At DJVS, we are often asked for tops on helping couples choose a wedding photographer – so we thought we would do a blog post on this very subject.
First of all – make sure to hire a professional photographer whatever you do! So much thought and time goes into planning your wedding you will want to freeze in time every special moment. The amazing dress, the lovely decorations, the breathtaking venue and all your friends dolled up and letting loose. What couple wouldn’t want to capture that for their photo album? Plus, your memory of the day might be a little unfocused because you will be overwhelmed by everything. Hence, it is necessary to hire a professional wedding photographer. But just like other aspects of wedding planning, this can be a challenging experience filled with explanations of prices, packages, contracts, albums, portfolio and so on. To cut through the chase, here are crucial things to check before hiring:
Before you go any further with a probable hire, ask the photographer if your date is available. If the answer is No, and you are not prepared to change your date, then don’t bother continuing with the interview. If the answer is yes, ask how long they have been in business, how many weddings they have shot, and how many were similar to yours. Ask the kind of equipment they use, their photography style, and in what format they shoot (film or digital). Ask who exactly will be shooting photos on that day. Request for a portfolio to review and a list of references you can contact. Be very cautious of photographers who hesitate to give you these two. And of course, you should not hire someone who cannot provide a written contract.
Ask the photographer how he would describe his/her working style. The response should help you determine whether the professional is the kind of photographer who has a more visible presence, takes charge and choreographs shots, or one who blends into the environment and shoots what opens up naturally. Do not overlook the photographer’s personality. If you do not like someone on a personal basis, do not hire him/her even if his/her photos are great. Remember, this expert will become a very significant participant in your special day, not only helping you capture precious memories but also being a part of them. Your day is all about happiness first. That incredibly stunning photo won’t mean much years later if your memory of it is tainted.
It is essential to know the specifics of the shoot. Ask who will be doing the shoot, whether there will be assistants or not, and ask to meet them before the wedding. Have contact info of the primary photographer. Inquire if they have a backup plan if something happens to the photographer or the equipment. Find out if they have liability insurance to cover the cost of anything they might accidentally damage during the shoot. Ask how he/she and his/her staff will be dressed. They should appear professional but also fit in with your wedding style. Ask if it will be ok for other people to take photos while they are shooting. Ask if he/she has worked in your wedding venue before, and if not, ask him/her to consider visiting it in advance.
So – remember hire a professional – you don’t want your wedding featured in a video like this!