When it comes to your big day, you may have already come to the conclusion that you will best served by hiring a professional photographer. This increases the likelihood that you’ll have better images than those taken by your guests, and it frees up your guests to simply enjoy the wedding ceremony. Any additional photos or video that your guests take can be wonderful bonus images.
So how do you find the best wedding photographer? After all, “best” is a subjective term, especially when it comes to art, and photography is exactly that—an art. Another thing to consider is that every wedding ceremony is unique because each participant is unique and individual. Here are six tips for finding the photographer who is best for you and your soon-to-be spouse:
- What is the theme of your wedding? If it will include lots of bright colors, you probably don’t want to hire a photographer who specializes in black and white images.
- Do you like the photographer’s work? Professional photographers have portfolios which they make available for potential clients to review. In today’s world, if they don’t have a website that features an online portfolio, that’s very unusual. In those cases, if it’s not convenient to visit their studio in person, choose a photographer who features their images on their website.
- Does the photographer have good reviews from previous clients? Search online to see if their name comes up. In the search engine’s search field type the photographer’s name in quotes. This will help isolate the search results to the right person. If not, add the city outside the quote marks. Ask your friends and family for recommendations as well.
- Is the photographer available when you will have your wedding? If they photograph a lot of weddings, they may already be booked on the day you have scheduled your wedding. Conversely, if you find a photographer you believe will be perfect for your wedding, book them right away.
- What is their fee, deposit, and refund policy and how do they charge for prints? Prices and rates will vary as will refund policies, so it’s important to have a thorough understanding of that photographer’s way of doing business. Prior to hiring anyone, request this information in writing. Also be sure to get a copy of any contract that you sign. As for purchasing prints, many photographers will offer clients a contact sheet which if they’re shooting digitally might be posted to their website on a secured page that requires a password. From the contact sheet you’ll choose the images you’re interested in and depending on the size of the print and the number of copies, they will have a set price. However, not every photographer works this way so it’s important to ask them about their workflow process.
- How soon will the prints be available for purchase? Their answer may depend on their schedule. If your wedding is held during “wedding season” and they do a lot of wedding photography, expect to wait a little longer than at other times of the year when their workload is lighter.