Choosing your wedding photographer

We’ve all heard the horror stories – horrible pictures that are out of focus or poorly exposed, gruff photographers barking orders at guests, or boring, unimaginative pictures that could have been taken by anyone.

Selecting your wedding photographer is an important choice, since the pictures are arguably the most important memory you’ll have from your wedding day. Here are some tips to help you decide who to trust this important task to:

1. Interview prospective photographers! Some studios have several photographers who shoot for them so it’s important to meet the photographer who will be shooting your wedding. You want to make sure they are pleasant and a good fit for you and your guests. Be sure to see samples of an entire wedding this photographer has personally shot – not just a few hand-picked pictures. Take a few minutes to see if the bridal party and guests look like they’re having fun, or are they all stiff and posed unnaturally?

Does the photographer ask lots of questions about your plans and take notes? Does it seem like you’ll need to fit within his or her way of shooting or are they willing to change what they do to fit in your plans? Do they ask about what pictures are important to you?

2. Make sure you know what kind of work the photographer will do after the wedding. Are they a “shoot and burn” service (where they simply copy all unedited images to a CD for you to have) or do they take the time to edit and correct each image prior to showing them to you? This will make a huge difference is the quality of your finished pictures!

3. What investment do they have in photographic equipment? While good equipment is no substitute for talent, a talented photographer who is dedicated to creating the best possible pictures will have a sizable investment in the best lenses, cameras, and accessories. Ask how many cameras they will be shooting with – if they only bring one camera, you’ll be quite disappointed if the camera fails to work properly and they can’t continue shooting. It does happen occasionally and the true professional will have two or more cameras with them.

There is also a huge difference in the quality of photographs that come out of a $600 consumer grade camera and a professional camera that costs many times that. We shoot using multiple professional cameras paired with professional grade lenses, which are also quite costly but make a huge difference in picture quality.

So the bottom line is to choose a photographer who:
1. Pre-plans with you to get the shots you want, in the style you expect
2. Has the talent and proper equipment to capture all the memories of your wedding day
3. Will invest the time and effort after the pictures are taken to create the highest quality final images for you.

If you follow these guidelines when you decide on your photographer, it will be comforting to know you’ll have the services of a talented professional with the knowledge, experience, and professional grade equipment to create photographs you’ll be proud to share for years to come.