How to choose a wedding photographer: Finding the right puzzle piece
Often times, one of your biggest wedding choices is the photography studio who will preserve your wedding with pictures. Your choice of wedding photographer or photographers is a huge piece of your wedding puzzle. And let’s face it, when you plan a wedding, there are a lot of choices. So how do you make a good choice? Here are a few thoughts.
1. Are they All in?
Are they all about you? When they show up to work ,and let’s face it weddings are work, will they work for you? Or will you find them distracted by socializing with guests, hitting the bar too much, trying to book more weddings at your wedding and so on? One way to tell if they are all about you is how much they listen and how much they want to know about your wedding. Versus just showing up and taking pictures without any knowledge of you or what you want. We hit the ground running, are always early and everything we do is to make your wedding as special as possible. We are All in.
The budget has always been a big influence on the choice of a wedding photographer. There’s a saying ‘you get what you pay for.’ And often times you do. So when you interview a wedding photographer and look at the packages, ask yourself, why are the prices what they are? Why are they so low? Why are they so high? Do they have a lot of overhead, are they just starting out, what is the reason for the prices? There are less expensive wedding photographers and very expensive ones. Most of us fall in the middle somewhere. After you interview several photographers, you’ll get a better understanding of where you need to be budget wise for what you get.
Experience is another one of those subjective observations. Is there a difference between one photographer that did ten weddings last year and one that did twenty? Maybe? What if I told you the one that did 20 weddings only did outdoor weddings and the other one did a mix of indoor-outdoor weddings. It makes a difference. A diversity of experience is really what you’re looking for. It’s important to have a wedding photographer that has seen a lot of different situations; indoors, outdoors, great lighting, poor lighting, rain, hail storms, multiple locations, large weddings, small weddings. No two weddings are alike.
Photography equipment including cameras, lighting, cards, computers, batteries, and so on, and can run a photographer tens of thousands to maintain. Wedding trends often require wedding photographers to update equipment every couple of years. And then equipment ages out or just breaks and needs to be replaced. But it’s not all about just having ‘better equipment.’ But different wedding situations require better equipment that allows photographers to shoot better photos in a variety of situations such as low light or distance. Again, no two weddings are like. So ask about equipment.
We are a professionally licensed and insured photography and videography studio. So what is professionalism in the wedding ‘industry’? I could mean they are licensed and insured. Some venues require it. It could mean, you and your wedding photographer have a written agreement or contract. One that spells out what you are getting and defines the terms in case something unfortunate happens. It could mean your wedding photographer will maintain a courteous and business-like approach with other vendors at your wedding. (getting along is important) :} It could mean that your wedding photographer has a track history of delivering to couples. It’s more than having a cute logo and a nice avatar on a website. You want someone who will represent you well. After all, you’re the boss and professionalism is important.
Every studio has different packages. And this is where your search may get overwhelming. Trying to compare what each studio has to offer is challenging because everyone has different packages for different prices. The goal in a package or packages should always be finding the right studio that can give you coverage that meets your goals. Most studios will tweak their packages a bit, so don’t be afraid to ask.
7. Interview, meet if at all possible
If at all possible, meet the staff you are going to hire. And ask, if you are interviewing the staff who will be at your wedding. For example, when you interview us, we are the staff who will be at your wedding. We are also the same staff that will answer questions after your wedding, edit your wedding and so on. Sometimes you interview with someone at a studio and someone else is at your wedding and someone else may edit your wedding. Be sure to check and ask why.
8. Are you licensed and insured?
More and more venues are requiring wedding vendors to be licensed and insured. This means that the vendor and not you are more likely to be liable for anything that happens with the vendor. You want to ask if the venue requires a license and insurance so you can pick vendors who are qualified to work at that venue. So ask the venue. If you’ve made deposits with non-insured vendors, you may lose your deposits. So check with your venues during your visits.
We hope these thoughts help you find the right wedding photographer. Of course, we’d love to chat with you about your wedding to see if we are the right puzzle piece for you. Because in the end, your wedding photographer will tell your story and finding the right storyteller is what it’s all about.
These are just some thoughts on ‘Choosing a Wedding Photographer.’ We are sure there are a lot more. Feel free to comment below.
For booking information, contact us.
We have a similar article on choosing a wedding videographer.
Want to understand wedding costs? We have an article on that as well.