The 10 Biggest Mistakes Made When Choosing a Wedding Photographer

There is one thing that every couple must do when planning a wedding, and that is finding the right photographer. This may not be as easy as you think, as a lot of things depend on the photographer. You want to make sure you make the best decision since you will only get one chance at this. Having someone who captures this priceless day is important. So make sure you do not make the mistakes listed below when you are searching for your wedding photographer.

1. Having the Thoughts that All Photographers are Equal

As you know, no one is the same as anyone else. This is especially true when it comes to photographers. To get this point through, think of your favorite sport, and now think of the top two players. Notice how these players are both great, but have their own style.

2. Choosing a Photographers Based On Their Price

Choosing the cheapest or most expensive photographer, does not guarantee you they quality. You may choose the cheapest photographer and get the best quality, or choose the most expensive and get the worse quality.

3. Thinking the Right Gear With Get Great Results

Just because the photographer you choose carries around the best equipment, does not mean they are an expert using it. These expensive cameras come with a lot of great features, but unless your photographer is skilled on the equipment, these features mean nothing,

4. Letting Friends and Relatives Take the Pictures For You, and Expecting Professional Results

It is always nice to have your friends and family take pictures at your wedding, but remember that taking professional pictures needs experience. Even if your favorite Uncle does have the best camera, if he is not experienced, these pictures will not be professional.

5. Cutting Your Photographers Time

A lot of times we want a lot in a little bit of time. If you want family pictures or pictures of the wedding party, make sure you schedule time for it. If you try to get everyone together and rush the photographer to take the pictures fast, you are more than likely going to get bad results. Know who you want pictures taken of, and make time for it. Make sure you tell your photographer the must have pictures well in advance. Having a time schedule will give your photographer and chance to organize and take great pictures.

6. You Entertain Too Many Photographers

Though price shopping with a number of different service providers is often a good idea, with photography this is not necessarily so.

A good photographer often has an already established client base and relies more on word of mouth than on advertising or on overly competitive prices. Many quality photographers will not even consider lowering rates for a price shopper. While it is important to get a good price and to stay within budget for photography services, it is even more important to have a professional experience and a high quality product.

7. You Sign the Paperwork Without Looking it Over First

It is not only one of the biggest mistakes but also one of the most commonly occurring – many people do not read the paperwork provided by their photographers. If a couple is serious about getting the best photographer, they need to take the time to read the contracts. Also, any items that are discussed between the photographer and client must appear in writing.

8. You Do Not Trust Your Own Instincts

A couple may get the feeling that an offer from a photographer is too good to be true, then will ignore that feeling in order to get a good deal. It is more important to trust those instincts; if something seems fishy, it probably is.

9. Lack of Professionalism is Ignored

A person who is planning a wedding has a long list of items to attend to, so it can be easy to ignore small things, such as a photographer who is dressed unprofessionally or behaves in any way other than a business-like fashion. It may seem unimportant how a person is dressed at the time of procuring their services, but if you attempt to picture this person in the midst of a wedding ceremony and formal reception, you may understand why professionalism is vital.

10. You Do Not Make Inquiries Into the Sample Album

Amateur photographers may attempt to piece together a sample album from multiple weddings, showing only one or two of the best shots taken at each wedding. A professional photographer will show a sample album with shots obtained at one wedding, showcasing the ability to capture multiple excellent photographs during the event.

It is also important to ask the photographer about the wedding; ask specific questions about techniques used or about the wedding itself so that you know for certain that the photographer is showing a legitimate sample album rather than one obtained from another photographer.

Tips To Find Your Best Wedding Photographer

Start looking early for your wedding photographer.

Wedding photographers typically get inquiries from brides from 6-8 months prior to a bride’s wedding day. The sooner you start looking the better the chances are of hiring the best match for your style and personality. Also, booking earlier gives you more flexibility in when you will be able to shoot your engagement session. Booking late can restrict you to a season that’s either too hot or too cold.

Don’t have any idea how to start looking? Here are some ideas.

Start asking around your circle of friends that have been married recently. Referrals are the absolute best way to get true feedback for a particular photographer. Lean on Google heavily. If you’ve already booked your wedding venue, search for photographers that have blogged about weddings at that location. Make a working group of 15-20 bookmarks of favorite wedding photographer websites. Keep that group fluid, when you add one…drop someone else off. Don’t go over 20. Once you have a good list make a top 5 group from that bigger group. Contact those five photographers and start setting up consultations.

Ask the photographer about their cameras and equipment.

Ask your photographer to describe their approach to backup gear for the wedding day. Photographers love to talk about their toys and you’ll be reassured to hear about their backup plans. They should have at least two fully capable pro camera bodies and multiple lenses specialized for low light photography. Professional cameras are robust but as with anything mechanical, failure can occur. Having immediately available backup gear is essential.

Talk to the photographer about his backup methods AFTER the wedding.

Your photographer should have a strategy for backing up your digital images that includes multiple onsite and off site backups. For example, a photographer may have duplicate hard drives at their studio as well as a safe deposit box with additional backups.

Why an engagement session is so important.

The engagement session is important to create photographic record of this amazing time in your life. The time between your engagement and wedding is one of the most exciting periods of your life. beyond that, no one will be around you more than your photographer on your wedding day. The importance of personal compatibility cannot be overstated. Having spent time together as friends and photo subjects at the engagement session goes a long way towards the comfort and trust necessary on the wedding day.

Saving money by having a friend or relative that’s pretty good with a camera shoot the wedding.

If you place a high degree of importance on the photographic record of your wedding day then nothing less than a professional is acceptable. A talented friend may capture a few nice images but with the experience and training of photographing many weddings you cannot rely on them to have the consistency and control to capture the entire day. A professional photographer has shot countless weddings and worked in every possible lighting situation. These are your memories…hire a professional.

