How To Choose A Wedding Photographer
by William Lulow
As in choosing anything, looking at too many samples can be counter-productive. So it is with wedding photographers. I’d say that interviewing five or so professionals should be enough. Much more than that can confuse you and less than that won’t give you enough of a comparison.
Really, the most important consideration in hiring someone to photograph your wedding is that you need someone you can get along with for the duration of your event. The more you are involved in the photography, the better the images will be. Photographers love people who pose for them. If you’d rather not have your picture taken on your wedding day, they won’t be any fun to look at. The easier you make things for the photographer, the better the images will be. So, you need to find someone with whom you can form a good working relationship.
Most professional wedding photographers these days, know what they are doing. They will be able, with the help of autofocus and the knowledge of light and lighting, to produce a great set of images of your wedding day. There are some who are just not as skillful as others, but you should be able to tell from looking at their presentations. Look to see what kinds of images they make from one wedding to the next. Look to see if there are any innovative kinds of shots that might show some creativity. But remember too, that you need to have shots of the bridal party and families. These are the photographs that will endure through the ages. Not the trendy “trash-the-dress” shots. When someone looks at a wedding album many years later, they want to see what the people looked like then and who was at the affair. So, you need a photographer who knows how to capture all kinds of images.
Most wedding photographers have some kind of basic package they offer. Some offer a DVD, but no album. Some offer everything but are much more expensive. Some include an “Engagement Shoot” as a way of getting to work with the couple a little bit before the actual wedding day. This, I think is valuable. I think that you need a DVD of hi-res images but not necessarily an album. See if the photographer offers an album you can order at a later date. There is usually a 100% markup on albums. It may be helpful to know that brides cannot order their own albums from album companies themselves. This must be done through the photographer. Some photographers offer an album, but the bride then has to purchase the DVD separately. It is often hard to compare “apples to apples.”
But, if you both agree that it will be fun to have the photographer at the wedding, and you both will be into posing and getting some great shots, then that’s the photographer to hire.