Wedding Guide: How to Pick a Photographer
While there are dozens of aspects of a wedding that require planning and consideration, one aspect that brides tend to stress about is selecting a wedding photographer. The day of the wedding will hopefully be the most special day of your life, and the photos will be the best way to cherish the happy memories of the big day. So how to begin searching for a wedding photographer? Here are ten tips for successful wedding photographer selection:
- Ask for referrals from friends. If you’ve seen wedding photos that you absolutely love, ask the couple for a referral to their photographer.
- Ask for referrals from your venue or from other vendors. Does the venue have a list of preferred or recommended photographers? If so, the photographers may have experience working at your venue, which is a definite bonus.
- Cautionary note on referrals: make sure the referrals are for photographers specializing in weddings and not just photographers who happen to be friends or business partners of the referrer.
- Use online resources such as theknot.com – they have large databases of local wedding resources including photographers.
- Ask prospective photographers if they are willing to do test runs (in some cases, photographers will throw in complimentary engagement photo shoots to both get to know you and prove the quality of their work).
- ALWAYS ask to see a prospective photographer’s book of work. Ask if they have taken photos similar to the type you will want at your wedding.
- Prepare a shot list of all of the shots you will want taken on the big day. This will ensure that any budgetary discussions are as accurate as possible.
- Make sure you know what is included in the photographer’s package pricing – does it include a photo book? A certain number of photos? Will he be posting the photos to a website for review by wedding guests who may want to purchase photos?
- Make sure to discuss how long the photographer plans to shoot at the wedding. Will he stay throughout the entire reception? Will he be available before the ceremony for bridal pictures?
- Keep in mind that this is YOUR special day. If anything about the photographer does not seem to be a good fit, do not worry about hurting his or her feelings. The most important thing is to find a photographer you are comfortable with and confident in.