You will find that your wedding photographer choice is a very personal one. If this article plants a seed or two to help you as you begin your search the it will be a success.

How to Hire the Best Wedding Photographer

Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Lets be frank, planning your wedding day is a nightmare! Other than building your own house, you will probably never have to employ so many different services. From cake makers to the DJ and from the limo drivers to the dress maker, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the choice. But of all the people you will engage to make sure that you have the perfect day the photographer is probably the most difficult whilst at the same time being the only one that you are relying on to leave you a lasting reminder of the day (husbands don’t count here). Just one day after and your cake will be eaten, your venue is being used for a 21st birthday, your car is being used to ferry kids to a prom and in a few months even the dress will be a bit tight and relegated to the attic or worse eBay. But when you are sitting in your rocking chair with your grandchildren on you knee you will still have your wedding pictures to relive your special day.

So having decided that choosing the very best wedding photographer is important where do you start?
Good personal recommendation is about the best starting place, but note that I said “good”. People like to help others out, it’s human nature, so they may well recommend their photographer who in reality was, well average, therefore it is important that you ask for some details. Start with asking to see their album, this is easy as what bride doesn’t like to drag out and show off that? Ask how they performed on the day, what you need to know here was, where they punctual? where they polite? did the guests like them? where they unobtrusive? where they dressed appropriately (some photographers think its OK to turn up to wedding dressed in T shirts and jeans)? how much did they charge and what did you get for that money? how fast did they take the formal family pictures ( none of the guests like these so a good photographer should be able to whip through them at an average sized wedding in about 20-30 minutes)? How long did the album take to arrive? How much where additional prints? Did they supply a CD of the wedding images that you could print yourself, if so how much was it?

Don’t limit yourself to asking just people who have been recently married, but also make sure to ask friends who may have attended at a wedding for their opinions too.

So you have tried personal recommendations and none are pressing you buttons, so what next. Well by now you will probably have booked your wedding venue so ask the coordinator there for suggestions, you will almost certainly will be given a list of photographers who have worked there before, but remember some venues will be taking a cut of the photographers fee for the recommendation so whilst a good starting point you still have some research to do.

Last but definitely not least, the world’s greatest research tool is at your command, the internet. If you type wedding photographer into one of the search engines you will get literally millions of results so narrow down your returns by adding your area or town for example “wedding photographer wilmslow” or add your venue for example “wedding photographers crewe hall”. Having done this you will still be faced with a huge list as it seems that everyone who has bought themselves a nice camera for Christmas is trying there hand at wedding photography. So how to cut the wheat from the chaff?

Firstly, click onto the website, does it look professional, easy to navigate around, contain the information you need, have lost of images? Is there a proper telephone number (be wary of mobile numbers only) or better still a toll free number. And above all is the photographers address shown, after all you will be handing over a lot of money for this service and you want to know where they are if it does all go wrong.

Now pick the top 5 photographers that you like the sound of and arrange for a meeting, ideally this should take place at their office or studio so it will give you a chance to see just how professional they are. The type of questions you should ask. Here is a list of the questions you should ask, remember it is by no means a complete list, but it is a good start.

– Are you a full time professional wedding photographer?
– What are your prices, including any taxes and expenses and what do we get for our money? (Don’t say what your budget is before they tell you their prices)
– What is the payment schedule? Most will require a deposit to hold the date and full payment in advance of the event itself.
– What payment methods can I use? If possible pay by credit card as this will offer you some form of protection.
– What happens if you are ill on the morning of my wedding and can’t attend? If they say that a “friend” will attend, ask to see some work done by this “friend”.
– How many photographers will be attending? If you are being charged for two photographers (often this will be the spouse), again ask to see work by the other photographer.
– What will happen if it rains on the day? Every pro should have a rain plan and be able to show you photographs from wedding where it rained.
– How much will it cost to purchase additional photographs after the event?
– Can we have a disc of photographs to print ourselves and/or use on social networking sites?
– How will you deal with friends taking photographs? Some photographers simply don’t allow this, so if it’s important to you, walk away.
– Do you take formal group shot pictures? Again be cautious of photographers who don’t do this, formal photographs are tricky to do well and are a sign of a real professional not only from a photography stand point but from how they handle organizing people.
– How do you proof our photographs? There are several ways this can be done, from providing you with individual prints, CD’s or small proofing albums.
– How soon will our photographs be ready? A reasonable time would be about two weeks.

But overall the question you should be asking yourself is do I get on with this person enough to have them with me on what is one of the most special days of my life? If the answer is no, then politely tell them that you have other photographers to see and leave.

So what should it cost? Well prices for wedding photography varies enormously from just a few hundred to several thousand, in that case go for the cheapest right? The answer surprisingly is maybe. Some fantastic photographers are just starting out and are desperate to build a portfolio and therefore are charging well below the rate they should be for their skills. Unfortunately there are also lots of photographers who are quite frankly rubbish and charge low because that is all they are worth.

At the opposite scale there are photographers who will charge many thousands more than they are worth knowing that some people will assume they are good because they charge a lot. Don’t fall for this, meet with them, ask them the questions I have said, look at their work at least 3 albums worth of full weddings they have done. Do you like their style, do the people in the pictures look relaxed? One of the most common mistakes by inexperienced wedding photographers is that they loose color in the sky so it shows as white on the pictures or the loose the detail on the wedding dress and it shows as pure white so look for these things. Professional wedding photographers should be able to accept credit cards so if possible pay that way to ensure you have some come back should you need a refund.

But above all, make sure you get on with your photographer, so you can relax on the day an not be worried that your pictures wont turn out.