How To Choose A Wedding Photographer For Your Wedding

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

As your wedding day is booked, the venue, the car, and all those good things that make your wedding day a day to remember, and in that list one of the most important things to remember to do is to book the photographer. It is his or her duty to capture those precious moments on in your wedding photographs that you will have for the rest of your life. But when it comes to choosing your photographer how can you be sure you have found the right one?

Interview Your Wedding Photographers

A good photographer will know how to get the best from the wedded couple and their guests and will be able to select the best light and backgrounds for the photographs. When you meet a photographer who may potentially be the photographer for your wedding, ask about creativity and his or her suggestion for creating the wedding album in terms of style of images. The photographer you choose has a role that goes beyond simply taking pictures. A good photographer will know how to create opportunities and scenarios that will create interesting and fun images. Remember, your idea of fun may not be the same as your photographer. For example, at a recent wedding I photographed the Bride was picked up and held by the Groom and the Groom’s Men and the Father’s of the Bride and Groom while she reclined in their arms. This is a common image, but not one that I personally would ever suggest as it is just not my idea of either a nice image or a fun thing to do. However, it is what they wanted and I was happy to go along with the show.

Your Photographer’s Personality

This brings me to the next important thing to remember, the wedding is your day, not the photographers, this is a day for you to have fun and have a good time. People relate differently various personality types. Choose a friendly wedding photographer that can make you smile, one who can sense the mood of the guests and allow things to flow naturally and with a sense of joy for the occasion. This will make photographs look more natural and relaxed.

Try to have a pre-wedding photo shoot, this will help you to understand your photographer and more importantly him to understand you and how you feel in front of the camera. With the exception of your partner you will spend more time with the photographer than with any one else on the day of your wedding, so make sure you can get on well with him or her.

Evaluate Portfolios

What is the most beautiful picture in the world? You may have an answer, but another person may disagree with you because the answer is subjective. The old saying is true ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ The portfolio of any good wedding photographer will look good to most people; you must make sure it looks good to you. Look at their portfolio to make sure that the photographer’s style reflects your own style and creativity. If a set of images or a sample album looks good, ask to see all the photographs from that wedding. If the photographer has visited you at your home and this requires a seconded visit, then so be it.

Get Estimates

Most wedding photographers suggest different “packages”, allowing you to select a deal that will best suit your budget. Compare the pricing packages of several photographers to find your best option for evaluating the price along with all the other factors, including quality of their work, reviews by other clients, their flexibility and personality. Don’t just go for the cheep and cheerful option either; you are paying for talent and ability.

A Flexible Approach

A photographer should be flexible with their timetable for the day. Make sure that they will be around through both wedding and reception if you need them to be. A good photographer will only book one wedding on any one day, as he or she will know that things can go wrong and the photographer may need to stay a little longer.

As a photographer I have taken guests to the reception because the taxi has not arrived. Gone and collected gas and balloons to decorate the hall, stayed later than anticipated (recently by six hours) because there has been a problem with guests or family and the photos would not have been taken if we had stuck to the original agreement. For all of these things there was no extra charge, as it is all part of the service that a photographer should provide if he or she is both flexible and personable.

Check The Paperwork

There are three or possibly four things it is worth checking with your photographer, and dare I say you should ask to see the evidence of. I can only speak from a British Photographers Point of view on this as other countries will have different organisation and rules, but still check!

First, check the photographer’s Public Liability Insurance Policy, if Great Aunt Agnes trips on the tripod and fractures her hip is the photographer covered?

Second, check the photographer’s Professional Indemnity Insurance; if the photographer looses all your photos can you get compensation?

Third, is the photographer a member of a professional body like the British Institute of Professional Photographers? Ask to see his or her ID

Fourth, is the photographer’s car covered adequately with breakdown cover? If his or her car does not start will they get to your wedding?

