Choosing a photographer for your wedding is a very important decision when making your wedding arrangements. Photographers vary in their personality, their photographic style, how they work with the wedding party, how much experience they have, the quality of the equipment they use, the packages they provide, as well as the final products they produce. So you’re not just hiring someone to take pictures. No matter how you look at it, you’re getting a package deal. The question is, what will the package include?
First, you need to consider what is included in the package. Does the package include an album? Albums included in my packages offer significant savings over an album purchased separately. If you want a professional, heirloom-quality album, think about choosing a package that includes an album. The more expensive the package, the better the quality of the album and number of sides it includes. Make sure the sample albums you see are from weddings the photographer has actually shot, I’ve seen albums shown by some photographers that are manufacturers samples which is fine if you all you want to check is the quality and construction of the album but they do not show real weddings involving real people or clients.
Does your photographer include a pre-wedding shoot? The pre-wedding shoot gives you the opportunity to get to know your photographer better and ‘gel’ the relationship. I always try and do my pre-wedding shoots at the reception venue as we can discuss any specific requirements and ideas for your wedding day photography.
Many photographers today include their photographs on a DVD but there are many who do not and others who charge a lot of money for this service. The wise bride or groom will ask if those photographs have been edited as photographs that are completely unedited are often less than what they could be and I have heard of some couples who have been disappointed with their DVD images. I edit every photograph customers receive including those on DVD as well as those photographs that are used in albums, those which are purchased online, and those which are enlarged. The DVD is included in all my packages.
Ask whether the photographs you receive on DVD will be of a high-resolution quality. Many photographers only provide a low-resolution version that only has enough resolution available for small 4 x 6- or 5 x 7-inch photographs. I provide the high-resolution photographs that can be printed in any standard size as well as versions which have been optimised and re-sized for Internet and e-mail use.
As part of the package deal you’re not just getting stuff, you’re also hiring a photographer. So what qualities should you look for in a photographer? In some ways the answer is obvious. You look at the photographer’s work and decide on whether you like the pictures or not. Also, when speaking with a photographer you need to decide on whether you are comfortable with this person. Does the person seem competent and relaxed? Does the photographer ask questions about you? What you must remember is that the photographer will be spending most of the wedding day with you so make sure you are comfortable in their company.
Choosing a friend or relative to photograph your wedding can result in huge savings. Don’t let this motivating factor blind you to other issues when considering who to hire for your once-in-a-lifetime wedding photographer as it can cause stress in the relationship. So let’s suppose your friend or relative offers to photograph your wedding. If you are not altogether happy with the photographs, it will likely create bad feelings between you. And if the person is not a professional who shoots weddings frequently, you may be disappointed. You must also consider whether they have back up equipment in the event of failure and it is imperative they have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance. In many cases a friend or relative wanting to help you out will not have the experience and artistic eye to know how to arrange people to get quality, artistic photographs. In addition, their photographic equipment is likely marginal at best for producing professional-looking photographs. A professional photographer has professional cameras, lenses and editing software that helps to produce quality photographs. And a professional photographer has the experience to guide you through your wedding day to make it all happen more smoothly and joyfully.
Finally, for any bride looking for a photographer try to find one interested in creating art, and worried less on charging by time. The last thing you want on an already hectic day is to worry about how long your photographer has been there, and how much you might owe. This is the primary reason I don’t offer time based packages, when you book me for your wedding photography you get me for the day – whether it’s four hours or fourteen
To summarise, below are some useful ways to help you choose the right photographer for you.
- Do you like the style and feel of the photographer’s work?
- Do their pictures make you feel like you were part of the celebration? Great pictures don’t just happen – they are created. Look at the facial expressions on peoples faces. Do you feel the photographer has created a happy atmosphere?
- Do you like the range of albums or wedding books offered?
- Does the photographer you are considering make you feel at ease?
- Are the photographers you are considering fun and empathetic?
- Are they flexible in their approach to you and above all would you feel comfortable with them photographing you on your wedding day?
I trust this has been an enjoyable read and if there is anything you would like to add please feel free to comment below.