You’ve put so much time and effort into planning your wedding you’ll want every special moment captured for your photo album. But how do you know which photographer is right for you? Whether you’re considering a Certified wedding photographer or not, you need to do your homework.
There are many things to consider when selecting the right photographer – it’s not as easy as opening a phone book to hire a repairman – and it shouldn’t be. The search may take some time. Typically, you should begin your search a minimum of eight to ten months prior to the special day.
“You can never call too early to book your photographer, but you can certainly call too late.”
Types of Photographers
The first step in selecting a photographer is determining the style you like. Photographers typically fall into three general categories: traditional photographers, photojournalists and a photographer who blends both styles together. You will need to decide whether you want black & white images, color images or to have the session done digitally, in which case each image can be made either way.
A traditional photographer creates a classic style of portraiture, one that is formal and posed. Over the years, certain guidelines have been established by top award-winning photographers working with this style. Now, younger generations of photographers use these “tried and true” techniques to produce images that appeal to a wide variety of clients.
The photojournalistic movement in wedding photography is rooted in the documentary style of newspaper and media photojournalism. A photojournalist captures an event as it unfolds, rather then posing or staging the subjects. Because newspaper photojournalism is commonly shot in black & white, this style of coverage has led to a rebirth in the popularity of black & white wedding images.
To accommodate the vast number of variables involved in shooting a wedding and to satisfy the needs and desires of various clients, many photographers offer both the photojournalistic and traditional styles of coverage.
Avenues to Explore
Today, there are many incredible vehicles to assist you in your search. Web sites, bridal publications and bridal shows can be a good starting point, but the simplest way to find a great photographer is often through referrals.
Here are the questions you should ask those photographers who’ve made your short list, to ensure that the one you ultimately choose is a good fit for you and your wedding.
1. What is your primary style?
2. How many weddings have you shot, and have you shot ones similar to mine?
3. How many times have you worked specifically as a wedding photographer?
4. How many other events will you photograph that weekend?
5. Will a contract of the services be provided? if so, can i get a copy?
6. What happens if the photographer is ill?
7. Do you have insurance?
8. Does the package i am interested in include an assistant?
9. Does your studio allow me to choose a certain style of post production?
10. Will you color correct my images?
11. What kind of equipment do you use? do you have backups?
12. Should my event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? is there an extra charge?
13. What attire will the photographer and their assistants wear?
14. How long after the event will the proofs, album, etc be ready?