How To Find Your Wedding Photographer
The following 10 tips should help you find the best wedding photographer for your big day.
1. Find Your Style
First of all you have to find the style that fits your personal taste.
Browse through platforms like Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration and save ideas that draw you in the most to narrow them down to what suits you and your partner.
2. Do some Online Research
Check online which wedding photographers in your area offer the style you are looking for. Visit directories like photognow.com or Fearless. Carefully review their websites and blogs to check out photos of other weddings they’ve shot. Read reviews. Is the feedback from former clients positive?
Check out their Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts. How does he respond? How do they interact with their followers? Are they friendly? You get the idea…
3. Do the Interviews
Finding the right photographer for your wedding can’t be done just by looking at pictures online. It’s a very personal decision so you have to meet in real life.
If you like the photographer’s style – and his fee fits your budget – call him and ask if he is available for your date. If so, send him a short email with a few exemplary pictures conveying your desired picture style, a short introduction of you and your soon-to-be-spouse and some details about your wedding day.
If he or she is not available for your date, you can ask for recommendations of a colleague with an similar style. Set up interviews with 3 to 5 photographers before you make your final decision.
4. Inspect some Wedding Photographer Albums
Ask the photographers you meet to show you a full wedding album. Obviously a photographer only puts the highlights from all weddings on his webpage. Ask him to show you 2 or 3 full albums he did. If all pictures are as good as the ones you saw online – your are on a good way.
5. Make sure the “Chemistry” is Right
In my opinion this is the most important part. Don’t forget that the photographer will follow you around like a shadow throughout your most important day. The more comfortable you both feel around your photographer, the better your pictures will turn out.
6. Wedding Photographers Prices
It’s not easy to compare offers for such an individual job. The prices can range from € 1.000,- to € 20.000,- or more, the number of edited pictures that are provided varies, the time spent at your wedding can differ. To get a general idea, ask for the “basic package” or the minimum offer. From there on you can negotiate all the extras such as the time (4 hours, day, weekend), albums, engagement shoot, or more included pictures. Only with all these details at hand the different rates can be compared properly.
7. Ask about Your Rights
The general rule under copyright law is that the creator (the photographer) of an image owns all rights to it. However, this rule can be modified by contract. Modifications can include restrictions on what the photographer can do with the photos (e.g., is it okay if they are published on his or her website, is it okay if he or she uses them for a social media channel or professional blog) and permission for you to use the photos (e.g., to make prints or albums yourself). Talk about it and put your agreement in a contract.
8. Ask about the Postproduction Details
It usually takes about 4 – 8 weeks to get all the photos back from your photographer. Why? Your photographer will shoot raw files which are far bigger than your typical JPG. Shooting raw files gives your photographer a greater ability to correct the photo, but it also takes more time to upload, process and edit all those files. Many photographers say they spend an additional 40 hours editing images from a single wedding, so it can take up to eight weeks (or even longer) to get the proofs back.
Important questions for you are: When do I get the images back? How many images do I get? Will the pictures be high or low resolution? Will I be able to get prints made myself? Will I be able to choose the photos that will be retouched or will the photographer make the selection?
9. Prepare the Big Day Together
Remember that your wedding photographer is the pro! You shouldn’t spend too much time putting together a detailed shot list for them. Instead, pass along your timeline, tell them what images you consider indispensable (group shots, family portraits and so on) and let them do their job. This is also the perfect moment to give them a heads up on any familial or friendship intricacies they should be aware of, like divorced parents, a grandmother that needs to remain sitting for portraits and so on.
10. Enjoy Your Wedding!
You might also want to see our blogpost Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer