5 Tips For finding The Right Wedding Photographer
Hello, I'm Ethan Beazley. I am a wedding photographer based out of Phoenix, AZ. I understand that for most of you, finding the right photographer for your wedding is not only extremely important but it can also be a challenge. There are so many options out there. So many photographers shoot in so many different styles. Some photographers may seem like a great choice but then you meet them and something about their personality might throw you off. Then there is the perfect photographer... until you see his/her rates. This detailed article will map out what you should consider when searching for a photographer that fits.
1. Ask questions!
This is number one on my list for a reason. The biggest mistake couples make when looking for a photographer is not asking enough questions. Does the photographer watermark all of the images? Do they send full resolution images or just a scaled down size? Do they shoot with a second shooter? (Second photographer). Does the photographer sell prints? Do they stay for the entire event? Are they equipped to shoot in low lighting conditions? While some of these questions may seem like no-brainers, I can assure you that they are not. Every photographer runs their business differently.
2. Read their reviews.
As a photographer, I pride myself a lot on my images but a lot photographers are capable of creating beautiful images. I have stood out in the crowd with my reviews. I actually work harder every single wedding just to earn that glowing review. Many couples, when they write a review of their wedding photographer will briefly mention the quality of the work but they will really write the review based on their personal experience working with the photographer. If you really think about it, you are inviting a stranger into a very intimate part of your lives. Makes sense to make that someone you like.
3. Engagement Session.
This is a fantastic way to get to know a photographer. An engagement session is just short photo shoot, usually about an hour long, that couples will often use on social media, save the date cards, and to print out and display at the wedding. Most photographers these days days will do these sessions for cheap. That way, if you do the session and do not like what you got out of it, you are out a small amount of money. Think of it as a trial session for both you and your future spouse as well as for you and the photographer. I actually will do the session for free if the couple books their wedding with me.
4. Meet with the photographer.
Meeting the photographer is a must-do at some point during the wedding planning process. Most (Not all, because some photographers are weirdos) will meet with you for free to discuss your wedding. No strings attached! Yeah, I know, thats a weird concept when it comes to part of planning your wedding. Fact is, we don't shoot weddings for the money. If we did, we would have chosen a different career path. We shoot weddings because it is what we love to do. (I speak for myself as well as 90% of the other wedding photographers that I know). I am always excited to meet new couples and learn about their events wether they book their wedding with me or not. If a photographer is reluctant to meet with you then that should be a red flag.
5. Ask other vendors.
When you are booking your band/dj, caterer, etc... ask them about referring a photographer. They will know better than anyone. We all see the same people all the time. It is a pretty small industry. The only exception to this is to avoid working with a venue's preferred photographer. In this situation you will be paying to much to a photographer that earned their status as a preferred photographer by paying a commission to the venue. Vendors all talk. Photographers really have the advantage of building a good relationship with other vendors because we have something more to offer. I often will snap a few photos of the band or dj and send the photos to them. Other vendors will also know how the photographer really carries him/herself during a wedding.
I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.