9 Essential Tips When Choosing Your Photographer
Wedding Photography is one of the most crucial parts of your wedding planning. This should be the most important part of your wedding planning. You want to get it right because after everything is said and done, the photos are something you can keep forever. Don’t skimp out on the photography, whether it’s your 1st , 2nd or 3rd marriage, trust me, don’t skimp out. The phrase “you get what you pay for” stands true with purchasing your photography for your wedding.
If you had to damage done to the side of your house and you need it fixed, would hire someone to do the job. You’re gonna look for someone who knows what they are doing, can get the job, and the end result is really nice to look at. Same goes for your photographer. You want to do the same amount of research. You want to ask how many weddings they have done. If they have done at least 7-10 weddings, then they will have a good understanding of how a wedding day works. Experience is key to great results in most situations. If you have a photographer who doesn’t know what they are doing, then it will show in your work.
Your photographer should be someone you can ask certain questions to that pertain to your wedding day. Scheduling, locations, timing, etc. They will have the most experience when it comes to timelines of a wedding day. They usually are a Jack of all trades.
You want your portraits to have variety. Different poses, different angles, and really cool edits. Your photos should stand out from others. Your photoshoot should last about 30-45 minutes. I know it seems like a lot of time, but trust me, when you get them back, you will have a plethora of photos to look through.
The way your photographer prices their packages will usually tell you how long they have been working weddings. Most experience wedding photographers will price their packages between the $3000-$5000 range. Anyone pricing below that range, in the $1500-$2900 range, either hasn’t done a lot of weddings or doesn’t know exactly how to price their packages. I know from experience that when I was pricing my packages in the $1500-$2900 range, couples were hesitant to book because of how low my packages were. It wasn’t until I raised them to more competitive price points, I started seeing more positive results.
How creative does your photographer get? Do they get those awesome angles? Do they do cool things with lighting? Do they make your photos stand out from everyone else’s photos? These are questions you should be asking yourself when shopping your photographer.
Do they offer a second photographer?
You want to have a second photographer at your wedding. Always ask your photographer if they have a second. Sometimes you are going to pay more for a second photographer but it is definitely worth it in the long run. The second photographer should be as experienced as the lead photographer. From Groom for prep, to portraits, first look, and everything that follows, the second photographer will be there for it all. So make sure they know what they are doing AND you get more photos in the end. It’s a win-win situation.
Book your engagement session with the photographer you are hiring for your wedding day. You will be able to get to know them before the wedding day, you can see how they work and what they are able to produce. Having two different photographers for your engagement session and then your wedding, can be confusing and I most definitely don’t recommend it. I know couples who have done that in the past and I always say it’s a big no no.
Signing a Contract
Always ask for a contract from your photographer. Make sure that when they give you a contract, absolutely everything you want in the contract is there. The date, time, and location of the wedding is correct. They have a date for photo delivery. They ask for a deposit that is no more than a third of the total balance. All these things are crucial when it comes to signing a contract with your photographer.
Turn Around Time
Your photographer should be able to get your photos back to you within 2-3 weeks after the wedding. Don’t submit your last payment until AFTER they send you the photos. If they are taking longer than the 3 weeks and they haven’t notified you before then, don’t hesitate to reach out to them asking where the photos are. I have heard many stories where clients never received their photos after the wedding. I guarantee my clients that they will receive their photos within 3 weeks after their wedding. If I am running behind on the photo work, I will notify my clients and give them updates to when they will receive their photos.