Finally, if you do find you need help with those little extras like taking guests to the reception venue, ask if the photographer’s car insurance covers business, because if not, then your guests will not be insured to travel in the car.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Palm Springs Wedding Photographer

Weddings are known for being romantic and memorable. If you are planning to get married, it is likely that you would want your wedding to be that way. If so, there are a number of things that you should first consider. To forever cherish memories, pictures are used. That is why it is important to consider hiring a professional wedding photographer for your Palm Springs wedding.

When it comes to professional wedding photography, many couples wonder why they need to have it. The truth is that you do not need to have professional pictures of your wedding. However, even though it is optional, most couples make the decision to hire a professional and in the end almost all are satisfied with their decision.

If you are unsure as to whether or not you want to hire a professional wedding photographer, you are urged to examine the benefits of doing so. By closely examining the benefits of using a professional Palm Springs wedding photographer, you can easily decide whether or not it is the right decision for you and your partner.

When examining the benefits of a professional Palm Springs wedding photographer, you will likely be pleased with what they can offer you. Professional wedding photographers are not just any person with a camera. They are trained professionals, often with professional equipment. While you may not think about it, the camera used to take your wedding pictures may be more important than you know. Professional cameras, often expensive ones, tend to produce better results.

In addition to the type of equipment used, most professional photographers know what shots are the best. A friend or relative may not necessarily be aware of what pictures are important to you. Often times, without even mentioning anything, a professional photographer will know what you want. Many couples are pleased not only with the quality of the photographs, but the pictures that were taken.

To many couples, the cost of a wedding photographer seems high; however, it is important to examine what that cost includes. Many professional photographers charge a fee that includes a wide variety of different features and services. Instead of having to pay for your own film and photo developments, many photographers include them in their fees. Having to pay only one fee for your wedding photographs is nice, on a number of different levels.

While not all photographers guarantee their work, you may be able to find at least one Palm Springs wedding photographer who is willing to. This often guarantees that you will get the results that you were promised or looking for. Also, there are some professional photographers that will let you view sample prints of your photographs and then allow you to choose the ones that you want. This may end up preventing you from having to pay for pictures that you do not approve of.

As you can see, there are a number of different benefits to using the services of a professional wedding photographer. If you are interested in using a professional Palm Spring wedding photographer, you are urged to start searching well in advance. Many times, especially during certain months, it is hard to find a professional photographer with an opening.

17 Great Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

The wedding date is set! Already, the excitement is building for your big day. You want awesome wedding pictures. But the challenge feels daunting. You know your family shutterbug Uncle Ned is not who you had in mind. Chances are you have never hired a photographer before. So where do you start? You know you want to interview the candidates, but what do you ask them? Here are 17 great questions to ask photographers before booking.

1. Are you full-time? When did you start shooting full-time?

The truth is most wedding photography operations are very fly by night. The photographers are doing their photography on a part-time basis with negligible photography experience. Do you believe your once-in-a-lifetime event should be on-the-job training for your photographer? I didn’t think so. A full-time photographer has already made the considerable life-long investment of their energy, time and money to create a valued and trusted service. Your wedding memories deserve your photographer’s 100 percent commitment not a 20 percent commitment.

2. Why do you like to photograph weddings?

This question helps you to gauge who your photographer is as a person and artist. Take stock of the person’s passion and energy. Does he/she seem enthusiastic or kind of flat? People who love what they do have a tendency to be very good at what they do and working with them is always more enjoyable and fun.

Also, knowing a little about what makes the person tick is a good way to feel out what kind of a personality “fit” you may share with the photographer. After all, you will be spending an entire day with your photographer, so do what you can to be sure the person you pick will be genuinely excited to be there and pleasant throughout that day.

3. Will you be the actual photographer to shoot our wedding? If not, who?

It’s not uncommon for photographers and larger studios to have a network of shooters. If you learn the person you are talking to will not be the shooter then insist you talk to the person who will and also insist you see their personal portfolio.

4. What kind of input can we have on the shots? i.e. subject matter, shotlists and ideas from other wedding shots we liked?

