There are a huge range of factors to consider when picking the best wedding photographer for you. All wedding photographers are not created equal, so it is important to know what to do when choosing the right one for your special day!
1) Pick a style
There are a myriad of different styles to choose from when looking for a wedding photographer. Some couples are looking for a natural look in their photos, others want vibrant colours; some couples choose fine-art styling where as others want contemporary photos.
It is important to discuss with potential photographers which style they are most comfortable doing. Most photographers have a particular style that they do not deviate from, whilst others can offer a range of different photographic styles to suit your needs.
2) Ask to see full wedding albums
Many photographers offer examples of their work in the form of albums on their website, or in person. It is important to see an example of a full wedding that a photographer has shot, to get a better idea of what you are paying for.
Just seeing a photographers best 1-2 shots from each wedding is not enough to get an idea of their skill level or the quality of their work. It's very possible that some photographers get lucky with a couple of amazing shots, that they display on their front page, and deliver albums that are 95% garbage!
3) Compare prices
As with most services, you get what you pay for! It is important to search for photographers within your budget, whether it be $1500 or $15,000, and see who can offer you the best deal. it isn't recommended that you try to haggle with a photographer, as most of them will find this offensive; but most are happy to negotiate a custom package to suit your needs.
Make sure to ask your photographer what is included in their packages, and whether or not you own printing rights, as some will force you to go through them to print off your wedding photos!
4) Know your rights!
Step 4 follows on from step 3, it is important to check with your photographer to see what your rights are with the distribution and replication of your wedding photos. Some photographers will not allow you to print off your photos through a third party, while others will give you all the edited images in high resolution on a USB flash drive.
As a general rule, the more expensive photographers apply more restriction on your distribution and replication rights, but make sure you check!
5) Don't choose a jerk!
I cannot stress how important it is to be able to get along with your photographer! To get the best results, you should look for a vendor who is as excited as you are to discuss your ideal wedding photo package. You will feel more comfortable being photographed by someone you like, which will yield a better final result. Finally, it will be less stressful to organise you wedding package with a photographer that you enjoy talking to!
6) Communicate, LOTS!
Make sure you askas many questions as possible when interviewing a photographer for your wedding:
- How many photos should I expect to receive?
- How long does it take to receive the photos?
- Do you offer any printing or album packages?
- How many weddings have you done?
- Are you qualified or certified by an organization?
- Do you have any brides I can talk to about a testimonial?
The more questions you ask, the less likely you are to get a nasty surprise on your wedding day, or when you receive your photos back.