Helpful Tips for Choosing a Wedding Photographer and More.
Updated: Jan 26, 2019
Ok, so you read my blog post about why you should hire a wedding photographer(https://www.jessicaeddingtonphotography.com/blog/why-should-you-hire-a-professional-wedding-photographer) and now you're ready, but don't know where to start. These days, everyone is a photographer. When you google wedding photographer, you may get as many as 50 photographers that pop up! So how do you even begin to find your wedding photographer and what should you ask them? Here are some helpful tips.
1. Where do I even start?
Ask friends and family for a referral. Someone always knows someone that had beautiful wedding photos taken.
Google and Face Book your local wedding photographers. This is when you may have to work a bit more- look at photographer's websites to see if you like their style and if they are within your budget. Don't be afraid to reach out to them and ask questions(see below). When you do a google search, make sure to scroll through the first few pages of businesses and not just the first few that come up.
Check out your local bridal magazine. Local bridal magazines will usually have great information about all things wedding.
Attend an upcoming bridal show. This is a great place to actually meet local photographers and many times they will be running a special on their pricing for the show.
Ask your other vendors. If you already have a venue or your cake picked out, ask them who they can recommend for you since they work in the wedding world.
Once you narrow it down to a few photographers, make sure to either meet with them in person or talk over the phone to make sure you are a good fit! Not only should you like their photos, but you should be able to trust them and know they are professional.
2. Budget- This is of course a big one. If you are working within a certain budget, let the photographer know this. Sometimes, they may be able to make a package for you that fits your budget and will capture all of the really important moments for you. And, be sure to shop around.
Now that you have it narrowed down to a few photographers, what should you be asking them?
1. Is my wedding date available? Then you will know whether to proceed or not.
2. Do I get rights to print and use my photos for my own use? Some photographers will give you the full rights to use your photos for printing and for social media purposes, while others will only give you prints or a certain number of digital files. I give my clients rights with their digital files to print and use for social media. They are not allowed to alter the photo in any way though, such as editing any further.
3. How long will it take to get my photos? Some photographers take 2 weeks, and others will take months. It all depends on how busy they are and what their editing workflow is. I have my photos to my clients within 3 weeks of their wedding day as well as a few the day or two after the wedding, for a "sneak peak".
4. What kind of editing will be done to my photos? It really depends on the photographer again. I mostly work in Lightroom and a bit in Photoshop. I try to get my image as perfect as I can in camera(when I actually take the photo) as opposed to spending tons of time editing it afterwards. I do all basic adjustments such as exposure and white balance. I may whiten teeth, remove ugly objects from a scene or do slight touch-ups to skin, such as remove acne or soften fine lines. I like my photos to look more natural, so that they actually look like where and when they were taken.
5. Do you include an engagement session? If you already had an engagement session or don't want one and it is included, ask if you can get something else in place of the session, such as a print or extra hour of photography, or even a session for the rehearsal dinner.
6. How far in advance should I book? As soon as possible. You never know if someone else could contact the photographer the next day and book your date. Most photographers will book at least a year in advance.
7. Will you be the one photographing the wedding and will there be an assistant or second photographer with you? Again this is based on the photographer, package you purchase and size of your wedding.
8. Can we request specific shots we want to get? All photographers work differently. I try to get as many as the shots my client's specifically request, depending on time, weather and the location. Usually we get them.
I hope this has been helpful and will get you started on the right track. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions- I would love to hear from you!