(from one who just got married)
Finding the right wedding photographer can be daunting. A quick Google search for wedding photography in your city will probably produce thousands of results. A lot of those may be great at what they do but how do you know which one is the right fit for you? I’m a Vancouver wedding photographer and before I got married last summer my fiancé and I looked online for hours for the right photographer. It may have been the wisest time spent during our wedding planning as we found the perfect wedding photographer for us. We now have amazing pictures we can (and do!) always look back on.
Here are the top 5 things to look for when trying to find someone to shoot your wedding:
1. Find someone you feel absolutely comfortable around. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you will be spending more time with them than your family on the big day, so make sure you click! People tend to look a lot better when they’re relaxed – a good photographer will put you at ease. This was a huge reason why my wife and I booked who we did (in addition to him being really good =). We loved the fact that (in his own words) he was a “big fan of marriage” and that’s the type of vibe we wanted around us on our wedding day.
- Meet with them before you book. Take them out for coffee, find out who they are, ask them any questions you might have. If meeting in person isn’t possible, give them a call!
- Get some engagement pictures taken by them. This is a win win for both you and the photographer. It allows each of you to see how the other operates and if you are a good fit. Also, if you’re like most people, you’re not used to having your picture taken for hours so it’s good practice =)
- Follow their blog/Facebook/twitter. Get a feel for who they are, their artistic style and what you like
2. How Diverse is their Portfolio? It’s pretty simple to take a nice photo when the weather cooperates but what happens if your venue is indoor and really dark? Or it rains?
- Finding a photographer who is comfortable taking pictures in any environment and able to adjust on the fly will naturally result in better images.
- Although it can be helpful to have a photographer who’s shot at your wedding venue before, it’s not necessary. A good photographer will adapt to any environment and may even see unique opportunities that someone who’s shot at one venue a lot won’t.
3. Ask to see an “Entire Wedding” When you take thousands of pictures, every wedding photographer is bound to get at least a few good shots. The best wedding photographers are consistent and produce hundreds of beautiful, frame-able images each wedding.
4. Just because they’re number one on Google doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for you. It takes someone good at Search Engine Optimization to hit the top spot on Google, not necessarily a great photographer
- Take the time to look at photographers who may be ranked lower on Google but still have great portfolios. You’re hiring them for their skills with a camera after all, not their web savvy.
5. If you find someone whose work you love but they’re a little out of your budget…make it work.
- Wedding photographs should be seen as an investment. You’re probably going to be spending a good deal of money on this day, ensure your memories are just as great quality.
- It makes sense to make your wedding photography a priority when it’s one of the few things you’ll have from your wedding years down the road.
- Be honest with the photographer – sometimes there are ways for a photographer to reduce costs (eg. Only have one photographer instead of two, less hours etc.) In the end, stretching your budget a little for a photographer you really want will NOT be a decision you regret.