Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important checklist items on your big day to-do list. But, there are so many...how do you choose? How do you know that you are going to be happy with the finished product? Using the following guidelines can help ensure that your memories are captured in a way that you will enjoy looking back on for years to come.
KNOW YOUR PHOTOGRAPHERS STYLE
Every photographer has their own style when it comes to shooting and editing. There are some that capture in a documentary way, while others prefer to pose their clients for each shot. Some that have a bright and airy edit, and those that prefer darker contrasty images, and so on. When researching photographers, always look at their work to see if you like the finished product. Don't be afraid to ask if you can see a full gallery that they have delivered so you get a better idea of what to expect. If you hire a bright and airy style photographer but prefer darker edited images, you will not be happy with your photos at no fault of your photographers. Knowing and appreciating their capturing and editing style before hiring can save you both headaches in the future.
BE STRAIGHT FORWARD ABOUT YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Photographers are not mind readers, well at least most of us aren’t. Be 100% clear with your expectations for us and always be sure to voice exactly what it is you want out of us during your big day. Have a specific photo in mind that you’d really like to get? Tell us so we can plan it out. Need us to be there at a certain time? Make it known so we can arrive early. Having open communication is a major key to being happy with your end result.
HELP US HELP YOU
A major point I make with my clients is that if they expect that I capture a certain shot, they are in return expected to assist in making that happen. If you have discussed with your photographer a specific timeline and throughout the course of the day things change, communicate that with your photographer so we can help coordinate a new plan of action. If you have dreamed of a certain location you want a photo taken at, but disappear when it’s time for the big shot, be mindful of your decision to void that photo from your gallery. We are happy to go above and beyond for our clients, all we ask is that you provide us with the metaphorical tools to do so.
READ YOUR CONTRACT
This is so important and I cannot stress it enough. Read your contract, then re-read it, then read it one more time before signing. Unsure of what a specific line or clause states? Ask questions. Your wedding photography contract will outline everything you need to know: what time the photographer is arriving and how long they will be on site, how long it will take for the pictures to be edited, other than shooting what else is included in the price (printing rights, prints, proof books, ect), whether or not the photos will be used in future advertising, ect. Your signature on a contract says that you have read and fully understand the entirety of the legal document you are signing. Always make sure you understand and are satisfied with what it outlines.
MEET WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Setting a time to meet up with your photographer whether it be in person, over the phone, or even video call is so important to make sure you are comfortable with them. Your photographer is going to capture intimate, personal moments throughout your day. Someone that you have only met a handful of times may be with you at your most vulnerable. Choosing someone that you feel comfortable with can really make your experience an incredible one. If you meet with a potential photographer and feel your personalities don’t work or you aren’t sure how comfortable you feel around them, don’t hire them as your images will show just how uncomfortable you felt. Feeling comfort and trust in your photographer is imperative.
All too often we let others influence how we make decisions. There are some people who will push you to hire their brother-in-laws best friends son who they swear is amazing, yet their work is not what you imagined when you pictured your big day. Do your research and choose someone based off their work, how well they are able to communicate with you, and how comfortable you are working with them.
In the end, photos are all we have to remember such an important day in our lives. Make sure they are ones that you will be happy sharing with loved ones for the rest of your life.