Getting married? Wow, what a special occasion and you will want to capture your happiest day through a collection of picture-perfect photographs.
It’s great if you can get friends and family to take candid shots throughout the day but, to get a memorable set of photos of the main wedding festivities, you will need a professional wedding photographer. So, how do you choose the right photographer for your special day? Here are some helpful tips to help guide your decision:
- First of all, determine how much you will allocate for photography as part of your overall wedding budget
- Where does photography fit as a priority? Is it more/less important than flowers? The DJ? The limo?
- Do you simply want a few pre-determined photos or do you want an anthology of the entire wedding experience from start to finish?
- Setting a specific amount for photography will help you be clear about your photographic options
- Second, how do you want your wedding represented? What style of photography do you want to see reflected…Formal? Casual? Funky? Artistic?
- Start early. The best wedding photographers are in great demand and are often booked a year in advance. Once you’ve set the date, start looking.
- Tap into your network. Begin by asking for referrals from friends and family members who have recently had weddings of their own. You can also ask other providers you will work with – the caterer, wedding planner, florist, etc. Find out what they like best about each referral.
- Now, narrow your options by conducting interviews. In addition to perusing actual wedding albums (or digital links) from each photographer, develop a set of questions that are important for you. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Looking at the photo samples, what do you like about the color, style, clarity, exposure, and composition? Do the subjects look natural or self-conscious?
- Describe your vision of the wedding activities. Does your vision seem to fit with his/her photographic style? Ask how s/he sees capturing your vision in photos. Do you and the photographer seem to be on the “same page?”
- What percentage of their photography work do weddings represent? When was their last wedding shoot?
- Is the photographer familiar with the wedding venue?
- Do you feel comfortable with the photographer’s personality? Will their shooting style fit well with the people involved?
- Ask about the photographic equipment being used and other important information. You may not be a professional photographer but you may gain valuable information from asking about equipment and formatting options. And you will gain confidence in your photographic vision by knowing exactly what you getting.
- When you are confident in your final choice, sign a contract that outlines all the photographic details of the event e.g. who will take photos, hours/locations/events to be involved, format for photo access and final delivery, etc.
With a photographer contracted, you’re ready to start documenting your wedding journey!