Post # 1
I need to pick our photographer (soon!) and I wondered if you have any advice. I am planning to set up a bunch of meetings with photographers this week and next.
I definitely get that the photos are one of the (if not the) most important thing to invest in — but any advice, any BTDT tips, etc? Anything I should make sure to ask, etc? Any – MUST AVOIDs?
Post # 3
I would just be sure to see lots of samples of his/her work. That will be your best indication of his/her photography style and skills. Make sure you pick a photographer that’s style is near to your own.
When you do find a photog to work with be sure to give him/her lots of details as to what you want. BE VERY DETAILED in what you want….. I have heard so many stories from brides who just thought their photog knew what they wanted or thought it was a "no brainer" yet they didn’t get it… Just be upfront 🙂
Post # 4
As said above, look at all his/her work. Check out the blog to see how current the work is, what the photographer is doing with his/her photography If they have a facebook page, check it out if it is public.
When you see the photographer in person, make sure he/she has prints that you can see in your hands, any albums they can share, if they have their laptop any slide shows, etc.
Know exactly, or relatively sure, what you want from the photographer if you love his/her style of work. Photojournalism mixed with candids? Candids mixed with formals? etc. Will he/she do any artistic enhancements to the photographs, all or some, how much would it cost if it is extra. Ask about his/her camera gear. Will he/she be using pro grade gear? Two or more camera bodies? What is the timeline of when you will get the final product?
I recently wrote a blog entry on this.. this might help? Blog
Post # 5
Definitely ask to see an entire wedding…not just the highlights that go into the album or slideshow (which many photographers now do). That will give you the best idea of the consistency of their style. We decided against at least two photographers after seeing complete weddings.
Post # 6
I don’t know how many people you planned to meet with, but I’d keep it under 5 – more than that can get really, really overwhelming, and make your decision even harder.
Make sure your personalities mesh, and that they have a style you like – know what you want in a photography package, and make sure that you’re getting that (i.e., our top priority is having the digital negatives on a disk, and many photographers charged $300-$500 on top of their fees for that). Ask about albums, if that is something you’re interested in, engagement sessions, etc.
Something that was really important to me was great communication skills – I’m an emailer, so the photographers who were good emailers and got back to me quickly was a factor in my final decisions. This person is going to have ALL of your wedding photos.. you want to make sure that they’ll get them to you and talk to you!
Also, if they have any references, that’s a great place to go – sending their past couples an email or call to just make sure that what they are offering is truly what you’ll get.
Post # 7
Wow, great advice guys. I am so confused about how this wedding photography thing operates. I understand the traditional way is that they own all the negatives, all you get is a book of proofs, and you have to pay a billion dollars to order your pictures (on top of what you spend for the photography itself).
So do the digital negatives on disk get around all that? If so I will definitely be willing to pay extra for that. Is it hard to find a photographer who will do that?
Post # 8
I think it depends on the business model the photographer chooses to employ- Pay for it all (photographs on CD/DVD, transferrance of digital rights, etc) that goes with their all day or however long they will shoot for, or a "smaller" cost by you paying for the prints afterwards. I think a lot of photographers are moving towards the pay for it all kind of model. I know that I do.
That is something else you will need to ask the photographer, or look for in their packages.
Post # 9
If it’s a local photographer to where you’re getting married, ask if he’s shot your ceremony/reception site before. If he has, ask him if you can see those weddings. It’s always helped me envision the pictures I would get of my day and how they would work in the space. I have seen two photographers that have shot events in my space and it was night and day. Also, I think somebody mentioned this, but make sure you ask to see a whole wedding, start to finish, not just the select pics or the album design.
I would interview no more than 3 to begin with. If you truly don’t like those three, I would go from there. It’s just overwhelming and pictures will start running together. Have fun.
Post # 10
Thanks so much for the advice about only interviewing a few — I know several of you mentioned that. I get overwhelmed easily so that’s fantastic advice!!!! I hope I find a good one.
Post # 11
I hope you find one that you really want and like!
Post # 12
The first thing you should make sure is the person you are meeting with is the person that is going to be shooting your wedding. A lot of the larger companies have sales representatives that show you the work of the photographers and well sell you on them.
That said the second thing, going beyond the photos is personality. Out of all you vendors and even most your family, friends, and guest you will be spending most of your day with this person (people) within feet of you. If they don’t put you at ease or if there are any trust issues it will show in your photos.
See not just one but several entire weddings they have shot. A couple good questions to ask is: Do they have back up equipment? Do they belong to a network or organization where they can replace themselves with the same style/skill level if something were to happen to them? Do they take the time to do a walk though at the venue with you before the big day (not many photographers provide this)?
As for digital negatives – It depends on your photographer some include them in their packages but charge more and some have a la’ carte pricing. Also some photographer consider the un-retouched image the digital negative and some are fully retouched. Make sure you ask what you are getting.
Not all photographers are created equal. Make sure you like the style they provide if most of their images are great but are all posed and you want a more candid style you can’t expect them to know or change their style.
I know this was long but I hope it helped. Good luck!!!
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2010 - Jewel Box in Forest Park and Windows on Washington
Here are a few things to ask/consider:
1. Women tend to be better photographers for weddings, as they seem to know what type of moments the bride wants captured.
2. Ask to see album samples, and an entire wedding (if possible). This will allow you to see the types of products he/she offers.
3. Think about if you want a second shooter (I would recommend it). Some photographers do not like to shoot with a second photographer, so make sure you ask. And, ask if they use amateurs or seasoned photographers as their second shooters.
4. Ask about their style of photographer: traditional, photojournalistic or a mix of both. Think about what you and your fiance want.
5. MAKE SURE THEY HAVE A CONTRACT! Ask if you can see a copy of one.
6. Ask about their package options, that way you can compare with all of the photogs you met with to see who can offer you a great deal and great quality.
That’s about all I can think of! Hope this helps!
Post # 14
- Wedding: September 2010 - Jewel Box in Forest Park and Windows on Washington
I also forgot to mention. Most photographers shoot digital these days. Not all of them give you physical proofs of your photos, but instead post them online for you to view. See if you can purchase a DVD of all of the high resolution images and printing rights. This means you are not bound to them for album and prints.
Post # 15
It’s definitely worth paying the extra money to get a DVD of all of your final images in the end. My phtography package included that, BUT I only got the disc after the final album was completed.
Your pics are the only thing you have after the wedding, so if you’re taking all of this time to pick the right person to capture those shots, I feel it’s worth it to pay for a complete package from start to finish.
The photog you pick will not only have a good eye to shoot the right images, s/he will most likely be the best person to put your final album together. Most photogs today are also great graphic designers, too. They are pros, they know what they are doing as they’ve shot hundreds of weddings.
I disagree with the poster above that a women photog is better. Male photogs are as equally creative & will spot the beauty of the perfect shot from a mile away.
My best piece of advice, on the day of the wedding, make sure you put your bouquet down at some point! You spend all this time & money to pick the right wedding gown, you don’t want your bouquet blocking every shot of you looking fabulous in that dress! Have someone remind you during the shoot, because you’ll have so much going on, you’ll totally forget.
Post # 16
I agree that you really want to ask what you are getting in the digital negative package. If you get a shoot and burn photographer at bargain basement prices, you will likely get unretouched (or poorly retouched) images. Photographers these days must be adept at processing their images to give both the images and the subjects a polished look – you’ll likely want full retouching for your album images and any favorites that you want to reprint from your digital negatives.
Teya, Southern California Boudoir