Chances are by now you’ve done a bit of research on wedding vendors. Yes, it is overwhelming. The information below is to help simplify things a bit when looking at your photographer. These are the simplified cliff notes so if you have any questions just give me a call or shoot me an email. I’m here to help. Much of this will also apply to other vendors but my only claim it to expertise in photography and photographic processes.
Do I like this person?
As simple as it sounds this is important. You need to have proper chemistry with your vendors. Somebody may be good or properly priced but if they don’t make you comfortable it will kill the flow of your day. Even before the wedding day I like to build a relationship with my clients. I like working with people I can see myself grabbing a beer with and sometimes often will. Never [for me] while working but after we do your engagement shoot or while viewing your engagement photos is always a good time.
Do I like their style?
I’ve met some of the most charismatic people in the field with amazing talent but it doesn’t work for me. You don’t need to know what the style is called. Let the work speak for itself. If you like it – reference #1. If not, move on. It’s your wedding day. You will live with these forever and you want memories to look like your memories, not just the photographers. This is one of the most important days in your life. It’s not worth settling.
Is the price right?
Often times, no. Let’s be honest. Weddings are expensive. Keep in mind what you are getting for the price, though. One photographer may charge $2000 but that won’t include an album. An add on like that can cost upwards of $2000 itself. The $3500 photographer might include the album and offer other benefits. Explore your pricing options and what you get with it. Think a photographer is out of your budget? Talk to them. Even if they can’t work within your budget they probably know somebody who can. Birds of a feather flock together – even if those other birds do use Nikon.
What do I get?
This is tied directly to #3. In the digital age we have all had the experience of electronics malfunctioning and crashing. Now imagine losing your wedding photos. I can’t impress enough how important it is to have prints and something tangible. Yes, we want something for facebook but to only have digital images is risky and takes away from the art of photography. “But I can print myself” is always an argument I hear. That is true but to do it at the level and precision of your photographer is unlikely. We are experts in our field. Let us make you something beautiful.
How big is the team? And Why? Lately I’ve been told a lot that photographers are staffing two shooters at all weddings. One team goes to the groom and the other to the bride. While this minimizes your timeline it also hurts the storytelling. What if one photographer does something unique with the groom but the other shooter doesn’t know to do the same with the bride? It may get you great images but think about the storytelling. I always will be the shooter for both the bride and the groom. Big wedding? Yes – I’ll have another shooter. But I want your story to be consistent. They will be a second shooter and not an additional primary shooter. Regardless of the size of your wedding I will always have an assistant helping with lighting, gear transport, and occasionally shooting. For any couples that have spoken to me you know how particular I can be with my light.
What are the photographer’s goals?
Make sure you know what your photographer has done before and is trying to do. Do they stay up to date with innovation in the industry? You want a photographer who cares to create better and more compelling images with each wedding. I compete annually in international photography competitions. If I don’t innovate I don’t win awards. I want your images to be amazing for both you and me.
What about when things don’t go so smoothly?
We all want a perfect day and everything to fall into place. Usually it does but you need a photographer who can handle pressures when they arise. Ask about backup gear, backup photographers, inclement weather, and so on. Personally I would shoot through a hurricane (those would be some epic images) but it’s good to know how your photographer will step up his game when the time comes.
Yes. LOTS. But who wants to read for hours when you can just call your photographer. Ask us anything. The most important thing is that you are happy on your wedding day. We are here to help and give you any information you need.