There are so many photographers out there! Let me help you make the right choice for you. And no, that doesn’t always mean hiring me! Here are four important things to know before you sign that contract and ways you and your photographer should match up.
Look through their portfolio extensively and see what types of images they deliver! Do the photos look consistent regardless of different locations or lighting situations? Make sure you love their style and that you trust they can deliver that look to YOU. A very broad statement about photographers is that they are either light and airy or dark and moody. Once you know what you like, find someone who matches your style instead of trying to make someone try to deliver a style they don’t usually offer and aren’t an expert at, or even worse, being disappointed with how your photos look. I deliver photos that are bright and romantic and I can do that no matter what weather or venue you have!
When you hire a wedding photographer, you are inviting someone to be a part of the most important day of you life! Don’t hire someone whose personality doesn’t mesh well with yours! Make sure you feel comfortable talking to them, asking questions, being romantic with your partner in front of them, and trusting them to interact with your closest friends and family. Some photographers are all BUSINESS with their clients and that’s great! I build real friendships with my brides. Know what works for you and find someone who can give you the type of support and service you want. Personality also plays a big part in how the posing and process of you photoshoot goes. Pick someone you can trust to pose you how you want, help you feel beautiful, and give you a great experience.
Some photographers exclusively offer physical prints of your photos in their package pricing. Some offer beautiful wedding albums. Others include flash drives or digital galleries of your images and some include the print release so you can print on your own. Turnaround time to getting your photos varies drastically based on how busy they are and how much work goes into post-processing (eg. do they smooth skin on every single image, do they remove distractions in the background, etc.) You should also consider how accessible your photos and your photographer will be going forward. What will happen if you lose your files, will your photographer still have the backups? I keep all my past wedding photos on hard drives and save client galleries online for them to access for 10 years! My turnaround time for wedding day photos is 4-6 weeks and I do a moderate amount of retouching. Make sure you hire someone who will deliver the products and gallery that you want within a time frame you’re comfortable with.
Having a beautiful portfolio is one thing, but giving clients a wonderful experience is another thing entirely. Having gorgeous photos doesn’t mean they’re good at communication, professionalism, or customer service. You can’t know how they will treat you based on the images they post on Instagram. You want to hire someone who has worked with REAL people, met their needs, and given their clients an experience that they’re willing to talk about. I have nothing at all against “styled shoots”, which are staged weddings or photoshoots that photographers attend in order to build their portfolios and get new, beautiful content. I LOVE attending styled shoots and some of my photos on my website and instagram are from styled shoots. But if you accidentally hire a photographer who has exclusively styled content and no experience with real customers, you may not get the treatment and service you’re looking for. Read customer reviews and look for words that describe how their photographer made them feel during the session and whether or not they acted professionally throughout the whole experience.
Choosing a wedding photographer can be overwhelming and there’s a lot to consider! I hope these tips help you focus on what’s important and find the perfect match for you. Happy planning!