Your perfect wedding photographer will capture memories that will last a lifetime. Choose the wrong photographer, though, and you could end up with images that lack emotion, focus on the wrong angles or—even worse—miss the most amazing moments!
Make sure your wedding is captured with the most dynamic high-quality images and that no special moment is left without preservation. From the behind-the-scenes details to the final goodbyes, your photos should tell the story of your day…in perfect pictures. Finding a photographer, or, rather, finding the right photographer, can be overwhelming in the sea of choices. Some specialize in journalistic images; some photographers are part of a larger corporate entity. Others are freelancers with little name recognition…but, perhaps, an awesome portfolio.
So how do you choose the photographer whom you will entrust to capture the most memorable moments of your wedding? While the decision for vendors is personal and sometimes emotional, here are the 10 traits you need to look for in your wedding photographer.
Cost is important. Every wedding has a budget, and you need to know if the photographer’s fees line up with your own financials. Most wedding photographers will charge a flat fee to cover the event, and then the couple will typically choose their own portrait collections (or album) at an additional cost. It’s not uncommon for flat fees to range from $1000 and beyond. According to The Knot, photography/videography costs should only comprise 10 to 12 percent of your total wedding budget.
- The date.
If you’ve already booked the church and the reception site, the date is set. Even if you find the perfect wedding photographer, if they can’t work the date into their schedule…you’re out of luck. If you love the studio, though, ask if one of their other photographers is available.
Every photographer captures the art of pictures in a unique way. Journalistic photographers tend to capture moments spontaneously, resulting in a unique depiction of the event. Other photographers are more traditional. The photographer’s style affects the photos and how moments are preserved. You need to decide how you want wedding moments captured.
When selecting a photographer, you and your fiancé should meet the individual in person. This is your wedding day, and you will want to make sure that the photographer meshes with your personalities and is willing to capture your wedding to meet your vision (not their vision).
5. Film, Digital or Both.
Some couples want old-fashioned film to capture their day. Others opt for crisp digital images. Photographers may use one or the other…or even both. However, you need to discuss which form your photographer uses fluently.
6. Technological Savviness.
If you dream of a tech-friendly wedding fueled by drones, a GoPro hidden in your bouquet, digital images, videography and more, you need a photographer who offers these capabilities. Brides also recommends asking if the photographer will post images to the company’s social media sites.
Today’s tech-fueled world has allowed everyone to be a photographer. If decades of experience make you feel more secure, don’t select an inexperienced freelancer. Of course, lesser known photographers may be more budget friendly.
- A vast portfolio.
Always ask to review a photographer’s portfolio to gain a sense of how they have captured other events. Choose photographers who are experienced at weddings, and who have a portfolio that includes ceremonies and receptions. You need a photographer who can take on the stress and emotions of a wedding day.
Photographers will need to work around other vendors during the wedding day. If you’re stuck on which photographer to hire for the big day, ask your florist or bakery for their recommendations. Of course, you may also ask your close friends!
- Back-Up Plans.
The wedding site Herecomestheguide.com recommends that couples ask potential photographers about a back-up plan. Anyone can fall ill, get injured or have a family emergency. Discuss with your photographer who would shoot the wedding in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Also inquire abou back-up equipment, just in case of a technology glitch.
Your wedding photographer is one of the most important vendors at your event. The photographer is tasked with preserving an once-in-a-lifetime event, and you will look through your wedding album many times throughout your lifetime. Those forever photos should elicit smiles and happy tears…not frustration and disappointment.
Shannon Lochwood currently lives in Southern California. She has a passion for weddings and loves to write about anything related to special “I do” moments. In her free time she loves to hike and spend time with her family and her two lovely dogs.