Your wedding will be a day that both you and your fiancé are never going to forget. But time does have a way of dampening those memories. Luckily, technology has allowed us to capture these precious moments with the help of incredible photos taken at the hands of experts. Choosing an experienced and skilled photographer for your wedding is crucial if you plan on saving these precious moments forever, and with a large amount of vendors to choose from, making the right decision can be difficult. Let’s take a look at some basic tips to make it a little easier on you and your fiancé in finding the right wedding photographer for your needs. After reading this article a link to more comprehensive information (including some fantastic tips) will also be made available if you want to do further research!
Step 1: Before Choosing a Photographer
Before you even start to search for a wedding photographer, make sure that you are realistic about your budget, know what style of shots you prefer taken (with example photos if possible) and what kind of personality you would like your photographer to have. Remember that your ideal photographer is one that will be able to provide the style you are looking for at a reasonable price. Start by determining when your wedding date is going to be. If you already know then you will be able to tell this to the potential photographer you plan to hire to determine whether or not their availability matches yours.
Second, you’ll want to set your budget. Having a budget will prevent you from approaching vendors who are too expensive for the amount of funds you have available. Some great information on current average wedding photography costs can be found here. Lastly, make sure that you educate yourself on the different styles of photos that are out there. This will make your decision much easier when choosing a photographer because you will know whether or not they match your particular style. Here are the most popular styles that you will be able to choose from:
- Traditional: These are typically very formal portraits of the bride and the groom as well as their families and remaining wedding party.
- Photo-Journalistic: This style incorporates candid photographs that capture everyone’s natural motions during the wedding. Their aim can sometimes be to tell a story.
- Editorial: This is a mix of the first two and will provide coverage for the entire wedding as well.
Step 2: Interviewing Potential Candidates
Now that you’ve developed your budget and you have a clear idea about what you want, it is time to start researching potential candidates in your area. This research can consist of a combination of offline and online methods, including but not limited to the criteria below:
- Personal References: Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or anyone you know who has been married.
- Online Research: There are several trustworthy sites available to use for research. For example: vendors listed on Decidio share reviews and ratings from previous customers, examples of their work via photos and videos, post the latest special offers and deals, provide links to their websites and social media pages, and more.
- Venue Referrals: Many wedding venues have a list of photographers and other vendors they recommend and have worked with in the past.
- Bridal Shows: A great way to get an idea of what kind of talent is available in your region is to visit local bridal shows. Do a quick Google search to see locations and dates in your local area. There are also several wedding planning websites that can provide you with this information.
Remember that hiring a wedding photographer will be an investment running into the thousands of dollars, so take your time researching which has the best combination of skills, price, and personality for your needs. During the vetting process make sure that you are staying consistent and asking each photographer the same questions. Be sure to inquire about their equipment and whether or not they offer any special packages that you might be interested in.
Determine if they take digital photos because digital photography has many benefits. For one, it can allow you to see your pictures before you have them published plus, the quality of the images will usually be a lot sharper. If you are a couple who is attracted to black and white film or certain styles, filters, or effects then you can inquire about that as well.
Step #3: Making Your Selection
you may need to interview the most promising and then make your decision. When making your selection, be sure that they will be available for your wedding day and make sure that all fees are clearly itemized in the contract so that you know what you are paying for. As a general rule of thumb, try to stay within your budget when choosing a photographer. There should be several cost-friendly alternatives available in your area that match your budget, personality, and style if you are willing to put in the time and effort in finding them. A more comprehensive explanation on what is involved in hiring a wedding photographer as well as an awesome list of tips on saving money can be found here. Remember, while saving money is always great, it is always better to spend a bit more to get the exact photography professional you want to shoot one of the most important moments of your life!