TO DOs when hiring a wedding photographer:
- Do look through their blog posts and not just their website to see their work. Their blogs typically show full wedding days, whereas their website typically show fewer images of their best work. It’s good to see a full wedding day (or a few) to know what to expect when receiving images from your big day. If they don’t show full weddings on their blog, it doesn’t hurt to ask!
- Do your research when hiring a wedding photographer. There are a lot of different styles of wedding photography, and it is so important that you choose a photographer that reflects the style of your big day! Look through their portfolio, ask questions. Is their style posed and more classic? Or is there more movement and ‘in the moment’ captured? How does the photographer work with their clients to make it look natural? What kind of lighting do they use, natural light? What about during receptions when there may be low light? It’s doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Do go over their collections and everything they offer. Be sure you are clear with exactly what you will be receiving. Ex: How many images will you be getting back from your wedding day and how will they be delivered?
- Do make sure that the wedding photographer has a contract for you to sign and requires a deposit for your date. Go over the contract thoroughly and be sure to receive your own copy of it as well for your own references.
- And most importantly, DO meet with your photographer upon booking, if you can. You will be spending a lot of time together so it’s good to be sure your personalities and styles mesh well with each other. If you can’t meet with your photographer for any reason, request a phone call to just chat or ask your photographer questions over e-mail about themselves to get to know them a little bit better! Your photographer will appreciate it!
DO NOTs of hiring a wedding photographer:
- Do Not bring photos you found online for your wedding photographer to replicate exactly. Photographers are artists, they love their creative freedom and feeling the trust from you. If you bring images that you want done exactly, they won’t turn out how you expect. Instead, you may give your photographer a ‘general’ shot list if you must, but most of the time a professional photographer already gets everything you would have on your list. Trust them and let them have their creative freedom. That is, after all, why you hired them.
- Do Not plan a tight timeline for your wedding day. Nothing on your wedding day only takes a few minutes, and anything can happen to fall behind schedule. You don’t want to feel rushed, or your photographer to feel rushed either. Be sure you plan enough ‘cushion’ time for your photographer to get the shots they need and not while in a hurry. You will get better images this way and your photographer will appreciate it!
- Do Not let family get in the way of your professional photographer. It happens all too often when guests have their own camera and think that they can stand in the middle of the isle during the ceremony. I’ve even had it where an ‘Uncle Bob’ sat on the floor right in the front/middle of the isle covering the lower half of the bride and groom for the entire ceremony, fist kiss and all! It is not rude to let family know to please stay in their seats, and if they must take photos on their iPad or cell phone, be discrete. You are paying a lot of money for your photographer to capture this important moment, let them be the ones to do this. The professional images will turn out better anyway.
- Do Not wait to book a photographer for your wedding. Even if your wedding date is a year away, your ideal photographer may be booked up by the time you inquire about your date. Your photographer should be one of the most important decisions for your big day, don’t wait to book!
- Do Not over think things on your wedding day. Not everything may go according to plan or be absolutely perfect. If you just try to enjoy every moment and have fun, nothing else matters. Your photos will turn out better this way as well with a happy, stress-free bride!