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17 Hot Tips On Choosing Your Wedding Photographers

Wedding Photographers
photo from heatherbuckley

Years after your wedding people you meet will ask you about your wedding. What was the ceremony like? What color was your and the bridesmaids dresses? How big was the wedding cake? What better way to tell them about it than to show them your wedding album. Contained within would be the wedding ceremony, photo shoots and the reception showing the happy bride and groom surrounded by their wedding party and loved ones. The photos will always help you return to the day and bring back little memories you have long forgotten.

Weddings are also a time where entire families come together no matter the distance that needs to be traveled. You get to see relatives and friends you may not have seen in a long time and may not see again for an even longer while. As time goes on and people age, coming back to the album to reflect upon your wedding and being surrounded by your loved ones will always put a smile on your face.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. As such, picking the right photographer to capture your big day will be one of the biggest decisions you will have to make. Since the photography field has a wide range of features, tastes and styles, you need to make sure you are equipped to make the best decision based on your own person preferences. Your photographer should reflect who you are as a couple and how your wedding tone is set.

If you are going for a classic, formal or relaxed wedding, your photographer should be flexible and do what you want and not what they want. Make sure you know the right questions when you are completing your search and you should be able to take one more thing off of your planning list!

Wedding Photographers
photo from rickneedle

Here are 17 tips to help you chose the right photographer that will satisfy your specific preferences.

Get to Know Your Photographer
This person is about to capture your big day for you to look at for years to come. Do not let them be strangers! Use the follow hints to ask the right questions and learn the most you can about the person you are about to hire.

? Experience Level: Photography is a skill that improves over time. Finding the right angle and locations of camera?s are something learned from years of experience. Ask questions about previous weddings they worked and get a feel for them from their answers.

Also, make sure they are full time photographers. Everyone has hobbies and that is great, but people are worried less about their reputation if it is just a hobby versus their livelihood. You want to look for someone who has been doing it for years and shows confidence in their work.

? Photographic Style: Since they should have experience working past weddings, most photographers should have a scrapbook of their best work. It should show you the type of pictures they take and what angles they go after. Are the pictures plain or a little too candid? What they show is what they consider their best work, so if you do not like it, you will not like what they do for you.

Can they tell you what they are going to take pictures of? Do they have a plan for your wedding day? They are the experts and that is why you are hiring them, they should have a plan on how to get all the pictures you want. If you want them to get a picture, they should be open to it and add it to their plan.

? References: Ask for a list of wedding?s they worked and call the bride and groom. Talk to anyone you know that has used the photographer and even try to do a search on the internet for their name and see what comes up. Remember, you are putting a lot of trust in someone so do whatever you can to learn about them.

Ask the references about when the person showed up, any complaints from their guests and if the quality of the pictures were what they had hoped and the price tag meant the end product.

Wedding Photographers
photo from rickneedle

? Do they do the work themselves: Many larger companies have staff that will actually do the weddings and not the interviews. You go and meet with the most senior photographer. They impress you with their work and on your wedding day someone else shows up. Make sure you ask who will be there the day of your wedding and if it is not the person you are talking to, ask to speak with who will.

Large companies can lose a customer without having a real impact to their business. Individual photographers or small business really rely on word of mouth for business. They tend to work harder for you and are more reliable as the person you talk to and deal with is the entrepreneur.

? Personality: Is this person fun? Are they a little stiff? Keep in mind, you will be stressed out running from place to place and you will be counting on this person to manage your entire wedding party to get the pictures you told them to get. They need to be able to interact with your members without being too pushy or too quiet.

? Appearance: How do they present themselves? Are they well dressed? Well groomed? Do not forget they will be at your wedding! So you want to make sure they do not stand out and seem out of place with everyone else all dressed up and well groomed.

? How do they work with Vendors: At your wedding you could have a video photographer, a wedding planner, your caterer, florist and any other number of people you have hired to make the wedding happen. Everyone needs to work together to make your day easier. Ask some general questions about how they interact with other vendors.

Wedding Photographers
photo from brian_adams_photographics

Get to Know Their Equipment
Even if someone has a great eye and an artistic point of view, they need the equipment to capture it with the quality that you demand. Do your own research on what you should expect and make sure to ask the photographer about the following equipment they will be using.

? Film: Do they use digital cameras or 35 mm? Do they have both? What about black and white pictures or color? Do they apply gloss or other lighting effects to the pictures as they develop it? Do you get a copy of the digital pictures as well as a print copy? Do they use exposed natural light or do they use high speed film?

At the end of the day, film is what you are paying for. The photographer?s eye and equipment are tools to capture the right moment with best quality but eventually it is the film that contains your memory. Make sure you understand what they use.

