Professional Wedding Photography

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

The guests have gone and the flowers have faded. All that remains are the images of your wedding day.

That is why choosing the right wedding photographer is extremely important. After all, the photos will be with you for a lifetime.

Hiring the right photographer takes just a little bit of homework. However, with a little bit of planning, it can be the greatest investment in your wedding plans. Here are just a few tips to get you started.

Start Early.  Don’t wait for the last minute before shopping for a photographer. In fact, it should be one of the first things to do on your wedding checklist. Finding the right photographer takes time. Also, photographers tend to book pretty early. The sooner you find the right person to capture your wedding, the less stress you will have to deal with as the big day approaches.

Schedule a Consultation.  You might be surprised how many people hire a photographer over the phone. My advice is simple: Don’t do it. A meeting will allow you to find out if you can work with a potential photographer. A consultation is the time when you and the photographer can get to know each other. You get to find out if he or she is someone you can work with. The photographer gets to find out the details of your wedding and how to capture it in a compelling way. Remember: The photographer is the one who will take your most important photos. Not knowing anything about the photographer could spell disaster on your wedding day.

Ask Questions. Just because someone has a camera and takes great portraits does not mean they can take wedding photos.  Ask questions, even hard ones. Here are some to get you started.

  • “How many weddings have you photographed?” Make sure to look for a photographer who has experience in wedding photography.
  • “How do usually photograph a wedding?” This will tell you a lot about the photographer. A photographer who hides in the shadows probably will not get very good photos. Look for one who likes to move around without drawing attention to themselves.
  • “Have you ever had your camera quit working?” A good photographer will have ALWAYS have more than one camera.
  • “What do you usually wear when photographing a wedding?” Your wedding is not the time for a photographer to show up in jeans and a T-shirt. You would be surprised at the number of photographers who arrive at a wedding in denim. Your wedding should NOT be one of them.
  • “How long does it take to get my photos?” Good photographers will take time to make sure all of your photos are adjusted and ready for printing. Stay away from anyone who tells you they will give you photos on a CD the afternoon of your wedding.  You can pretty  much be assured they have not been adjusted, much less looked at.
  • “Can my friends take pictures? Believe it or not, this can cause big problems at your wedding. Experience photographers know that others will bring their cameras. That’s completely fine and even appreciated! The more photos, the better! However, make   sure your photographer has the room to take all the needed photos, especially during the formal settings immediately after the ceremony. The flash from your friend’s camera can cause problems not to mention everyone trying to stage scenes while your photographer is getting you that perfect image.

The Photographer should Ask Questions. Those questions should be about your wedding and not simply about times and locations. Listen for a photographer who wants to know about your colors, the personality of the wedding party, unique experiences between you and the one you are about to marry. This means the photographer is probably a creative thinker…and not a cookie-cutter wedding photographer.

Choose a Photographer Who Works With You. Your wedding photographer should be an expert and someone who feels comfortable shooting such important events. They should know exactly what to look for and be ready to capture the unexpected. But that does not mean you should not tell your photographer some shots your would like to try. Good photographers listen to their clients and work with them to come up with interesting shots. Make sure your photographer is a good listener and willing to try your ideas. After all, it is your wedding…not the photographer’s.

Look for Excitement!  Your photographer doesn’t have to have a bubbling personality. However, they should be excited about your wedding….the possibilities and ideas should flow. A dull photographer usually means dull photos. But a photographer who is excited about your wedding? You can bet they will continue thinking about it long after the initial consultation.

Hope these few ideas at least get you on the right track. Look for more in upcoming posts. Have a question?  Simply shoot me an email. Click on the about link above. Have a great wedding!

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Marc Shepherd Photography

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