You want your wedding photographer to capture everything that makes your day special, to capture you at your best, to deliver photographs that live up to your expectations. Here are 10 tips for selecting wedding photography that you can live with throughout your new life together.
A reputable wedding photographer should have a physical location. When you need them and where you can meet with them safely is important, a physical location where you can find them. Brick and mortar wedding photography studios build trust within the community and with their clients. It's a good reason not to trust them if your wedding photographer does not have a local address (not a PO Box) that they will share with you. They might work out of their house, but do you know where that is? A physical office or studio is paramount to them being trustworthy. Would be you be willing to have a random stranger come to your house, or for you to go to their house? It's safer and more reliable to choose a wedding photographer with a studio or office you can visit and where you can find your photographer.
A good wedding photographer should help make your day go more smoothly. Aside from a dedicated wedding planner, your photographer is the only vendor who is going to be spending the entire day with you. A good wedding photographer should make things easier for you.
You need your wedding photographer to be focused on you. When you meet with any wedding photographer for the first time, do they ask about you, get to know you, and find out what you want? Or do only they talk about themselves and what they do? Find a photographer who is willing to spend time getting to know you so you know they understand you and your needs. This is the best way to find out if they are a good fit for you.
Your wedding photographer should be helpful and knowledgeable. A good photographer is big on planning. Your photographer should work with you before an engagement session to select clothing and location.
It might sound strange, but not all wedding photographers are the same and not all photographers are a good fit for every client. Photographers don't want to make you unhappy, and if a wedding photographer thinks you might be happier with a different style of photography or with a different situation, we will tell you before you book so you are not disappointed later.
Price is NOT the most important factor when choosing a wedding photographer: You definitely get what you pay for. Photography is like anything else in life: You get what you pay for. If you had spent twice what you paid, it is not logical to think you can hire someone for little to no money and get the same results you would get. When it comes to quality, price is normally a factor. Photographers who charge more are usually backed by their reputation, their brand, and their experience. You should also understand that your photographs will become the lasting memory of your wedding day. There are two things you should spend money on for your wedding, it should be your venue and your photography. People will probably not remember the food, you will only wear your dress once, and most of the other things are not huge investments anyway (flowers, music, makeup). You will look at your wedding photographs regularly - perhaps even every day - for the rest of your life. Shouldn't your wedding photos be great?
Your wedding photography studio should be insured and licensed as a legal business. Many venues actually require insurance from vendors working there. Camera equipment is expensive and you should make sure your photographer is fully insured by a reputable insurance company to make sure you are protected. Many photographers are just individuals with cameras and maybe a slick website. Make sure your photographer is backed by a legal, legitimate business.
Your wedding photographer should have backup equipment and a backup plan. Mandatory: Cameras with two slots for memory cards that can be written to simultaneously in case one card fails, backup cameras and lenses, a data backup plan including offsite backups, and a disaster plan. Protect your investment. If your photographer only has one camera, it's not enough.
Your wedding photographer should have multiple photographers on staff in case someone get sick or God forbid injured. For all but the smallest weddings, your wedding photographer should have at a minimum a photographer and assistant/second shooter.
Your wedding photographer should NOT dump a disc of photos on you and disappear after the wedding day. Some photographers will sell you a disc of high resolution photos, give them to you, and that's it. Your wedding photographer should provide value-add services and products after your wedding day - for example, photo books or albums, photo prints, and wall art. Other services you should look for are in-studio viewings and retouching, editing and selection services, and gift options. A photographer that shoots photos for a disc is going to give you a result that is a completely different set of photos than a photographer who is shooting with an album in mind or to create artwork. You are going to get a much better selection of photos from a photographer focused on artwork and an heirloom album than one who is going to shoot-andburn a disc for you and call it a day. Will you really want to spend time and money designing your own album? Probably not. Make sure your photographer provides you with personal usage rights for the images, but you do not need raw files or ultra high resolution photos if your wedding photographer designs for you an amazing photo album, gives you a disc of JPG digital negatives, and offers design, print, and artwork options after the wedding. Consider what you really talk and need to your photographer about what they provide.
If you choose a wedding photographer who you get along with, whose portfolio or example photographs you enjoy, who offers products you want, and whom you feel you can trust, your wedding photography experience should be a positive one.
Photography is one of the most important decisions you will make for your wedding, and you owe it to yourself and your future legacy to invest in selecting a good wedding photographer instead of just the cheapest photographer you can find.
It's safer and more reliable to choose a wedding photographer with a studio or office you can visit and where you can find your photographer.
Photographers don't want to make you unhappy, and if a wedding photographer thinks you might be happier with a different style of photography or with a different situation, we will tell you before you book so you are not disappointed later.
Your wedding photographer should have multiple photographers on staff in case someone get sick or God forbid injured. For all but the smallest weddings, your wedding photographer should have at a minimum a photographer and assistant/second shooter. Make sure your photographer provides you with personal usage rights for the images, but you do not need raw files or ultra high resolution photos if your wedding photographer designs for you an amazing photo album, gives you a disc of JPG Pittsburgh Wedding Photographers digital negatives, and offers print, design, and artwork options after the wedding.