Choosing a wedding photographer is an important part of your wedding planning and interestingly I think it comes down to only 3 basic questions:
- Do you like the photographer?
- Do you like the work the photographer does?
- Does the photographer fit your budget?
I’ll expand upon each of them starting with what should really be the least important question but often ultimately becomes the deal maker or breaker. How much?
After the wedding is over, the cake eaten and the dress packed away, all you are left with are your memories and the photos. No matter how cheap the photos were, if they are not what you are after, you paid too much. Top photographers have years of training and experience, use top quality camera equipment, print photos using professional level print labs and supply expensive, custom made albums. It all adds up to a high quality product. Additionally, you wedding album is going to be around for a very long time. Long after a cheap album has decayed or fallen apart, a top quality album will be showcasing your wedding photos to your grandchildren, great grandchildren and beyond. Expected it to become a treasured family heirloom to be passed from generation to generation. All for the price of a big television set that will be obsolete or broken in a few years time.
You also have to like the work the photographer does and be happy with the product you will recieve. No point hiring a photographer who shoots in a photojournalistic style if you want traditionally styled images. Also ask to look at a sample album showing a complete wedding rather than a series of specially chosen ‘best of’ images. Is the work they are showing you recent? A photographer might have a string of award winning images to show but they could be from many years ago. The best indicator of what you can expect from a photographer for your wedding photos, is took look at what they are shooting right now. I love having a couple in my studio when a courier arrives with a new album. I can show them something they know will be as close as possible to what they will recieve after their wedding.
The final question is to ensure you like the photographer? Regardless of price, how much you love their work, that your best friend had a certain photographer or even that they are a ‘celebrity’ photographer – if you don’t have a strong rapport with the photographer, you won’t be comfortable with them and the photos will reflect that. The photographer should blend seamlesslessly into your day and enhance your wedding day experience.