5 Tips to Help You Choose A Wedding Photographer
The other day, a friend of mine who is getting married in a few months asked me for some advice. She wanted to know how to choose a good wedding photographer for her wedding? I am attending her wedding as a guest so unfortunately I can’t be her photographer.
Here’s what I told her…
All wedding photographers are not created equally!!!
Choosing a good wedding photographer can be very challenging and time consuming. You already have your dress, a venue, food, decoration, and a whole laundry list of other things to worry about. Now you have to worry about getting someone to take photos of all the other things you are already worrying about.
Let’s face it, in the end, the only memories that you will have of your BIG DAY is what’s in your mind, what others tell you, and what’s in those photos.
As time goes by those memories will fade and people won’t talk as much about the wedding, so you’ll have to depend on those good old photos to take you back down memory lane. Hopefully that lane is nicely paved with beautifully taken images.
Have A Budget: It goes without saying that you should set a budget not only for photography but for your entire wedding. Better said, you should make a budget and stick to it. It’s not too healthy to start off your marriage by going into debt for a wedding that you just can’t afford.In the realm of wedding photography there are several types of photographers. Some who have been shooting weddings for years and others who are just trying to get their feet in the door.
I photographed my first wedding in exchange for a plane ticket from Colombia to India where the wedding was taking place.Shop around to get an idea of how much a good wedding photographer costs in your city. Sometimes the photographer you really like might not live in your city, so you will also have to pay for their transportation and accommodation during your wedding. This should also be included in your budget.A wedding photographer’s price should reflect the quality of their work and the experience they provide.
Think of it like taking an airplane. Some photographers can make you feel like you are sitting up front flying first class and others can give you the same experience as sitting in the last row right next to the bathroom. Like with most things, you get what you pay for.
Check out their portfolio: Have a good long look at the photographer’s online portfolio. How many weddings have they shot? Have they photographed weddings in the day and night? What do their nighttime photos look like? Are the crisp and clear or are they blurry and out of focus?
Remember that most photographers will only put their best photos from each wedding on the main page of their website. Try to dig a little deeper and look at photos in a few different albums. Get an understanding of the overall BIG picture. See how they capture the entire day – candid moments, portraits, details, decoration, emotion, and so on.
Ask for a references: Ask your photographer if they would mind you having a chat with a previous bride they photographed. It isn’t that you don’t trust that they can take good photos but if you want to know more about their attitude and how it will be to have them photographing you all day.You want to make sure that your personalities go well together and that they will make you feel more relaxed and confident during the wedding – not stressed out and panicked.
A good resource for finding out how a photographer works is to speak to a wedding planner. Wedding planners tend to work with various photographers and will know how they interact with the brides and what the brides think of them.
Match your style and personality: A very good question to ask yourself is – what’s your style? What do you want your wedding photos to look like? Every photographer should have their own style and this style should match what you imagine your photos will look like.Do you want a lot of posed portraits shots, or do you prefer more photos of the candid moments?
Do you want artistic photos of you and your spouse to frame and hang in your home?
Do you like colourful photos?In many ways this is one of the most important questions that you need to address. Does the photographer take the style of photos you want in your weddings album.
Balance Quality & Price: Although it is really hard to compare photographers based on price, money can definitely be a limiting factor when it comes to choosing a photographer.How much to pay for a wedding photographer? That’s a tricky and complex question.There are some brides that already know who they want their wedding photographer to be. They like the photographer’s portfolio, brides rave about their experience with him/her, and their style of photos is perfect match.They are so perfect that the bride would be willing to take out a second mortgage just to hire them.
Some newbies are willing to practically give away their service just to practice and get one more wedding to show in their portfolio. A question to ask yourself is how much risk you are willing to take? If you don’t mind taking the risk of hiring someone who hasn’t yet proven to be able to take spectacular wedding photos, then you could probably hire someone with little to no experience.
For some, the wedding day is just a formality so great photos don’t really matter – at least for now. However, others want to have beautiful photos that will last them a lifetime, so they only consider photographers with a good track records and reputations.
Most likely, if you’re going to go for a cheap photographer, you will have to make a compromise on quality. Professional photographers put a lot of time, energy, and money into mastering their art, accumulating high quality equipment and giving the bride an unforgettable experience.
With that being said, just because a photographer has high prices it doesn’t mean their work is good. You still need to see do your research and look at their portfolio and testimonials from past brides.
If you still haven’t chosen a wedding photographer and you like my work, I encourage you to put me to the test. Have a look at my portfolio, ask me for a few references, look at the quality of my work and let’s meet to see if you think our personalities and style match.