You’re getting married and now you’re on the hunt for a wedding photographer to capture your special day. What should you be looking for? How expensive is it? What questions do you ask? How do you choose the right one? Having shot hundreds of weddings myself, I have an insight that most don’t when it comes to the very challenging business of wedding photography. Here are the top five things I think you should be looking for.
1. Do you like what you see?
Photographers are showing you the best of their portfolio. If you aren’t impressed with what you see on their website, it won’t get better on your wedding day. Ask for links to see entire wedding galleries vs. the “best of” galleries on their website.
2. Do they have packages and pricing that fit your budget?
I have yet to book a client without a budget but I’m holding out hope. If you like a photographer’s work but can’t afford them, ask what options are available within your budget. Be honest with what you are hoping to get and how much you are wanting to spend. They need the business as much as you need a wedding photographer. That being said, be prepared to pay for an experienced wedding photographer that knows what they are doing. If they don’t budge on price, it’s because they have extensively researched and compared their pricing to the market that they serve and are confident that they are well positioned based on the packages they offer. Trust me, you get what you pay for in this business.
3. How do you want your images delivered after the wedding?
Do you want digital files with copyright releases? Albums? Prints? Your prospective photographer should have set pricing for each and be willing to provide your images in any and all formats.
4. Are they available on your wedding date?
It’s a pretty simple question but many “in demand” wedding photographers start booking a year or more out from the wedding date itself. If they are available and they meet all the other criteria on your list, HIRE THEM! I’ve had indecisive potential clients who decide to “get back with me” only to later find their wedding date has been booked by another client.
5. What do past clients have to say?
Almost more important than the images you see on a photographer’s website are testimonials from past clients who have already hired him or her. I have a page on my website where I’ve highlighted client testimonials, but, I could really post anything I want on there. That’s why I also offer links to external wedding sites where past clients have posted reviews of my work. Ask for real client referrals be it a live person to talk to, or, links to websites that the photographer has no control over the content displayed.
Of course, there’s a lot more to it than what I’ve outlined here but this is a great starting point. When it comes down to it, your wedding photographer should have the artistic vision and style that you connect with, at a budget you can afford. It sounds simple but I’m sure by now you’ve figured out that nothing is simple when it comes to planning a wedding.
–Jeff has been shooting weddings in Dallas, TX for over 10 years for Frisco Photography. Portfolio and availability can be found at www.friscophoto.com