Why is hiring a professional wedding photographer so important?
Is wedding photography the most important thing when it comes to your wedding? Nope, not at all, however when it comes to planning your special day it should be up there on the priority list of things to look at, budget for and book.
Wedding photography is important because it will capture your day, it will capture your memories, it will tell a story, and not just any story, it will tell a beautiful story of your special day, a day you will never forget. A story that you can show friends and family, your kids, and grandchildren, something you will have and can treasure for ever.
Only pictures will last. You see your flowers will wilt, your cake will quickly be eaten, your invites will be binned after the day, your dress shall be worn once, those shoes shall go back into their box, this isn’t me trying to be glum and miserable, this is about perspective, this is about helping you focus your budget on things that you may not put importance on, such as wedding photography.
Unlike other vendors, a photographer is someone who will spend the most of time with you on your big day. Choosing someone who is easy to get along with and make you feel comfortable throughout the day is extremely important.
Follow these guidelines to locate the perfect wedding photographer to document your day.
Step 1: Settle On A Style
Before you begin researching photographers, you'll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, as that will help determine which kind of photographer you'll want shooting your wedding. Get inspired! Once you have a good collection of inspiring photographs, try to narrow in on what draws you to them specifically and dissect what feels most authentic to you and your partner. Ask yourself what kind of color you like? Do you like candid/natural style? Prefer trendy style or timeless style?
Step 2: Do Your Homework: Research
Start your search by reading reviews from recent newlyweds and browsing local listings; With so many professionals’ websites and social media accounts to pore over, it can be tough to know what you’re even looking for. The first thing, of course, is that they have a website. If the professional is simply using Facebook for their entire business, that can be a red flag that they may lack experience or professionalism. Once you’re on that website, there are a couple of important pages you should browse. The first is their portfolio, which is going to give you a feel of what they believe their best work is. Here you can get an idea of the types of weddings they enjoy producing or capturing, as well as a feel for their overall style. You may notice a consistency in their work, and if it resonates with you, keep them on your list!
Step 3: Ask to See A Few Full Wedding Albums
Don't base your decision solely on what you see in a photographer's highlights gallery or album. For good reason, photographers show prospective clients a portfolio of their best pictures, all from different weddings, so you're seeing the best of the best. The problem with that is you won't get a well-rounded idea of their work. Ask to see two or three full galleries from real weddings they've shot, so you can get a better idea of what your complete collection of photos might look like after the wedding.
Step 4: Set Up In-Person Interview or Video Consultation
The only way to truly get to know someone is to meet them, which is why in-person interviews are a must when choosing your wedding photographer! What you’re really looking for in this interview is how comfortable you feel with the person behind the business. Like with any interview, the vibe you get from the person is just as important as the questions you ask. Would you feel comfortable having this person follow you around with a camera all day? Do you feel confident when this person tells stories about past weddings they’ve done at your venue? Does this person share a similar design aesthetic? Seeing the photographer in person also allows you to truly see the products/prints/albums' quality. You can see for yourself how the photographer design the album, and you can touch the materials and see if the quality is good. If you are having a destination wedding and you are not able to meet in person, having a Facetime/skype call is also a good idea. Remember the key is to get the vibes and see if you guys can make a good team. During this session, you can ask as many questions as you like, discuss about packages, your rights to use the pictures, how does the pos-production work, how does the payment work, etc.
Step 5: Trust Your Gut
You’ve done your research, you’ve narrowed down the choices, you’ve laid out your pro/con lists…now it’s time to trust your gut and make a decision. Which photographer made you feel the most comfortable during your in-person interview or video consultation? Which photographer can you see blending in seamlessly with you and your guests on the big day? As long as your short list includes credible professional photographers who align with your vision and fit into your budget, you can’t go wrong. Go with your gut!!!
Ready to start thinking about the rest of your dream team?