Choosing the right wedding photographer is more than just picking the first person who fits your ideal allocated photography budget. You will need smart with your investment. Do some digging and take more than one meeting. If you have a wedding planner that has a list of preferred vendors, awesome! That is the beauty of having to hire one for your wedding day. Most of that time searching vendors is already saved. If you are going at this planning bit with just you and your partner, these tips can be kind of universal for most vendors you hire for a once-in-a-lifetime event. So I’ll try to keep it short.
Below I’ve listed a few tips for finding your perfect match:
Will this investment be eating up a big portion of the total?
Budgeting is a big part of planning. Maybe you need an NDA that adds more to that cost. What packages are offered, and were they referred to you by a friend or planner?
Do they have a full wedding gallery or a printed album for the venue you chose or something similar?
From the beginning of the day to nighttime events. Outdoor weddings vs. ballroom, afternoon sun vs. sunset, beach weddings vs. vineyard weddings, Eastcoast weddings vs. Westcoast weddings. All weddings will have different lighting scenarios. You need a wedding professional with experience to understand what lighting will be the best for your wedding day.
Can they travel?
Will your wedding have multiple locations throughout the day (hotel, church, venue), is this a destination wedding, and will your vendor require a hotel room or have travel costs?
Are they insured?
This is an important one because life isn’t perfect and accidents happen. A few examples of scenarios I’ve heard in the wedding photography world. Someone could lose the SD cards with photos, someone could fall in a hole or in the water while shooting your event, car accidents, and equipment failure could be possible. Part of being a business owner is having business insurance coverage. If not then these are liabilities you partly take on.
Will a trendy style of photography look great in 10, 20, or 50 years?
Trends will come and go. Your pictures are what will last forever, so you want to make sure that they are nothing less than amazing. Find a photographer who will create natural timeless photos. I believe that natural skin tones with true-to-life colors are important for a timeless look.
Did you sign a contract?
Contracts are long and most times boring to read but the fine print matters in business tractions that involve money and people’s likeness. It’s a clear footprint of the expectations that will take place throughout the months before, during, and after the event. Do not hire a vendor without one.
Did you like their personality?
Choosing the right vendor/photographer might just come down to the feeling and vibe you have with the person on the other end. I strongly suggest couples sit down and have a meeting with me prior to signing any papers. I’m not a volume wedding photographer and I don’t just book for the hell of it. There is a thoughtful process put into booking a client. Will they fit my potential client/friend profile, do we like some of the same things, can we communicate clearly, would they be people I could sit and have a drink with over dinner and can I meet and exceed their expectations? It’s seriously a two-way relationship and not to be taken lightly. When having a wedding planner suggest photography vendors ask if there is an album, weblink to view their site, or suggest a phone meeting.
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