someone to take some photos; you’re asking someone to also be a part of your special day. They can be the greatest photographer in the world but if they have no personality then you’re not going to enjoy the time you spend with them. Making sure you have good rapport with your photographer is essential for providing good expressions in the photos.

Do they offer a pre-wedding shoot?

This is always a nice extra to add to your wedding package. Throughout all the hustle and bustle of preparing for your wedding day it is easy to forget that the engagement is also a special time that should be celebrated and captured forever. A nice spring Sunday afternoon with your photographer taking some relaxed photos of the 2 of you will also help build that all important rapport with your photographer before your special day.

How to Pick the Right Wedding Photographer

Picking the right wedding photographer is a three step process:

1. Connect with the photographers work. Are you moved and captivated by the images or do they look like every other photographer you have looked at? Look at many sites and check the photographers blog to see current images in addition to just the best pictures on the website. Look for consistency by viewing many images from each wedding. Also look for pictures that have real emotional and romantic moments as they will mean more to you than a picture of yourself smiling at the camera.

2. Meet or talk with the photographer. They will be around you more than anyone else on such an important day. Go with your gut instinct on whether you feel they can be trusted with the emotions you will show. You must be comfortable and excited to have them cover your wedding. Try to see their work in print. Do their images look as nice as on the computer screen? Are you impressed with their sample albums of complete weddings?

3. Budget. Yes money matters but keep in mind the more distinctive the work, the more of an investment is required. Photography is the only purchase for your wedding that is forever, and will also increase in value to you over the years. Try not to settle, there is only one chance on this day and your images will be priceless in the future. Any amount spent today is a bargain for the enjoyment you will have for the rest of your life and future family members. If you have a very tight budget try not to focus so much on products. You have the rest of your life to get a nice album. Great images are a smarter first step.

Take care and I hope you have an incredible wedding!

The Top 10 Things Couples Look For In A Wedding Photographer

So you are getting married and there are so many things to do. You have the hall, your dress, flowers, invitations and now it comes time to hire your photographer.

After doing some research on the web and “hanging out” on different wedding sites I have found that most brides are looking for more or less the same things. What follows is sort of a wish list of things couples want from their wedding photographer.

10. Negatives/Digital Files – One thing that couples want these days is the opportunity to purchase or have included in their package the option to buy the negatives or (in the case of digital) the digital files. Many couples feel that they should be able to make as many re-prints as they would like, whenever they want. While many photographers do offer their negatives, many do not and feel that the labs that they use will be able to give a higher quality print rather than just taking a negative to the local drug store for printing. In addition, many photographers will sell their negatives after a certain amount of time, for example a year after your wedding date.

9. Black and White – Everything old is new again. Almost all couples want a mixture of color and black and white. Black and white gives that photojournalistic look to a photograph as well as a fine art look. If your photographer is shooting digital, any photograph can be converted to black and white. If your photographer is shooting film then most likely they will be shooting with B&W and color film separately.

8. Unlimited Time – When hiring a photographer couple like to have the security of someone who will be with them to capture all of the wedding moments. Having unlimited time can give you the peace of mind to know that those moments will be captured.

7. Experience – Does your photographer have the necessary experience to handle the stresses of wedding photography? There are many things going on at once during a wedding. The experienced photographer knows how to bring everything together and in an orderly fashion.

6. Price – This can vary a lot and price was not the main criteria in choosing a photographer. Prices can range from several hundred dollars to over $10,000. At the low end are usually people who do wedding photography part time. In wedding photography, you usually get what you pay for. As you go up in price, so does the “art of wedding photography”.

5. Professional – Being a professional means many different things to different people. Those photographers who didn’t respond in a timely manner and/or who were rude (and amazingly, some are) were axed off the potential list immediately. Being professional also meant that couples wanted to know the photographers “style and philosophy”. Things that also bothered couple: rudeness, disorganization, insulting comments about other brides or photographers and other unprofessional comments.

4. Flexibility – Brides put flexibility high on their list. To many flexibility is key. They said, packages are nice, but a photographer that refuses to be flexible, is not going to get very far with brides. Brides also commented that photographers get caught up in the OLD way of doing things, and never change with the times. Again, this relates to being flexible.

3. Style/Approach – Today couples are looking for something different – artsy photojournalism, not the same cheesy photos. Brides are drawn to photographers who have developed their own unique (but consistent) artistic style/approach. Details are very important to brides. They appreciate a photographer who focuses on details.

2. Personality – What can you really say about this. It is obvious. When you spend upwards of 10 hours with someone on an important day like your wedding you had better clique. Brides often said that they “just knew” when they met their photographer that they were right for each other.

1. Listen – And the number thing that kept on coming up was that brides wanted from their photographer was that they “LISTEN”.
This means that a photographer really heard what a bride said before they stated speaking about the next topic. This is really important because it is the ability to understand what a client wants that will make a photographer really deliver what a bride was expecting.

So there you have the top ten. So, when you go shopping for a photographer see how he/she measures up in each of the categories listed here. Remember, your wedding is a once in a lifetime event. Take your time, enjoy the process and you will find the perfect photographer for you.