Point and Shoot
Choosing a wedding photographer
By Kai Ma
July 10, 2011
We know. Everyone has a digital camera these days and photography is a hobby that many enjoy. Of course, use this to your advantage. Ask your friends to take photographs and to share the shots on social media or photography sites. They may capture those candid moments that occurred while you were too busy hosting. But this does not mean you should ask Uncle Bob to shoot your wedding. He may be a good photographer, but unless he is a wedding photographer, having a non-pro shoot your nuptials can result in mediocre shots and a lifetime of resentment.
Wedding photography is expensive, but for a good reason. These professionals, who often work with a small team, know how to capture the important moments. They know how to handle the logistical nightmare of getting everyone at the same spot at the right time. They are trained to produce the emotional, beautiful snapshots that you will frame for your home, or show your grandchildren. Do not compromise on this aspect of your wedding. However, there are ways to shop smart.
Ask your recently married friends for recommendations. Scour the internet for online portfolios. Weed out photographers with multiple complaints. Once you have a short list of photographers, prepare for the interviews.
Make an appointment with the studio, and be clear that youd like to interview the photographer who will be assigned to your wedding. Each photographer should be interviewed face-to-face. The interview will address questions about the services, prices and style. Youll also begin to build a rapport with your photographer, which will make your wedding photos all the more intimate.
These questions can help you determine if the photographer has a style and operation thats truly right for you. Dont forget to ask for a written contract, describing all of the terms of the agreement, and a list of references.
- How long have you been in business, and how many weddings have you shot?
- Can I see samples of your last wedding?
- Will you scope out the venue space beforehand so that you are familiar with the surroundings?
- How would you describe your photography style? Are you a photojournalist or do you have a more artistic approach?
- Do you use film or digital? Why?
- Will you spend time with us before the wedding day to get a better sense of how to photograph us?
- Do you work solo or with a team?
- Do you print your own photos? If not, where do you send them for processing and why?
- How long will it take to receive my photos?
- What is included in the price youve quoted me? For examples, do engagement photos come with this price? Do you produce a book of the best shots?