Today the wedding industry is overflowing with wedding photographers. It seems that all the time, someone I know has decided to try their hand at it. This is an amazing thing! I love watching others pursue their dreams. Their dreams were once my dreams. However, when you’re the bride, it can be overwhelming when it comes time to choose the right photographer for you and your once-in-a-lifetime wedding! Believe me, I know the industry as a photographer with over 15 years experience. So… how do you pick one? I’ve put together a list of questions that I encourage you to consider when choosing your wedding photographer. Ask yourself…
1.) WHAT DOES THEIR FEE INCLUDE?
Something I want to seriously drive home here is that all photographers are NOT, NOT, NOT created equal. In fact, there is nothing more disheartening to a photographer than hearing a potential client say, “Well this photographer said they could give us the same package for less. Why can’t you give me the same price?”. As photographers, we consider ourselves artists, and comparing photographers and their packages is like comparing apples to oranges, since their work, their experience, their vision, their talent and their personalities (yes, that comes into play on a wedding day) is so different. What I mean by asking what their fee includes is to make sure you know everything that is included in the price so that there are no surprises later. Does the number you were quoted include the digital files? Do they edit their work before they release it to you? Does it include Sales tax? Associate or additional photographers or assistants? Ask all of your questions up front so that you know exactly what to expect later.
WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE DO THEY HAVE?
Now don’t get me wrong, I DO think experience alone should be a deal breaker. I believe it is an important factor to consider when choosing the right photographer for you. Ask your photographer how long they have been shooting, specifically how long they have been shooting weddings
. Weddings are fluid. The light is always changing. They usually run later than planned. There are all kinds of family drama to contend with. Someone whose specialty is taking senior portraits may not be able to give you the best service that an experienced wedding photographer can. Has your photographer had a lot of experience shooting your type of wedding (outdoor, indoor, cultural ceremony, etc.)? A photographer with more experience knows what to expect in different situations and how to be ready for anything (weather, lighting, unexpected events, etc.).
WHAT IS THEIR DELIVERY TIMELINE?
Most photographers will quote you delivery of your files between 6 to 12 weeks from your wedding day. I know that I always aim to over-quote and deliver them much sooner, RARELY if EVER going over the 2 month mark. Nothing is better than surprising a bride with early delivery of her photos. So don’t necessarily get bummed out when you see that you may not get your photos for a month and a half. That quote is usually what it is to protect the photographer in case of an emergency. Besides, these photos are going to be very special to you for your entire lifetime. Do you want them overnight, or do you want them beautiful, perfect and absolutely a treasure to hold for a lifetime? Do fall into the “instant gratification” trap!
DOES THEIR STYLE MATCH MINE?
This is HUGE! I hate to see brides settle. Of course I am a bit biased, but I feel that your photographer should be one of the top priorities for your wedding budget. Don’t wait until the last minute to hire your photographer or you will be working with the leftover portion of your budget! Unfortunately when this happens, brides usually can’t afford the photographer that they want and are forced to settle for a photographer with a different style. If you don’t love the photographer’s style now, you probably won’t love their style in 10 years. Photos will be the lasting memories of your special day, treat them with priority!
ARE WE A GOOD MATCH?
This is the most important tip I can give every bride. Make sure you and your photographer are a good match. You will actually be spending more hours together on your wedding day with your photographer than you will with your soon-to-be husband, and you’ll be in very close proximity with your photographer all day long. Your photographer should make you feel special, beautiful, honored, and be someone you can trust. When your photographer’s services are tailored to fit you and your needs, you will feel confident on your big day knowing that you are in good hands. Likewise, I always want to make sure that brides have the best match for them. If I feel that someone can serve them better, I will always be honest with them.
Hopefully this list of questions can help you navigate this important decision. If you have any questions at all, I am always happy to help; and if you are on the hunt for your perfect wedding photographer, I would love to chat and see if we are a good match!