(See also: Questions to ask the wedding photographer)
Every moment spent is a memory made and to truly preserve it, it is necessary to have a great wedding photographer.
The right photographer can preserve the entire event; capture the emotion, joy, sorrow and the cheeky fun activities with ease. Your wedding album can easily become the most beloved book in your life with ease. Unfortunately, when it comes to choosing a great wedding photographer, there are certain pitfalls which one must avoid.
Whether you are new to this or a veteran, the following are some tips and tricks you should definitely consider when choosing your photographer.
An Early Search
So, you finally got engaged. Yay! Congratulations. Now that the preliminaries are over, you better look for a wedding photographer. If you want to find the best, keep in mind that professional photographers are often booked in advance with some even having their schedules filled for a year. When you are choosing someone, make sure you have your dates clearly settled on.
Moreover, be prepared to face a scarcity of wedding photographers if your wedding is out of season. There is a definite chance that choosing your photographer will not be easy. It will undeniably be harder but you can find someone who is better suited for your needs. Searching can seem tough but if you start early, you can gain access to more wedding photographers.
Starting as soon as possible will make it easier for you to narrow down your search and give you plenty of time to pick and choose your options wisely. At the end of the day, you are allowed to be picky; you are allowed to be choosy. Just make sure you have the time and the options as well. If you start a last minute search, you can easily end up picking a photographer who is either unskilled or worse; end up with no photographer at all.
Great wedding photographers have experience and success behind them. Nonetheless, this does not always mean they will be better at their work. When choosing a great wedding photographer, you can start out small by relying on recommendations from family and friends.
Many of your friends will even have photo albums you can examine to determine the quality of the photo albums. With different Facebook pages available as well, you can take your search online. Moreover, you can also make different professionals involved in their wedding day festivities; this will work out with various.
Different professionals in the wedding industry can also give different recommendations which can go a long way in finding your photographer. Whether it is a venue manager, a caterer, a baker, a florist or a limousine driver, they can always recommend someone for you. However, act on these recommendations with care. Everyone knows someone who is a photographer but not every photographer you come across will prove to be a great wedding photographer.
Narrowing Your Options
When you have a viable list of candidates, you have to scour your list further by eliminating candidates who don’t fit in. Pay attention to your budget and the needs you have as well. For example: If you are having a wedding at a beach or a barn, you will want to pick a photographer who is proficient or comfortable with outdoor photography.
Keep a certain style of photography in mind as well. From traditional to playful, lighthearted and more, you can easily find a photographer who embodies the style you want. With these in mind, you will be able to narrow down your options when choosing a great wedding photographer.
With different styles, you can narrow your options down with ease since there are plenty of photographers who have different styles. When you focus on these, you will be able to differentiate them with ease. Don’t be afraid of being firm about narrowing your options down as well.
Once you have narrowed down your list of photographers, it’s time to start interviewing them. These one-on-one sessions are going to be all about what you want so don’t shy away from asking them questions. In the interview, remember that it is all about give and take. While you want to know more about the photographer, the photographer wants to know more about you and your wedding as well.
On the other hand, don’t end up answering all the questions. Have a set of questions in mind to ask. To get a good example of their expertise, ask for samples of their work as well so you can gauge their work and the results they produce as well too. Scrutinize the pictures to see how well the composition is. Determine the style and emotional tone of the picture.
An interview will also help to highlight the level of professionalism being displayed. Punctuality, a solid background for wedding photography and the ability to think out of the box in order to get the perfect shot are qualities to look for when choosing a great wedding photographer.
Be aware of the kind of equipment which is used by wedding photographers. While you may not be as tech savvy as the photographer, you should definitely be aware of the kind of film, development techniques and the photo editing tools the photographer will be using.
Again, you may not be as knowledgeable as the photographer but if the photographer looks legitimately confused by the questions you are asking, you might want to look around for another one. Asking about the equipment they use and the photography techniques will also give you a better understanding of just what the photographer knows.
Moreover, this will also let you see just how experienced the photographer is. At times, there isn’t a lot of fancy stuff involved but at the end of the day, if they don’t even know the basics, you know you can’t rely on them to photograph well for your wedding.
Budget and Contract
After all the searching, you will want to carefully look at the contract. You may have dictated a set of different terms and conditions but if you don’t have it down in writing, you will definitely face a lot of complications. You may be in a hurry to get your hands on the perfect photographer but make sure your contract covers everything.
Moreover, the contract should contain details which match with your budget as well. If you don’t have a budget which matches with your photographer’s charges, you may have to look around for another one. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to ask for customized packages. Customized packages make it easier for one to easily adjust the package to suit their budget. In the end, you get a win-win scenario where both parties walk away happy.
Many wedding photographers are understanding and make certain to let you know as well. When you are focused on helping them out, you will be able to create different wants and needs. Communicate your wants and needs with clarity and ensure it is highlighted in the contract before you sign on the dotted line.
Choosing a great wedding photographer is hard but it will be harder if you don’t take the tips mentioned above into careful consideration.