The Do’s and Don’ts of Finding a Great Wedding Photographer
February 2016 by Stacey Biemiller Maisch
Every bride knows that no wedding detail matters more than her wedding photography. After the date has passed and your dress has been dry cleaned and preserved, only your photos remain as a reminder of your special day. Therefore, it is important to choose the right photographer to preserve your memories the way you want them.
With so many wedding photographers out there, how can you find the right fit for you?
Finding a Photographer – Do’s
- DO browse portfolios and sample albums. If a certain style of photography appeals to you and you find it represented, keep that photographer in the running. Make a note of which albums and photos you like, so you can point them out to try to recreate something similar on your wedding day. Ask to see finished albums, too, so you know what to expect when you receive yours.
- DO set up an in-person interview with the photographer. Narrowing down to one studio is a great start, but you want to be sure to meet with the actual photographer who will be spending the day with you. Your wedding photographer is more than just another guest; they will be by your side just about all day long. You need to feel comfortable with him or her adjusting your body positioning, your dress or your hair. Making sure your personalities click is worth the extra interview so you can enjoy every moment of your day.
- DO read reviews and follow-up on friends’ recommendations. Hearing from trusted friends about photographers they used in your area is one of the best ways to find the right person. If you don’t’ have a great network of friends to reference, online wedding sites have excellent lists of professionals with candid reviews from couples who have used them.
Finding a Photographer – Don’ts
- DON’T bow to pressure to use someone because of a personal relationship. This is YOUR wedding day, not anyone else’s. Sure, you might have a cousin who takes great shots of the ocean with his new SLR digital camera, but do you really want to take the chance? Wedding photographers understand the nuances of how wedding days run. They know how to prepare for each different photo opportunity and have experience posing people and catching candids. You want a professional.
- DON’T fall victim to high volume. Some photographers claim to shoot hundreds of weddings per year as a way of touting their experience. While experience is definitely a positive, you don’t want to be rushed or sandwiched between two other weddings on your special day. Insist on reviewing past wedding albums for proof of experience, but don’t be fooled. More is not always better.
- DON’T be wooed by gimmicks and crazy sales. Good wedding photography requires time, professionals with experience, and great equipment. These things cost money and don’t come cheap. Someone running crazy sales and specials may not have the best quality finished product. Scrimp and save elsewhere on things like favors, flowers, hair and make-up. A great photographer can make understated look elegant, but a lousy photographer can make timeless look tacky. Of course, you should take advantage of options like a price break for a Friday or Sunday versus a Saturday, but keep quality over cost in your list of priorities.
- DON’T choose solely based on venue lists. Most wedding venues will offer a list of professionals that have worked with them before. Whether it’s a florist, caterer or photographer, most venues charge a fee to be included on such a list. Know the difference between true reviews and paid advertisements.