Our friends at The Knot have compiled a list of guidelines to help you find the perfect photographer for your big day. We’ve taken that list and added in a few suggestions of our own. Check it out!
- Pick a Photography Style: If you don’t have a friend or family member who you already know is a good photographer, you’ll want to start with some basic research but before you start, you’ll need to first decide what type of style you prefer. Documentary, portraiture, fine art and edgy are just a few popular styles. Personally, we prefer a mix of documentary and portraiture – you’ll end up with photos that capture the moments exactly as they happened as well as more traditional posed shots. Don’t forget to talk to your photographer about doing a mix of black-and-white as well as color images.
- Do Your Homework: Start by reading reviews from recent newlyweds and then review your potential photographers’ websites to see other weddings they’ve shot. This should give you a sense of their style, personality and what they find important. Another good source of information is social media – do they have a plethora of happy customers?
- Set Up Interviews: Just because everything we do these days is on the internet, don’t feel like you need to make this decision based solely on your research. If you don’t know them already, make sure to meet your potential photographer in person. During your interview, be ready to talk about your venue, wedding style and your vision for your photos. This person is going to be involved in the most intimate moments of your big day so make sure you get a good vibe. Then, see if their fees are within your budget and make sure they’re available for your date. If they’re booked, ask them to introduce you to a trusted colleague or associate.
- Review Other Albums: Before your big day, take a look at some other albums to help make a list of moments you want captured. Do you want your photographer to capture the first time you lock eyes with your significant other? First dance? Talk with your photographer about a list of “must have” shots.
- Compare Photography Packages: Of course, you won’t really be able to nail down a dollar amount until you talk to your photographer and decide what you really want, how many albums you need, etc. When interviewing your candidates, don’t be afraid to ask them for a range based on a standard “shooting fee” plus a base rate for the type of album you’re looking for (digital only vs print). Be sure to find out exactly how many hours of coverage are included in each package. Ideally, you want your photographer to be there for your full wedding day from when you start getting ready until after you enter the reception. Finally, consider if you want to include an engagement shoot or any other events (i.e. bridal shower).
- Ask About Your Rights: Most contracts state that the photographer owns the rights to all photos taken, even the ones of you in them. Most photographers have a policy that you can only share watermarked images or images with their credit on them – just be sure to ask your photographer.
Unlike the work of your other vendors, you don’t really know what you’re getting with a wedding photographer until after the fact. Make sure to take your time to do careful research and really understand what you want. If you need recommendations for good photographers in the area or ideas for unique shots, don’t hesitate to ask us!