Weddings, to most people are a foreign thing. People go to weddings all the time, but to plan one is a different story. The biggest problem new bride and grooms face are knowing the questions to ask so they can make an informed decision.
1. Having a photography style that you LOVE should go without saying. Photographers should have a great sampling of their work to show you. Their website might not be the best, but don’t judge them by that. Websites cost lots of money and they may have invested in camera gear first, which is a much better investment to get the images they need. Look past everything to just focus on the photography itself. Can you imagine yourself in the picture? Do you like how they edit the pictures?
2. Do you like them as a person? When you sit down and meet with them do you get a “friend vibe”? Honestly, the photographer is checking you out too. You and they will be spending every moment together on your wedding day. Will they be cool to hang with or will you be suffering through their unmatched personality to yours? Spend a good hour with them just talking at your first meeting. I will honestly admit that I have decided to not work with brides before. Our personalities just didn’t click and I knew that if we continued with it and booked the wedding we’d both have issues with each other later. There are so many photographers out there- don’t settle for one you are just kinda comfortable with. On your big day you need someone there who will relax you, not wind you up even further!
3. Is wedding photography their main source of business? Wedding photography is a whole ‘nother beast. You need someone who is used to a tight schedule and will keep on schedule. Someone who is known to run late or over time will do the same on your wedding day. Someone who does child or family photography doesn’t have to stick to a schedule. Time is their friend and they have all afternoon to get the shot. They is not the case at a wedding. Also, can they handle a 12 person bridal party? Are they nice people who will work well with all of your friends? Keeping them happy, but focused.
4. Where can you see previous client’s reviews? Knowing how past clients felt is a great way to see the “real” photographer on the wedding day before your wedding. Whether it is on Google, The Knot, WeddingWire. or a local forum brides will speak up somewhere about their experience whether good or bad. A good business person, photographer or not, will want reviews and ask their clients and fellow businesses they have worked with to review them. Feedback is the key to growing and learning as a small business and any owner who is willing to learn from mistakes is a great business owner. Obviously a referral from a friend is always a great way to find out about someone.
5. How does the final product look? What is the final product you are wanting and do they offer that? So they take great photos, you like them, and other people do too. But now what? What happens after the wedding? Will they throw it on a cheap cd from Office Depot and call it good? A photographer who honestly cares about their craft and cares about growing their business will put just as much time and effort into the work getting you as a client as they do in keeping you as a happy client after the big day. Do they have albums, big prints, unique ways to display your photographs? Are they listening to your wants as a client or are they pushing you to what they think is best?
6. Alright, I know I said 5 but I had to list this one. I listed it last on purpose because it should be a factor but definitely not the first. Are they within your budget? It is key that you only spend what you can on your wedding, but have you spent the time looking at what a quality professional photographer actually costs? There are plenty of $500-$1500 photographers out there, but how do they look after asking yourself these questions?
Sometimes photography isn’t a high priority for a bride. We totally get that! Not everyone is into photos. But if you are, we hope these questions help to point you in the right direction!