Top 5 Tips
As soon as you’ve said, “Yes,” to the proposal, hired a wedding planner and secured a venue AND a wedding date, the very next thing you should do is choose your photographer.
(Pro Tip: If you’ve skipped hiring a wedding planner, I think that is your very first mistake! Yes, it is an added expense, BUT they have planned many weddings and know how to save you money AND time. It’s likely, that even though you add this “extra” for your wedding day, you’ll end up with more free time, less stressed out, actually spend less in the long run or have more money to spend on the things that you really wanted but thought you couldn’t afford. And the best part is, that on your wedding day, your planner will take care of EVERYTHING and you can actually enjoy your day!)
But, how do you choose the best photographer to meet your needs? The market is saturated and literally everyone claims to be a photographer. How do you sort through the muck? These tips will help you and guide you in the right direction.
Top Five Tips for Choosing a Wedding Photographer
1 – Image Quality and Photographic Style
A photographer’s portfolio should be the very first thing that captures your attention. An experienced photographer likely has settled on a style and the resulting images should all look consistent in terms of capture and post-processing. There are many different editing styles, so be certain what you are drawn to and ensure that it coincides with the photographer’s own style.
If you are drawn to a particular photographer, make sure you ask to view multiple, complete wedding coverages as opposed to just their portfolio or Instagram profile. You need to verify a consistent editing style and have a clear expectation of what your wedding day coverage will look like.
2 – Value for Money
Price is often the deciding factor for a lot of couples. Although price is a critical aspect, it should not be the sole basis for your decision. Look a little deeper than price and inspect what all is included. In addition to the photographer’s time, images, and products, you will be paying for their knowledge, skill, education, experience, and equipment.
When you are comparing photographers against one another, make sure you are comparing apples to apples (ie. are both offering high resolution digital files, are they edited, is one limiting the number of delivered digital files, does one include albums or other printed products, does one guarantee their digital delivery sooner than the other, are both bringing a second shooter… an assistant, is either one a certified professional wedding photographer, do both bring backup equipment to your wedding, are travel fees incurred?). Get all costs detailed and up front.
3 – Personality
It is imperative that you feel comfortable with your photographer and that you enjoy their company. Your photographer is one of the few vendors you’ll be spending all day with. If they grate on your nerves, it will be evident in your wedding day images. Choose someone who is pleasant, down to earth, easy going, relaxed, and confident and whom you don’t mind spending multiple hours with.
4 – Experience
Your wedding photographer will have a big impact on the flow and structure of your wedding day timeline. More often than not, the photographer plays the role of coordinator, children’s entertainer, gown and veil expert, pocket square folder, boutonniere pinner, bride whisperer, dog sitter, and the list goes on. Capturing images is only a small part of their job. Without the proper experience and the ability to perform under pressure, images will be missed, moments will go undocumented, and the timeline will suffer.
5 – Reviews
Read online reviews and testimonials for any photographer who makes it your short list. Pay particular attention to how they respond to negative reviews, if applicable. You can check Google, Wedding Wire, The Knot, Facebook, Yelp, etc. Also, ask your other wedding day vendors for feedback on someone you may be considering. However, you should be choosing your photographer early on in the planning process, so it’s likely the only feedback may come from your venue and wedding planner.
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I am San Antonio’s most unique wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.
I am a full-time, internationally-awarded and WPPI-C certified professional wedding and senior photographer based in South Texas near San Antonio. I offer a premier and personal service coupled with an unforgettable photography experience. I cater to clients who appreciate quality photography and help them to create family heirlooms that will last for generations.
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journeys and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I love to spend my spare time hiking, camping, cycling, reading, listening to Elvis and Prince. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of!
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Thanks for the tips for choosing a wedding photographer. I appreciate that you mentioned that you should take into account the experience they have with photographing weddings. My sister is looking for a wedding photographer right now and I think that having one with experience would help make sure that she got the best photos of her big day.