Hiring a wedding photographer to capture the irreplaceable, priceless moments of your wedding can be just about as nerve-racking as finding the perfect dress. After all, this is a once in a lifetime occasion and every moment should be immortalized in such a way that you and the rest of the wedding party and guests will look perfect.
Below are some guidelines of things to consider prior to hiring a wedding photographer:
Get Referrals and Recommendations
This is the most important tip when you are shopping for a wedding photographer. You can get recommendations from family members, friends, co-workers. In the event that your photographer of choice is booked or exceeds the amount you have in your budget, do not be afraid to ask him or her for recommendations as well. It is always a great idea to request a few references from former clients. Ensure that you have a conversation with these individuals and see how satisfied they were with the final product.
Have a Face-to-Face Meeting
Hiring a wedding photographer is an extremely personal decision. You will be spending a lot of time with this individual on your wedding day; therefore you will need to like each other. Regardless of how talented the photographer is or the number of recommendations he or she has, it will not be a good fit if you do not like him or her. Additionally, having a face-to-face meeting gives you an opportunity to see the work of the wedding photographer in print.
Make a Request to see an Entire Shoot
The advent of digital photographs has made it quite easy to make even a bad picture look good online. You should ask to see a complete job that includes outtakes in order to get a good idea of how the photographer works.
Be Aware of the Package and Your Budget
Depending on what is included and where you live, a photographer could cost between €500 and €20,000. While €500 might sound like a good deal, you may pay €500 for hiring a photographer only to realize that you cannot afford any prints.
Wedding photographers are infamous for adding backend charges; therefore, ensure that you think about the overall cost of what you would like when the budget is being planned. Ensure that you talk to the photographer about things like parking charges and travel and the number of individuals who will be working on your wedding day.
Ensure that the Photographer is Experienced and Professional
Clearly everyone has to begin somewhere; however, you do not want that place to be at your wedding. A qualified and experienced photographer can assist in solving issues from ministers who are no show to difficult members of the family. Ask the photographer about the backup plan if he or she has a crisis and cannot make the wedding.
Bridging the Digital Divide
Without a doubt digital is less costly than film and it could actually cost double to shoot on film. However, going completely digital could bring about new issues. Ensure that you ask the photographer where your digital images will be stored, where they will be backed up and for what period of time they will be stored. You should also find out the length of time you have to order your album. Studies have shown that nowadays 99.9 percent of photographers have gone digital but there are still advantages of using film. The quality of the photographic paper is superior to digital and a more permanent work of art is created because it is made from metals and not dyes.
Getting the Most out of the Time with the Photographer
It is only good sense and polite to feed the photographer, you do not want him or her distracted by hunger. It is also important that you and your photographer are on the same eating schedule. After all, photos of people eating are usually unflattering, so he or she can eat when everybody else is eating.
Another issue as it relates to timing is the photo session after the wedding; immediately following the ceremony is not really when you want to stand around taking pictures. You want to be enjoying your guests or be with each other. Take the time to interact with your guests. A pre-wedding session for photos could be a better alternative.
List all the Photographs to be Taken
Experienced photographers know to capture pictures of family members, the bridal party, close friends and older people. However, plan ahead regarding the formal portraits that you want.
Timing is Everything
A popular photographer might book up to a year in advance; however, as with all vendors in the wedding industry, January to March, Fridays and weekdays are usually less busy and these periods might be ideal for hiring a wedding photographer on short notice.