Every bride wants to have an amazing wedding day.
But when it’s all over and Aunt Gertie has stopped crying, the cake has all gone and the wedding dress is in the closet, what’s the one thing to bring those wonderful memories flooding back? The one item you can pull out in years to come and show your kids and grandkids how beautiful and happy you were on your wedding day? Yep, you got it, your wedding album and the beautiful images inside.
Finding the right photographer to record your precious memories is important. Forget that, it’s VERY important. I hear you asking, “How hard can it be to choose a wedding photographer?”
Let me tell you this – you thought finding a husband was hard? That was the easy part. Do a Google search and see how many wedding photographers it churns out in your area alone. It can be overwhelming. There’s so many to choose from, so many styles, services, packages and on and on it goes.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Some of a wedding photographer’s most common selling points can be warning signals in disguise.
Allow me to share seven useful tips on “How NOT To Choose A Wedding Photographer.”
Be Wary Of High-Volume Studios
“But this studio shoots more than 300 weddings a year.” A pre-requisite when choosing a wedding photographer is experience, though busier doesn’t always mean better.
If a studio covers more than 70 to 80 weddings a year it may be a sign that they either shooting weddings back-to-back every weekend or hire associate photographers to fill bookings. This means the photographer you deal with before your wedding may not be the photographer who turns up on the day.
If the studio uses an associate, make sure you check out ALL the associate photographers’ portfolios to ensure the studio’s corporate style matches your vision.
Will the associate be a talented colleague or just a random freelance? You want to know in advance who’ll be behind the camera on your wedding day, and if they’re going to treat you like a VIP.
Don’t Choose On Price Alone
Price is always going to be an important factor, but it shouldn’t be the only factor that matters when choosing your wedding photographer. The right photographer can make a budget dress look breathtaking, while the wrong photographer can make a Vera Wang look tacky.
A good photographer will take the time to edit and bring to life each image individually so you’ll love them and be proud to hang them on your walls and look back on them in years to come. It’s not a bargain if you hate your photos.
Those that choose photographers based solely on the least expensive choice are almost always disappointed. Photography is an art form and has much more to do with the person than the camera. Don’t take chances with your memories.
One of the most common things heard from couples after everything is over is that they wish they had spent more of their budget on photography. Photography is the single most important thing you’ll spend your budget on.
A cheap photographer is going to give you cheap photography and a cheap album. Would you want a cheap album to be your first heirloom?
Many wedding venues charge a photographer and take a commission to have them as part of a preferred vendor list. However, some venues recommend great photographers on the strength of their work and have developed a good business relationship with those photographers over a number of years. It’s best to double-check recommendations with friends, online reviews and your wedding planner before paying a deposit.
Family Or Friends
Wedding photography is tough and there are plenty of traps to catch out the amateur photographer in your family. Just because Uncle Bill can take nice photos of fields and trees, there’s no guarantee he knows how to light a near-dark reception venue.
It may appear to be a great way to save money, but think long and hard if you really want those natural emotion-provoking images you envision. It may be a money-saving blessing but you’re risking a permanently damaged relationship if things do not turn out the way you want them to.
• What if you don’t like the photos?
• What if Uncle Bill loses your images because he never backed up his work?
• What if he decided to go do a few Tequila shots during your first dance?
What if you don’t get all the shots you wanted? It’s a given that your friend or family photographer will miss shots because they’re trying to be part of the event instead of capturing it for you. There are plenty of brides and grooms who never speak to friends or family members again because they didn’t like their photos or they were lost or damaged.
A professional wedding photographer will be ready for whatever the day brings and will consistently produce great images. It’s a no-brainer as it’s one less thing for you to worry over. Your wedding is among the ultimate one-off occasions. There’s no second chance to capture those all important moments.
Using A Portfolio To Judge A Photographer
Choosing a wedding photographer on the strength of an online portfolio of their best shots at a number of different weddings can be very misleading. Such a portfolio could be useful in seeing how great a picture they’re capable of shooting, but that’s all it tells you.
Ask to see an album of one wedding – from start to finish. Good photographers will be able to produce a number of albums. These will give you a much better idea of how your wedding will be covered. Even Uncle Bill can get one great shot per wedding.
Also e-mail your possible photographer to arrange a meeting. Your photographer will be spending more time with you on your wedding day than anyone else. The photographer’s work may be out of this world and within your budget, but this person is going to be spending a lot of time around you and your loved ones on the most important days of your life.
Is The Photographer Interested In YOU?
All wedding photographers can tell you great things about themselves, their work and their string of delighted customers – and rightly so. But when it’s your introductory wedding consultation, look for a photographer who’s interested in YOU.
A good photographer will ask what type of wedding photography you’re interested in for your big day and what YOU want from him/her. A photographer who asks plenty of questions about your wedding and your preferences is more likely to listen to you and have a better sense of what you want.
Dazed And Confused
If a wedding photographer’s pricing or album packages has you confused, move along and keep looking. If the package pricing is flexible, that’s the way to go as it gives you a much-better idea of what the final total will be.
What photographers like to call “a la carte” pricing is misleading and very confusing. There may be something that you thought was included in the “a la carte” package that is actually an extra – maybe an album for instance.
What you want is a photographer who’ll work within your budgetary requirements and give you exactly what you want. If a package that fits your needs isn’t offered, work with the photographer and design your own.
The tips aren’t meant to intimidate a happy couple who’re starting to look for a wedding photographer. The intention is to highlight what to look for and the most important points to consider.
Photo – www.huffingtonpost.com