You’re planning the big day and there is so much to do before it all comes together. Choosing a great wedding photographer is just as important as choosing the right wedding gown. You want a wedding album that you can look back through long after the actual wedding day is over, and relive the special moments through the stunning photographs your wedding photographer took of you. Choosing the right photographer can be a stressful experience but it doesn’t have to be. The following tips will help you choose a great wedding photographer.
Don’t put off hiring a photographer – Wedding photographers are just like venues – all the great ones are booked months in advance! Leaving the hiring until close to your actual day could be a recipe for disaster. Get on with research immediately and then once your decision is made book him / her!
Make sure you like the person – Okay, you don’t have to be looking to make them your next best friend but at the very least you have to feel comfortable around them. You are going to spend a lot of time with the photographer on your wedding day and it is going to show in the photographs if you are not happy with the person behind the camera. Once you have chosen a few photographers to discuss your wedding photography needs with, meet with each one to interview them. Chances are you will feel more comfortable with one than another.
The photographer you choose must listen to what you want – Some photographers sadly think they know better what you need in your album than you do. While a photographer can (and should) make suggestions as to what photographs they think would be great in your album, ultimately you are the one who knows what is right for you.
Ask to see examples of their past work – Any good wedding photographer is going to bring examples of his/her work to the interview. Take your time to look through the examples and ask questions. Make sure that all the special moments of a wedding were captured. Look for photographs that show true emotion and don’t appear to be overly posed for. Make sure that you are seeing all the photos taken of that particular wedding and not just the good ones.
Compare package costs – Great wedding photographers can be expensive but usually they will offer a number of packages for you to choose from. Make sure you know exactly what to expect with each package so there are no unpleasant surprises when the bill is higher than you anticipated. Find out how much it will cost should you want a few extra shots taken or you need the photographer to stay longer than initially booked for.
Make sure the photographer you interview is the one taking the photos on the day – Sometimes if you hire a wedding photography studio to take your photographs, although you initially interviewed one person, the photographer who turns up on your wedding day may be someone different. Each photographer has their own unique style and you want to be sure that you are in tune with the one taking the photographs on your wedding day.
Ask about your rights – It is standard practice for photographers to maintain the rights to the photographs they take. This means that they can use photographs of you for promotional purposes without informing you. If you don’t want them to do this then you may have to factor in an additional cost to purchase the rights to them, and that is only if the photographer is willing to relinquish their rights.
Get referrals from people you know – Chances are that you have friends or family who may have recently gotten married. Ask them how satisfied they are with the photographs they received and whether they would recommend the photographer. If you can’t get personal referrals make sure to check out the photographer’s website for reviews but be aware that some photographers will either make up reviews or pay someone else to write them.
Post-Production timeline – Ask how long it will be before the proofs are ready for you to choose from. The time it takes will vary from photographer to photographer. Naturally you want your album as soon as possible but quickest isn’t always best. That being said you shouldn’t have to wait 6 months either. Ask how long after you have selected the photographs it will be before the completed album is available.