I understand how hard it can be to see all these lovely images of weddings on the internet. When it comes to your wedding finding a photographer has come up at least once. Finding and choosing the right photographer can sometimes be very challenging.
Let me tell you – I know.
Although my fiance and I are both wedding photographers we had quite a lot of difficulties finding a suitable photographer. Some might think that would make it easier. But it was on the contrary. We know how a photographer should work, what we should look out for and what traps you can fall into. Still, it was nearly impossible.
But I am not here to tell you about our journey of finding someone to photograph our wedding. I would like to talk about all the things a non-professional needs to understand when looking for or hiring a photographer.
1) First up. Who are you? What style is your wedding and what feel do you wish for it to have? Not every photographer works the same way. Some use flash and others don’t. Some work on edit a lot and others keep it natural. Whatever you like most is what has to be reflected in a photographers portfolio. Do not ask any photographer to recapture someone else’s work. Chances are what the portfolio portrays is probably close to what you’re going to get.
2) Don’t get fooled by expensive equipment. Skills is a major factor. So don’t get fooled. A student photographer with a start up DSLR can be just as talented and create beautiful images of your day. Sometimes giving them a chance might also save you some pennies. Point is, just because the camera cost $10k doesn’t mean the photographer is always worth what you are looking for. You should be convinced by his/her images, rather than the equipment.
3) Set your budget – but do not under budget, and stick to it. Chances are you need to spend a bit of money on your photographer. But if you look at it from the long term investment point of view, it’s one of the only things that will last for a lifetime. Just make sure you know what you can spend and what is a definite no. Realistically speaking around $1500-$3000 is normal. Why, is another story. Under or over can be possible depending on the photographer and their packages
4) So once you’ve found someone: Set up a meeting to get to know each other. You will be surprised how fast you will find out whether you and your chosen photographer get along. This is important. You want harmony and most of all – you want to love your photos. The photographer will do his/her work, but you will have those images on your walls for a lifetime. If the chemistry ain’t good, find someone else. Tell them what you want before you sign a contract. It’s takes two to tango. The photographer can’t read your mind. If you are not specific, chances are he or she will do what they think will suit you best. If you want more portraits than family photos, all images as prints as well as digitally, have the option to choose your images etc. tell them.
5) Read your contract before you sign it and ask if you don’t understand something. If you don’t ask the photographer will assume that you’ve understood everything. This way you will avoid misunderstandings after your wedding and there are no do-overs.
6) Tell your photographer what kind of photos you want and show them your schedule. He/she will have enough experience to work out what is possible and how to schedule the sessions correctly. (e.g. if you love 5 different locations, 1 hour of shooting time will not be enough.)
7) It might take some time before you receive your edited images. Wedding seasons are stressful and quality takes time. Prepare to wait between 4-8 weeks for your photos to get to you.
8) Relax and don’t be a micro controlling bride. Enjoy your day and let your photographer do their work. Trust in the experience and your day will be perfect.
I hope this little guideline helped you. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns.
Til’ then, be kind to one another.