Millions of women spend their youth dreaming about their wedding day. Because of the significance of this special day, hiring a highly skilled and trustworthy wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions of the wedding planning process. It ranks right after finding the perfect wedding planner. Lets explore a few things to keep in mind when selecting the right wedding photographer to archive the memories from your special day.
Ask for a Referral! What better way to put your mind at ease than hiring someone who comes highly recommended from a trusted source? In addition to polling your family and friends for great wedding resources, you will want to leverage the power of the Internet and do some online research.
Online research is actually a lot of fun. This is your opportunity to explore all of the beautiful wedding photos on the websites of wedding photographers and event planners. Visit our blog at http://avsevent.com/blog to get started! Your online exploration will not only inspire ideas and lead you to the right photographer, it can jump start your search for just the right color scheme, venue, flowers, table centerpieces, etc.
Once you have identified several potential wedding photographers, its time to take things up a few notches and start the interview process. You want to prepare for this step, so have a list of questions ready and pay attention to your gut feelings.
During and after interviewing your photographer, ask yourself three key questions: Does this person seem passionate about photography? Is he/she excited about helping to make your wedding day dream a reality or does he/she appear to be focused only on the bottom-line payment? Does the photographer ask questions and take time to get to know you and your partner? If you answer no to even one of these questions, move on. If you have not done so already, now is the time to bring your groom into the photographer selection process.
Another key step in the creative process of choosing the best wedding photographer is to review the photographers portfolio. Does the their work literally take your breath away? It should! Your wedding day photos create the foundation for lasting memories of your special day.
When it comes to photos, know what inspires you. Are you in-love with the antique feel sepia brings to a photo or is a more traditional color scheme your style? Would you prefer an album of mostly formal poses or a more journalistic style? It is important to understand the photographers signature style so you are sure to get the wedding photos of your dreams.
If the photographers portfolio lacks the elements you are looking for in your wedding album, move on to the next candidate. Visuals speak louder than words.
Once you have covered the creative aspect of finding your perfect wedding day photographer, its time to tackle the more technical side of hiring the best photographer: negotiating prices, calling references and entering into a contract.
Talk to the photographer about services and pricing. Does he or she only offer set photography packages or will they create a custom program to fit your wedding day needs. While you do not want to bargain hunt when shopping for a wedding photographer, you certainly dont want to sacrifice other important parts of your day to cover your wedding photography bill. So, be smart when developing your photography budget and make sure you factor in the cost for reprints, wedding albums and wedding videos.
Whew!! Planning a wedding is not for the faint of heart, but we are almost there. You have almost covered all bases except asking for references. Now it is time to really dig deep to make sure all of the great things the photographer is promising will be delivered. I suggest asking for at least three references and most importantly … call them!
If you have reached this point in the process, your photographer has passed the test and now it is time to get everything in writing.
As we are at this final part of the wedding photographer selection process, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that its important for you to know who will be taking your wedding day photos. You would be surprised to know how many brides go through the entire process of researching, interviewing and hiring a wedding photographer only to arrive at their wedding day and have the photographers assistant show up. Get a written contract and know whats in it. DO NOT sign a contract in which the photographer reserves the right to send any staff photographer to your wedding.
Everything discussed and agreed upon between you and the photographer should be in writing, including the name of the photographer, wedding and reception venue, start and wrap time for photographer, if he/she will have an assistant (and that persons name), package price, overtime rate, etc.