Congratulations! You’re engaged! You have the date, the church, and the reception hall booked, and now you’re wondering what comes next. You could start dress shopping or cake tasting (two of my favorite things, frankly), but what you should start before all of that is choosing your photographer.
Think about it. Your photographer is the only person (unless you have a wedding planner) who will be with you for THE ENTIRE DAY. But unlike your wedding planner, your photographer will be hanging around and capturing your special day for all eternity. When your wedding is over, your photographs are the best tangible reminders of the love and joy you felt that day. With all that pressure to look good for posterity, it’s critical that you pick the right photographer for you.
Notice that I said right photographer for you. There are a lot of factors to think about when choosing a wedding photographer: style, price, availability, options for albums/prints/images on a CD, and many more. But always keep in the back of your mind that you only get to do this once. You have one shot (pun intended) to get your wedding photographs right, and you want a photographer that you can trust.
When you meet with a photographer before booking them, ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I like their personality? You’ll be with your photographer for 8 or more hours…choose someone that you are comfortable with, preferably who has a sense of humor and can go with the flow, and someone who can make you smile and focus on what’s really important.
- Do I like their style? One photographer’s “eye” is very different from the next person. Take a good look at a photographer’s portfolio and see if their images are something you will be happy looking at for the next 50 years or more.
- Do I agree with their philosophy? And no, I’m not talking Plato here. I’m talking about how a photographer approaches a wedding day. Do they plan every detail in advance, or do they show up and take the day as it comes? Do they take all candids, all posed portraits, or a mix of both? Do they help guide you through the process, or do they sit back and let you be the driver?
- Can I trust them? Do they have professional equipment (including backups) and not a tiny point-and-shoot camera? Are they insured? Have you heard good things from other couples about how they operate? Are they willing to answer your questions openly?
Wedding photography is an investment in preserving your memories. When you reach your 50th wedding anniversary, you want to flip through your wedding album and still feel the love and emotions reaching out through the years. Is it expensive? Yes, it is. But you’re not hiring your mother’s cousin’s son to photograph your wedding in exchange for a case of beer. You’re hiring a professional with the experience and equipment to capture your day beautifully and responsibly. In your head, you have a vision of the perfect day; the right photographer will help you bring that vision to life.
Tom and I always prefer to meet with couples in person before booking a wedding. These consults allow us to get to know you and what you’re dreaming of for your wedding, and allow you to get to know us, our style, and how we operate. Our consults have been known to involve coffee, portfolio viewing, great conversation, and shared love for funky socks. We know that not every consult will end in a perfect match, and that’s okay. It’s your day, and we want to make sure you get the best photographer for you.