Hiring a wedding photographer is an investment, not just of money, but trust. Weddings don’t come with “do-over” options, so you need to be confident that you have hired the right company. How can you assure that you’ve made the right match? Here are some tips for vetting your wedding photographer.
Find Your Candidates
Begin your search where you plan to get married. Attend bridal shows in the area, check out wedding blogs and look at social media to get the inside scoop. Check out each company’s work and narrow down the search. Reviews from friends who have recently been married are also great for starting that first list of possible matches.
Next, look over each of your possible photographer’s bodies of work. Look at complete weddings so you can identify any strengths or weaknesses that are important to you. Is the style what you are looking for? The editing? Do facial expressions look natural, or is there anything that you see more than once that you don’t love? This is one of the most personal parts of choosing a photographer because only you can know what you actually like.
An advantage that couples today have over the past is a large body of reviews and a culture that has taught most of us to detect real feedback versus fake comments. Within a group of reviews, most businesses will have at least a couple of moderate to poor ratings – no one can please all of the people all of the time. Look for patterns. If many commenters repeat the same complaint, you should probably accept their word and decide if you can live with the flaw.
Ask lots of questions. What is the process like before and on the wedding day? How long has he or she been shooting weddings? Determine how the photographer sells the edited images. Do you get personal reprint rights, or do you have to purchase all print images from the photographer?
Whether you are working directly with the photographer or through a company we would suggest utilizing your chosen photographer for your engagement session. That way you get to know how they will be on your wedding day and see them in action. Be sure to find out during the initial consultation what your options are and what the company is willing to do if you find your photographer incompatible with you after booking.
Ultimately, you need to choose a photographer with whom you have a connection. Sure, you need one whose prices fit into your budget, who has experience and whose images you love, but without a sense of comfort, your photos won’t reflect that special love you have for each other. Choose the best fit and move forward with confidence and excitement about your upcoming wedding day!
Keith Phillips is the Director of Business Development for Classic Photographers, a company that provides high-quality wedding photography and videography services for the budget minded couple.