We get that choosing your photographer may seem overwhelming, especially when you don't know much about photography. We've put together 10 tips that should help you narrow down your choices. If the photographers check all these boxes you know you have some quality professionals. If any of these are missing, it doesn't mean they are going to deliver a quality experience, it should just raise some red flags.
#1 Are they friendly, passionate, and talented?
If your photographer doesn't love what they do they won't want to be at your wedding. Their portfolio also needs to make you say, "Wow, I want my day captured like that!" If it doesn't it's probably best to move on.
#2 Do they SAY they're professional or ARE they?
Sometimes we want to hire our friends because they are really inexpensive and we trust them. Hiring a professional is our recommendation because sometimes difficult situations arise and you don't want to hurt feelings or damage a relationship when things don't go right. A professional knows what to do in situations relating to money, contracts, changes in the schedule or curve balls during your wedding day. Do yourself a favor and avoid the drama.
#3 What experiences do they promise?
The experience you get with your photographer is just as important as the images they deliver. Most of the time you have a whole year with the person you hire. What do they do with that time? Ask what makes them unique, do they do anything special for their clients besides take photos? How do you experience your photos for the first time?
#4 Do you feel like you can trust them?
If something feels off...trust your instinct. Are they on time for meetings and phone calls? Do they respond in a timely manner? Do they really have your best interest in mind or their own?
#5 Do they take the time to understand your values, wants and needs?
Yo...this is YOUR day. It's important that your photographer takes the time needed to understand your vision for your wedding instead of doing what THEY want because THEY KNOW what's best for YOU. Make sure they ask you just as many questions as you'll be asking them.
#6 What's their style and can they clearly communicate it?
Ask your photographer why they feel their style is an important way to capture your wedding day. Does it make sense for the two of you?
#7 Does it seem like they just want your money or do they actually care about you?
Are they trying to see you things you don't need? Are they pushing you to make a commitment before you know what it is you actually need? Are they trying to educate you or are they trying to get you to sign on the dotted line? Just sayin'....
#8 Can you view a full wedding gallery?
This is important because sometimes a portfolio doesn't actually show you how a photographer is able to capture a whole wedding day. They maybe have 2 good photos in a gallery of 500. You want a photographer that can shoot consistently all day long no matter if they're indoor, or outdoor, sunshine or clouds, night or day.
#9 What safety measures have they put in place?
What's their plan if they get sick or are in an accident and can't make it to your wedding? What happens if they lose your photo files? Are they insured? Do they even have a plan? This is another reason we recommend using a professional and not a friend.
#10 Do they have a clear contract you agree with?
Is the contract negotiable or is it set in stone? Does something in there bother you? Make sure you read it all and that you and your photographer are on the same page about expectations.