Post # 1
Ok, my wedding is a year and a month away. I am starting to stress over the fact that I have no idea how to look for a photographer. I hear so many horror stories about being ripped off, bailed on or just receiving horrible quality pictures. In Arizona (the state I am getting married in) there are hundreds and hundreds listed in the phone book. I don’t even know where to start!! I’d hate to pick one at random. My question is, how did you choose your photographer? And, if you’re from AZ – do you have any recommendations?
Post # 3
I picked mine somewhat randomly….I don’t live in Canada anymore, and I don’t have any friends who have married in my hometown (we all moved away). Thankfully, in my area there was a good wedding review site and I read some reviews on local photographers and looked at their sites. I then picked one and started talking to her. When I felt comfortable that she was an honest and genuine person, I booked her. That’s not ideal, and if I were at home I would have wanted to meet with some in person, but that just wasn’t possible. I think you should look for any independent reviews in your area and check out all their websites if you don’t have anyone who can recommend a photographer.
Post # 4
I went to a wedding show specifically to find a photographer. Even there, it was really overwhelming, but I was able to speak to each one individually and get a feel for who they are as a person. Then, when I got home, I went through all of the information, sorted out the ones I did like from the ones I didn’t and did some research on their websites and through reading vendor reviews. I then met with one that we liked and she answered all of my questions correctly, so we booked her!
Post # 5
We are looking at photographers right now too. We started by collecting recommendations from friends & family who were recently married, and looking up local photographers on the internet. By getting a glimpse at their work before we contacted them, we knew which ones could work in the style we were looking for, which helped us narrow it down. Then contacted the best ones and asked for pricelists (although most were willing to negotiate a custom package in our price range – but it will give you an idea).
We let them know what was most important to us in our wedding photography (for us that was having mainly candid, fewer posed shots, a second shooter, and a DVD of the images with rights) to see if they could accommodate what we wanted. That has narrowed it down to two for us, and we are meeting each of them in person. We asked to see their portfolios (usually there is only a small sample of their work on their website, and it’s good to look at an album of one whole wedding so you know what to expect) and asked if they had any examples of specific shots that would be important to us.
We met with one photographer last weekend, and we are meeting the second this Saturday. They are making it tough to choose 😀
Post # 6
We got recommendations from family and friends first. Then we emailed photographers to see how much they charged and if they were available on our date (no sense wasting time if they are already booked or are too pricy).
Then we interviewed a bunch of photographers until we found the perfect one for us.
If you don’t have any one to give you recommendations, look up photographer association websites. Many of them have listings of photographers including award winners.
Post # 7
Brilliant idea SaraRocks! I think that is exactly what I will do – go to this next bridal show so I can find a photographer.
Post # 8
@taricha, you can also post a classified on this site and photographers in your area can contact you. Good luck!
Post # 9
My wedding is in 11 months, and we booked our photographer already.
Here are my tips:
1) Do your research – primarily look at their sites. If you like them, email them for their price. If you don’t, move on to the next. I ruled out a lot of them that way.
2) I googled my wedding venue to see who else had photographed weddings there. This way, I could see how the photographer would capture the venue (and it’s easier for me to see what my pictures would look like)
3) After narrowing it down, meet them in person for an interview. I had a list of questions to ask them (I got them for the Knot’s List of Wedding Lists), and asked all the tough questions: What will happen if you are sick that day? Do you have a back-up camera? How do you interact with us the day of the wedding? etc. This really helped us get a sense of the photographers responsibility as well as their personality (very important)
4) We asked to see a full wedding album. This is my number 1 piece of advice. There were some photographers that I LOVED *starry-ed eyed*. But their websites and blogs are misleading. Of course they will ONLY put their best pictures up. That’s why their portfolio is to die for and their blog makes you want to be in the pictures. Once I saw how a photographer captures an entire wedding, I got a sense of the consistency of the work. Some would have great shots – but the rest were as if they were taken on a point-and-shoot camera. Request to look at a full album – it really gives you the best feel of their work.
Using these, we found a great photographer that we are excited to work with. Good luck!
Post # 10
Thanks neonti! Good advice!
Post # 11
I got out of this easy….my photographer is an old co-worker of mine who co-owns a photography business. Are there are local photography schools in your area? Someone students are willing to do it on the cheap and they come out fabulous! I’ve also heard of them doing them for free (just paying for supplies) as they can then use your pictures as part of their portfolio.
Post # 12
I don’t know if it’s the same around the world but here in France where I’m living brides simply google “wedding photographer + her area” and contact those she likes to have their prices.
They also search for recommendations in forums or with family/friends.
And the last way is to go to a wedding show because there are only 1 or 2 a year. Since the photographer is a leading provider to book, sometimes it’s too long to wait for wedding show. (good photographers are booked more than a year before)
Post # 13
I looked on the web at their online galleries, and then I emailed to get price lists. I let their style decide if I even wanted to bother with prices or further meetings. If I like the style and price, then I met with them. I went with the best combination of both, and somebody I was comfortable with overall.