Horay! You just got engaged. Congratulations! Now it comes the time for you to select numerous of vendors for your big day. The fact is that most of the vendors are booking months or year in advance including wedding photographers. So as soon as you have a date selected and a venue booked, it is time for you to consider finding your “Photographer”
Pro or not?
Alright, mom said uncle Bob just recently bought a fancy camera and been posting hundreds of great pictures of his grandson on social media. So he should be good enough for your wedding photo? Not so soon. While it is true that nowadays anybody who could afford to buy a professional grade camera, put it into "auto mode" and snap away could yield some great results. There's a different between a good exposed image and a well composed, artistic image that tells a story. The ability to handle whatever situation that arise on the wedding day quickly, effectively and with a smile. Knowing what to do, how to do it and when to do it is something that comes with a professional wedding photographer. Someone you could count on to capture all the important details, emotions and moments with reliability and professionalism. Besides, you want uncle Bob to enjoy your big day without all that stress and perhaps don't want to miss out on him doing silly dances after a few shots of tequila, which then get captured on images by the photographer that you hired.
Understanding what type of style you like and to match the venue you booked is one important key aspect of selecting your wedding photographer. Take an in-depth look into their websites or Facebook page to get a sense of their style and personality. If you booked an outdoor beach wedding, you might not want to focus too much on their indoor church ceremony portfolio. Does the photographer use mainly natural light source, artificial lighting or blending both of them so well that you could not even tell from their images. At Yimotion, our philosophy is that if the natural light source is good we will take it, but if it's not we will make it our own with artificial lighting to suit different situation needs.
Meet with the photographer
After you have conducted an initial search by visiting their website and get to know their styles, read the reviews to see how other couples think about the photographer. Get in touch to find out if they are available on your date. Find out the service that they provide. Most of the studio offer full day packages with a set hours, usually 7-9 hours. Get to know their price and your budget. Contact the studio to schedule a meeting to get to know a person you might have to spend 90% of the time on your wedding day. While your wedding photographer does not need the skill of a stand-up comedian but does he/she feel fun to work with? Do they look confident enough to handle a big group of people in a formal setting?
Questions to your photographer?
Things you might want to discuses with them such as what is the time line of the wedding day? Engagement session? (Highly recommended you to have one, so that you get to work with your photographer prior to the wedding, and get comfortable of doing so) Equipment that they use (You want to have a photographer who has back up gears just in case for any equipment failure). What's the turn over time of delivery and in what form? How are the copy rights and usages of the image? What type of payment they accepted? How is the deposit/retainer fee collected? Are they insured? (This is important because most of the venue will not allow vendors without insurance to conduct business in their premises) Last but not least, ask them to show you an entire album just the way they delivered to their previous clients. That way you know what to expect on how your result would be. You could very well be attracted to a few of the images of their portfolio but that might not tell the story of their ability and quality of work as a whole. The entire album could show you just how good they are capturing the story of a wedding day. Does the emotion of the album the way you wanted your wedding to be documented?
Ready to book?
Once you have interviewed a few of wedding photographers. You would get a sense of who you like to work with the most. When you are ready to book him/her, ask to review the contract and go over the terms and conditions. Once you get all your questions answered, sign the contract and pay the deposit or retainer fee then your date would be secured. Now you should rest easy and move on to other parts of planning your wedding. But remember, always keep your photographer informed about any plan or idea updates. You want him/her to fully understand your desires so that they could do the best of their ability to capture your wonderful memories that last a life time.
I hope you find these 5 easy tips helpful on clarifying the basic steps of hiring a wedding photographer with the understanding of some photographer might work a little different than the others. Be sure to check out the galleries of wedding day and engagement for inspiration. I wish you the best of luck on finding the right photographer for your big day! Stay well, talk to you soon!