Tips for hiring a wedding photographer
How to hire a wedding photographer | Tips for hiring a wedding photographer. One of the most important
So you are engaged, congratulations! By now you have surely called all of your family and friends to share the exciting news. Now it is time to get down to the nitty gritty of actually planning what will be the happiest day in your life so far. There is a laundry list of people to call, meet with, interview and determine if they are worthy enough to work for you on your wedding day.
One of the most importantpeople you will hire will be your photographer. Why is he the most important you ask? The product he sells you is the only, let me repeat that, the ONLY product you will pay for that will last the duration of your marriage. Everything else will be drank, eaten or thrown away at the end of the day. There are many qualities you should consider when choosing the perfect photographer for your special day.
First, talk to your local friends and family and ask what they thought about their wedding photographer. If they loved him you should meet with him on your own. If they hated him or if he made blatant mistakes make note of his name and do not call him. Word of mouth is the best advertisement you can start your list with. Chances are if you talk with enough brides you will soon see a pattern of the best and worst photographers in the area.
Other places you can look for photographers is in your local phone book, wedding magazines, wedding websites, PhotograpphyPros.com, wedding shows and many times other wedding vendors will recommend a great photographer to you. Just remember you should reserve a good photographer at least 4 months before your wedding and do not be surprised if the best photographers are booked a year out.
Once you have your list comprised you should call and make appointments to meet with the top 5 photographers. Undoubtedly you will have a budget for your entire wedding, what portion of this budget are you willing to spend on your photographer? There is no golden rule as to what percentage is acceptable because each bride sets different expectations on the outcome of their day. You just need to have a very clear understanding of your budget when you meet with the photographer because if you decide to spend more than expected you should know what you will be giving up in another area.
When you go to meet with them you should have a very clear idea of what your dream wedding photographs will look like. Do you want a more traditional photographer or a photographer who will take several “in the moment” shots? Be very clear about your wishes because not every photographer is great at both styles of shooting. When you meet with any photographer he should have available to you a portfolio of previous weddings he has shot. Look very carefully at these photos because it is what your wedding pictures will look like.
The people will be different but the style and quality will be the same. You should also have a detailed list of the different photographs that you will require: bridal party, family portraits, pictures of your dress, etc… This list will help the photographers you meet with develop a better sense of who you are and what your expectations of the final products are. They may realize that from your list they will need to spend more time before the wedding with you than they usually do or you may want them to only spend an hour at the reception as opposed to the entire time. From this information they will also be able to direct you to the best package they offer that will meet your photography needs.
Once the photographer has directed you to a package he feels will meet your needs, feel free to ask what else is included. Do you want engagement portraits, bridal portraits, pre-wedding, wedding or reception pictures? Many times you can negotiate with a photographer to include a certain number of bridal or engagement pictures into the package prices. The next question is who will own the actual images? There are a few options here as well. If you are fortunate, the photographer you choose will either give you or offer for you to purchase a CD with all of the images. If this is the case you own the images and can do with them what you please but you will also be responsible for finding a printer who can provide you with high quality prints. Other photographers will maintain ownership of the images and in order to get prints of them you will have to purchase the through the photographer.
Purchasing your prints through your photographer is more expensive typically, but you also tend to get higher quality prints than you would if you find a printer on your own.
Last but not least, do you like him? This is a person who will be with you more than anyone else for the entire day. If you find his voice makes you want to run and hide, he is not the photographer for you. If you feel that you would be perfectly comfortable with him taking pictures of you getting into your wedding dress then it is pretty safe to assume that through all of the festivities you will welcome his presence.
At the end of the day, you should know without a doubt that your wedding photographs will rival those in all of the wedding magazines you have pored over for months. There is no one thing that you should focus on more than the others because each element of choosing a wedding photographer is equally as important. With that said, do not hold the highest value on the price because the most expensive photographer is not always the best and the cheapest is not always the worst. Of course the exact opposite holds true as well. Remember this is your day to enjoy so do not let poor quality photographs put a quick end to your wedding day bliss.