The importance of wedding photography is undeniable. When you thoughtfully plan a wedding for months, investing your time and effort, you want to have more than memories in your mind. But with so many options nowadays, how can you know if you are hiring the right photographer?
We understand you have much on your plate between choosing the right venue, writing your vows, and dealing with the rest of your wedding vendors. That is why we have the following tips to make the process of finding your wedding photographer much easier.
Know your budget.
Every wedding plan must begin with an honest conversion about money. Determine your overall budget and then talk about priorities, what matters the most for each of you. It could be entertainment, food, drinks, or photography. It will be ideal if you assign a percentage of the budget to each vendor.
Once you have a general idea of the amount you can spend on wedding photography, start searching for the best photographers in town and ask for their packages with prices. There is nothing worse than finding the photographer of your dreams and learning that it is out of your limits.
Look at many portfolios.
Wedding photography has many variations, and each photographer will put its style into how he captures your wedding day. To know what you like and what you do not, you must do your research. Find a photographer that captures the images you dream of or one specializing in the type of photos you want.
Some photographers will take very posed photos or portraits; others might have more of a natural approach, find out which one you feel more comfortable with. And do not be enchanted by one or two pictures. Always ask for a full album so you can see a final work. It is easy to pick one or two perfect pictures, but you want to find a photographer that nails every single shot.
Find your style.
We all appreciate art differently. Each photographer has a unique technique to capture moments. The editing process can also vary, and the overall approach to your wedding day will depend on your photographer’s style. Here are some of the most common styles you can find.
Traditional wedding photography is one of the most common and classic styles, and you can expect it to be posed and simple. There will not be much creativity involved, but your images will be timeless. On some level, all wedding photographers take a couple of traditional pictures while doing family portraits.
Think of it like a documentary style, one that captures candid moments as they happen without much intervention. It is a natural approach to your wedding day. While some moments will require a bit of direction, most of your wedding will be covered as it unfolds.
This is the total opposite of photojournalism, a posed and luxurious style that mimics a fashion magazine. It is not so common, but many couples want each photo to be perfect and control the entire event.
Hire a professional.
One of the most common decisions couples later regret is not hiring a professional wedding photographer. Most of the time, it is because they want to save some money, and hiring an amateur or letting one of your relatives with a semiprofessional camera will seem to be the right choice.
But a wedding is a challenging event that requires knowledge about what is going to happen next, where to stand to capture the best angle of a moment that can not be repeated. And an experienced photographer with professional equipment will know all those details and deliver a flawless finished product.
When you interview your possible photographers, always ask how many weddings they have covered and if they feel comfortable with your venue, also. Ask if they have second shooters or assistants to cover other angles. A professional will answer all your questions, and he should inspire trust.
Meet before signing the contract.
It would be best if you got to meet your potential wedding photographer before the big day comes. As much as you might love his work, you need also to build a relationship with him or her. Your wedding is an intimate and emotional day filled with moments that your want to capture in the most natural form. If your photographer does not make you feel comfortable being yourself and let loose your emotions, it is probably not the right one.
A professional photographer will want to meet you a couple of times before the wedding to get to know your love story and have a clear idea about the atmosphere and concept you want for your big day.
Understand your contract.
Read and understand your photographer’s contract and policies regarding cancelation or rescheduling. Ask all the important questions like:
- When will you receive your pictures?
- How many edited photos your package includes?
- Are your pictures digital, printed, or both?
- What rights you have over the pictures?
As you see, hiring a wedding photographer takes more than just signing a contract. You must do your research and find one that accommodates your budget, understands your style and vision, and especially a photographer who comes as a friendly individual you feel comfortable with.
If you are looking for a wedding photographer for your San Francisco or Bay Area wedding, I will be more than happy to meet you, know your love story, and start planning your big day as a team. Wedding photography is more than just another vendor you must hire for your event. Make sure you choose wisely.