There is so much to chose when planning a wedding, such as the cake, the DRESS, venue decorations, bridesmaids dresses, that you can rush or overlook the importance of choosing the right wedding photographer. Remember, they will be capturing your memories of the entire day, and there are no second chances.
Wedding photography can be very challenging, making everyone in a large group photo look good, multiple locations and in all kind of weather. So where do you begin choosing a great photographer?
To start, try a personal referral. Ask your friends, co-workers, relatives, anyone. Typically people who had a good experience will be happy to share the information, and will definitely tell you if they had a bad one! This will also give you some insight into the photographer’s personality and style before you meet.
After compiling a starting list, visit each photographer’s website and review their portfolio. Make sure to examine as many photo as you can, to ensure you like their style. Next, make a short list from your research and then call or email each photographer on your list. From here, you can establish availability, the type(s) of work the specialise in, and an estimate of costs.
From here, schedule face to face appointments with a couple of photographers that you like the best. This allows you to view a wide range of prints in person, and discuss specific detail. As them to show you a complete portfolio from one wedding. This will give you a much clearer idea of what you can expect to receive.
What Questions Should You Ask A Wedding Photographer?
It’s a good idea to write down any questions beforehand, so you don’t forget anything. Although most photographers will have a package outline ready to give you, you will probably still have a couple of things to ask. Here are some ideas from iqphoto.com, that you may wish to ask.
- How will you show me the images (electronic proofs, contact sheets, online gallery, something else)
- Do you offer help and guidance in choosing the final pictures?
- How easy is it for family and friends or order reprints on their own?
- How long will you spend at the ceremony, and are there different packages?
- What is your photography style, photojournalistic, traditional, mixed etc?
- Do you offer engagement sessions? (perfect for engagement invitations or save the date cards)
- How much do you charge for duplicate prints, enlargements etc?
- What is your turnaround time once prints are ordered?
- How long do I have to decide on prints?
- How long have you been in business, and do you offer any kind of guarantee?
- Do you have an assistant on the day?
- Do you charge travel or overtime fees?
- Do you have a backup in case of accident, illness etc. Will you be shooting my wedding personally?
- Do you use digital or film?
- What is your payment policy?
Whew! By making sure you have answers to the above, you should avoid any nasty surprises down the line.
So how much does wedding photography cost?
Here are some points that can help you determine how much you may expect to pay for a wedding photographer.
- Remember that wedding photography involves more than just shooting on the day. There can be significant post processing work to ensure everyone looks perfect. Albums and prints will usually be extra unless specified.
- You may wish to save money by purchasing only the photographs, and putting your album together yourself.
- Cut down the timeline, perhaps DIY photos of everyone getting ready is enough, or you don’t need to document the reception after the cake cutting. Cutting down the duration of the shoot can save you some cash.
So now, you should have a relatively good idea of which photographer is best suited to capture your special day. Once you make a decision, its usual to pay a deposit to reserve the date. Don’t forget to ask about their policy if your date changes, mine did after my dream reception place became available after a cancellation.
Finally, make the commitment with the confidence that you’ve made a well researched and thought out decision in choosing the person who will capture the memories of a very special day in your life.