There’s no doubt about it—choosing a photographer for your wedding day can feel overwhelming. Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors, photographs aren't things you can hear, smell, taste or even see at first—you don't really know what you're getting until after the fact. That means careful research and selectiveness regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanor are extra important when choosing your photographer.
How Was The Experience of Past Clients?
Websites like Google My Business, Facebook or even The Knot are great sources to read reviews from previous clients and get a feel for what type of experience you may have with your photographer.
When a photographer has numerous reviews they are more likely to be established and deliver a great service compared to a company with just a few reviews. These are more often than not feedback from past clients who had the same questions, reservations and feelings you might have at the moment.
What is their expertise?
A professional wedding photographer should have a strong understanding of the technical aspects of photography, but he or she must also be artistic and creative.
Having a great camera and technical skills will allow your wedding photographer to capture exposed, well-lit images regardless of the lighting situation and time constraints. On the other hand, having great creative skills will allow your photographer to approach each shot with a unique viewpoint and artistic vision ensuring that the shots are not just photos, but they are beautiful images.
What about their personality?
Just as important (if not more important) as their technical knowledge and creativity are the wedding photographers interpersonal skills. How well do they interact with their clients and those at the wedding? Are they outgoing, personable, charismatic, professional, and honest?
Not including engagement shoots, bridal shoots, etc. You are going to be spending a full day with your photographer on the most important day of your life. A wedding photographer with a personality that matches your own is essential to the overall experience of your wedding.
Do You Like Their Style Of Wedding Photography?
While looking for a photographer, you’ll start to notice the many styles of wedding photography. Its at about this time you will get a good idea of what kind of style you like the most. You will also get a better idea of the photographer’s artistic style from looking at their blog or website rather than a few images on their Facebook or Instagram. Taking the extra time to research the complete portfolios of your top choices will definitely be worth it in the end.
Do I need more than one photographer?
No matter how good a photographer is, he or she cannot be at all places at the same time; and so, to compensate a photographer might use a second shooter or multiple assistants, each with a different focus.
A lead photographer might focus more on the bride and groom, while a second photographer would focus on reaction shots from the family, guests, etc. Even smaller wedding can benefit from a second shooter as they could focus on creative imagery by constantly moving around the scene to find unique angles and compositions of our subjects.
While its recommended to have two photographers regardless of the size of your wedding, if your wedding has 150 or more people it's typically a requirement to have 2 photographers.
An emphasis on the quality.
When looking for a photographer, don't get caught up in what each photographer is trying to upsell. Stay focused on the actual quality of the work provided. Even if you are working with a smaller budget. Just remember that you can always purchase an album or additional prints later, but you can’t change the quality of the photographs taken at the wedding after the wedding day.
If you need to make room in your budget its best to start by cutting any additional products being offered. Remove the prints or the album from the package but don’t go with a cheaper photographer because they are willing to give you all the products you want up front.
A seasoned professional is always better.
Everybody starts out somewhere and that is also true for wedding photography. The typical starting point is as a second shooter or an assistant. It takes time to build a reputable portfolio as a wedding photographer. So, don't hesitate to ask questions if you have any doubt. Ask them:
Is photography their full time job or just a part time gig?
How many weddings has this photographer shot?
Can I see more of your work?
Have you done many that were similar to mine in size and style?
You can check out the full list of questions right here.
Take it all in and make a choice
In the end you have to go with your gut. People like to say “you get what you pay for” but that's not always true. Wedding photography is just like any other business and prices are set to be competitive. If the pricing seems too good to be true than it probably is. When you take everything into account you will at least be able to make an informed decision.