5 TIPS FOR FINDING THE PERFECT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU
Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now comes planning your big day! There’s so much that goes into wedding planning and it can definitely start to get stressful fast! This quick blog post is going to focus on hiring your wedding photographer and how to make sure you choose the right one for you and your wedding. Let’s face it…you’ve probably already searched for wedding photographers in your area via Google or Facebook and were overwhelmed with the hundreds of choices! If you are reading this, I’m guessing that you want your wedding to be the most special day of your life and that preserving those memories is VERY important to you. If your wedding photography is something you place a high value on, then finding an experienced PROFESSIONAL wedding photographer is a must.
So how can you tell if a photographer is an experienced pro who you can trust with the most important day of your life, or an inexperienced hobbyist? Many sites online such as WeddingWire, The Knot, and Martha Stewart Weddings offer articles titled something like: 20 THINGS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BEFORE HIRING THEM…or something similar. Then you read it and it’s all generic questions that really don’t help you weed through all the photographer to find the few good ones. You’ll see basic questions like: “How many weddings have you photographed?” “How long have you been in business?” “Do you have a portfolio I can view?” “Can I see a shot list?”…etc…
Couples who haven’t gone through this process before don’t really know what to ask a professional photographer so they ask these generic questions because that’s what Martha Stewart said to ask…when in reality…those questions don’t really help you at all. Let’s face it…you should be able to look at a photographer’s website and see their portfolio, how long they’ve been in business, blah blah blah. How does that help you figure out if a photographer is right for you?
IF your wedding photography is super important to you and you want an experienced trust worthy professional… if you follow my 5 pieces of advice below, you can easily narrow down your potential photographers and save yourself tons of time and stress.
So…without further adieu…
Here are a few key tips to help you determine if you should trust a particular photographer to photograph your wedding are:
Check for reviews on places like Google Business, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Facebook…etc… Also check the photographer’s website for reviews and testimonials. See if past clients rave about trusting their weddings to that photographer. If there are no reviews…either that photographer hasn’t shot enough weddings to accumulate any, or the ones they DO have are negative and they don’t want you to see them.
Ask the photographer if they have liability insurance. A photographer who has liability insurance takes their business seriously. You can be sure that they are an ACTUAL professional and that they are aware that they need to protect their clients (and themselves) from any misfortune. What happens if 2yr old Timmy trips over a lightstand and gets seriously injured?? A professional who has insurance is one that gives you piece of mind on your wedding day and that’s one less STRESS you need to deal with.
Have they had their work published in print or on recognized wedding blogs? You can rest assured that if recognized blogs or magazines are willing to showcase that photographer’s work on their site or magazine, that they are a choice you can trust with your big day. Most publications have strict guidelines for submissions and they get thousands to choose from each day! If your potential photographer has their work published on wedding blogs or in magazines…it’s a sure sign that they know what they are doing.
Ask to see examples of Full Weddings (at least 75 pics) from 3 different weddings they’ve done and ask that at least one of those is an INDOOR WEDDING. You are looking to see how a photographer’s work looks when the lighting is challenging. Shooting outdoor weddings is a bit easier due to the abundance of natural lighting (from the sun). There is a lot less for a photographer to worry about and it’s easier to produce high quality, smooth, flattering images. But what if your ceremony, or reception, is indoors? Church lighting is never ideal and reception lighting is almost unworkable for some photographers who do not have the know-how to use their own “off camera” lighting. Look for shots from inside a church during the ceremony and some from the reception (First Dances, Cake Cutting). If these images are not crisp and clean, then ask yourself if they can handle your wedding day.
Meet with them in person before hiring them to see if you “CLICK”. Whoever you decide to trust with capturing your wedding day memories will be by your side more than any other person during the day (quite literally). From hair and make-up to the reception dance floor, your photographer will be attached to you the entire time. So…this may seem obvious, but you want to make sure that person is someone you get along with, have shared interests with, makes you laugh, helps you through stressful moments, and is calm/cool/professional. Set up an in person meeting with them just to chat over coffee. If distance prevents meeting in person, set up a Skype (or Zoom) call. Think of it as a blind date. You are trying to see if this person is a good fit to invite into your life on the most important day ever! If they annoy you or butt heads with your personality, it will most definitely make spending 8 hours with them on your wedding day, miserable. AND…if any wedding vendor refuses to meet with you before you hire them, it should be a HUGE red flag! Save time, money, and stress and move on to the next possible person.
There you have it! 5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Wedding Photographer For You. Finding the right photographer for your wedding day should be fun and exciting…not a stressful frustrating hassle. Use these 5 tips to instantly narrow down the mine field of photographers to the select few that can be trusted with the giant responsibility of preserving your wedding day memories!
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