The No Stress System to Choosing a Wedding Photographer
Congratulations on your recent engagement. I’m sure if you’re looking at photographers, you’ve started to realize planning the perfect wedding feels like a full-time real estate photographers near me job and the options can be a bit overwhelming. This little system on choosing the perfect wedding photographer for your wedding is foolproof. If you follow it exactly, you’ll know exactly what you’re going to get from your wedding photos. It’s applicable to all budget levels, so take a minute to read it and you’ll be a step ahead in at least one aspect of your planning.
This may seem obvious, but competency should be your number one criteria in choosing a wedding photographer. Everything else is secondary. They can be the nicest person in the world, but if the photos aren’t very good, who cares? You’re not looking for a friend, you’re looking for great photos of your wedding. But gauging competency is sometimes difficult. The work we all put on our websites and in our sample albums is our best work. And, unfortunately, that can sometimes be deceiving.
Imagine if you could go to someone else’s wedding, in your pajamas, and walk around and look at the work of your prospective vendors. You could see what the flowers look like after 5 hours, taste the food and cake and watch the dj or band as they engage the crowd – all without being seen. You have that option with your photographer. You just need to know how to ask.
Start your search by gathering names from friends, family and vendors and by searching websites of local wedding photographers. Spend some time on websites, read reviews and imagine yourself in the photos you see. Narrow your search to your 3-5 favorites.
Contact the photographers by email and make one simple request: If you have my date available, please show me 2-3 full weddings from the past year, preferably from the time of day of your wedding. A full wedding is the gallery they give to the clients, not just a selection of images in an album or on a website. There should be hundreds of photos in a full gallery. Why email, why not simply call them? By nature, photographers have great people skills and as a result, many photographers are great salespeople. They will want to meet you before they show you the galleries. They’ll say things like, “I’m happy to show you that, no problem, but let’s meet and make sure we’re compatible before we get to that part.” That translates into, “Come let me sell you on my services and we may never even have to get to the pesky full wedding thing.” Stick to your guns. Don’t skip the initial research. 2-3 full weddings will give you a great overall picture of their style, coverage and skills.
If the photographer doesn’t want to show you full galleries, move on. They could very well be hiding something and who wants to take that risk? Don’t fall for the privacy response (“I’m very considerate of my client’s privacy, so I can’t show you that.”) I’ve seen that response given to newbies in forums to use when they don’t want to have to show their full weddings. You’re not asking for specific weddings, just 2-3 of the photographer’s choice. If they show weddings on their website, then they should be willing to show you full weddings.