You will likely spend more money on making your wedding day perfect than on any other day in your life. You will spend months planning every detail and it will all pass by in a blur. Great photos will capture the day and all the details and beauty you worked so hard for. Photography is not the place to cut corners. The good news is that you can find a great photographer without breaking the bank. Here are my tips for finding the right photographer for you.
1. Be sure to look at a lot of the photographers work, including at least one complete album. Do the photos tell the story of the day? Do you find yourself immersed in the story? Do the images evoke your own emotions and can you see yourself in the photographers work?
2. Style, Philosophy & Approach: Ask the photographer about their style, how do they shoot a wedding? What is their goal when photographing a wedding? How do they work with the bride and groom? What do they do during the formals? What is their approach? Will they pose you?
3. Personality: You will be spending more time on your wedding day with the photographer than anyone other than your new spouse. Do you like them, is their personality right for you?
4. References: Ask for references, and seek out reviews online. Sites like weddingwire.com have photographer reviews.
5. Make sure you know who your photographer will be and meet with them. Many bigger studios might have you meet with the owner and then send someone else out on the day.
6. Cost: I urge you to place a premium on wedding photography; it should be a priority. The food, cake, flowers and entertainment will be used up on the night, the photos will last forever. Set a reasonable budget and see which of the photographers you love fit into that budget.
8. Value: Make sure that you are comparing costs based on value. How many hours are they working? What are you getting for the cost? Compare the products: albums can have a raw cost (cost to the photographer just for printing) of $30 to $1000 or even more. Do you own the images taken? Are you receiving all the images on a disc, and will they be edited and ready to print? Some photographers will give you smaller images that cannot be printed or only printed small, others will not give you the original photos at all- you will only get the images as the prints and albums that you buy.
9. Beware sub $1000 photographers. It is expensive to be in business today and very difficult to make a living for under $1000. Does the photographer have a legitimate business registered with the city? Do they have insurance?
Relax, if you take some time to do a little research the chances are good you can find the right photographer for you without breaking your budget.