Let’s face it, your wedding is one of the most exciting events in your life. The day is filled with energy, emotion, and precious moments. This article provides some tips for selecting a wedding photographer. On average, couples spend a year planning for this special day that includes every conceivable detail. From the ceremony, reception venue, invitations, favors, flowers, song for the first dance, and everything in between. Regardless of your style and vision for your wedding, there are numerous vendors and professionals you will be interacting with throughout the planning process and on the actual day of your wedding. As a Washington DC wedding photographer who serves the metropolitan area including Northern Virginia and Maryland, I have the distinct privilege of meeting and working with many awesome couples.
One of the initial questions the majority of couples and parents of the bride ask me is what should they look for in selecting a photographer. I enjoy meeting with the prospective bride and groom and providing them with suggestions and ideas to consider. When you think about it, the professional wedding photographer will spend the most time with you during your wedding day. In fact, they are with you all day as their responsibility is to capture and document your wedding from start to finish. The images provided by your wedding photographer will include all the details and moments, so you can look back on this momentous occasion for many years to come.
It sounds reasonable enough and makes common sense, but here are some of my most popular suggestions when deciding upon your wedding photographer.
- Don’t base your decision on a price list you requested via email. Meet with the prospective photographer in person or at the very least have a detailed call on the phone. Personality and chemistry are important and truly make a difference. You want to have a comfortable connection with this individual. You are entrusting this individual to capture your very special day and they will be spending a lot of time with you. Don’t let the photographer be the last professional you select. They should be up there with the venue and entertainment selection.
- Allocate a reasonable percentage of your overall budget to photography coverage. There are always less expense choices, but this is not the area to cut corners.
- “What is your style”, is a common question. You want a photographer who captures all the moments without making you feel like they are always in your space. A clean candid storytelling style is often the most pleasing and requested. The images must capture the bride and groom, the details, guests, and spontaneous moments as they occur all without being intrusive.
- The images should incorporate color, black & white, and other creative elements adding variety to your prints and or album. While we are on the topic of prints and albums, keep in mind that while we live in the digital age and everyone with a phone or DSLR is a photographer, files are great, but only if you put them into a format you can cherish and enjoy. Be sure to inquire about wedding albums, professional prints, and other options for your images. Quick social media posts are fun and timely, but for this occasion, you really want high quality images that truly capture your wedding as you envisioned.
- Are the various wedding packages easy to understand? Are the costs all-inclusive or are there additional fees? What type of retouching is done and how long before my proof gallery is available?
- Do you shoot with an assistant or second photographer?
- Ask to have an engagement photo taken if needed, as this is a great way to establish a chemistry between you and the photographer.
The above list is a great starting point from which to evaluate a photographer for your wedding coverage. As an independent wedding photographer, my business relies on referrals from brides and other clients who have had a great photography experience. I go above and beyond to earn your trust, loyalty, and referrals. I don’t assume nor take any of these for granted. As a wedding photographer who strives to exceed your expectations, I would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business.