5 STEPS TO CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Determine Style & Aesthetic
Determine what photography style you are drawn to. Light and airy? Fine Art and Film? Moody and desaturated? Edgy and Bold? Everyone has a preference, do some research and find out what speaks to you most. Pinterest is a great platform to start with. Create a "Photography Inspiration" board and get pinning to find out what your eye is naturally drawn to.
Nail Down Your Budget
Next, nail down your budget before you begin researching and reaching out to potential photographers. The reason being, many photographers will include their starting rate online, this helps potential brides ensure their services fall within budget before reaching out and starting correspondance.
Research & Inquire
Once you have settled on your preferred style and budget, it is time to get researching! Compile a list of photographers whose work you love and pricing is in line with your budget. When making your list, put in the time to properly research these potential photographers. Thoroughly review their websites, social media accounts, blogs and any reviews or testimonials from past clients. This will give a better indication as to what it is like working with each photographer and the experience they provide. Should you be happy with your findings, fire off a message to inquire about your wedding date availability and request detailed pricing. Upon receiving quotes and packages from each photographer, analyze and compare the pricing. Is your budget in line with the photographers offerings? If not, are you willing to extend your budget to make room for their services? Finally, based on the information you have gathered, book an in-person consultation or phone conversation with each photographer you are interested in to find out if they are the right fit.
Pro tip: When reaching out to photographers, keep in mind that these vendors begin filling their calendars with weddings anywhere from 1-2 years in advance. That said, if there is a specific photographer whose work you have been eyeing for ages and are particularly interested in, it is best to reach out as soon as possible to confirm your date is still available.
Whether you are meeting over the phone, on Skype or at a local coffee shop, be prepared for your consultation. Have a list of important questions to ask your potential photographers. Not sure you're asking the right questions? I've got your back! Keep scrolling for a list of questions for your potential photographers during your initial meeting to determine if they are a good fit.
During your consultation take note of compatibility, it is important to choose a photographer that you vibe with. This sounds like a match making service – and truthfully, it kind of is! Your photographer is one of very few vendors that will be by your side throughout the entirety of your wedding day. Therefore, it is critical to make sure you get along and enjoy their company. Hiring a photographer that is not only fun to be around but also professional, experienced, organized and trustworthy will take any stress over photography out of your day. Should things run behind, or there happens to be a rain storm on the day of your wedding, a professional can roll with the punches and adapt.
Come to a Decision & Secure Your Vendor
After weighing the options and making a collective decision with your fiancé (they're a part of this process too!) it is now time to secure your wedding photographer. As you make it official be sure to review the contract in full and address any questions or concerns you have before signing.
Guess what? You now have one more vendor crossed off the to-do list. Time for a mandatory dance party, you deserve it you wedding planning maven, you!
Questions for Your Wedding Photographer
- Tell us how a typical wedding day unfolds
- How would you describe your style?
- What is your favourite part of a wedding day?
- What does your editing process look like?
- Can we view a full wedding gallery?
- Will you be our photographer? Or will it be one of your associates?
- Are you a registered business?
- Do you have business insurance?
- Is there anywhere we can view references or testimonials from past clients?
- Who are your second shooters? Do they have the same style as you?
- Do you own backup equipment?
- Do you have travel fees? Will they be associated with our wedding?
- How many hours of coverage do we receive? What is the additional fee should we require more coverage?
- Have you ever shot at my venue before?
- Have you worked alongside a videographer on wedding days in the past?
- How far in advance do we need to book?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Can we review the contract in full before signing?
- Will I receive a copy of the formal contract for our records?
- How soon after our wedding should we expect the final images? Will we receive any teaser images to enjoy?
- Approximately how many images should we expect to receive?
- Will the images be accessible online? If so, how long are they accessible for?
- Are the images we receive in the online gallery or USB watermarked?
- What albums and prints do you offer? Are parent albums available?
- Do you provide assistance selecting images and designing albums?
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