5 Things to Look for When Searching for a Wedding Photographer
Would you rather have a decent photographer or a great experience with your wedding photographer? Perhaps you have no idea what makes Photographer A different from Photographer B. Their pictures look similar, so how do you go about making that decision? Well I've got 5 tips to help you make the right choice for your wedding! Let's get started...
Tip 1: Communication
Searching for a wedding photographer is hard enough if you don't know anything about the industry of wedding photography. The first thing you want to look for is how well the prospective photographer communicates with you and how they communicate. Do they email you back a week after your inquiry? Do they misspell words or use computer shorthand such as 'np' 'ttyl' 'thx' etc. A few key things to look for would be do they give you a personal touch when communicating with you, and not a victim of auto replies? Do they take the time to get to know your story and who you are on a personal level? Do you have a peace of mind when talking about the wedding day at your consultation meeting? Possessing great communication skills is a must have for wedding photographers. As a bride you are going to want to know, with confidence, that your photographer is going to communicate with you about the wedding, both before and after the day of the wedding.
It isn't enough to sign a contract and then not hear from the photographer until the day before your wedding. It would be a plus to have your engagement pictures taken by the same photographer so that you can have a chance to get to know how they take pictures and have a better idea of what to expect the day of the wedding. This is even more important after the wedding. Depending on the contract, your pictures might not be delivered for several weeks after the wedding is over. For the photographer to keep in touch with you is something that you should never have to request from them. Having a clear understanding and open line of communication is absolutely necessary when looking for a photographer
Tip 2: Personality
Another thing to look out for is the photographer's personality. Not saying that any particular personality is better or worse, but that when 2 or more people get together to work closely with each other then there is likely to be some sort of conflict. Let's face it, your wedding day is about you and you deserve to have everything go according to your plan. If your photographer stresses you out or cracks inappropriate jokes at the most inconvenient times, then it might cause strife between the two of you. In your search be sure to keep this in the back of your mind and if something in your mind says to move on, then move on. A great photographer should be able to diminish themselves so that they don't make the Bride unhappy or uncomfortable. Again, this is YOUR wedding, not the photographer's.
At Reminiscent Photography we keep this tip on the front of our minds when meeting with couples. Just because we can shoot your wedding doesn't mean that we have to. This is not because any wedding is beneath us, but rather we want to elevate the Bride and Groom and their story above all else. So if we recognize a serious clash that might result in a couples unhappiness then we will politely mention this to them and try to set them up with another photographer in the area that might be a better fit for them.
Tip 3: Knowledge
Here's a biggie, find a wedding photographer who knows what the heck they are doing! With consumer cell phones and 'nice looking' camera's becoming cheaper the more 'photographer's' are out there. But what most people fail to realize is that a nice camera doesn't make you a photographer. Some one could go out and spend $10,000 on camera gear and equipment but it isn't going to make them a photographer. The knowledge of how to coordinate a picture, or knowing when to shoot and when not to shoot, among a bunch of other things makes you a photographer. As a bride you have to rely on someone to capture these special memories that will only happen once and when the moment passes there is not going back.
Not only should the photographer be knowledgeable about the technical aspects of photography, but they should be well versed in what it takes to run a wedding photography business. Look for specific things in your contract before you sign. How will your images be handled, what timeline should you expect to see the final images, and other things that might let you know how they operate their business. You could even look at past clients blog post's or galleries, if the photographer makes them public.
Tip 4: Professionalism
This one should be a no brainer. Your photographer should be a professional at what they do and how they do it. Some things to look out for could be how they dress to meet with you, how they communicate with you, how well do they know their own products. Or maybe even what their website looks like, or email address. You are hiring them to perform a job for you on the most important day of your life and having a wedding photographer not treat it as a professional job shouldn't be let anywhere near your wedding! [Sorry if I came across a too passionate there =)]
As a photographer myself it is so important that I reflect professionalism through my business. And the best way that I know how to do this is to dress to impress and actually care about you! This tip might be the most important of this list, other than the next tip.
Tip 5: Storytelling
You've heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, well when you are looking through your wedding album and there are 20-30 pictures in there, you are telling a 30,000 word story. This is so crucial in so many ways. Finding a wedding photographer that is able to curate and craft your wedding into a story is the meat and potatoes of what you are looking for! Your wedding day is one big story that you will want to remember for years to come, and will one day want to tell your kids and grandkids! The best way to recall all of those memories is to have physical pictures to hold and touch to be taken back in time to the first kiss!
Anybody can hold a camera and press a button to take a picture, but not everyone can craft a story that tells of wonder and excitement and emotion with their pictures. Search out a photographer that you connect with to be able to tell your story and immortalize that story in print!!
So in conclusion don't settle on the photographer in the family or a friend of a friend. Instead search out a storyteller photographer that you connect with and who knows their craft and can communicate with you in a professional way. Shameless plug ahead: Reminiscent Photography hits each of these points and strives to exceed expectation on these points as well. If you are serious about your wedding photographer then shoot me an email to inquire about our packages and services. Even if you decide to go with someone else make sure they hit these points to get the best experience possible!