Tips on how to hire a wedding photographer.
Here’s your guide on how to hire your wedding photographer. Choosing your wedding photographer is typically one of the earlier tasks in the planning process. With so many talented photographers to choose from, knowing where to start can be tricky. Here are a few things to consider to make sure you and your partner find the best fit for your wedding.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE WEDDING PHOTOS TO YOU?
Being real- photography is so important to some people, and to others, not so much. I ask this question because the value you place on photos will lead to how much time and money you want to invest- and there is no right or wrong answer. After you figure that out, and decide what style is for you, a good starting point is to compare a few prices, and find out what is included (time, second shooter and what you physically get when it’s all said and done). Just to know, when it comes to payments, most photographers take a non-refundable down payment at the time of booking. Ask what options you will have for the remainder of the payments!
TAKE A GOOD LOOK AROUND AT WHAT CATCHES YOUR EYE
What do you want your pictures to look like? Dark and moody, bright, airy, candid, posed, a mix of both. If you’re not sure, you can figure this out simply by noticing how you feel when you look at a photo (It’s that easy!). Most photographers post their favourite work online, seeing a bit more of their work may help you get a better idea of what you can expect from a full wedding day. For example, I tend to post candid and artistic work online because that what my clients hire me for. If you were to look at a full wedding that I have shot you will also find posed family photos, and many other details of their wedding day that help to tell the entire story.
SORT OUT YOUR DATE AND VENUE FIRST
Because wedding dates and wedding venues are supply and demand based, you’ll need to know when and where you will be getting married before you book your photographer. Pay attention to lighting etc, and ask your potential photographer if they have shot under those lighting circumstances in the past (a good photographer should be able to navigate any lighting scenario). Don’t discount one because they haven’t shot at a certain location, but do make sure they can show you an example of a similar situation so that there are no surprises at the end of the day. Photography is art, and permanent, so make sure you love it.
Do you want to spend all day with this person? Make sure you do! Meet with your photographer, either in person or digitally before booking. If they offer an engagement session, even better- this is a preview of how you will work together. I offer an engagement shoot for this reason, it makes the wedding day flow so nicely because everyone is comfortable with everyone. Plus, is a good chance to do fun photos with no pressure or time constraints.
THE FINE PRINT
They may seem boring to read, but understanding what is in your contract inside and out is SO IMPORTANT. The wording in a contract sounds harsh for a reason- it will cover both of you in the event that something goes sideways. Ask about the worst case scenarios (illness, camera failure, weather…anything you can think of!). A solid contract will cover all of this. In the event that something happens, it’s reassuring to know that the ‘just in case’ scenarios taken care of.
ONE OR TWO SHOOTERS?
People often ask about the benefit of having two shooters. Again, this is really important to some couples, not so much to others. Besides being in two different locations at the same time, having two shooters offers more variety in photos, and less of a chance of missing an important moment. Here is an example of what I would have missed without having a second photographer with me (these were taken seconds apart). Personally, I shoot about half of my weddings alone, and the rest with a second person.
This should really be #1- your gut is always right. If you’re anything like me, you know right away if you love something (or don’t). When you get a good feeling, or a bad feeling- trust it!t