Picking your wedding photographer is a huge decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. At the end of the day you are left with those images that hold all the moments of your wedding day. Without doing your homework your "perfect" images may be less that perfect and there is no chance of a redo.
Here are 8 tips to help you when choosing your wedding photographer.
1. Your Style
Decide your style and find a photographer that fits that style. There are hundreds of websites with thousands of pictures by photographers, but it's important to find the photography style that matches what you want. Whether it's contemporary, casual, quirky or fun, each photographer has their style and you should find that style that fits you and your idea of how your day should be photographed. Get a feel for the types of images that you like and find the photographers that shoot in that style.
A photographer may have been taking photos for years but how long have they been doing wedding photography? Are they new on the scene just breaking into wedding photography or is your wedding the 400th wedding that they will be shooting? This can make a difference in the quality of images that you receive as well as whether all those special little moments are caught. Weddings are very fluid and dynamic. There is a flow that a photographer comes to know which helps them to catch the images that are important to you. Not that a new photographer won't hand over amazing photos of your day, but an experienced wedding photographer is accustomed to knowing where to be at all times of your big day.
3. Testimonials and Reviews
What kind of testimonials and reviews does the photographer have? Are all of their reviews raving 5 star posts about how amazing they were or 2 star warnings about why not to hire them. Testimonials can tell you a lot about a photographer and reviews can help ensure that you're hiring a reliable one.
I'm sure at some point in your life you've heard that consistency is key. Well that comes into play when selecting your wedding photographer as well. Look at the different images taken and see if they are consistent in the style and flow that you want. Wedding photography isn't just about those couple of beautiful images but about the story told of your wedding day. Check that the photographer shoots in a way that your entire story unfolds in a beautiful expression of images.
5. Your Venue
Is this the first time that your photographer has been at your venue or have they done prior events there and are familiar with the layout. A good photographer can shoot almost anywhere and produce fantastic images even if they have never been to that location before but make sure that they have at least scouted your venue prior to your wedding day. They should at least have visited the venue before your wedding and determined where to get good shots, how the lighting will be at different times of the day and what the flow will be like.
6. Do They Have a Backup
There are actually two parts to this that are both important. Does the photographer have a backup in the unfortunate event that they are unable to make it? The photographer you are considering should have a backup plan and be able to implement it at the last moment to ensure that your big day is covered and that nothing is missed. There are no retakes on your wedding day so it's extremely important that your photographer can produce a backup in his or her absence. Second is, do they have backup equipment in the case of failure? A good photographer will have a backup camera, lenses and batteries that they can quickly access in the event that their primary equipment fails. Again there are no retakes so it's imperative that they have additional equipment.
7. Do You Trust Them
Trust is often times hard to come buy and it's something that you should definitely have with your photographer. Your wedding day can be a day of laughter, tears and magical moments and you need to be able to trust your photographer to catch those moments without you having to watch over them. Also, many people aren't comfortable in front of a camera and this may be the first time you have ever been in front of a professional photographer. If you are uncomfortable and don't trust your photographer then it will certainly show in your images. Get to know the photographer you are considering and even have them shoot an engagement session with you and your fiance. This is a great way to get to know one another and to see how well you work together.
8. Rely on What Your Gut Says
What is that gut feeling that you get about the photographer? Do you have an immediate connection and a warm fuzzy feeling about them or does something deep down not feel right? If you feel that something just doesn't seem right then usually your gut is telling you something. Listen to that feeling and continue on with your search for the perfect photographer. You will usually know fairly quickly if they are the right one for you or not.
Following these tips will help you when making that important decision on your photographer. After doing quality research based on these 8 tips, you will find yourself left with a competent photographer who will make your wedding day moments into a lifetime of memories.