I know it is hard on Brides today… there are so many vendors vying for your attention. It can be a little overwhelming to say the least!!
How to find a photographer in a SEA of photographers?? Here are some helpful steps from a photographer (and a Bride-I got married in 2013). These may seem like simple steps, but I’m giving this information, hoping it maybe helpful.
Ask your friends first. Personal experience is a very good way to find your photographer. Make sure to ask to see your friends wedding gallery. Ask your venue next. Be aware, some venues have vendor lists that vendors pay to be on. Not all, but some. This is NOT a bad thing, I think it is something you should know about. Ask your venue coordinator if they know the photographer’s work. Some photographers may be on a vendor list and have never shot a wedding at that location. This is not necessarily a bad thing; the quality of work is most likely the reason they are on that vendor list. Wedding Wire, The Knot, Brides and Weddings of Northern Virginia are other places to find photographers. If you go to Bridal Show, you will not have to find the photographers or any other vendor, they will find you; )
Look at their work. Seems simple right? But, check out their website, Facebook and other social media. Is the work the same? Does it have the same look and feel as their website? If they do not have a complete wedding on their site, ask to see a couple of full wedding galleries. The photographer should easily be able to provide these links.
What is their style? A photographer may not be able to put their style into words, but if you look over their work, common themes, trends and lighting will come through. Do their photographs resonate with you?
Meet them! Every photographer is not for every couple. This person will be an integral part of the most beautiful day of your life…there must be a certain amount of trust and a comfortable feeling you get from them.
At the meeting, do they listen to you? Tell them what things are important to you…for example, wanting less posed pictures, no family formals, or unique family formals, a generational photo at the reception, candid shots, creative couple portraits (or whatever it is). Also, point out photos from their work you really like – or show them some photos from the internet that excite you. If you have a theme or general feel of wedding, do share this! Are they excited?
Look at reviews! Don’t rely completely on the reviews. If you can, talk with someone that has used their services in the past. (Like other brides or vendors)
Here are some questions to ask a photographer:
What happens if you get sick?
Do you have backup gear?
What is the workflow/timeline for our images after the wedding? Online gallery? USB?
What is the workflow/timeline for our album after the wedding?
What are our printing rights?
Are we receiving high resolution images?
Ask specifically what is included in the price, if it is not clear to you.
During your meeting talk about your timeline- even if it is not completely nailed down. The photographer should be able to offer some advice and expertise for timing and lighting to guide you for the best photography for your day!
Always have a signed contract!
AND give yourself and the photographer time to take your photos! Your wedding will fly by!! I hear this quote from brides all the time: ”It was all a blur!”
By having a great conversation with your photographer, you will be able to have the images you want on your day!!