How To Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer
How many times have you heard someone say, “you don’t need a wedding photographer, I have a camera”. Wedding photography is much more than just having a nice camera or taking lots of pictures. The fact of the matter is, Wedding photography is much harder than you think. The goal of this article is to help prevent you from hiring the wrong photographer, or even worse, “Uncle Joe”
First thing to note is that if you will read this first, then pay attention to these things during your meetings and conversations with professional photographers you will find things that you can determine by asking a question. We recommend that you read this section first. Then head on over to our section called, “15 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer” for more specific ideas on what types of questions you should be asking when meeting with potential wedding photographers.
Reviews - Past Client Reviews?
Having numerous reviews generally means that a company is more established and deliver a great product compared to a company without any. Look for reviews that rave not only their final product they received from the company but also their overall experience.
Websites like Google or Wedding Wire are great places to read reviews. They will help you determine a basic experience you may have with your wedding photographer.
Expertise – Being BOTH the Technical and Creative Wedding Photographer
Creativity and Artistry is the key to a professional wedding photographer. They should also understand the technical side of photography. Understand that these two things are complete opposites in most people. How many people do you know are very technologically savvy and artistically creative at the same time?
Having a great camera and technical skills will allow your wedding photographer to capture exposed, well-lit images regardless of the lighting situation and time constraints. On the other hand, having great creative skills will allow your photographer to approach each shot with a unique viewpoint and artistic vision ensuring that the shots are not just photos, but they are beautiful images.
Personality – Being Personable
Probably the most important thing is a wedding photographer’s personality. This even sometimes trumps technical skills. How well do they interact with their clients and those at the wedding? Are they outgoing, personable, charismatic, professional, and honest?
You are hiring a wedding photographer to capture one of the most important days of your life. You will be spending an entire day or more with them. A wedding photographer with a personality that matches your own is essential to the overall experience of your wedding.
Style – Do You Like Their Style Of Their Wedding Photography?
Styles of wedding photography are more of a personal decision. As you check out different wedding photographers, you’ll begin to notice what styles you do and do not like. If you check out a photographer’s blog or website you will get a better sense of their style. Taking the extra time to research the complete portfolios of your top choices will definitely be worth it in the end.
Assistants –A 2nd Wedding Photographer
One of our number one questions is always “Why do I need a second wedding photographer”?
Think of a wedding as a movie script. Generally in a movie you have your primary storyline surrounded by smaller side stories that are happening at the same moment. During a wedding ceremony, the main story is, of course, the bride and groom. However, there may be multiple side stories occurring at the same moment. For example, mom or dad wiping the tear from their eyes or the flower girl sitting in the corner picking petals from a rose in her hands.
The simple fact is that one wedding photographer can’t be in two places at the same time (no matter how good he/she is), so to compensate, we use multiple wedding photographers, each with a different focus. Generally a lead wedding photographer focuses strictly on the bride and groom. Our second wedding photographer would focus on reaction shots from the family, guests, etc. Some weddings even need a third wedding photographer. If needed they would focus on creative imagery by constantly surveying and moving around the scene to find unique angles and compositions of guests and their reactions.
The more wedding photographers or assistance you have enables them to broaden the coverage and get even more creative eyes at the event. While we recommend two photographers regardless of the size of your wedding, if you have 100-200 people at the wedding a second wedding photographer is essential. For weddings larger than 200 guests or more, we recommend three photographers.
Quality – Quality over Quantity
Stop getting caught up in the number of pictures wedding photographers tell you they will capture. Focus on the actual quality of the work. We have seen photographers promise 100-200 images per hour. But what good is 2000 images if only 10 are in focus? We realize that some people are working within a budget. Think to yourself that you can always purchase an album or additional prints later (even 5-10 years later), but you can’t change the quality of the photographs taken at the wedding after the wedding day.
Always remember, that if on a budget and you need to cut costs; cut the products from the packages to make it more affordable. Cut the prints from the package, remove the album, but don’t go with a cheaper photographer because they are willing to give you all the products you want up front. Just remember that If you can, always keep at least two photographers in your package.