Your wedding is just around the corner. You’ve found the perfect dress and the venue is booked. You know exactly what food will be on the menu and the dance playlist has been meticulously planned. Not much left to do but show up and get married, right?
Not so fast! There’s one element in particular that will dictate how you remember your wedding day as the years continue to advance. Your wedding photos will remain as an everlasting visual memory well into the future and as such, these images should be a beautiful and timeless reminder of what, up until that point, should be the most important day of your life. These wedding photos should cause you and your partner to relive and revel in the love and romance of your wedding day time and time again.
With so much riding on these photos, you must make sure that the wedding photographer you hire meets a specific set of standards—and that they are the perfect person for this important job! Choosing the right wedding photographer can seem like a daunting task, so follow this set of tips to ensure your wedding photographer of choice doesn’t come down to a snap decision. A combination of all of these factors should be used as a basis for your decision on choosing a wedding photographer.
Learn About The Photographer’s Quality and Style
This should be your number one priority. You need to know if your potential wedding photographer is even capable of capturing the special moments on your big day. You can learn a lot by looking through a photographer’s portfolio—and the quality of their images should be the first thing that draws your attention. Any photographer worth the film in their camera (or the size of their digital capacity) should be able to offer clients a wide range of styles, while capturing the personalities of the couple and showcasing the happiness and romance of the wedding. When shopping around for a wedding photographer, be clear about what kind of style you want and ask them to provide examples of such a style for you to see. And be sure to have a keen eye on the consistency of the image quality of the photos. Above all, the style of the images should match your style as a couple. Whether you are looking for relaxed and informal photography or you would like to go for a more adventurous and contemporary style, be sure to do your homework and shop around.
Be Sure You Mesh With The Photographer’s Personality
Remember that you and your partner are going to be spending a lot of time with this photographer. And the majority of that time will be spent posing in various positions—which can cause some people to feel quite vulnerable. You and your partner will have to put a lot of trust in your wedding photographer, so it’s incredibly important for you to feel relaxed and comfortable in their presence. While shopping around for photographers, endeavor to hire someone that inspires a good rapport and calming connection. First impressions are a key factor here: You either instantly strike a bond with someone or you don’t. If your meeting with them is full of awkward silences, this might not be the best photographer for you. Whatever hesitation you feel will most definitely show up in your wedding photos—and you do not want that! A wedding photographer that’s friendly, approachable, and down to earth will put everyone at ease.
Figure Out If The Photographer Fits Into Your Budget
Your wedding budget dictates every aspect of your wedding. From the wedding venue you choose to how many guests you invite, the wedding budget often makes a lot of the decisions for you. While at times this can feel a tad restraining, budget restrictions can sometimes be a wedding planner’s best friend. High-end prices don’t always guarantee the best possible service and discounts don’t automatically mean you’ll have to lower your expectations in terms of quality. Your photographer of choice should be up front about their pricing, in the same way that you’re being open and honest about your budget. Clearly stating pricing and price restrictions ensures that neither of you are wasting time on a partnership that just won’t work. Most photographers offer a variety of packages to suit multiple needs and they should be flexible with what they include in your personal wedding package. Remember to inquire about any unadvertised benefits, as well as any hidden charges that might exist.
Ask About Your Photographer’s Experience
Your photographer’s experience working weddings will play a large part in how well organized your wedding is and how well structured the photographer is with their time. Less experience doesn’t necessarily indicate they will be less capable, but it will give you a good idea of how well they know the wedding business in general. Photographers often have to play the role of coordinator, photographer, master of ceremonies, family wrangler, schedule keeper, stylist, and children’s entertainer. The specific act of snapping pictures is merely a portion of the photographer's responsibility on that big day—without the experience of working multiple weddings, your photographer might very well crack under the pressure. You’ll also want to know if the experience your photographer has is recent. If all the time they spent taking pictures at weddings was in the 1990s, your wedding is going to look a lot more retro than you probably want it to. You want a good mix of long-time experience with plenty of knowledge about the wants and needs of the modern wedding couple.
Find Out If Your Photographer Is Highly Recommended
A lot of photographer bookings come through recommendations from previous clients and word of mouth. If one of your family members or close friends have been extremely happy with the quality of work and service from a particular photographer, chances are you will be, too. Of course, this shouldn’t be the main reason you hire a photographer, but it could end up being an important part of the puzzle. Talk to all of your recently married friends and family and ask about their photographers—find out about their experience and make use of their opinions to decide if their photographer is right for you. You can also ask your potential photographer for reviews from their previous clients. Most photographers should jump at the chance of sharing testimonials from satisfied customers and if they don’t readily share that with you, that usually means they don’t want you to know about their previous wedding photography assignments.