How to choose your Wedding Photographer tips

Today we give you some tips about how to choose a wedding photographer.  Ye’s it might sound easier than it is.  There are loads of things you should take into consideration to find the perfect wedding photographer for your special day.  It’s not like the photographer will have a second chance to redo any shots.  A wedding happens on one day and then it’s done.

This is probably one of the most important pieces of advice we can give you.  Photographs play such a huge role.  It is one of the very little things you will have left after your wedding day to remind you of your wedding day.  Well, you will have your husband or wife, but photographs will remind you of the small little things.  It’s always nice looking back at one’s wedding day.  It brings back so many memories and happy thoughts.  For excellent wedding photographers, visit Vivacious Wedding Blog’s approved wedding directory.

How to choose a Wedding Photographer

Portfolio:

A pretty portfolio is amazing, but make sure that the photographer’s work is consistent.  Have a good look at your potential wedding photographers’ work online.   If you like the photographer’s quality of work as well as his/her style, set up a meeting if you are close by.

Ask if the photographer has a printed portfolio.  Most professional photographers will have a printed portfolio.  It’s almost a must if you are in the professional league.  It doesn’t help the photographer’s online portfolio is amazing.  Everything looks great when it is positioned in the correct way.

Printed portfolio’s help you to view individual photographs on their own, giving you a better understanding of the photographer’s work.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should call your entire shortlisted photographers and chat with them over coffee.  Photographers have businesses to run and just like you are also professionals in their field.  They are entrepreneurs so if you keep them busy they don’t make money.  Don’t waste their time.

Don’t let the portfolio scare you off when it comes to price.  Some photographers have insane portfolio’s with great website design and might not be that expensive.   Don’t judge a book by its cover, rather enquire and ask if their pricing is not available.

How to choose a Wedding Photographer

Budget:

This is a fun topic!  We all want to spend a million dollars, but some don’t have that amount of cash available to them.  If you do, that’s great!  Let the planning begin.

Hiring a professional wedding photographer is not cheap.  It is an investment as you will keep your wedding photographs for the rest of your life.  Obviously, if you stay married for the rest of your life.

The best way to shortlist photographers will be to look at your wedding budget. What you are willing to spend on a photographer.  How much you are willing to go over budget for your wedding photographer.  All of this will help you to get a better understanding of what photographer you are looking for.  It doesn’t help you look at photographers triple your budget.  This will only demotivate you and make your planning process miserable.

There are different budget segments when it comes to wedding photography:
  • Beginners which are usually students or younger photographers busy building their portfolios.
  • Part-time photographers that usually have a day job, but do photography on the side.
  • Professional photographers that do photography full time and live of their photography income.
  • High-end photographers who come at a higher price with more experience and obviously a larger portfolio of great work.
  • Elite photographers which usually is the one percent of the photography industry.   They specialize in high-end weddings and usually have the best gear, most experienced, most elaborate portfolios and also comes at a lovely price.
Why do photographers charge as much as they do?

To pay for their yachts, helicopters and expensive New York holiday apartments!  No, don’t be silly, please.  Photographers just like any other business have expenses.  Professional camera equipment and gear are expensive.  You can easily pay thousands for a small piece of un-important equipment not even talking about the important stuff.

Photographers like any other business have loads of expenses like rental space, bonds, website hosting, professional software licensing, fuel, computers, and other tools they use.

That’s not even talking about the marketing expenses.  Yes, photographers also pay for marketing, it’s not free.   Digital Marketing is the new word of mouth and it cost money.

The above mentioned doesn’t even include their taxes and personal expenses.

How to choose a Wedding Photographer

Experience:

Different photographers have different levels of professional wedding photography and even other photography experience.

It is important that you understand what experience or photography background your photographer has.  Ask him/her about their past projects and what they enjoyed the most.  Most photographers love to share their past photography experiences with their clients.

The experience will be the make or break point between a good and excellent photograph.  With experience comes loads of knowledge about weddings as well as the technical aspects of being a wedding photographer.  Small things like knowing the light and what works and whatnot.

Experienced photographers also usually have backup equipment while shooting your wedding.  Everything is possible.  A guest falls and hits your photographer’s camera and it’s the end.  An experienced photographer will be on top of it and ready to shoot within a couple of minutes or even seconds without to much trouble.

If your cousin or aunt is offering you his/her services for free, remember this article.  Will they have sufficient experience to photograph your special day.  Will you feel sad afterward and probably not wanting to speak to this person again?

How to choose a Wedding Photographer

Photographer contract:

It is important to understand the content of your photographer’s contract.  Don’t just sign something you don’t understand – in general.

When you are interested in booking a photographer as for the photographer’s contractual agreement so that you can go through it at your own time.

Some pointers to look out for:

Copyright clause:   Look who is the owner of the copyright and the usage of the copyrighted material.  Don’t get yourself into unnecessary trouble.

Payment policy:  Read this part carefully.   If your photographer requires a deposit or nun-refundable booking fee and the deadlines when payment should be made.  Also, look at the deadline when final payments must be made.  Read how overtime work and how it will be billed.

Cancellations:  Extremely important part of the contract.  Yes, no one want’s to cancel or postpone their wedding day.  However, life happens and some people have to.   Read more how it will work if you cancel your photographer or postpone the wedding date.  Take note of how much notice you should give and what costs will be involved.

Who will be the photographer?   Don’t just assume the photographer you met will be the one photographing your wedding.  There are loads of wedding photographer studios who don’t employ just one photographer.  Make sure that you know who will be responsible for shooting your wedding day.   If this is the case, ask that you see the individual photographers’ work.   You might just get the one who is not that great!

How to choose a Wedding Photographer

Understand what you are paying for:

Never assume.  Photographers have various wedding investments available. Investments are just a fancy word for package options.

Photographers have different packages with different hours and or products or services.   Make sure you look at what the packages you are interested in include and exclude.

Some pointers to look at:
  • How many hours the photographer will be at your wedding.
  • Will the photographer shoot with an assistant.
  • Does the package include one or two photographers, if the package includes two, ask who will be the second photographer?
  • How many photographs can you expect to receive?
  • What are the overtime costs if the photographer needs to stay a bit longer at your wedding.  Please don’t expect your photographer to stay for free.
  • Ask the photographer how much notice he/she needs if you would like them to stay longer on the day of your wedding.
  • Look at what traveling is included and what is excluded.
  • Does the photographer need accommodation when traveling over a specific distance?

The above pointers are just a guideline but will assist you in looking better at what you are getting.

How to choose a Wedding Photographer

You should feel comfortable with your wedding photographer:

You will spend a lot of time with your wedding photographer.  Make sure he/she is the kind of person you would like in your space the entire day.    You have to feel super comfortable with whoever you choose.  That’s why a meeting is so important.

Working with a professional photographer will never make you feel uncomfortable.  They know how to give you that space you need, but still, get brilliant photographs.  Don’t have a bossy attitude with your photographer, it will stress them out and then they won’t be able to get the best results.

Make sure it is someone you feel comfortable with getting guidance from and being showed how to do poses.  If the person irritates you in a 15-minute meeting, how will you be able to spend 8 or 10 hours with the person?

How to choose a Wedding Photographer

Last word:

A friend with a professional camera is possibly not your best option.  Professional equipment doesn’t mean the photographer is a pro!  Anyone with money can buy professional gear.  Look at the work produced.   If you found our article about how to choose a wedding photographer’s interesting, please share it on your social media.

Article Credits:

Photographs:  Pexels
Write-up:  Vivacious Wedding Blog