Pictures really can say a thousand words. They capture moments that become memories that last forever. Little wonder, then, that it is so important to choose the right photographer for your wedding day.
With the ease of photography in the era of digital culture, everyone thinks they are a photographer. They’re not. The web revolution has also made it easy for anyone to set up a snazzy website, whether a professional in their field or not. So, how do you know if you are meeting someone who can take pictures only as well as you can, versus a true professional who has been in the business for years? And, most importantly, how can you ensure you are choosing the right person for your big day?
When selecting your wedding photographer, keep in mind the following criteria. Weed out the amateurs (and fakes!) from the reputable, experienced professionals.
Does the prospective photographer ask you about your wedding?
If the candidate just goes on and on about his qualifications, telling you what he has done before in the hundreds of weddings for which he has shot, then think twice. You don’t want him to treat your wedding like just another wedding. Every wedding is different, and yours is not just another day that fits into his template. If you are not asked about your plans — including how you see the day unfolding, and what kind of venue you have chosen — then take caution. Make sure your wedding matters to the photographer, and that your requirements and visions are noted and understood.
Do you feel a rapport with the prospective photographer?
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you feel at ease with your photographer and really like her. This is the person capturing all your emotions and if you don’t trust or like your photographer, the uneasiness will show in every picture.
Wedding photographers are not just people who take pictures. An experienced and really good wedding photographer uses the camera to capture moments that are filled with emotion. Each image that she snaps tells a story and brings you back to that moment, making you feel the same way each time you see it. Any “photographer” can take a picture, but only a true wedding photographer can get the shots that tell your story.
That said, the photographer you choose to take on this very special and important task must be someone you are 100% comfortable with, so she can grab your real and deep emotions. If you find the right person, you will know — everything about her will be so natural and you will feel her sincere desire to build a relationship with you.
Does the prospective photographer show a love of the craft?
A great question to ask photographers during the interviewing process is what they do with their spare time. Does he always carry his camera with him to family gatherings or other personal events? Only those who absolutely love what they do will take their craft and bring it into their daily lives. A great wedding photographer will always bring this passion everywhere he goes.
While speaking with him, it’s a very good sign if he is sharing in your excitement as you explain your wedding plans. Someone who just talks about what they can provide (just selling you their service) will not be able to fake real enthusiasm.
Does the prospective photographer make all past work readily available for you to see?
As I mentioned from the start, anyone can create an impressive website — but how do you know what you see online is what you will get on you big day? You are not seeing all of her work online, just what is the best she has. And how can you even be sure what you see is in fact her work?
Ask to see her portfolio, but ask for references, too. Speak with former brides she worked for, find out what her photos looked like and also how professional she was in terms of delivery of photos and deadlines. Ask former clients what they remember the most about their wedding photographer. This simple question will likely tell you everything you need to know to make your decision.
In summary, the best candidate for your wedding photography will have all of these very important criteria checked off on your list. If you are lucky enough to find someone who fulfills all these musts, don’t wait another second — book them! Best of luck!