Your wedding day is the most important day of your life, and you want everything to go perfectly. Between planning the event, the reception, and everything that is to follow, it can be easy to overlook a wedding photographer and go with whoever is recommended. Don’t do that. Wedding photography is becoming more and more advanced, so it’s important to know what to look for when hiring a wedding photographer. Your photographer needs to be able to work in sync with you and match the mood of the event. Don’t make these mistakes.
1. Don’t overlook the photographer’s personality.
If you were to hire someone to photograph the most special day of your life, you would want to get along with them, right? That’s exactly what a wedding photographer is. Make sure you and the photographer ‘click’ on a personal level; if you don’t care for their personality, the way they talk, or their sense of humor, move on to another photographer. Don’t let your special day be soured because of a photographer you dislike!
2. Don’t place more money into photo packages than the photographer themselves.
Wedding photographers often come with a nearly overwhelming number of choices so far as photo packages go. With so many options to choose from, it can be tempting to spend a large portion of your photography budget on those products. However, you need to be careful of this; if your funds are limited, invest in a high quality photographer, not the products he or she offers. The reason is simple: if the photographer doesn’t take good shots, then it doesn’t matter what products they offer.
3. Don’t use an amateur photographer.
It can tempting to pay your photography enthusiast cousin to take the photographs, but your wedding is your special day. If you want professional results, hire a professional. While it might save money to hire an amateur, you’re stealing from your future happiness. Imagine twenty years from now, looking back on your wedding photos; you don’t want to say, “I wish I had hired a professional.” It’s worth the investment now to hire someone who really knows what they’re doing.
4. Make sure to examine his portfolio.
Even if you have recommendations from someone about a specific photographer, make sure to spend time evaluating that person’s portfolio. Has the photographer shot a lot of weddings before, or do they spend more time as a landscape photographer? Do the wedding photos look like ones you would like, or did you imagine a different style? Like any artist, wedding photographers develop a personal approach to their job that is hard to break. If you find their style unappealing, there’s no shame in moving on to the next photographer on your list.
5. Absolutely, above all else, sign a contract.
We talked with A Day of Bliss Photography who said, “Failure to sign a contract can be absolutely disastrous. The contract is there not only to protect the photographer, but also to protect you; violation of any of your agreements means the photographer owes your deposit back.” For instance, if you go through an agency and the photographer fails to show, the agency is required to send another person as quickly as possible or to refund you any investment you’ve made. Just the same, it ensures you have to pay the photographer. A contract might seem like more hassle than it’s worth, but it protects both parties. If the photographer you’re thinking of doesn’t use contracts, then move on to one who does.
Hiring a wedding photographer is as important as any other aspect of the planning, so don’t overlook it. Too many brides have forgotten about this detail until the last minute and regretted it later down the line.