Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Photographer
- Your Photographer - Who will be photographing your wedding?
Make sure the work you view was created by the person who will actually be photographing
wedding. Sad to say, it is not uncommon for a couple to view the work of one
photographer only to
have a subcontracted photographer show up the day of the wedding. Will they bring
- Experience Level - Does this individual have experience in
How many weddings has your photographer
photographed? Photographing a wedding
is not the same
as photographing a sports team, shooting editorial photographs for the local
paper or doing wildlife
photography! If the individual is new to the industry, find out if they have
apprenticed with other
wedding photographers to get the feel for photographing an actual wedding. Also
find out what education and training the photographer has
received. When was the last course or seminar they attended? Does this individual
strive to stay up with current trends in the industry? Ask
to see a complete wedding of their work. Do you want to trust your once in a
lifetime event to a newcomer?
- Style - Find a style that appeals to you.
Style will differ widely from photographer
to photographer. This is strictly a matter of your preference,
so look around at a lot of different
work. As you look through bridal magazines you will notice that you are drawn
to certain images. Is this what you want your wedding
portraits to look like? Keep a file folder of pictures you like and don’t
hesitate to show these to a prospective photographer. Do they have
similar examples they can show you? Do you like the degree of posing, or not
posing, that you see in their work?
- Chemistry - Find a photographer you can work with.
There is a lot to be said for “chemistry” between
the bride and groom
and any professional they hire for their wedding. This is the most
important day of your life and one that can tend to be hectic. You want ALL the
professionals on your team to be easy for you to work with
as well as being able to work well with each other.
- Image - Be aware of the image that will be projected by your
Ask the photographer how he/she intends
to dress for your wedding. Does this person come across as a
professional? Coupled with
the“ chemistry” mentioned
above, can you picture this individual photographing your wedding and your family
and friends? Will you feel that
you made a wise decision when you hired this individual?
- Professional Associations - Is your photographer a member of
any professional associations?
Are they Certified? Do they have any
professional degrees? Being a member of a Professional photographic
association does not necessarily
guarantee excellence, but it does indicate that the photographer has the
desire and the opportunity to participate in seminars and
programs on the cutting edge in the field. In addition, professional organizations
provide a support network of other professionals
who share ideas and services for the betterment of all of their clients.
- Equipment - What type equipment does your photographer use?
Do they use Medium format, 35mm, and/or digital? Are you happy with the quality
of the examples that you see? Does the photographer
have backup equipment that they will bring to your wedding? This is very important!
If they have only one camera and it gets knocked
over at your wedding, what happens?
- Price Range - Find a price range that you are comfortable with.
There is a wide range of pricing available
for wedding photography. The old adage says, “You get what you pay for”!
This is SO true in the photographic industry. Choosing your
wedding photographer should not
on price alone. Weigh all factors in the balance and make
an informed, knowledgeable decision that will benefit you in the end.
- Offering - Know ahead of time what goods/services you will
receive for the price being quoted to you.
Will you be receiving previews and/or viewing
images online? Is there an album included? Do you need to assemble
or is it already
put together? How many hours of coverage are included? Is there an extra charge
for travel? If a package doesn’t sound like exactly
what you need, can it be changed and is there a cost to change it? Are the
negatives/digital files available? Professionals usually want to
maintain negatives and digital files to insure quality reproductions. After
all, their name will be associated with them. Professionals put
- Delivery - Ask what the time frame is for delivery of your
How soon after the wedding will you be able to see your images?
How long will it take before you have possession of your finished
album? How much time is allowed to turn around reprint orders?
Contract - Do you understand the contract?
Is it fair? Is everything spelled
out? What about retainers and payments? Make sure that
you have read it ALL and have no doubts before signing.