When my wife and I got married in Hawaii we had made all the arrangements necessary that one would need to make for a destination wedding. The company we had used had actually made the decision-making process smooth and seamless. They basically laid everything out in front of us; the flowers, make-up, location, and music were all narrowed down to a few choices which took a lot of pressure off of my wife and I. However, as easy as it was getting married thousands of miles away from home, the one thing we never really questioned was the photography.
Getting married is a once in a lifetime event. Besides your recollection of the day, photos are the only tangible thing you have that you can look back on; not only that but your children and grandchildren can re live your wedding day through the photos that were taken. It would be important to not skimp out on a photographer to photograph your wedding. That is why I am writing this post, to give y'all some tips when it comes to hiring a wedding photographer.
The following are tips I wish I was given when hiring a photographer for our wedding:
1. Ease of Communication:
How responsive are they? Do they respond to emails and text right away? I have personally done business with people who never answer the phone promptly, return calls timely or even worse, not return your calls at all. The events of a wedding day are always subject to change. Last minute changes to the schedule are bound to happen and sometimes just cannot be avoided, that is understandable. Having a photographer that responds to your questions timely in the event of these last minute changes is something to look for.
2. Do you like the photographs he/she takes:
This is extremely important as you would obviously not want to hire a certain photographer if you do not like their style. When you meet with your photographer ask him/her what style of photos they consider themselves producing. Do they like more candid photos, or are they more into posing people and setting up shots? When they edit the photos, do they go for a dark and moody look, or do they prefer more bright and airy style? Best way to know is to ask to look at some of their portfolios to have an idea of what your photos will look like.
3. Amicable Personality:
I always make it a point that at the bare minimum meet over a phone call or my most preferred is to meet in-person just to make sure we get along, communicate clearly, and are on the same page. Engagement sessions are not necessary, however, I find that they clear the air of any awkwardness you may feel being in front of a camera, and it will also give you an idea of what your photos will look like on the big day. This is why I include an engagement session in my packages (free of charge), even before a couple has decided to hire me for their wedding day. I find that by having the engagement session, we will get to "hang out" before the wedding and have an open dialogue which makes a smoother transition going into the wedding day.
4. They have a plan B:
This is applicable especially if you are having an outdoor wedding. We cannot control mother nature, and rain on your wedding day can definitely throw a curve ball at you. Make sure your photographer has an in-climate weather plan.
Additionally, you should ask your photographer how many cameras they shoot with and how do they back up their photos of your wedding day. There is nothing worse than having a photographer calling you after your wedding day to inform you that they have had an equipment malfunction and your photos have been lost. This is why I shoot my weddings with two cameras in case one of them breaks or gets damaged during the day. On top of that my photos are recorded to two separate memory cards during the wedding day, and then immediately downloaded to a separate hard drive when I get back home, and then as a final measure, the files are uploaded to a cloud database as a 3rd measure to keep the files backed up. It may seem like overkill, but I just simply cannot risk losing the images of one of the most special days in someone's life. It is not fair for these memories to be lost due to a photographers carelessness, so make sure to ask your photographer these important questions.
5. They have the ability to photograph in low light:
Nowadays you will often hear photographers refer to themselves as "natural light" photographers. This means that they don't use flash or external lighting for their photos. The photos that are produced from natural light can be stunning; that is until you run out of that good-ole natural light. If your photographer does not have a camera and lenses capable of shooting in low light, or lighting setups to compensate, then your photos are likely going to look grainy and dull. If this is not a look that you like, then its time to look for another photographer. I personally shoot my weddings with the most up to date camera bodies and with lenses that allow the most amount of light in. Additionally, I use on and off-camera flash equipment to make sure that the quality of your photos is not hindered by low light situations.
One tip to see if a photographer is capable of shooting photos in low light, is to check their website portfolios, or directly ask him/her if they can show you photos that were taken at night or in low light.
Other questions you should ask your photographer:
How many photos will we get delivered?
How do they deliver the photos?
Recommended places to get your photos printed?
What is the time frame for delivery?
A professional photographer should be an asset to your wedding and put your mind at ease during your big day.
If you are planning a wedding, I love working with and meeting new couples!
Click here to contact me so we can get started on planning out your big day!