Choosing the right photographer for your wedding comes with a lot of bonuses. If your photographer does a really great job, you can have excellent photos that you and your spouse will cherish for a lifetime. On the flip side, choosing the wrong wedding photographer can leave a bad taste in your mouth every time you take out your wedding album and look back at your special day. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make sure you find the perfect wedding photographer without having to spend several weeks dedicated to sifting through all the candidates.
The first thing you want to do when you find a perspective wedding photographer is to check the quality of their work and make sure their personal style will fit with what you are looking for. Most photographers will have their own website with a portfolio full of previously shot weddings or they can make such a portfolio available to you upon request. You should also check around for some referrals and reviews of your wedding photographer before you cut them a check. Most happy couples are eager to share their personal experiences, especially if they were very happy with the photographer’s work.
Key Points of a Professional
There are some important points to bring up when talking to a wedding photographer to make sure they are professional and will have everything well-in-hand on the day of the wedding. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it includes some of the most important things to look for and discuss in advance.
- Determine a timeline and a schedule with the photographer. It is important to know what time they will be arriving on the wedding day and how many hours they will be staying for. You want to make sure they will be there for a long enough period of time to capture all the classic shots from the bride’s preparation to the bouquet toss near the end of the evening.
- Find out if they will be supplying printed copies of the pictures or just the digital files. You also want to get a waiver so that you can print them out again in the future.
- Find out if the photographer offers any signature shots such as ones that include wedding sparklers or the bridal party posing and having something superimposed later. It’s nice to know your options and also to be able to prepare in advance.
- Find out if they do their own retouching, cropping, and other editing. Most wedding photographers do, but if they don’t this can add some significant costs to the photos.
- Make sure the photographer knows how to dress appropriately for your wedding and has all the necessary equipment. A professional photographer should always have backup equipment to be prepared for any possible situation.
- Figure out when you will have your wedding pictures delivered and put it in writing. The timeline will vary depending on the photographer’s schedule, but putting a date on paper will make sure they stick to the plan.
- Since you and your guest will be interacting quite a bit with the photographer, make sure their personality and overall demeanor is compatible with yours. The last thing you want is awkward moments at the wedding because the photographer is strange or off-putting.
Many photographers offer package deals that will gradually escalate in price as the features become more inclusive. Each photographer puts together and prices their packages differently, so finding out what is included with each is crucial to choosing what’s right for you. Most of the different package levels will include things like additional session hours, additional retouching labor, or even ownership rights to the negatives and proofs. Most wedding photographers won’t offer their negatives or proofs to the customer or they will require a substantial charge for the privilege, so make sure you figure out what their policy is on that topic.