No this will not be a sales pitch for you to book me, but some tools to help you find the best Photographer for you. Ok that might be me BUT this will help you find out for sure!
Now the fun starts. You’re thinking “damnit now I have to find a planner to help me book a venue, find a photographer, search for videographers, find THE PERFECT DRESS, find the best caterer, hire the most beautiful florist and so on….” Sounds like a lot right? IT IS! Although I can’t hold your hand throughout all of it I’m happy to offer my advice as I spend countless weekends with vendors some of which I highly recommend. One thing I do know are photographers so here are 5 quick tips to helping your find the best one for you! Even if that’s not me 🙂
The first thing you’ll do when you start searching for a photographer is find photos that stick out to you. Everyone is going to appreciate something different about a photographic style so it’s important that as you start to scroll the endless pages of google, the knot, wedding wire, or whatever, that you figure what you like about their style. Most photographers have a very consistent style and the work that they’re showcasing is likely the same vibe that your photos will have. It’s important to know that if a photographer doesn’t have photos up on The Knot or Wedding Wire it’s not because they’re not a good photographer, it could be because they are choosing not to spend the hundreds of dollars those sites charge to post photos.
But now lets jump into the personality side of things. Unlike most of your vendors your photographer is going to be with you all… day… long! From the moment you start getting ready and sipping mimosas your photographer is there. So let me put this as simply and straight forward as I can… DON’T HIRE SOMEONE WHO IS AWKWARD! Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. The last thing you want to do is spend it with someone who’s making you feel uncomfortable. They should feel like a part of your wedding, not someone who crashed it.
Take it from a photographer like myself with a bachelors degree in video production. If you ask your photographer if they “do video too?” and they give you anything less than a super confident response, look elsewhere for your video services. Photography and videography commonly get grouped together but if you really care about the outcome of your final product you’ll want to make sure you’ve got video specific artists controlling that part of the experience. Even I refer my couples to specific video only videographers.
Most photographers will offer 3-5 packages of their services with a wide range of prices but there should always be flexible options for your day. Things photographers should be flexible on are things such as:
We as photographers LOVE to hear that people want to print their photos. The most popular clients that do so are wedding couples. Sure it helps us put a few bucks in our pockets but it also ensures that our work is being displayed and enjoyed in the best ways possible.
CAUTION! In your contract your photographer will outline the rights you have with your photos. Not every photographer is going to include “Print Rights”. Print rights are the photographer giving you permission to take the high resolution digital images you’re paying them to capture/edit and you can go ahead and print them wherever your heart desires. Now I offer the print rights included with every shoot but not all photographers want to risk having their carefully captured photos printed by the high schooler at CVS running the photo department. No disrespect to him but he didn’t spend 7-10 hours editing hundreds of images to look just right.
I, as well as many photographers, work with a professional print lab that do all of my printing for me as well as direct ship the prints to you in less than a week! I’m not just talking about regular paper prints but dozens of paper, canvas, wood, and even metal print options. You’ll pay a premium for these images but when you think about the investment you’ve made in your photographer it doesn’t make much sense to skimp out on the printing. You wouldn’t put basic gas into your Ferrari right?
Time is valuable but so is the hard earned money you’re going to spend on your wedding photographer. I always suggest setting up some to meet in person to grab coffee (or drinks!) or at the very least a FaceTime or Skype chat. This goes back to tip 1 and really give you an idea of who they are as a person. If they can’t even make a few minutes to video chat with you, how connected are you going to feel to them throughout the planning process. I constantly hear nightmare scenarios about couples not being able to get in touch with their photographers even before and after their weddings and with today’s technology that shouldn’t be the case.