How to Choose the PERFECT wedding photographer

As a wedding photographer I see all toooooo often photography being put on the back burner while the wedding dress, the cake, the reception venue and more take center stage. I don’t say this because I’m a wedding photographer, I say this as an individual that wants you to have the best memories captured! PUT THE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY on the top of your list. There are many reasons for this, some of which are outline below, but before we go any further I want you to just think about it from one direction…

3-7-15 years from now, the day will be way in the past… Now stop, what will you have to remember YOUR day, possibly the day you dreamed of your entire life??? You’ll most likely have the dress, heck, you may even still have the top of the cake in the freezer…. What you won’t have are all the small details, you won’t have the DJ, you won’t have the food, you didn’t purchase the venue where the reception was held, nor the Limo, the church and more. But what you will have are the photos. You’ll have the wedding photos which you will have hopefully looked through since your day. So now the question is, do you want photos that are just that, photos, or do you want so many of the moments, the laughs, the smiles and the details in beautiful pieces of work? The photography truly is one of the few things you’ll still have years down the road. And below are a few tips to help you find the right photographer… Before those are 3 simple guide lines that I like to pass along…

  • LIKE THE PHOTOGRAPHERS WORK!
  • LIKE THE PHOTOGRAPHER SO THAT EVERYONE GETS ALONE
  • And last but not least, MAKE SURE IT WORKS FOR YOUR BUDGET
  1. In my eyes it’s advisable that you begin looking for a wedding photographer the second you get engaged. Why? Quite simple, first off, the more you get done and the sooner it happens, the less stress you have in the future. Secondly, wedding photographers book up fast, at least the great wedding photographers. We’re not even done with 2008 yet and I personally have weddings booked into 2010! The photographer you find should provoke a reaction with in you, and not a bad one.
  2. Find out how much experience the photographer has, not saying that in-experienced photographers don’t know what they’re doing. I mean heck, we all needed to start some where. But what I can say on a personal level from as a wedding photographer is that experience means we know where to be and when to be there. We can generally be ready for shots before you even know what’s about to happen. Let alone knowing how to work with other vendors on your day, the schedule, not being in anyones way and more.
  3. Studios which employ more than one photographer can be a bit shady. Why? Because at times you never really know who’s going to show up to shoot your day. They can promise one person and have another show up and more. How would you feel with a stranger walking into your day??? Let alone following you around for the entire day. God forbid you not get along with said photographer.
  4. Make sure you know what you’re getting. Now adays with digital, most photographers include all images on CD, just make sure you also share the rights so that you can print images if you so feel the need. Get everything in writing, no verbal promises at all!
  5. Get a contract and book with a deposit. Wedding photographers truly do book their days fast and you don’t want to spend all this time finding the right photographer only to lose them to another wedding because you didn’t leave a deposit and get a contract.
  6. Make sure to schedule all the time you want. From before the ceremony through the reception. I personally don’t believe in setting strict time limits, but you will find some photographers that put 6-8-10 hours time limits with no wavering. 6 hours hits and they’re gone!

Honestly, I could go on, but that’s a good place to start… Just find someone that you like, has great work and fits with your budget and style!!!

 

Shine on,
~Tim

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