Before booking any wedding photographer, it is vitally important that you choose wisely and ask lots of questions. You don't want to have to pay a retainer for a photographer that is not what you wanted. You only get one chance at capturing your wedding day in pictures - consider these things before choosing!
1 How Much?
Let's face it, today's economy has us strapped, and we live on looking for deals. It's the same thing when booking photographers. The ideal scenario is to find someone who is affordable, but also capable of taking great photos. It's better to pay a little more for a photographer that will take good pictures, than to save money and have wedding photos you'd rather throw away.
2 What Style?
Though all photographers keep to a basic standard, we all have different styles. Photography is art, and art is seen differently in every set of eyes. Ask the photographer you're considering to describe their style of work to you. Listen for keywords that match what you want in your wedding photography. In example, say you want someone to capture the romance of the day. If your photographer describes himself (or herself) as fun and crazy, they're not the photographer for you. However, if they say something like, "I love to capture the emotions and feelings of my subjects" then it would be safe to say that they would do an excellent job capturing the romantic feelings you and your sweetheart share.
3 How Much Time?
How much time is the considered photographer willing to spend on your special day? How much time do you want your photographer there? Some couples simply want the photographer to show up for the formal shots and the ceremony, while others want their entire day, from getting ready to leaving, captured "on film." What about you?
4 Do You like Them?
Some people "click" and some tend to "rub each other the wrong way." When you meet with your potentional wedding photographer, how is your chemistry? How is it beween your spouse-to-be and the photographer? You want a photographer that is going to get along with you and your wedding guests. Friction between the two said parties will only lead to bad imagery.
5 How Experienced Are They?
It's okay to hire someone that's new to the profession if you're willing to risk it. Every photographer must start somewhere. However, you don't want someone taking pictures that has never handled anything more than a point and shoot. If you're not obssessed with having the best photography, but want decent shots, at the very least find a new photographer that has helped out on other weddings working with a pro photographer. And ask to see what their images look like from those experiences. If you're okay with what you see, proceed with hiring!
6 Do They Need a List?
If your photographer asks you for a list of all the poses you want, run the other way! An experienced, professional wedding photographer should have enough knowledge about photography to be able to meet people, access them, and immediately know the poses that would be most flattering for them and their personality. The only thing they might need a list for would be a list of the family you want in the pictures. That's all.
7 Do They Rely on PhotoShop?
The digital age of photography has brought many, awesome variations to the old fashioned photo. PhotoShop is so much fun to play around with images. However, if you're considering a photographer that relies on PhotoShop to be able to "fix" pictures, don't hire them! Ask your photographer, "Are your images good enough that as soon as the wedding is over, we could print them out and be happy with them?" If the answer is "yes" great. If "no," again, don't hire them. A great digital photographer is one who can take an excellent image straight from the camera, and just give you some style variations via PhotoShop.
I do hope this helps you. I personally know people that hired a photographer that didn't know what they were doing, and ended up with no pictures worth keeping! It was terrible! And all to save a few dollars. Please, don't make this mistake! Use my tips and hire a great photographer to document your special day - you'll thank me later!
Top Photo Credit: raulkling
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