5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Wedding Photographer
There are thousands of photographers who might be jumping at wanting to photograph your wedding! Here are some 5 basic questions to ask yourself as you find a photographer who can be a right fit for you. Of course, there are so many more things to consider, but this is just a start!
1. What’s the wedding photographer’s personality like?
The photographer doesn’t have to be your BFF, but it’s important that you like or don’t mind the photographer’s personality. They have to have a personality that allows them to be a good listener to YOU, to hear your needs and understand YOU to photograph you well. If you’re a super quiet or shy person, you probably wouldn’t benefit from a pushy photographer who talks your ear off. Or, if you jive with people who have quirky personalities, then you’ll likely feel more comfortable around a photographer who comes across as super unique and quirky in their dress, speech, personality. For me, I’m pretty even-keeled, and not boisterous. I wish I could have a huge sense of humor to make people laugh all the time in photos, but I love to photograph couples who are already fun-loving, funny, and down-to-earth who are curious by nature, and adventurous. (We also don’t mind getting our leather oxfords a little dusty!)
How do you find out what their personality is like? See what is conveyed on the website, but if you meet with that photographer, or at least talk on the phone with a few different photographers, it will help. Some photographers may talk more at the meetings, but when shooting a wedding day, they’re more on the quiet side. Read reviews on Weddingwire or Facebook, and see what other brides and grooms say.
2. What do the reception photos look like?
If you’re having a reception after the sun goes down, you better make sure the photographer isn’t afraid of the dark, and knows how to take kick-butt images no matter what the lighting situation is! If the photographer barely has any reception images to show in their portfolio, buyer beware!!!
3. What do the family formal photos look like?
It’s a rare day for everyone to look so dolled up. Formal photos of family members should be full-body, with enough head room or edge around the people for clients to put in picture frames. You can’t go wrong with people standing angled towards the bride and groom, and all arms and hands hanging down at the sides. I know we love eachother so much that we want to put arms around eachother’s shoulders, but if family photos are that important to you, make sure the photographer takes more formal posed pictures of everybody.
4. How much variety is there in the bride and groom portraits?
Okay, I am seriously tired of seeing photographer portfolios that are nothing but different couples just doing “the dip”, the same cheesy dip pose over and over again. But if that’s what you want, then DON’T HIRE ME as your photographer!!! There are plenty of photographers who charge a lot less and will do this. Yeah…and maybe even better with direct flash…or some strange selective coloring. Eeewww.
You invest in a professional photographer, and they should offer you a variety of bride and groom portraits from your wedding day, like if they even spend 10 minutes with you (which can sometimes happen), they should be able to maximize that time and not waste it. Look at photographer’s portfolios: there should be a variety of different poses, shots, angles, perspectives.
5. Is the photographer a registered business?
In these times, it is so easy to put up a website, Facebook page, and post some images to attract people. Just because a photographer has more than 1,000 Likes on Facebook doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a professional service. In my perspective, if I see that a photographer is an actual business, then that means they’re serious in being professional. As a business, you’re accountable to the government, and you have to price yourself to be profitable in order to run your business professionally. I’m not sure that $500 for 8 hour wedding photography service is profitable or legit, unless they’re shooting a million weddings a year.
Since I became a business as Trailing Twine Photography, I’ve realized that this is a machine that never stops or like a plant that keeps growing. Costs of doing business…liability insurance, equipment insurance, directory subscriptions, bookkeeping fees, occasional outsourcing fees, sample products, the list goes on!
And…did you know that some wedding venues will NOT allow a photographer to shoot at your wedding if they do not have any general liability insurance?! Ask your venue if they have any requirements, and also ask the photographer if they have proof of liability insurance.