Photo courtesy of Shanna Erienne Photography
With wedding session just a few months away, I thought I would share with you all something that I send to all the brides that contact me asking for more information about me and my photographic services.
Selecting someone to capture one of the most important days of your life is a daunting task. With the number of photographers (or those claiming to be photographers) out there, it's tough to know how to choose the best one for your wedding. Therefore, I've compiled a list of tips to help you sort through all those picture-taking-professionals.
In my personal opinion, the most important factor in considering who to select to photograph your wedding is someone you both trust and enjoy spending time with. Your photographer is going to be there throughout the entire journey of your wedding, from the the planning stages to the cake cutting; you're going to want someone who cares about their clients as much as they care about their work.
Begin your search as soon as possible
Finding the perfect wedding photographer takes some time, so start researching as soon as you can. Many photographers book their weddings a year or two in advance, so by starting early, you’ll have a better chance of booking the photographer you want.
Check out the goods
This may seem a bit obvious, but it’s one of the first things you should do. In addition to checking out the photographer’s portfolio, look for complete wedding coverages (usually can be found in their blog if they have one). While their portfolio should wow you, reviewing a full wedding will give you a better sense of their ability to tell the story of your big day.
If you’re not sure what style of photography you’re drawn to, take a look through a couple different photographer’s portfolios. The first question you need to ask yourself: which photographs stick out to you? Is it the posed portrait in the field where every detail is set to perfection? Or is it the photograph of the groom whispering into his bride’s ear during their first dance? Secondly, can you see yourself in those types of photos? Knowing what style of photos you want will help when narrowing down the photographers you want to meet with. When you do meet, ask them about their style. They should be able to clearly define what their style is - if they can’t, then there’s a chance your photographs will all look different and won’t flow together as a story.
Meet with your short list
After you’ve narrowed down your search and contacted them to ensure they’re available for your date, meet with them! Your wedding photographer is one of the most important aspects your wedding. From getting ready in the morning to your last dance in the evening, your photographer will be right by your side, documenting and preserving the memories of your wedding for years to come. It’s important that you like, trust, and get along with this person.
Know what you're getting for your money
Make sure you clearly understand what you’re getting for your buck. Does your photographer have an assistant? Do they have travel fees or require accommodation? Does your USB of images include printing rights?
What's their history like?
Asking your photographer for past client references is a great way to find out the type of service you’ll be receiving. Ask your bride if you can get the contact information of previous brides that have hired that photographer.
As mentioned above, in my opinion the most important thing to remember is that this person is going to spend more time with you and your spouse on your wedding day than any other person. So make sure you get along with them, they make you feel comfortable, and that you trust them to photograph your special day.