A formals/posed groupings worksheet is sometimes necessary when planning when and how to get that part of your wedding completed and done in time. Lots of communication is key here. When working with a good wedding photographer, it is important when capturing the unique qualities and moments of your wedding to keep it open-ended for your photographer. A good photographer cannot produce every photo you can think of, but he/she can produce photos you never dreamed of.

5. (For self-described photojournalists) How much of your candid-looking work is posing and setting-up of shots or do you get shots as they happen without posing or reenactment?

“Wedding photojournalist” has become a buzzword which has lost its specific meaning with its surge in popularity among photographers. Often, the term “photojournalist” means candid-looking when used by photographers and studios to describe their own work. Often these photographers will set up and reenact a few things during your wedding day but rely heavily upon traditional portraiture for a lot of your photos… there is nothing wrong with this approach if you are comfortable with that. However a true wedding photojournalist has the talent and ability to anticipate, observe and “see” moments as they happen without the need to interfere with the natural flow of your wedding day.

6. Are the digital files available on CD/DVD? If so, are they high resolution?

This is a popular request by couples. The discs can vary widely in price. Also ask if there are any discounts applied to the CD/DVD after a certain time has passed from the wedding. For example, the photographer may offer the discs at half-price two years after the wedding.

7. What kind of improvements do you make to the files on the CD/DVD?

It is nice to have your pictures in hand to keep safe and make whatever prints you like. Keep in mind all digital images on the disc should be toned, adjusted and worked a little to make an adequate print. You should have some guarantee of the quality of pictures on the disc.

8. Do you have a list of references with contact info?

This is a rarely asked but very effective question. A real live person who has worked with a photographer will give you valuable, objective information.

9. Who do you carry liability insurance with?

Businesses that adhere to professional practices will deliver professional service and results to you. Chances are slim you will ever have to worry about insurance coverage. But accidents can and do happen. Would you let a roofing company put a new roof on your home that did not have liability insurance? How about a mechanic working on your car? I hope not.

10. What is the delivery time for the various products you offer?

It really shouldn’t take half a year to receive an album, your proofs or any other products. Try to be timely with any input your photographer requires as far as albums, edits to help this process along.

11. With the albums, how does the design and picture selection process work? Are there any fees for changes we would like prior to the album’s production?

You should have some input into important keepsakes of your wedding like an album. Some photographers charge extra for a certain number of changes to the albums they design for you prior to the printing and binding of any album. Make sure such fees are all clearly stated. Beware of time deadlines too, they are necessary to preventing production bottlenecks.

12. When will the proofs be ready? Is there a time limit for the online proofing galleries?

If working with a digital photographer, online proofing (when you first get to see your photos online) should be completed within a couple of weeks of your event. The time period of online availability for those galleries varies among photographers. Some post them for three months, others post for a full year. Check with your photographer.

13. What happens if the photographer is ill? What about back-up equipment?

Any successful, established professional studio should have a network of shooters available for emergency help. You should have a written assurance the substitute photographer will be a competent professional.

14. Should our event last longer than scheduled? Will the photographer stay, are there extra charges?

Most weddings will not exceed a six to eight hour time commitment from your photographer. If you think you will need more time, find out how your photographer handles extra hours.

15. What associations do you belong to?

Another useful way to gauge a photographer’s qualifications and professional commitment.

16. Why should we hire you?

Again, this question is similar in spirit to Question 3. Your photographer’s answer should communicate some excitement about the privilege to shoot your wedding.

17. May we see your second photographer’s entire shoot from a wedding?

Wedding photography studios often promote themselves as two shooter “teams.” They are often a husband and wife duo. They are usually not the 2-for-1 benefit they advertise. For the most part they are maybe one decent photographer and a person who is nothing more than a camera holder with with very little qualifications or experience. Have you seen an entire take of both photographers? Insist on seeing the second photographers entire shoot.