Choosing the right wedding photographer can make your wedding more memorable. But the problem usually lies in how to choose the right photographer for you. Unlike your other vendors where you can see the final product beforehand like the cakes and flower arrangements, you won’t get a chance to see your wedding photos until after the wedding and the post-processing stage.
But before you panic about your wedding photos, consider these tips on how to choose the right wedding photographer:
1. Choose a Style
Before choosing a wedding photographer, choose a photography style that you like. You might have a love for nostalgic or vintage-styled portraits or prefer a more bright and upbeat style of photography. After looking for inspiration, narrow it down to photographers who specialize in the style of photography that fits your aesthetic and contact them to see if they are available for your wedding.
2. Interview Wedding Photographer
Interview wedding photographers that made it to your shortlist. Assess their skills, knowledge, and experience when it comes to wedding photography. Ask the right questions: What is their primary style? How long have they been a photographer at weddings? Have they done a wedding similar to yours? Will there be a contract? Is he/she a solo photographer or are they a team?
Aside from their skills, make sure that they have a personality and attitude that you can easily connect to and communicate with. Being on an agreeable term with your photographer can help you avoid stress later on.
3. Look at Full Wedding Albums
It’s not enough to just look at their portfolio as this will only naturally highlight their best shots. Ask a sample of a few full wedding albums that they have done before to see from start to finish how they narrate the story of a wedding from their lens. Observe the photos with a critical eye, but don’t expect all shots to be perfect. Looking at these photo albums should give you an idea of how they think, what their style is, the shots that they usually like to take, and how they frame photos.
4. Compare Different Packages
Compare fees and different packages of the wedding photographers of your choice. Most photographers have a standard wedding package that generally mentions how long you want them to cover your wedding and how many shots they will include in the final album. You would ideally want them to be there from preparation to the reception which would last around six to ten hours.
You would also want to know how much it costs for extra services that they offer such as an engagement shoot, extra effects, and extended hours to cover your wedding. You must also determine how long the post-processing will take and how you will receive the photos.
5. Know your Rights
Most wedding photographer contracts state that all the rights to the photos belong to them. This means that they have the right to use your photos in materials to promote their photography services. What you need to know is what your limits are in using the photos. Can you upload the raw files online without the photographer’s watermark and proper credits? Can you have them printed with a different printing company?
Knowing your rights to the photos will help you avoid legal consequences and will help you know how to freely use your photos.
When selecting a wedding photographer, it just comes down to the style and aesthetic that you prefer, the attitude and work ethic of the photographer, and the terms and package that are both agreeable to you. Follow your gut and choose a photographer that you know can help you immortalize your special wedding into beautiful memories.