Choosing the Best Wedding Photographer For Your Special Day
Choosing the best wedding photographer for your day can be a minefield! There are so many of us right? How the heck do you choose one? Usually when I meet couples they ask me:
“What should we ask?”.
And this is true. How can you possibly know what to ask when trying to choose the best wedding photographer for your day.
So I’m going to help you! Whether I am the best wedding photographer for you or not, there are things you should know. Hopefully these tips will help you avoid disappointment and help you find the best wedding photographer to suit your needs.
Here we go!
These are my “must haves” when booking a wedding photographer.
In an unregulated industry, it’s hard for people to decipher who’s a professional photographer and who’s an amateur with a fancy camera. Look for this logoWhat this logo means is your photographer’s work has been assessed by a panel of experts in the industry and their work is deemed of professional standard. This also means they run a legitimate business with all insurances and business ethics in place. Sure, there are fabulous photographers who are not members of the AIPP but looking for this logo is the quickest way to know that your photographer is an actual professional and will produce quality work for your special day.
ALL professional photographers will have appropriate insurances. Do NOT be afraid to ask this question. If the photographer seems slightly confused by this question, you should be concerned. All professionals who run a legitimate business will have their insurances up-to-date to cover themselves and their clients. THIS is important!
How much equipment do they have? Again, ask this question. I personally have a suitcase of equipment that comes to EVERY SINGLE wedding I shoot. I have multiple cameras, multiple lenses and flashes, bags of batteries and loads of memory cards. Because what happens if one fails? There are NO second chances with wedding photography and eventually, something will break. My favourite lens stopped working during family photos at a wedding. No problems, although I was a little sad my favourite lens died. I just grabbed my next favourite lens and kept on going. And you know else? I have insurance so my lens is as good as new again!
If your wedding photographer doesn’t have back-up gear, forget it. This issue is not-negotiable for me and it shouldn’t be for you either.
As with all things in life, we all have budgets. And we ALL understand this. I LOVE a good bargain. But not when it comes to important things. Like a “once-in-a-lifetime-wedding”. When it comes down to choosing the best wedding photographer for your day, please don’t let money be the only factor when making that decision. Most professionals are highly skilled in the wedding industry, they run a legitimate business and unfortunately, we have all the legitimate expenses that go with it. We spend tens of thousands of dollars on equipment. Our experience with weddings will be invaluable on your wedding day and often our pricing will reflect all of these things. But your wedding photography is an investment and you will have these photos forever. So you’ll want to absolutely freaking love them right?
If you book a cheap photographer, what will you get? You’ll likely get a hobbyist or part-timer who knows little about working with crazy weather, lighting, posing, wrangling people (which is like herding cats 😉 ) They most likely can’t afford back-up equipment for when gear fails. And it does! It’s happened to me many times but because weddings and my clients are my priority, I carry backup gear. There are no ‘do-overs’ for your wedding so get it right the first time.
And most wedding photographers offer payment plans.
Connection With your Photographer
While you don’t have to LOVE your photographer, you should like them a whole lot! I love nothing more than spending the afternoon laughing, playing and capturing moments with my brides and grooms. It’s not meant to feel like hard work and a great photographer will ensure it’s a tonne of fun! Not every photographer/client relationship is the right fit and that’s okay. So when you’re looking for the best wedding photographer for your day, pick up the phone and have a chat. Get to know each other before the day. Connection is important so find a photographer who feels like a friend.
There are no stupid questions. Don’t be shy, ask about everything! We are there to make your day run as smoothly as possible as chances are, we’ve seen every scenario possible. Having photographed over 600 weddings (that’s like 1200 families!) means nothing surprises or shocks me anymore. You can tell me all about your family dynamics, your special or weird requests for photos, photos you hate and the ones that are “must haves”. Wedding photographers are there make sure your day is amazing. So don’t be afraid ask.
Know what you’re getting
Always ask what’s included. Wedding photographers have many different ways of designing their wedding packages and collections. My clients get EVERYTHING! All their wedding images from the day on a USB. No limits, no restrictions. I like simplicity. There are many alternatives so please make sure you know what you’re getting so there’s no surprises after the big day.
This is important! You MUST. HAVE. FUN. How else will we capture all those laughing, funny, candid shots? And the day goes so quickly. Remember to take some time-out for yourselves. Go for a walk, chill-out or sneak a moment away with your husband/wife. The time is so fleeting. And it’s your wedding photographer’s job to capture that time for you. Choose wisely 🙂
So if you’re looking for a wedding photographer I’d love to hear from you! I have photographed over 600 weddings during my 20 years in the wedding industry. I love weddings! My approach to your wedding day will be fun, creative and of course, professional.
Check out more fabulous wedding photographs here