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 Key Things To Look For When Choosing Your Photographer

Key Things To Look For When Choosing Your Photographer

So you’re getting married, Congratulations!! I am sure you have dreamt about this day for many years. You have a vision of you and your soon to be husband standing face to face, looking into each other’s eyes and making promises for the rest of your life. Is that a tear running down your cheek? As the ring slips on to your finger and you share your first kiss, you cannot believe how happy you are at this moment. 

The sound of clapping and cheering is ringing in your ears as you happily walk down the isle hand in hand. Hold on,…..wait a second,…. something is not right. You look around, frantically scanning the room, and suddenly have a lump in your throat . You cannot seem to find your wedding photographer. You come to find out later that they missed that moment because they were outside grabbing something out of their car, or worse yet having a smoke. Oh no!

Of course, that would never happen to you because you are a smart and savvy bride! You would never hire an amateur like your friend or cousin to shoot the most important day of your life. Because while it’s wonderful to take pretty pictures, your wedding isn’t just about pretty pictures, it’s about so much more. 

The #1 thing to remember is who YOU are as a person is just as important, if not more so, than finding the right photographer for you.

It’s you who is getting married; it’s your vision and inspiration that will be coming to life that day, years of dreaming and months of planning. The right photographers will be able to take your inspiration and put their own creative touch to it creating an event far better than the one you have always imagined.

If you know who you are and what your vision is, then remember that who you hire has to understand you, and be able to add to what you have dreamed up. To be able to create this beauty your professional has to have some experience. How much you ask? 

Well, let’s put it this way, whomever you hire has to know how to be able to light things both indoors and out and quickly shift gears. They have to be able to have backup equipment in case something doesn’t go right and be able to move between indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly. It would be fantastic if this person dressed professionally, knew some if not all the vendors creating your dream wedding, and made you feel relaxed knowing you could just be in the moment. 

What should you ask them? Well, you should ask them how long have they been a photographer and how they started out being a photographer. You should see samples of real weddings they have photographed. Not just a couple of pictures but a whole wedding from beginning to end. If you are having an outdoor wedding in June ask to see some samples of that. If it’s a winter wedding you are having ask to see some samples of indoor weddings in a venue similar to yours.

Do you plan on seeing the groom the day of the wedding? You can. It’s ok and even better for you. It calms the nerves, trust me. And guess what, you get to have two WOW moments. One private one for just the two of you, and one for everyone else. If you choose to opt out however, realize that one photographer cannot be two places at once. That’s where the second photographer comes in handy. They can photograph different angles, and get completely different things like reactions on your family’s faces when you say your vows for example. 

Make sure you communicate with your photographer and let them know who will be coming in from out of town that you need to get photos of. How about you, mom and grandma together for a beautiful generational portrait? It’s nice to have some traditional photos mixed in with the photojournalistic ones that you may think you are more comfortable having taken. Believe me there will be plenty of photojournalistic photos taken, but make sure you have the traditional ones because there is nothing worse than realizing you have no photos of just you and your dad or you and your mom and sister till after the wedding.

Make sure your photographer loves not just photography but people and can make you feel relaxed and at ease. Your day will be about you and you don’t want to hire someone who thinks that day is all about them. There will be a lot of nervous people, including you that day; you don’t want to hire someone who will stress you out further.

It seems everyone is a photographer these days and in a sea of photographers how can you tell which one will deliver on your dream? Great question. Let’s see, your photographer should have insurance, and be an established business. Not just a weekend warrior who does weddings on the side. Just like you would hire a lawyer to handle your court business, you should hire a photographer who’s in business. 

It would be excellent to have a photographer who is an affiliate of the Professional Photographers of America or PPA or even the WPPI Wedding photography association. 

What do I need after the wedding? Ideally a beautiful album, and not a disk that will sit on your shelf and collect dust. Everyone thinks they need a disk, but with technology changing so fast, can you imagine if all your grandmother had from her wedding day was a disk of images? That would be so sad because you would never be able to see them with today’s technology.

Hope you find my tips useful, and I wish you a Beautiful Wedding and a wonderful marriage!!

Monika Labbé
FindPhotog Featured Blogger

Professional Wedding Photographer & Visual Storyteller (12 years of experience)
Member of the PPA, & WPPI