Top 10 Things To Consider When Selecting a Wedding Photographer
1. If they're available. There's no point in pursuing the photographer of your dreams if he's already under contract with another bride. Ask if your wedding date is available first and foremost. The moral here is that all great photographers will book very quickly...so book them as soon as you can!
2. The photographer's style. Is it posed and formal, photojournalistic, creative, artistic, etc.? More importantly, is it what you're looking for? All the great wedding photographers are a mix of all these styles and will have a unique style and vision.
3. Are they in my price range? Photographs of your wedding are the last thing you should ever cut corners on with your wedding budget! Additionally, make sure you know all the costs associated with a photographer...ie is the package all inclusive, will we have to pay for prints afterwards (I've seen some photographers charge $12.00 for a 4x6), will we get a disc with all the edited images so you can print wherever you'd like, etc.? But never forget...you get what you pay for!
4. Do they work on an hourly basis? Again, trying to cut corners by hiring a wedding photographer for a few hours will only get you burned. Hire a photographer that will work the entire day...from the moment you start getting ready until the couple send off. Imagine what you'll miss if the photographer goes "off the clock" and leaves before the first dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc. Even if they do stay, you'll end up paying more than if you'd booked a photographer that will shoot the entire day for a flat rate.
5. Who will be the one actually taking the pictures? Make sure the photographer you meet with will be the one who actually will be shooting your wedding. This first meeting will tell you a lot about them as well...ie. were they on time, well dressed, easily approachable. Ultimately decide whether you like this person...they will be with you the entire day of the wedding.
6. Do they have liability insurance? This will tell you a lot about their business. If they don't have liability insurance they are either just starting out or don't take it seriously enough to think it's necessary...aka they're not professional photographers! All professional photographers have this insurance as part of their business.
7. What is their experience? You need to know if they have a degree in photography, how long they've been shooting weddings, etc. Even if they have a degree (the minimum of what you should look for), nothing replaces years of experience in capturing brides on the most important day your life! A seasoned veteran will still know how to make you look beautiful even if something goes wrong...ie. a sudden change in the weather, or lighting situation.
8. When will we get our pictures? Most photographers can have the images edited and delivered within 2-3 weeks, but make sure to check reviews and references to see what past clients have to say.
9. Ask to see a complete wedding album. This is important because all photographers will have a portfolio of spectacular images they've taken over the years (some of which may even be taken with professional models they paid)...being able to see a complete wedding will let you know if they have the ability to capture the entire story of your wedding day.
10. Check their reviews and contact references. It is invaluable to have an outside opinion on a potential wedding photographer. Remember, your wedding photographs are the single most important aspect of your wedding...make sure you find the right wedding photographer for you.