Selecting a wedding photographer can be the most daunting tasks for newlyweds. Let’s face it, wedding photography is something you only buy once in your life. How can you decide and balance out all of the factors like cost, style and value? It’s a tough job. So, let’s start here!
All Photographers are not created equal.
So you may be wondering why costs vary so much between different photographers. It’s really simple, some are worth more than others. I always draw the comparison to automobile brands. There are plenty of Fords, Hyundais, Mercedes, and Porsche’s to choose from out there. Lower-end options may not have the same experience, while high-end options contain extensive editing and amazing albums. Just like buying a car, you should check out photographers in person to make sure you have a good fit.
Big Companies to Newbies and everything in between.
Which are good vs bad? Well, neither is all that bad, but a savvy bride should understand who they’re working with for wedding photography. Large companies typically hire or contract with multiple photographers across the country. You’ll be assigned a representative and have different people working with throughout the process in areas like photography, editing, album selection, etc. Each person will be specializing in their job, but won’t know you all that well.
Do’s and Don’ts Checklist
So, how do you check out a photographer and get comfortable you are making a solid decision? Here’s a list Do’s and Don’ts that will help guide you through the process of selecting a wedding photographer!
- Do check out the photographer’s website. Check out the overall quality of the website and read through their content. You will learn a lot about the photographer’s style and get an overall feel for their style.
- Don’t get too enamoured with a few amazing pictures though. Photographers take tens of thousands photos and you are looking at their 10 best shots. Look across all of their work for the overall consistency and quality.
- Do speak with the photographer that will actually be shooting your wedding. You want to make that you are very comfortable with them on a personal level. They will be with you almost 100% of the time on the most important day of your life. Make sure you are comfortable with them and they feel like good, caring people to you. It’s a gut feeling!
- Do check out google reviews and take the time to read what other brides and grooms have said in their comments. Read the words.
- Don’t get too hung up on how many reviews the photographer has on one site. However, you want to see enough feedback across the major sites that give you confidence they have experience. Too many reviews can be a red flag! Most photographers shoot 20 to 30 weddings a year, so 500 google reviews means that you are dealing with a body shop.
- Do ask about the quality of wedding albums and see a sample of the actual album included in your package. Also, understand the difference between the pages & spreads. Ask about upgrade costs after the wedding, for example, adding a few pages to your album.
- Do ask about the delivery time of your images, gallery, and album. The contract should state how long the process will take from beginning to end.
- An extremely quick turn-around time is nothing to get excited about. If your photographer gets your pictures done in two days, you didn’t get a quality job. A reasonable turn-around time for images is 2 to 6 weeks as a rule of thumb.
The Final Decision on Selecting a Wedding Photographer
Keep the price within the ballpark, but focus more on your gut feeling during this selection process. The only way to get that feeling is by spending time with them. Most photographers expect to spend up to an hour with a client to answer their questions and make sure it is a good fit for both parties. Hopefully, all of this information will help lead you through the process of selecting a wedding photographer for your amazing wedding!