(Closed) How to find Your Wedding Photographer (in-depth guide)

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

I’m not sure if your top ten techniques for finding a photographer are in order to you by relevance, but I would hope most are putting Craigslist and local schools at the absolute bottom of their lists.  Especially considering you tied in the prime reason I advise people to not go to those sources with your link to the personal story about the girl who did not hire a professional photographer and regretted it later.

A few thoughts further on your top 10 questions to ask a photographer.

1. Not sure why people get caught up in packages. The main thing is that your photographer offers you the services you’re interested in.

2. Obviously pricing is a factor, and it definitely helps to have a solid idea on how many hours you will need a photographer for.  Sometimes this can be tough for people to visualize if they’ve never talked to a photographer before or seen a wedding itinerary.

3. “Rights” is a term that gets talked to death and often misued around here.  In the USA unless you are wanting to make a profit on your photos by selling them somewhere, what you need is a print release authorizing you to make prints at the lab of your choice.  You will also want to know what the usage policy for social media is.

4. Most wedding photographers will preserve a copy of your wedding, but you can’t expect it to be preserved indefinitely.  Once you receive a copy of your images, back them up!  At least one backup should also be kept off site as well.

5. Having experience is a key advantage to having a professional shoot your wedding.  However as a photographer the notion that you are at a disadvantage by hiring someone who hasn’t shot at your venue is a fallacy.  Trust me, I am SO much more inspired and excited about shooting at a new venue than I am a place I’ve shot at over and over again.  It’s a big challenge to make the photos of a venue you’ve shot at multiple times unique for each couple.

6.  A pro should have have a backup camera, backup flashes, and multiple fast lenses in their equipment at their disposal.  Try not to get caught up in specific model numbers or brands.  To photographers cameras are tools, and having a better hammer does not necessarily make one a better carpenter.  Looking at examples of their work, and a full wedding is the best way to ascertain how capable they are with their equipment.

7. The editing question is different from whether or not they offer prints or albums, but it is important to know the extent of their editing.  A lot of photographers either charge more for, or may not even offer retouching.  Ask about what their typical editing process is like.

8. The photographer’s style should be evident in their portfolio.  If you have a preference over tradional, or photojournalistic approaches you should ask them about this.

9.  This one is probably your best question of all of them.

10. Most photographers know other photographers who might be able to step in for them in a dire emergency.  There is also an advantage with going with a 2 photographer team because it would be rare for both of them to be unable to perform.  But there are no guarantees that the backups will be available on your day, and the same could be true even of big studios.  Your contract should detail what happens monetarily in the event that something like that happens.  There is a measure of risk in any vendor you hire for your wedding day.

All of these questions are way better discussed in person too.

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