Selecting a wedding photographer can be a daunting task. Not only does the photographer need to be able to produce outstanding memories of your wedding day but also has to be able to fit into the celebration and be highly professional every step of the way.
Often couples make the mistake of basing their decision on wedding photography entirely on price. At the end couples that decide on price get what they pay for.
It is wise to keep your budget in mind when selecting a photographer but it should not be an excuse no to do your homework and evaluate the quality and professionalism of the photographer. Remember, you will have to live with the consequences of your decision.
How to evaluate a wedding photographer?
The style of the wedding photography is very important. Is the photographer a photojournalist with heavy emphasis in documenting the wedding without directing? Do you prefer posed photographs with preplanned posing and controlled lights? Most couples these days prefer a combination of journalistic and traditional wedding photography. They look for a photographer that can capture the true emotion and spirit of the celebration as well as portraits that deserve to be framed.
Whatever style you prefer the photographer has to be a master of the craft. Take a close look at the photographer’s portfolio. Is the work consistent? Insist on looking at a complete wedding. After photographing 20 weddings, it is easy to have 20 lucky shots. Very few photographers have the guts to show you a complete wedding. Only the good ones do.
Are the photographs a true representation of the photographer’s work?
If you are considering a studio that has several photographers insist on looking at the work of the photographer that is going to photograph your wedding.
Does the studio or photographer offer high quality albums and custom printing? Nowadays it is common for some photographers to offer to photograph the wedding and hand you the proofs and a CD or the negatives with the photos and be done with you. Are you going to be happy with a set of proofs or would you want a fine album with custom printed photographs?
Has the photographer been in business for a considerable amount of time? Is this his first wedding? Is he a commercial or sports photographer beginning wedding photography? There is nothing wrong with starting out in a different photography field but you, as the client, need to know this. Wedding photography requires special artistic, technical, and people skills and a wedding it is not the place for a beginner to learn. Somebody interested in learning wedding photography should perhaps accompany a seasoned pro to weddings for some time before venturing out on his own.
Does the photographer carry good quality equipment and backup of camera bodies, lenses, tripod, lights etc? You will be surprised to learn that many photographers go to weddings with only one camera. God help you if that camera breaks in the middle of your wedding.
Personality plays a very important role in wedding photography. Hire the wrong photographer and you and your guests will suffer the consequences. Does the photographer listen to you? Does he have a controlling personality? Does he abide by the rules of the church, temple, or synagogue? Does he want to steal the show and be the center of attention? Does he have people skills? Does he dress professionally? Does he look and smell clean?
Before hiring your photographer please make sure that you answer all the questions above. As a last precaution check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are unsolved complains against your potential photographer.
Have a happy wedding and enjoy your beautiful photos. Please don’t forget to feed your photographer he or she will be working hard to capture your wedding memories.