When we started our tips and tricks series last week we forgot one very important component to planning your wedding! The photos! Everyone knows that your wedding photos tell you and your grooms story. They represent the beginning of a new union and are a snapshot of the happiest day of your life. But how do you choose the right photographer?
1. Research Early
Once you have that ring on your finger it's time to begin looking for a wedding photographer. Really great photographers book at least a year in advance so it's critical to search as soon as you can. Just as a tip, most photographer's reach peak season on Saturday's during the spring, so consider all of these factors when picking your date.
When searching for a photographer, the process should be fairly easy simply because the best photographers in your area usually are the most well known. We can not stress enough how important it is to ask for recommendations from friends and other couples you know who were recently married. They are sounding boards for who's who's in your area.
Lastly if you have another wedding professional assisting you in the planning process ask them for recommendations of photographers they have worked with.
2. Look at Samples and Set Up Meetings
After you have complied a list of photographers you are interested in start searching their websites and begin eliminating candidates based on your needs and your intended wedding style. Think about how each candidate will perform in your chosen wedding venue. If most of their photos are indoors it makes sense to look for someone with stronger outdoor photos.
Another factor to consider is what kind of tone do you want your photos to convey. Are you a traditional bride or more modern or do you prefer more blissful and playful photos? All these factors should be considered before you meet with a photographer. 3.Face to Face Meeting
Once you have narrowed down your choices it's time to have an in person meeting. Be sure to ask plenty of questions in the meeting! No question is a silly question here. Ask about package details, what kind of equipment will he or she use and how many weddings has the photographer has done?
During the face to face meeting remember to gauge the photographers professionalism during the meeting. Ask to see past samples of their work too.
When examining wedding photo samples make sure you see at least one album that has an entire wedding and compare that to some of the photographers most recent work. Being able to compare both past and present work helps you gauge what he/she average work looks like.
Pay close attention to the photographers photo clarity, color, composition and exposure. Really think about if this photographer style matches your personal style. Are the photos lively and upbeat, do they feel authentic or do the photos looked forced. It's important to be aware of the photographer ability to capture the raw emotions of the day.
You should leave the meeting knowing the photographers style, their photo quality and knowing if you felt comfortable with the photographer.
4. Cost and Sealing the Deal
Before you sign anything make sure you read over your contract thoroughly and know exactly what your getting before you sign the contract. We can't stress this enough!
Then negotiate the price. Everything is negotiable and it's fine to ask to make things fit into your budget.
Once both parties have settled on price make sure everything you want is what you are getting on the day of your wedding. This includes the photographer themselves. Makes sure they aren't planning to send a assistant when your expecting them. Also find out what time the photographer will be at the wedding and for how long. Usually if you have a wedding planner they help communicate all these details to your photographer but just in case your doing it alone be sure to be clear or details such as your venue location and times. Remember the contract is to protect you and the photographer and acts a reminder of what both parties have agreed on.
With the help of these simples tips we are sure your will find the right photographer for you!