Once you have done your research and you’re ready to set up some times to meet your list of photographers, there’s a few things to keep in mind while you’re with them.
The most important factors in choosing your wedding photographer are personality and talent. There’s no point hiring the most amazing, talented, awarded photographer in the world if you’re not comfortable being around them. All you’ll end up with is a bunch of uncomfortable photos with uncomfortable people looking, well, uncomfortable. And there’s no point hiring your best friend if they don’t take photos that you like and are willing to pay for.
An experienced photographer is important but it’s not everything. They need to be able to prove to you they can consistently deliver quality images and the ability to take great photos in any situation that is thrown their way. Some photographers can prove this after shooting 2 weddings and other’s need to shoot 50 to get there. If you’re uneasy with the level of experience a photographer has (or doesn’t have), move on to the next. You shouldn’t hire someone you don’t trust and in most cases, you get what you pay for.
Photographers don’t need to have a studio these days to prove they are the real deal. Think about it, what does a wedding photographer need a studio for anyway? Your wedding isn’t being held there is it? In most cases its more cost effective not to have a studio (For photographer’s that only shoot weddings) and to pass those savings onto their clients. Some of the top wedding photographers in the world don’t have studios so don’t get hung up on it.
Be sure to ask what kind of gear they use. This question has nothing to do with megapixels, brands or anything like that (ever heard the saying, “it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer?”) but it can show you whether or not a photographer has a back up plan if something were to go wrong. Someone who shoots with one camera body and one lens is risking your wedding day photos on the hope that nothing happens to their gear. Unfortunately things go wrong sometimes, it’s no one’s fault, but when they do, it is the photographers fault if they don’t have a back up plan. Asking this question also allows you to gauge if they know what they’re talking about. If they don’t ever use a flash, ask them why? Is it because they don’t know how to balance flash and available light or is it because their camera and skills are great enough to take photos in very little light without the need of flash units. Some venues don’t allow flash photography so it’s important that photographers know how to tackel this.
Do they have public liability insurance? Some venues require that they do and any serious photographer should.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Every photographer works differently and it’s important to understand how they work in order to know if you’ll be a good fit. The most important thing to remember is that your wedding is about you, not a photographer who’s trying to be a rock star.
Photography by Lara Luz Photography
Ms Gingham says: This is probably one of the trickiest things about planning a wedding. Choosing a photographer, or any vendor for that matter, can really affect the way your wedding day goes and how you feel. Try to choose someone who you feel you can talk to and who’s work you really like.
About Lara Luz: “I like to photograph stuff. It’s my raison d’être. I prefer it though, if what I’m taking photos of is something alive. Even better, if it’s people – people and their stories. That’s when I am in my element.”
Read Part One of this post here for some more great advice on this topic.