Everyone wants to have amazing wedding photographs, to look back on and remind them and their family of their happy day. Choosing the right wedding photographer is a very important decision in your wedding planning.
As your wedding day is booked, the venue, the car, and all those good things that make your wedding day a day to remember, you will need to put emphasis on who you choose to capture those precious moments. Few tangible items will be kept after your wedding day. You may keep some of the invitations and actually have one framed, but how many times can you read it and see something on it that you did not see before.You may keep your wedding gown, but do you really think your daughter will wear it in 20-30 years. How about the favors, bubble bottles, candles, decorations, etc?
But when it comes to choosing your photographer how can you be sure you have found the right one?
The importance of the wedding photographer.
Every bride-to-be understands how important her wedding day is…she’s spending thousands of Euros on ONE DAY and thinking about it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The necessity of hiring the right professional should be OBVIOUS.
WHAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
As with anything you can buy, there’s a good, better and best version. Find out the 4 categories that set apart the good, better, best photographers and know what questions to ask when you meet photographers during a consultation to see the difference between good, better and best in the photography world!
– Does the photographer fit the style of what you’re looking for (soft and dreamy, loud and fun, funky and sexy, etc)?
– Does the photographer have good quality images (not too dark, too light, orange, etc)?
– Do the photographs have an altered color or over-effecting to them that’s not natural or timeless?
– Do all the photographer’s weddings have that similar style that you’re looking for? You don’t want to hire someone who isn’t consistent in giving you the quality and style of photos that you’re paying for.
– Do you notice wrinkles, blemishes, unattractive angles, awkward poses or distracting backgrounds in the pictures?
– Are all the pictures that you like from a real wedding or a stylized shoot?
How can you make sure the quality of your products will stand the test of time? Here’s the tricks to spotting poor quality albums that probably won’t last more than five years:
– Look at the printing itself. Is it colorful, vibrant and matching to the quality of the images you saw on their website?
– Look at the book closed and view the sides of the pages. Are they waving or warping in any way?
– Look at the seam of the page. Is there cracking, pinking or discoloration of any kind?
– Look at the corners and sides of the pages. Are they peeling up or not laying flat?
Your photographer needs to know what will happen before it does, anticipate moments, be flexible on the spot, know how to help you schedule your day-of time-line, and be able to conquer any lighting condition. I would say that about 50-100 weddings is what it takes to acquire and perfect these skills and intuitions. Here are some questions to ask:
– Have you ever done a wedding like mine?
Note, it doesn’t matter if they’ve done a wedding at your venue. Because of changing light and circumstantial situations, that’s really irrelevant to an experienced photographer. But having them have experience in your type of wedding (Jewish, traditional, Ethnic, etc.) can mean the difference of them knowing what shots to get.
– What do you do when ________?
Fill in the blank with any crazy thing you think might happen on your wedding day and see if the photographer can think on their toes!
– Do you put together family photos?
Your photographer should discuss with you what family shots you want before the wedding and make suggestions as to what shots to get based on your family members and the amount of time you have for pictures. This shouldn’t be your job the day of! I make sure to go over this with all of my brides well before the wedding.
– Do you have a videographer/cinematographer you work with regularly?
You’ll want your visual artists to be in-sync the day of so that they don’t get in each other’s way, but instead better your final product by working together. I’d say my cinematography team and I have this down pat.
Did you know some brides go 3 months without seeing their wedding proofs and years before they get their album?? Here’s what to ask to make sure that doesn’t happen to you:
– Are they a boutique studio?
Your wedding is unique and important and you want a photographer that thinks the same way and doesn’t just pile you in with one of the 100 brides they’re photographing that year. The advantage to having a “Boutique-style” photographer (one that shoots less than 30 weddings a year on average) is that you’ll receive more attention and care each step of the way and your wedding photographs will show more of your unique couple personality rather than a cookie-cutter style that is done the same way at every wedding.
– Do they have a team of people behind them?
Too often photographers get caught drowning in work and end up delivering products late or never replying to your calls because they’re trying to do everything themselves from marketing to printing albums. Or, they deliver sub-par products because they’re too busy to take the time to do them well or simply don’t have the skills needed to do them at an expert level. Make sure your photographer has a team of people on staff so that you know they’re running an efficient business (which will help you get your products on time) and giving you the best possible quality. I have a graphic designer on staff designing everything from Save-the-Dates to wedding albums and she does a MUCH better job than if I were doing it myself.
– How long does it take to get the album?
Find out the album process step-by-step. Often times photographers make you choose your wedding album pictures which could leave you frustrated, over-whelmed and procrastinating the process causing you to not have your wedding album until years after your wedding. My brides have an album design within weeks of their wedding.
– Do you like your photographer?
Is their personality one that you’ll love working with over the next year or two – because it’s practically like you’re going to date them for a few years! Your photographer is one of the wedding vendors that you’ll have contact with the most before, during and after your wedding, so make sure they have a personality that’s knowledgeable, calm and has pleasant demeanor that you’ll want around you for a while.