I’m sure by now since being engaged all of the horror stories have just been coming out of everywhere, right? Everyone has input about how they have heard a story about some friend of a friend experiencing such bad luck with one of the vendors at their wedding and now you’re rethinking and second guessing all of your decisions. One of the most common errors a couple makes is hiring the wrong photographer. Most of the time this can be avoided but not all the time. A little research and asking the right questions is certainly very important before hiring the person that’s gonna be stalking you for 10 hours lol. Yes, it is true, every one that buys a camera these days thinks they are a professional photographer and will put together an okay portfolio and charge a bunch of money. So how do you figure out who is a professional and who is just starting out? How do you know what you want? Even if you can figure these things out, which one do you choose? Let me TRY and help all of you nice people out there without writing for 20 pages lol. First thing is first, know your date and location before speaking to a photographer. There are hundreds of photographers that will tell you what you wanna hear to get a quick buck. Write down your questions and concerns and have a real conversation with a person on a phone or in person. This way you can eliminate certain characters that you didn’t want to work with. If someone can’t have an intelligent conversation about something they do for a living, then just imagine how they’ll be on your wedding day talking to you about an idea or making your guests feel like family. When you look at a portfolio pretty carefully and not just flying through the pics, you can almost always tell how good the photographer is or if they just get lucky. If they get past this stage and you love their ideas and portfolio, meeting in person to see prints and possibly a full wedding day is usually a must. An important thing to know is what type of a photographer are you getting and if it matches what you’re looking for in your wedding photos. When you figure that out, you should now know that not every photo journalist or portrait photographer do the same thing. Let me help with a few questions you may want to ask to narrow down what you’re looking for because even though I’m an experienced award winning professional wedding photographer specializing in portrait and photo journalism, I STILL may not be what you’re looking for.
Steps and questions to help:
- Do they have a small portfolio that has many duplicate ideas?Ideas are different than shooting style
- Are the photos mostly of the same few couples? means amateur which is fine depending on budget
- How long have they been shooting weddings for?Comfortable professional = 4+ years
- What size of photos do you get?Majority of photos should be bigger than 3Mb
- How many photos will you get?Anything less than 75 photos an hour means you walk!
- How will you receive your photos? Flash drive is best, internet transfer but some still give cd or prints is worst.
- How long will it take to get the photos? should never take more than 3 months no matter how busy
- Are the photos jpegs or raw that you receive? jpegs will be best for most people and most weddings
- If they are jpegs, are they originals, touched up, or fully edited?Getting originals, touch ups and fully edited is best
- Can they help with planning details? locations or where to shoot. The sun makes a difference.
- Do they have back up equipment and insurance?
- Can they shoot in a small dark room with movement?
- Are there extra charges for anything?
- Do the photos have company logos or watermarks on them?
- Do you have permission to print or use your photos online?
Hopefully, some of these main questions can help you weed out the photographers just shooting for a quick buck. Just remember if everything is looking perfect on paper you’re still gonna want to like the photographer and please, please, please don’t believe everything you hear. Two photographers are not better than one. A company selling a photographer and videographer is not better than finding each by yourself, nor is it cheaper. Having a friend or family member shoot your wedding is only the best option when you’re broke and photos don’t really matter to you. Finally, ask yourself what is MOST important when your day is over and what is still important in 10 years and what is most important in 50 years? Maybe that question can help you get rid of all the things that don’t really matter on your big day.