It probably goes without saying, but choosing the right wedding photographer is one of the most important parts of planning your wedding. Aside from the sizeable investment (the average wedding costs $2,000 to photograph!), you’ll want beautiful images you can cherish for many years to come. So it’s worth doing a little extra leg-work to ensure the photographer you’re thinking of hiring is the right one for you and your wedding.
Here are 5 tips to consider when you’re selecting your wedding photographer…
1. Know your style
Everyone has an idea of what their dream wedding day will look like, but have you thought of what it will look like in pictures? Think about the types of photos you tend to gravitate toward. Do you like the light and airy look? Do you prefer candid photos over traditional posed pictures? Once you know what kind of style and feel you’re going for, start the search for photographers who have examples of the photographic style you like. Photographers, especially good ones, book up quickly.
2. Do Your Homework
In the age of the internet, smart phones and social media, it doesn’t take much for someone to throw together images on a website, create an Instagram account and voila, begin calling themselves a photographer. Their Instagram feed might look stellar, they may even have loads of followers, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t mean anything. You’ll want to know exactly what to expect and be sure the person you are planning to hire is legit.
So, pour yourself a glass of wine and ask yourself these questions while doing a little Internet surfing.
- Do they have testimonials on their website?
- Are they rated on The Knot or other reputable wedding vendor sites?
- What are customers saying on their Facebook or Google reviews?
If they don’t have reviews online, but your heart is set on working with them, reach out and ask them for recent references or reviews.
3. Confirm who will be shooting the day of
Big name photographers usually have other photographers working for them, under their name. Which means their big name drew you in, but you may not actually get the “name brand” photographer on your wedding day.
This is not to be confused with a second shooter. A second shooter, is exactly what it sounds like, a second photographer serving as a backup for your main photographer. A second shooter will focus on different angles and shots. For example, they’ll take pictures of your groom looking at you while the main photographer is capturing you walking down the aisle.
So, when you’re confirming the details with your photographer, you’ll want to establish by name and portfolio, exactly who will be capturing your day as the main photographer.
4. Review full wedding albums, not just their online portfolio
Like most people, photographers are only going to showcase the work they’re most proud of on their social media channels and on their website or blog. Asking to see full albums of the weddings they cover will give you a better idea of what you can expect on the wedding day from start to finish. Not just what they want you to see.
5. Do you mesh?
You may love their work online, but having a good connection with your photographer is a key ingredient for stellar wedding photos. This may seem obvious, but when you’re interviewing potential photographers, take note of how you feel when you’re with them. Do they immediately make you feel at ease? Do they make you laugh? Do you feel comfortable asking them questions? Are they interested in learning about your personality and tastes?
Don’t just choose the first photographer you meet. Check out at least two or three, then make your final decision. Choosing a photographer you’re comfortable with, who is truly interested in getting to know you, will make all the difference in the final product.
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to take action – how exciting!
Oh and one last bonus tip, if you’re already working with a venue or a wedding coordinator, ask for recommendations. For example, our wedding coordinators from all our locations have developed great relationships with local Dunedin and Clearwater, FL photographers.
I think it’s good that you mentioned how reading the feedback that a photographer has received can help you gauge the quality of their services. My sister is getting married in an outdoor wedding this summer and needs to hire a photographer. I hope that she can find a professional that will get the job done right.