You have booked your venue, purchased the wedding dress of your dreams and now you are looking for your photographer. Choosing a wedding photographer is not an easy task by any means, you have to consider style, quality of work and you have to consider price but not necessarily in the order that I have listed. I have found that many couples are focused too much on getting a good deal when they should be focused on the quality of the images they will receive. Please do not misunderstand me as I am not saying you should spend a fortune on a wedding photographer, but I am saying you should make your wedding photography an investment. Think about it like this, you have already spent a lot of money on décor, dresses and the venue so it would only make sense to have great pictures of everything you have invested in. I have compiled a small list of things that will help you along the way when looking for your wedding photographer, this list comes from my years of professional experience and I guarantee that it will make things a bit easier.
1) Expect to spend between $1600 on the minimum for a good photographer. Never leave your budget for a photographer for the bottom of the list. Make sure your photography budget is in the top 4 things on your list that way you are assured to have the funds for a decent package.
2) Always interview your photographer, make sure to ask questions about style, experience and the way in which they operate. I always make time to talk to my clients and answer any and all questions that way they know what to expect.
3) Avoid the friend of the family or family member with the new camera shooting your wedding as a gift, trust me it will look like it. Family members or friends have an emotional attachment and can be easily distracted where a professional is focused on the task at hand which is your wedding. The free gift may not come with good results especially if they have not photographed weddings before, the last thing you want is for your wedding pictures to be EXTREMELY BAD.
4) Make sure to look at the portfolio of the photographer, you want to see wedding pictures. I have seen people hire a photographer that shoots in clubs to shoot their wedding, this is a very bad idea. Never hire a photographer that does not shoot weddings, shooting a wedding is a different ballgame. Look for pictures of Brides, ceremonies, décor and getting ready shots. Never hire a photographer that can’t show you examples of weddings to shoot your big day chances are you are their first wedding, or they are not good at it.
5) Beware of the part time photographer, my advice is to hire a photographer that makes their living as a photographer. Part timers have all kinds of distractions such as their main job which means there could be a delay in you receiving your images or they are not always available to you. Hiring a fulltime professional means that you will be dealing with a great deal of experience and you will receive their full attention because they make their living with their clients.
6) I highly suggest doing an engagement shoot with your photographer that way you can get a feel for each other before your wedding day and you will also get an idea of the turnaround time of their product. You should not wait more than 30 days to receive images from anything, 30 days is more than enough time to receive edited photos from any photographer. Trust me when I say if your engagement photos take more than 30 days then your wedding photos may take longer so an engagement session is always a good idea.
7) Go into your relationship with your photographer knowing that no two weddings will look the same. Your wedding will look different from what you saw in their portfolio due to logistics however your images should still look good and reflect the quality of the photographer.
8) Make sure to listen to the advice of the photographer as they want your wedding images to look good so the advice they give is very important and should be followed as best you can. The biggest mistake you can make is to ignore their advice and expect to have great images.
9) Beware of the cheap deal that promises you thousands of images, chances are they are poorly edited if edited at all. You should be focused on quality, substance and style. Avoid hiring anyone to shoot your wedding if the colors of the images you see are not on point! The color of the images is of high importance, your skin tone and your dress should all be accurate. I have seen hundreds of wedding photos where the bride is green, or orange and the dress is off white or olive, look for color accuracy in the portfolio images.
10) Last but not least understand that quality work comes at a price for a reason. Photographers get one chance to shoot it right when shooting a wedding, we must know how to shoot in various lighting conditions and we must be equipped and experienced to get the job done.
I hope that my list is helpful to couples who are looking to hire a wedding photographer or any photographer for that matter. Please feel free to contact me through my website at www.thelennz.com and I will gladly answer any questions that you may have.