The wedding is coming, and details seem endless. What photographer will preserve that special day? Here are several tips, along with some personal experiences, for choosing the right wedding photographer.
Do Some Research
Brides and grooms get acquainted before they say “I do.” Get acquainted the skills and reputation of the person recording the nuptials. Investigate via:
- their blog
- website (including customer reviews)
- Facebook and Twitter
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The BBB may seem more appropriate for mechanics or contractors, but a bride who has had a bad wedding photographer wants to get the word out. This includes a report to the Better Business Bureau.My daughter discovered, after the fact, that her wedding photographer (We used 3 different ones for our 3 family weddings.) had a lousy BBB rating. Had we known, we would not have hired him and perhaps would have better pictures than we do.
Furthermore, ask friends for a personal referral. If you like someone’s wedding album, find out the company name. If you are at a wedding and like the way the photographer is working, get his card.
After doing good homework, set up some interviews. Don’t just go with the first person you speak to.
Hire a Personality That Meshes with Yours
This does not mean a personality that is exactly the same as yours, but one that can see and bring out the best in the bride, groom, wedding party and families. For example:
- Are the main photographer and assistants good with children?
- Are they respectful of older wedding guests (grandparents)?
- Do they make solid suggestions for shots and poses without giving stern orders?
- Are they working as unobtrusively as possible during the more serious, quieter parts of the day (ceremony)?
Wedding experts at theknot.com emphasize that the bride and groom should like their photographer. After all, he is essentially a part of the family for the big day and beyond as he helps the bride and groom choose albums, portraits and other products.
Consider the Photo Style You Like
Some photographers shoot a wedding just as a photojournalist would. They tell the story of the day and take lots of pictures. Another style is much more traditional with formal poses and big group and family shots. Many brides ask for a mix of these styles. Our own son used a photographer who did the usual church shots, but also posed the happy couple in more casual settings. This mom’s favorite picture shows son and new daughter-in-law sitting on a park bench. Only part of the beautiful wedding attire shows, but the smiles and body language made for a perfect portrait.
Other photographers excel at more artsy products that include:
- Black and white, color, or a combination of the 2
- heirloom look, sepia-toned images
- soft focus
- special effects and unusual perspectives
Discuss these things ahead of time and look at real examples of the photographer’s work.
Keep Within Your Wedding Budget
Wedding packages have a wide swing in pricing, depending on a whole host of factors:
- how many photographers are working
- length of day (starting at home, at the church, etc.) and charge for extra hours
- albums to be purchased (bride and groom, parents)
- how many shots are taken
You will sign a contract. Make sure you read it and understand it so you know what you are getting and for what cost. Ask who retains the rights to the photos–you or the photographer. Then get it in writing.
Brides and grooms, plan ahead on who you will trust will the pictures of this all-important event. Some thought ahead of time will make for memories well-preserved for years to come.