Things to consider when choosing a photographer
It's a lot of work planning a wedding, and once you've decided on a date, you'll need to then make the other big decisions, one being venue but then another, that can get overlooked or viewed as not too important, is a photographer.
Your planning one of the most important days of your life, and you only get to do it once, so you definitely need to carefully choose who will capture it in the best way for you.
Here are a few key points to think about and questions to ask when choosing a photographer:
* Ask to see their work and you also want to make sure you are seeing a complete wedding day so they haven't just picked out their best shots to show you.
Every photographer has their own style and while they may be able to recreate certain shots for you if you ask, the vast majority of their work will be in the style they are use to working in. It works both ways, I would rather someone went to another photographer then book me if they didn't like my work. You need to like the work they have produced in the past as it is very likely they will produce similar work for you if you book them.
* Don't ask family or friends.
Everyone has a cousin, uncle, friend, whatever who owns a decent-ish DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex. The cameras the pros use) It can be highly tempting to ask them to capture your wedding because often they can do it for free and weddings are expensive.
DONT ASK THEM!! Or if you do, get in a pro as well.
The reason for this is that, apart from the obvious increase in quality of work, a pro is completely impartial and will shoot everyone at a wedding. Whereas cousins, uncles etc, may not know everyone at a wedding and wont feel comfortable taking their pictures so there will be missed people, or shots.
* How long will you need to wait for your final images? Post production takes time so its best to get an idea of how long you'll need to wait for your final images.
* Post production
Taking a good shot is only half the battle. Correcting the colour of photos is essential for a professional look. Not all wedding photographers do post production as it takes a long time to get just right. Some photographers justify not doing this by saying they prefer a more natural look. This is just an excuse for laziness, or possibly worse, not knowing how to. All the best photographers will do at least some post production, if you want professional results, it is worth finding one who does it.
* Are they insured? Never book a photographer who don't have appropriate insurance, any photographer will gladly show you their certificate, just ask!
* How much experience do they have shooting weddings? A professional will be able to show you lots of examples of their work.
* Do they offer tailored or package deals? Package deals are simple and generally cover the whole day, or ceremony only, depending on what you would like captured, whereas tailored often charges for individual sections of the day eg: ceremony will be one amount, first dance will be another and so on, this gives you the option to choose exactly what you want captured but can work out more expensive.
* Can they shoot in low light? Again, an experienced photographer will be able to show lots of examples of their work and in all different lighting situations. Another thing to consider is what time of year you are getting married, summer can offer harsh, bright sunlight and winter, very dark and damp days. Both these situations can be challenging, so make sure you can see examples of both.
* Have they ever shot a wedding at the venue? This can give you an idea of the pictures you may get, but most professionals will like to keep each wedding unique so there should be no copied images of different couples at the same venue.
* Will there be a contract?
Professionals will always work by a contract and you should receive your own copy. This is to give clear information of what you are booking and what to expect.
* Will they meet you before the wedding?
It's essential to meet your photographer before the wedding day, even if it's by a facetime message, I would certainly avoid anyone who refuses this.
* Do they have any awards or reviews?
Yep, happy to say I have several awards and lots of reviews too!
This also gives an indication to how good and experienced a professional is.
* When should alarm bells ring?
I'm not saying that cheaper is worse, but if your wedding photographer is offering two photographers, video, photo album and all day photography for half the price of their competitors basic package, then I'd start to ask questions. I've seen prices before where they would earn less than the minimum wage without any overheads of the business! Basically, they will be cutting corners somewhere!
Remember, you are planning one of the biggest moments in your life, take the time to research for the best you can afford, because there is quality out there for all budgets!
Black Rose Photography