Tips for Choosing a Wedding Photographer

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There are a ton of photographers out there, all waiting for you to sign on the dotted line. Some are extremely talented, some are “meh”. Some are very pricey, some are bargain basement. So, how do you go about making an informed decision about hiring a photographer for your wedding? Do you base your decision on price, alone? Do you decide by paging through the photographers portfolio? There are many things to consider.

Read on to get some tips for choosing your wedding photographer.

 

Tip #1 - Experience is Not Just Technical Expertise

Just because a photographer is successful at one kind of photography, that doesn’t mean they are a great wedding photographer. True story: I worked for over six years as a real estate and interiors photographer. I photographed people’s homes and I was really good at my job. A client called me one day to book a photoshoot as a “redo”. He had hired a drone operator who had a fancy camera to do aerial shots and shots of the interior of the house. He hated the photos. Why did this go sideways? The drone operator only had the skillset for taking images and video from the sky. He was not a real estate photographer, I patiently explained this to my client. 

The same is true for any photographer who has expertise in other areas. Just because someone is good at taking photos doesn’t make them a great wedding photographer. 

Hire someone who has experience as a wedding photographer.

Tip #2 - Look at the Photographer's Portfolio

Photographs can show the purest form of joy from your wedding day!

Looking at a photographer’s portfolio gives you the opportunity to get a sense of their photography style. Are their photos light and airy or dark and moody. There is a trend these days for dark and moody wedding photos. If that speaks to you, then by all means, hire a photographer who shoots in that style. Most couples, however, lean toward the light and airy style. If you don’t take a serious look at a photographer’s portfolio, you will not see a full representation of their work. Most photographers only shoot in the style they prefer for consistency. Keep in mind that even within a particular style you will see slight variations. For example, my style leans toward light and airy, but with pops of color. 

The upside of this is that you will begin to recognize which style you prefer. You will also be able to spot poor quality work.

Ask to see samples of a photographer’s work.

Tip #3 - Read the Reviews

You can find a photographer’s reviews on their website, advertising sites such as The Knot, on Google Business, and on social media. This is the one place where you should read all of the reviews, even those that are from non-wedding clients. the truth is, many photographers who specialize in wedding photography also take on other types of work, such as family photography and event photography. The reviews will give you a lot of information about the photographer, including reliability, flexibility, attention to detail, personality, etc.

Reviews of a photographer’s work will give you valuable information for your decision.

Tip #4 - Communication is Key

Communication is a skill that is often underrated. As your wedding day approaches and the jitters are setting in, the last thing you need is to be chasing down your photographer because you are unclear about something and you need an answer. Look for someone who communicates clearly, who listens to you, asks clarifying questions and cares about their relationship with you.

Consider this: Your photographer is the one person who will be with you on your wedding day from start to finish. Chooe someone who instills confidence in you and creates clear, consistent communication with you from day one.

What's Next?

Do you feel awkward in front of the camera? I’m not talking about taking selfies with your friends on a Saturday night. I am talking about having a posed photograph taken – a portrait. If the thought of posing for portraits on your wedding day makes you uncomfortable, stay tuned for my next post on how your photographer should pose you.

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