13 Tips For Choosing A Wedding Photographer

Weddings - A Cup of Kathy

Pop quiz – when do most people get engaged? How about the one day of the year that tops the list for most proposals? I bet you’re thinking Valentine’s Day. What better choice to pop the question than the day that celebrates love and lovers? Good choice, but not #1.

According to weddingwire.com, 33% of engagements happen during the holiday season (between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day); and the number of betrothals jumps to 40% when you extend the holiday season to Valentine’s Day.

The most popular day for pledging and celebrating love is Christmas Day, followed by Valentine’s Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve. The holidays bring family and friends together, making them the perfect time for post-proposal celebrations.

So with Valentine’s Day in the rear view mirror, many brides-to-be are already feeling the stress of making a multitude of decisions for their special day – securing a wedding ceremony venue, a reception venue, wedding attire for the bride, groom and wedding party, and hiring a photographer, a videographer, a florist and maybe a wedding planner, as well as selecting the menu and planning the dreaded seating chart.

I can’t stress enough the importance of your wedding photographs – the forever capture of your most treasured and cherished memories. Since some photographers are more than happy to take your money and then leave you heartbroken and disappointed with the quality of their work, or leave you hanging for what seems like forever for your photographs, I’ve put together some useful information to help you in the selection of your wedding photographer.

1 – Study The Photographer’s Style
If a photographer’s style doesn’t match your vision, keep looking. There are plenty of talented photographers whose style will match what you want. There’s no benefit in choosing a photographer who offers great products if your vision doesn’t match with their style.

2 – Schedule Interviews
Interview at least two or three photographers. Viewing a wedding photographer’s portfolio is important because it confirms they’re capable of taking the photographs you want. Personal connection is another important consideration. You may not realize it, but you’re going to spend a large amount of time with that person and it would be an advantage if you have a connection. The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the better your wedding photos will be.

3 – Ask If The Rights To The Pictures Are Included In The Price
Most wedding pictures are now shot with digital cameras, so be sure to ask your photographer what rights to the pictures you have after the wedding day. Will you be able to print them at your leisure to make albums, etc.? Some photographers charge an extra fee for this, so find out in advance to avoid a nasty surprise. Get a signed contract stating all terms.

4 – Who Will Be Photographing Your Wedding?
It’s important to ask if the photographer you speak to will actually be photographing your wedding. Some photographers book multiple weddings on the same day and let their assistants or other colleagues help them.

5 – Request References
Ask for a list of references from past clients. Call each reference while you’re interviewing your possible photographer. Ask them if they were happy with the pictures and the photographer’s overall performance. Was he/she on time? Was he/she friendly to the wedding party and your guests? Was he/she open to suggestions?

6 – What’s The Payment Schedule?
Ask the photographer if a deposit is required, and how much they need prior to the wedding.

7 – Rules and Regulations
Make sure your photographer is familiar with any photo policies at your ceremony and reception locations. Some places have specific rules such as no flash photography during the ceremony.

8 – What’s Included In The Package?
Most photographers list a number of different wedding photography packages for clients to choose from. If you don’t like what’s in a package, ask if you can add or remove certain services or make your own package.

9 – Travel Fees
Some photographers charge a travel fee if your wedding is outside of their service area. Be sure to ask in advance.

10 – Is An Assistant Included?
Some photographers include an assistant/second shooter in their packages, while others charge extra.

11 – How Many Hours Will They Shoot?
Some photographers shoot for a certain time frame and charge extra if you go over. Others will take pictures all day. Be sure to ask in advance.

12 – How Long Will It Take to Get Your Pictures
It’s normal to be anxious for your pictures to arrive after the big day. Make sure you talk to your photographer beforehand so you know how long the pictures will take.

13 – IS There A Refund Policy
Make sure to ask what the refund policy is should your wedding be cancelled in advance. Get a signed contract stating all terms.

DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS THAT SHOULD BE ADDED TO THIS LIST?

Please let me know by dropping me a line in the comments below.
I’d love to hear from you.

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2 thoughts on “13 Tips For Choosing A Wedding Photographer

  1. Ellie Brennan says:

    Really useful info. Thanks for posting it. I’ll be asking these questions to my possible photographer next week.

    Like

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