Choosing a wedding photographer will be one of the most important decisions you'll make during the planning process, as the photos from your wedding day will be the lasting tangible memories of the big day. There are a wide variety of wedding photographers to choose from – from various photographic styles, to editing looks, to personalities on the wedding day itself.
To help brides and grooms choose the right professional for their big day, San Diego-based wedding photographer Paul Barnett is sharing his tips for couples looking to choose the right wedding photographer for their special day. Trusting the physical memories of your wedding day to another person is extremely important since there's only one chance to take all of the images you'd like to have in your album, so hopefully these tips help you make the right decision! Read below for his advice.
Photo by Paul Barnett Photographer; From Real Wedding: Bohemian Outdoor Garden Wedding Ceremony & Rustic Reception
For couples in search of a wedding photographer, I suggest breaking down the criteria into three main items:
This is perhaps the most important criteria. If you as a couple cannot relate to the photographer’s style, their cost and personality are irrelevant. Start by asking yourself two questions in order to determine if the photographer is a good fit.
- Will this style of photography stand the test of time? Or are the images so Photoshopped and enhanced that they will look dated in five years?
- Beyond pretty photographs, can I see proof that the photographer can capture the emotions of the wedding day and produce images with evocative depth showcasing the subject’s true character and personality?
Judging by the answers to those questions, you will have a pretty good idea of whether or not you would be happy with the style of photographs received.
The old saying “you get what you pay for” generally applies to wedding photographers, and the price for full-day coverage is wide-ranging. When meeting with photographers you are interested in, be sure to find the answers to the following questions.
- How many images are generally shot versus how many are delivered in the end? What is the average turnaround time to receive photos after post-production?
- Does the photographer offer back-up equipment, file storage, and album production?
- Are the images enhanced and edited in-house or outsourced?
- How many photographers will be covering the event?
- What is the rate should the day go into overtime?
Photo by Paul Barnett Photographer; From Real Wedding: Oceanfront Ceremony & Sunset Reception in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Determining how the answers to these questions fit your expectations and your spending limit should help you narrow down some choices. Once you have a few left to choose from, the next step is also of the utmost importance.
Meeting and choosing your wedding photographer is a bit like dating, as they need to be the right fit. The individual(s) will be with you and your guests all day, so make sure you have a good connection with open communication after meeting for the first time. In addition, be sure to ask yourself the questions below in order to ensure you find the best photographer for you.
- Is this photographer committed to capturing and producing images that reflect my taste and style?
- Is their personality compatible with my friends and family?
- Did the photographer listen to what I had to say and understand my needs and expectations?
Your photographer will be with you throughout the entire wedding day – perhaps even longer than your spouse – so it's important that you not only get along, but also feel comfortable speaking with them and sharing your questions, concerns, and wishes for the final product.
After weighing the style, cost, and personalities of your photographer selections, your answer will likely present itself. Best of luck and feel free to ask any questions in the comments!
For more expert advice, discover how to help your wedding photographer make you look amazing in photographs, find out how to maximize your photography investment, and learn ways to have your photographer capture wedding detail shots.