In lieu of a FAQ post, I’ve put together some general advice for all you lovely brides- and grooms-to-be when looking at choosing your wedding photographer. They aren’t guidelines, as I know every choice is personal. Just something to think about while you sip your java in front of the computer. Think about asking your photographer…
So, what’s your experience?
It’s okay to ask how many weddings a year they shoot, if and where they went to school for photography, where they learned their mad skills. Asking these questions isn’t only about the know-how… it helps you learn about your photog a little more.
I always liked taking photos… but I didn’t get into photography until University. I started a degree in Fine Art Painting, and ended up with a degree in Traditional Darkroom Photography and Curating (Gallery Management). I spent four years in a darkroom; I can still smell the fix. I was a slow convert to digital (I bought my first dSLR in 2008 – until that point I was still shooting film). I love the science and math behind photography as much as the creative side. Since graduating, I’ve now shot more than forty weddings.
Are we a good fit?
I can attest that it’s a high likelihood that you will be spending more time with your photographer than many of your family and friends on your wedding day. This is why it’s so, so, so important that you feel comfortable around and like your photographer. I always talk about fit when I meet my clients for the first time; it’s essential that they are comfortable with me (and me, them), to be able to work well together during the wedding. It’s about comfort. The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the more likely you are to let go, let loose, and create some amazing images.
What’s your style?
Be weary of trendy styles in photography (yes, they exist). Do the images look overworked in Photoshop? Have crazy colouring? Wild tilts? Chances are, they won’t stand the test of time. You want something that’s classic and will look good today and in fifty years. You’ll want to prove to your grandkids that yes, you looked that good. Because, well, you do!
Don’t forget! Yes, you want fun, fabulous photos of your and your love… but you also need those formals. Make sure that your photographer is the best of both worlds, the fun and formal. If you don’t see it in their portfolio, ask to!
Can I speak to some of your clients?
Client referrals. Okay, so I don’t get asked this often; especially coming from a small town where word-of-mouth is my primary source of referrals. That said, if you don’t know your photographer, I think that you should definitely ask about talking to their previous clients. Don’t be shy… any photographer business-person worth their salt would welcome this. I know my clients would love to chat with you about their experiences, and talk about their fab wedding!
I love your photography. Now how much?
Yes, wedding photography is expensive. I get it. I’ve been there. I can’t tell anyone how to spend their (or their parents’) hard-earned money; but, everyone knows that when the cake is cut, the bouquet is tossed and the dress is hung-up in the back of the closet all that remains is the photographs (and the dress, but it’s sorta tacky to bust out to wear at other weddings, no?). Those memories are invaluable, and thus, an investment. Is your dream photographer out of your budget? Think about how other areas can be cut back, moved around or DIY’ed to make room for those fab photos. I guarantee you won’t regret it. (And your grandkids will thank you.)