Choosing a wedding photographer should take just as much consideration as choosing the right venue or wedding cake.
Finding the right Wedding Photographer for you is not an area that you just want to brush off and choose whomever is recommended from your family or who has the best price. You will want to be able to cherish and show off your wedding images for the rest of your life - so you will need to take the time to carefully choose the best photographer for you and your fiancé. The steps below will help guide you to finding the right photographer to preserve your Special day.
First, you will want to determine the style of photography you like the best. Do you want posed shots? Formal? Traditional? Or Spontaneous and candid? Or a combination? How about fun shots? Knowing the types of images you want from your wedding day will help you narrow down your selection and can make it easier to find a photographer that specializes in the style you like most. If you are not sure, the photographer should be able to make some suggestions and provide examples.
Referrals & Reviews
Referrals and reviews go hand-in-hand since many people who refer a photographer to you will give you their experiences as well. Your friends and family may be the first ones you will get referrals from. You will still want to consider reading reviews on sites such as the Knot and WeddingWire.
Once you have a list of potential photographers you will want to start doing your research. Look for them on social media, visit their website and read over any reviews past couples have left there as well. This is the easiest and fastest way to begin cutting down your list. Other areas to consider include: Is this a single photographer or a team? What are the backup options? Does the photographer use a shortlist? Do they seem to be well organized?
Narrow Down Your List
Once you have narrowed down your list, you will want to reach out to them. You need not worry too much about pricing right now, your first contact is to see if they are available for your wedding date and for them to provide you with any additional information that you may want. The way a photographer responds to your initial contact can also be an example as to how professional they are. Their responses can be a good way to judge if that photographer is someone you will want to trust preserving your Special Day.
Meet with Your Top Picks
Meeting with your photographer before you make your final decision can save you a lot of stress and headaches later. When you meet with your photographer in person you can get a better idea of what it will be like to work with them. This is also an ideal time to view full portfolios of their work from actual weddings. This is a crucial step in making your final decision and one that some couples skip over.
You will want to consider how well you and your photographer will be able to work together. You need to take careful consideration because you will be spending a majority of your wedding day with your photographer - more than most couples realize, so you want to make sure that your personalities mesh. Often your photographer can become your trusted advisor providing valuable advice before the wedding..
You will want to make a pros and cons list of each of your top picks. There are a number of things you will want to take into consideration such as:
Packages - What services does each photographer offer on the wedding day and afterwards. The packages will include the hours they are booked for, what their timeline is for the wedding day, how long it will take for them to complete the edits for you to review and what prints or albums they include with their packages. Be sure to have a clear understanding of what the standard package rates are as well as what you can expect to pay for any additions you may need or want to add on. Get everything in writing.
What are your rights - By law your photographers own the rights to all the images they shoot on your wedding day, which allows them to use any of these images for promotional purposes. This also means that you may not be able to share your images unless they contain the photographer's watermark on them. You want to go over these details with your photographer so you don’t run into any legal issues later on.
Post Production - Here you will not only want to compare how long it will take for you to get the proofs back to review but also how you will be able to review these images. You will also want to know how many images you can expect to review, how many of these images will be retouched, what techniques they use when editing, what special effects they use and how you can get prints made.
Making Your Final Decision
After you have reviewed your pros and cons, you really should go with your gut feelings. Choose the photographer that you believe will not only be able to capture your big day in a way you will want to remember for years to come and also be one you will want to share your big day with.