How to Choose a Wedding Photographer
Choosing your wedding photographer can be a somewhat challenging process and one that brings about a lot of questions. When all is said and done and your wedding is over, pictures are some of the most important heirlooms you have to treasure and pass down. In the current market it can be very overwhelming to see all the wedding photographers and you may wonder just how to go about choosing one. Let’s look at a few simple things that can help you narrow it down to the right choice.
Body of Work:
Obviously, one of the first things you need to consider when your looking is the portfolio and actual photographic work that a photographer produces. As you start to look online or through recommendations spend a lot of time pouring over websites, Instagram and other social media. Does the work speak to you when you see it? Can you picture yourself in the images? Do you notice consistency in editing and quality of work? Does it seem like there is a wide range of uses of light?
In an industry flooded with many photographers it’s important to look for a few things in a photographers work.
- Use of light ( low light, ability to use light to tell a story, use of off camera and on camera flash, consistent light in tough situations)
- Consistency of work throughout portfolio
- Ability to tell a story within the images
- Ability to capture “in between” moments and real emotion
These are just some of many things to look at as you look at someone’s body of work. Ask questions and ask some more and make sure your wedding photographer has a good understanding of how to make an image.
It can’t be said enough that your wedding is one of the most important days in your life. When I first started shooting weddings I refused to do them on my own so I would only second shoot for other photographers. Why? Because I knew that you only have one shot to capture these moments and to miss out or make a careless mistake is something to take very seriously. The more I shot in the industry the more confidence I got, but the attitude of the importance of what I am doing has never left. When you are looking at a photographer make sure to look into their experience and expertise. Ask about education, amount of weddings they have shot and how comfortable they are in their knowledge of things such as: posing family groupings and organizing them, couples posing, difficult lighting situations, owning back up gear, replacements in case of sickness of the photographer on the wedding day, business insurance, etc.
Someone with enough experience will be able to answer those questions with confidence and can put your mind at ease that they know what they are doing.
After all is said and done and you have looked at the portfolio and asked questions about experience, it’s important to feel like you fit with the person you will spend so much time with at your wedding. Each person is a unique individual and will connect with certain personalities. It can be a good idea to start with a phone chat or Skype session and than meet in person if possible. No matter how good someones work is, if you don’t enjoy being around them, you probably want to continue to look elsewhere. Make sure that they mesh well with you as a couple and be sure they are professional yet kind and will be a calm presence for you on your day. Your wedding photographer will quite literally be by your side for most of the day and through very intimate and emotionally charged moments, be sure they will help you and not hinder you on the day of.
Last but not least, the subject of budget. It’s important to get lots of informations on your photographers pricing, not just a static number but also what’s included and compare that to others that you are considering.
I would be remiss if I did not mention again, photography has become a highly saturated market with the invention of the digital camera, making it much easier to break into this business. Do not settle for a low price photographer and not take in to consideration all the things mentioned above. Consider your budget for wedding photography to be of high importance on your list and recognize those that are practically giving it away likely are not in the place to even shoot your wedding. Ask many questions about the process of pricing, deposits, payment plans, what exactly you receive and so forth. Your budget is your decision and a good wedding photographer will guide you through that process and make it as painless as possible.
I hope these tips and tricks will help you on your journey to find a wedding photographer. Whomever you are considering, do it with patience and don’t rush the process, the right fit will find you. Wherever you are, I wish you happiness on your journey to documenting your most special day, and a lifetime of joy together.