? Cameras and Video: Do they do both photography and video photography? Do they only have one camera or do they have many that they use? It if is a digital learn up on pixels and compare what they have and what they should have. Most photographers will be using digital cameras and you want to make sure they have the latest and greatest to make sure your end product is as clear as the day itself.

? Lenses: Read up on different lenses that can be used and make sure they have the quality of lenses you are paying for. No matter how artistic their pictures may look, without quality lenses they will not come out that way.

Wedding Photographers
photo from wickenden

Get Down to Business
You might love the person, they are a perfect fit with their personality and have the top of the line equipment, but they need to be in your price range in order to complete the deal. You want to make sure you do not overpay and protect yourself with the following information and questions before actually handing over any money.

? Price Range: When planning a wedding every couple must enforce some kind of budget to keep it at a reasonable price. While you want to pay the most you can for a photographer, you want to make sure you can afford them. Do not just interview one person and hire them. Interview many. Compare their prices to their work and make the best decision based on quality and price.

? Turnaround Time: Does the person have a long list of people waiting for their pictures? Make sure to find out when they will deliver your finished photographs to you. You are paying this person up front money so having them stick to a delivery date is important or you will be put on the backburner as they go out to shoot more weddings instead of getting your memories ready for you.

Wedding Photographers
photo from dirkvdw

When you get back from your honeymoon you will be anxious to have the pictures in your hands. Make sure you know when you get to review your proofs and when your final album will be delivered.

? Contact: Does it seem reasonable? Remember, you are hiring this person, they work for you. Make sure the contract has the person working for you and not you just handing over money with no promise of work.

? Deposits and Payments: Never pay for work that has not been done yet. Deposits are a way of locking you in for that day and getting on their calendar, it should only be a small percentage of the overall cost. How are the rest of the payments completed? Keep in mind; you should not pay more than half until you have pictures in your hand. You do not get paid at your job for only doing half of the work, why should you pay them for only doing half?

? Packages Available: Does the photographer offer many packages for you to chose? What makes the most sense will depend on how many large pictures (8 x 10) or smaller (4 x 6) you would want. Again, if you have a large family you may want a large package but if you have a small group, make sure you do not have to pay for a large package.

You should be able to pick and chose if a package does not suit you. No two weddings are the same just as everyone?s situation are different. The packages are suggestions as most people do not know what they want. If you know what you want and its not one of the packages, offer a package of your own, they should be willing to accept it.

? Get the Negatives: Keep in mind something could happen to your pictures sometime in the future. Make sure you get the negatives from your wedding. Many photographers will charge you for reprints even after you already paid for the package. If you ask, you should be able to get the negatives and have them developed on your own if ever needed.

Wedding Photographers
photo from foreverafterimages

? Times: When does the clock start on your wedding day? Many people want their photographer to be there as they get ready to go and follow the limousine. Also, the reception may go late, do they leave whenever they feel they have enough or do they stay until the last dance is over to make sure they captured the highlights?

Again, this person works for you. If they say the ordinarily do not do something that means nothing to you. If you want them to be somewhere at a certain time, they should be there or they are not the right person for you.

While you have many choices to make to get the wedding day to look and flow exactly how you want it, the photographer is going to capture everything for years to come so that some day your children can see the day their mother and father married. Go though the process of interviewing many photographers, compare their prices and see their work before hiring anyone.

Everyone couple has a different style and there is a photographer out there that is perfect for each style. Make sure the one you hire fits the style that you want your wedding to be remembered as.

Wedding Photographers
photo from artphotogrenier

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3 Responses to “17 Hot Tips On Choosing Your Wedding Photographers”

  1. 1
    Aric Hoek Wedding Photographer Says:

    Very good article. Make sure to interview your photographer in person, and not just over the phone. If you can’t interview your photographer in person, then at the very least ask for references or check if there have been any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau. A little tip for the couple…At some point towards the beginning of your reception you will have your first dance as a married couple. It’s understandable that often times the couple can become a bit nervous. Sometimes I will find that the couple will begin to talk to each other during their entire first dance. While this is totally a natural way to break the tension of the moment, it doesn’t do much for good photography if all the photographs taken during the first dance are with the subjects mouths open in mid speech. Embrace one another on the dance floor. Enjoy the moment. Just take it all in. Take this time to reflect on all the history that has brought you to this moment and what the future holds for you both.

  2. 2
    M Says:

    Great article. Adding to that, make sure the photographers are well aware of the kind of pictures you want. On my wedding last year, I specifically wanted a picture with the limo but my photographers only took about 3 shots on it so I was really disappointed.

  3. 3
    Jonk@limo Says:

    Great article!

    People often don’t take enough care when choosing a photographer. The amount of disaster stories you hear about… lost film, broken cameras, photographers who turn up to the wedding day then seem to disappear off the face of the earth, ones who get blind drunk halfway through the reception…

    Great tips from the first comment.

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