Some moments are simply too important to trust to a camera phone. Your wedding will be one of the most memorable times of your life and no one can capture it better than a professional photographer. So how do you find the right one? As you begin the interview process, here are ten questions to help you determine if you’ve found the best photographer for your wedding.
Reviewing sample work allows you to see the photographer’s strengths and weaknesses – don’t fool yourself, every photographer has them. You’ll also be able to get an idea of their style. Are they formal with an eye for the perfect picture or do they love to capture the hidden moments when no one is looking? Look for images that you can see yourself in. Think of three words that describe you and share those with your photographer. Every photographer has a style and reviewing their gallery can help you determine if theirs is right for you.
Some photographers are orderly and operate like wedding planners. Others prefer to sit back and let the events of the wedding unfold. It’s important that you find someone who can understand and meet your expectations. Discuss this ahead of time and ask away, so that you understand how well the photographer’s working style matches your own.
An engagement session does more than provide you with priceless images together before you get married. It’s also your first opportunity to work with your photographer and develop a relationship that will allow you to be completely at ease on your big day. Use this session to confirm if the photographer is indeed the right person to capture your wedding.
This list will ensure no important photo is missed during the commotion and excitement of the big day. You should be able to create that list together, add to the list leading up to the day and have a copy of that list the day of. Take an honest look at what images really matter and fill your photographer in on situations he or she might need to be aware of in order to prevent awkward moments, and to ensure that he or she can get the shots that matter most.
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor wedding, you’ll want to make sure your photographer has professional grade lighting equipment to deliver the images your wedding deserves.
You’ve prepared contingency plans for every other aspect of your wedding; your photographer should as well. A true professional photographer won’t miss your perfect shot because of a technology issue. He or she will always bring one or two backup cameras, lenses, flashes, additional lighting equipment, extra memory cards, and batteries.
Accidents happen at weddings and if one of your guests trips over your photographer’s light stand, it’s good to know you both are protected. Your reception venue may even ask the photographer to submit a certificate of liability ahead of time.
A second shooter increases the probability that no shot will be missed, especially if you are having a large wedding. If there will be two photographers, ask to meet them both to get a feel for their personalities and how well they might blend in on your big day.
Will your images be backed up to a hard drive or the cloud once processed? How long will your photographer keep the images afterward? Will they be kept for a couple of years or dumped immediately? If you have any concerns about losing your photos, knowing what the photographer plans to do with your images after your wedding is important.
No, you won’t get your pictures the day after; no photographer can deliver that quickly. It’s a good idea, though, to get a general idea of the timeline ahead of time. You might even be able to agree on getting a couple of images ready for social media use very quickly. But obtaining your photos will likely take several weeks. To help with the wait, some photographers will send you a sneak peak with a few images. Just ask ahead of time!
With everything that goes into your wedding day, those once-in-a-lifetime moments will go by in a blur—which is why hiring a professional wedding photographer is a must. After all, the last thing you should be worrying about is whether your photographer will be able to capture your big day.
The key? Prepare yourself so that you can accurately evaluate the “right” photographer for you. Follow these six tips to help you plan your wedding photos like a pro:
The best photographers get booked quickly — sometimes as much as a year in advance, so don’t wait until the last minute to book your photographer.
Now is not the time to skimp on your photo budget. Call around and get a price range for services and remember: when the cake is long gone and the dress is stored away, your wedding photos will be the only thing left.
Only hire someone who has liability insurance, experience taking the style of photos you want, backup equipment and a plan for when things go south. Ideally, he or she is a PPA photographer. PPA photographers have the technical expertise and artistry to make you look your best and bring your vision to life. Watch this video to see real married couples share their stories.
Ask to view an entire wedding album to see a photographer’s true style and get a sense of how he or she might tell your “story.”
PPA wedding photographers can also help you create that shot list as they know what key moments tell a wedding story. But talk about your must-haves and walk through the entire program with your photographer ahead of time. Share your expectations ahead of time to ensure that your vision becomes a reality.
Almost as soon as the festivities are over, you’ll be eager to look at the photos so you can relive your big day over and over again. Ask your photographer for teasers or a “sneak peek,” and a timeline for when the rest of the pictures will be available. Will they give you an online gallery to proof?