Planning a wedding is not an easy task, there’s many important decisions to be made, like the venue, the dress, the flowers. The wedding photographer is one of your most crucial choices: your wedding photographs will last a lifetime, they are the images that you will show to your children, grandchildren, to your friends and relatives.
Your first instinct is to start a google search with the words “wedding photographer + city-you-live-in”, and that gives you an endless list of very talented people. There are so many wedding photographers out there, and they each have a different vision of how to capture your wedding day.
Now you feel overwhelmed, I know, but that’s why I want to share this article with you: how can you choose the wedding photographer that fits your wishes and your needs?
First of all, ask around
Even in the age of internet and social media, personal referrals are still the best way to find a wedding photographer. Ask your family and friends: they probably share the same taste and have a similar budget to you; and if they were happy with their photographs, there’s a good chance you will be too. They will tell you about their experience with that particular photographer, from the first meeting to the photo delivery.
Once you have some names in mind, have a look at their portfolio, website, instagram feed. Ask yourself if you like the images you see, and what you like about them: whether is the classic posed portraits or spontaneous candid images, or whether is the strong contrast and colours or the natural feel; try to narrow down what draws your attention.
But be realistic: if you’ve chosen a small and intimate venue downtown for your wedding, look for inspiration within that concept, rather than falling in love with open, airy outdoor wedding photos.
What about their personality?
It might sound unnecessary, but their personality will affect the way they work with you. Remember that passion is the key, and if they’re passionate about their work not only will they give you their best, but they will walk the extra mile to meet your needs.
Honesty is also another quality to look for: ask them what are their weaknesses. A professional photographer will definitely tell you.
Tell them what you want
They might have extensive experience in shooting weddings, but wedding photographers can’t read your mind. Talk to them in detail about what you wish for.
Don’t take for granted that they will take a photo of every person attending the wedding: they don’t know your guests, and have no idea whether someone is your best friend or a distant relative. In this regard, I’ve found very useful to make a list of people that bride and groom want to be photographed with: for example their grandma, siblings, childhood friends.
Agree on the details
Think carefully about the price. If you are spending a lot of money on your wedding day and you want to save on the photographer, you might regret it later. Remember that with time your own memory will fade, and the only thing that will stand the test of time is your wedding photographs. How much are you willing to pay for magical memories?
Talk to your wedding photographer and ask about the price in details, in order to avoid surprises: is the transport included? And what happens if you ask them to stay for one more hour?
Also, ask them how many wedding photographs you will receive, when you will receive them, and how (digital file? prints?).
If you have chosen a professional photographer, you can now relax, as they will take care of everything for you. You can enjoy your wedding day with your family and friends, and trust the photographer to create the memories you desire.