There is an abundance of photographers no matter where you look, but how do you find your perfect wedding photographer?
Much planning goes into making your wedding day beautiful. This day, in fact, is the start of the new journey, and like any other journey, we want to start it well. This is the day to remember. We invite the loved ones, and the people who matter to us, so they can share this joyous occasion with us. And just like any other day, the wedding day lasts a given number of hours. The duration of it is outside of our control. So how do we remember those precious moments that pass by so fast? How do we preserve those precious memories for which we’ve been saving, preparing, planning, envisioning and investing much of our time?
First, we just savor every minute of it. If you wish to remember something, you close your eyes and let it flow in to become a part of your memory. To remember those happy moments you need to completely absorb yourself in what you do. Second, and this is not the alternative to the first, have someone else tell your story with images.
This brings us to another question and raises another concern. How do I find I person I can trust to photograph my wedding day? Below are a few questions you need to consider and use when hiring your wedding photographer:
1. Can I see your work?
This is a good one to start with. You wouldn’t buy a perfume bottle without testing it on your skin first. A bottle of perfume can be a pricey investment, so you would want to smell it, and wear it before you commit to the bottle of fragrant goodness. The same applies to the photographs. Look at them, see if the artwork resonates with you, and if the artist’s style appeals to you before you make a commitment.
Most Photographers have their work published on professional web sites. If you like what you see online, then it would be good to set up a meeting to see the actual printed artwork in person. Be sure to request to see real full weddings (from beginning to end) and note things such as use of lighting, and how comfortable the subjects appear on the photos. A good photographer can make the subject loosen up which makes for a real, “in the moment” photograph.
2. Do you offer Wedding Books?
Wedding books are arguably the best way to preserve your memories. The books do not require computer or TV screens to view the images, they do not need electricity and they are not dependent on any other device. A great wedding book tells your story which will last for generations. If you do not have a wedding book, your images might still look good on facebook or instagram. But imagine in 50 years your granddaughter comes to you and asks to see your wedding images. You say “sure honey, let me just scroll back 50 years on instagram”. Not necessarily an option that inspires.
A good book production takes time, experience and editing skills. If your photographer offers them and shows at least a few from the previous weddings, it would be a good sign! Ask about other products the photographers offers. Does your photographer offer photograph save the date cards, or photograph thank you cards? It is also a good sign if the photographer is happy to work with your individual requests ranging from canvas gallery wraps to coffee table books. It also never hurts to see their product list and real samples in person.
3. Tell me about your post production process (PPP)?
For most professional photographers taking a picture is only a starting point. A finished photograph is the artwork you get in print. Before your wedding photographer prints it, there is a tedious, creative post processing involved. Taking an image with the vision, and finishing that vision in the post processing can result in a truly beautiful artwork. This leads to another question: is the person taking a photograph also the one who edits it in the post processing? It would not be a red flag if the answer is no, however, certain styles of photography benefit if the artist who takes the image is the same as the artist who finishes it.
For how long do you keep the images after the wedding? Within which time frame I get the images after the wedding? Do I get to see the book design before you print it? Do I get a high resolution files so I can print images for my personal use? Those are all good questions to consider asking your wedding photographer.
4. What are your credentials?
Ask if the photographer invests in continuous education and if he or she belongs to any professional associations. If yes, it shows the photographer is well invested in his craft. This, in turn, reinforces your trust in the wedding photographer.
There are more questions worth asking your potential wedding photographer. But it’s also important to realize that your wedding photographer will be by your side all day on your wedding day. So it is important that this is the person you feel comfortable with.