You spend countless hours scrolling through Instagram, trying to find that perfect wedding photographer for your big day. Seeing that there are countless of talented photographers in this industry, it can be a little overwhelming at times. Finally, you locate a photographer’s work that your eye is instantly drawn to. You love their look, their style, & their wedding packages just happen to fit into your budget…but does this mean that you should hire them? If what you see on their website or social media pages fits into your criteria, what could be the problem?
As a wedding photographer myself I feel it is my job to educate every future bride! This is not meant to scare you, but it is meant to educate you so that you are aware of everything you need to know before hiring your wedding photographer. Some of these topics may be no brainers for some, but I bet you haven’t taken into consideration some of what I am about to go over. So keep reading as I will be sharing the 10 things you should consider before locking in your wedding photographer for your special day!
1.) Good Communication
There’s nothing more frustrating then sending an email, & waiting weeks before you receive a response. How about making a phone call just to not get one back? Does it ever feel like pulling teeth just to get someone to communicate with you? When you hire your wedding photographer, you want to make sure there is good & easy communication between the both of you throughout the entire wedding process. I understand that sometimes life happens… but if you find that it’s a chore to get in touch with your wedding photographer on a consistent basis, you may want to find someone else. Good communication also gives you a feeling of trust with your wedding photographer.
It’s as simple as that. Ask the photographer before hiring them if they are insured. Most venues will require that your wedding photographer has equipment & liability insurance, in which they will need to provide a certificate of insurance to the venue beforehand. No insurance? Your photographer most likely won’t be allowed to provide service at your venue.
Always ask to read reviews! Your photographer should have a section of reviews displayed either on their website or on their social media accounts. If you do not see any listed, make sure you inquire. If your photographer does not have any reviews to provide you with, you may want to do some extra homework…
Ok, so that photographer you found on Instagram…their work looks great! They deliver beautiful images & prove that they can provide a professional service. But how well rounded of a photographer are they? Is what you’re seeing on their website & social media accounts mostly photos taken outside in perfect lighting situations? What if you’re having a barn wedding? What if your venue is mostly dark? What if it rains & you are limited to shooting primarily indoors? Make sure you are hiring an experienced, well rounded photographer who is confident in handling low light or stressful situations. You will want to make sure your photographer is efficient in using off camera flash, & that they have the appropriate equipment & expertise to meet the needs of your wedding day.
5.) Review Multiple Galleries
It’s a no brainer. All of us photographers, including myself, are only going to showcase our best work on our websites and social media. Make sure you do your homework & check out their work on multiple of their blog posts. There is also no shame in asking to see a complete wedding gallery that they have captured- this is actually encouraged! This is also another way of finding out if you are hiring a well rounded photographer, as you will be able to see how they capture a wedding from start to finish. This will make sure their expertise & style still meets your expectations.
6.) Styled Shoot? Or Real Wedding?
This is one topic that most brides aren’t aware of. Styled shoots are wonderful, however they are often times meant for building portfolios or for strict marketing purposes. Sometimes they can be misleading. When conversing with a photographer about capturing your special day, ask how much of their work that’s displayed is from a styled shoot or an actual wedding. If you find that most of their work displayed was taken during a styled shoot, that may mean that they haven’t actually photographed too many weddings. A styled shoot & someone’s wedding day is a completely different ball game…so make sure you’re hiring someone with wedding day experience 😉
7.) Back Up Equipment
Make sure your photographer has backup equipment! This is like purchasing insurance for your wedding photography. As we all know we live in an imperfect world, and electronics can be finicky at times. Whenever I go to capture a wedding I always make sure I take a backup camera with me (of the same quality), with an abundance of extra batteries & memory cards. I also shoot on two memory cards at the same time with one being a back up. Better safe than sorry!
8.) Turn Around Time
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard stories of brides waiting months, sometimes even years to see their wedding galleries. This is certainly a pet peeve of mine & one that I will never understand. Brides, make sure you ask your photographer a time frame in which you will receive your images and/or product. Once quoted, be sure to locate this in your contract…
9.) Sign a Contract
Obtain, review, & sign a contract. Notice I said obtain & review. Brides, it is so important that you sign an agreement with your photographer prior to your wedding day. It not only protects the photographer, but it most certainly protects you. In the contract there should be details about your wedding package, what’s included, the price, when your balance is due, the time frame for the delivery of images, & so much more. You should also make sure to thoroughly read through your contract. It is important that you address any questions or concerns before signing & locking in your date with your wedding photographer.
10.) Delivery of Product
Be sure to check with your photographer not only when your images will be delivered, but how. Most photographers (myself included) will deliver your images through an online gallery, where you can easily access them. While most people love this method, it’s certainly not for everyone. Some brides prefer to have their images placed on a USB, or something similar.
Most importantly, find out what you can do with your images. Will your images be high resolution? Will you have printing rights to your images? How many images can you expect to see in your gallery? Be sure you ask all of these questions before locking in your wedding photographer to avoid any confusion. Most wedding photographers will deliver hi-res images, but some may require you to order prints through their company.
Here’s an extra point I wanted to add, because it’s important! You need to make sure you jive with your wedding photographer. Now I’m not saying that you need to be BFF’s, but it is important that your personalities click. As a result this will make you trust & feel comfortable with your wedding photographer on your special day. Afterall, you will be spending a majority of your day with them 😉
“Thank you for visiting! I hope you found this blog to be most helpful. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about my Wedding Experience, you can contact me here!“
I’d love to hear about your love and story and celebrate with you on your big day as your biggest cheerleader!