When planning your wedding, you’re probably spending countless hours poring over endless wedding website layouts, scouring Pinterest for DIY wedding ideas, and searching through Google Images for that perfect engagement photo shoot backdrop. But without a doubt, one of the most time-consuming tasks is narrowing down which vendor to hire for your big day.
Finding a wedding photographer can be especially difficult because there are so many options out there. There are pros and cons to just about every type of photography, and not every vendor is going to be right for your wedding either. As such, it’s important to take the time necessary to research potential photographers before making the final decision. Here are the top things you need to know when hiring your wedding Photographer.
Decide what style of photography you want—think of what you want 10 years from now
The first thing you should do before selecting your photographer is decide what style of photography you want. Do you prefer a more artsy, traditional photography style? Or would you rather have a more candid, documentary-style wedding photography? Figuring out what type of photography you want will help narrow down the options for finding your perfect fit.
Once you know what style you’re looking for, it’s time to decide who will be the best fit for your day. Like most people, you’ll likely start by asking friends and family for recommendations. This is a great place to start as not only will you know what their work is like, but you’ll also be able to get an idea of their personality!
Other places to look are search engines like Google, wedding vendor sites like WeddingWire, or even social media such as Instagram or even Pinterest!
My Instagram profile, for example, shows me as a wedding photographer based out of Mississauga, Ontario. It may not be your first guess but doing a quick search on social media might introduce you to your wedding photographer-to-be!
Once you find a photographer that fits your initial criteria, such as shooting style, consider reading reviews from past clients to get an idea of what it is like working with them!
Budget Vs Experience
Once you’ve established the type of photographer you are looking for, the first thing to consider is the overall budget. If you’re on a tighter budget, you might want to consider a less experienced photographer who can provide you with a cheaper package. However, if you want the experience of working with a professional photographer then don’t be afraid to budget for it. Call me biased, but I sincerely think that photographers and videographers are one of, if not the most important vendor(s) that you’ll be hiring!
Remember that the photographer you choose will be responsible for capturing the moments and memories of what could be one of the most wonderful days of your life!
Do they understand your needs?
While on the subject of experience, a seasoned photographer will be able to understand exactly what you’ll need on your special day and can even assist you with things you didn’t know you’d need!
For example, I always bring an “emergency” kit to all my weddings which has ended up being used in nearly every wedding that I’ve been a part of!
Another thing to consider is whether you feel comfortable with the photographer’s personality. If you can tell that they are personable and like what they do, then this indicates that they will be able to work well with your other vendors on your big day.
If you have any specific needs for your wedding photography (such as a certain type of style or theme), then it would be worth asking the photographer about these upfront. A good wedding photographer should not just know how to take beautiful photos but also understand your needs so that he or she can customize their services accordingly.
Check the contract!
This isn’t the most exciting of topics, but it is important to clarify some of these things prior to signing any contracts and sending initial deposits.
What happens if the wedding is moved or canceled? Can you get a refund?
If the photographer is unable to show up under any circumstances, do they have partners or associates? Will they cover you or will they just not show up?
Believe it or not, I’ve heard stories of people that got last-minute calls about their photographer being unable to make it and asking for more money to pay for another shooter as a replacement, or they wouldn’t have anyone at all!
That is not cool and it should be something that’s covered by the photographer.
If there is anything that you need clarification on—don’t be afraid to ask!
When looking for a wedding photographer, you want to be sure they are the right fit for you. Many people get caught up in choosing a photographer based on their style or price point alone. However, it’s important to remember that there are other important factors to consider before hiring your wedding photographer.
Ultimately, your special day should be one to remember and that’s what your vendors should help you accomplish! They need to be reliable so that once you’ve hired them, the only thing to do on your wedding day is to be present and enjoy it all.