The next in our series of “Top Tens”! We realize there are hundreds if not thousands of articles on how to choose your perfect wedding photographer (or any other photographer for that matter!) So we wanted to give you some things NOT to do when trying to choose the person photographing your special day!
- Don’t choose Uncle Bob or Aunt Judy to spare their feelings! We understand that friends and family may have the best intentions for you on your wedding day. But unless they are professionals or even semi professional – their free services may cost you A LOT of headache. It is pretty much impossible to Photoshop out a thumb that covers your entire head and it’s really hard to “re-do” the walk down the aisle because his camera needed new batteries. Let them down easy and just tell them you want family to just enjoy the day!
- Don’t pick your professional photographer just because he/she is at the top of your Google Search! They may be at the top of the search but it may not be because they are great photographers – they may have just paid for that placement. If a photographer has a good bit of money to market their services and buy the best equipment that’s great – but it doesn’t buy talent! Do your research!
- Don’t hire a jerk! This should be a no-brainer but if the photographer you are meeting has a bad attitude and great work…don’t hire him! You don’t need a cocky, pushy, or rude photographer for your wedding day! I promise if you search you will find someone just as talented – if not better – that you and your family will actually like!
- Don’t hire the nicest photographer either! Again – a no-brainer – but I get you may not want to hurt his or her feelings – but if you want something different from what is offered – don’t hire her just because she is nice! Sure – be her friend on Facebook but don’t let the nice person that takes horrible photographs handle this once in a lifetime day!
- Don’t hire based on gender! I use “him” and “her” throughout these posts because ultimately gender doesn’t matter. Let their work and attitude speak for itself!
- Don’t hire based on price alone! We get that you have a budget and you must find photographers within that budget – but don’t expect $4000 worth of work for $1000! Also don’t expect just because a photographer charges $4000 that their work is worth it! You have to go to their portfolio, meet with them, then decide. There are some GREAT photographers just starting out and some HORRIBLE ones that have been in business for 20 years – the difference is the talent then the price.
- Don’t hire based on recommendations alone! Seen this before…”Well my cousin had [insert photographer’s name here] at her wedding three years ago and loved ______!” Um – did your cousin have the same expectations? Has the photographer changed his/her processes, style, or attitude? You still need to do your own legwork!
- Don’t hire a photographer that has no portfolio to show you! He or she may have the right price, right attitude, right equipment but if they can show you at least a few decent pieces of their work then watch out! They may be scamming you! If they only have one wedding to show you but want to charge a ridiculous amount of money – just walk away slowly and then never look back!
- Don’t hire a photographer that offers no contract of any kind! I know its great to think that a good handshake and down-payment will ensure they’ll show up – but it doesn’t. A contract not only protects you as the client but also protects the photographer as well. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy loaded with legal speak that you need to have translated – but get it in writing!
- Finally – DO NOT choose a photographer that has no time for you! It’s great that a photographer is busy – that means they are getting hired! However, if they at some point can’t have a meeting with you and just want to “show up” that’s a big no-no! How can they capture your moments with your family if they don’t even know who you are and what you are about! Will they have time to answer any questions? Will they rush you all day? Don’t expect hours of meetings but at least a cup of coffee and nice conversation would be nice!
Happy hunting for your perfect wedding photographer!
The first topic in our “Top Ten” Series will deal with how to have GREAT Engagement Photos! These are the photos that announce to the world that you are engaged to the love of your life! You know the photos where the girl is gently laying her head on her fiance’s shoulder in front of a plain back ground with extremely soft lighting – pretty right? Yes of course they are!! But do they tell a story? No…so here is how to have your photos tell your story!
- Pick the right photographer for what you want. It doesn’t have to be the same photographer that shoots your wedding! You may want more of a staged shoot for your engagement photos and photojournalism for your wedding. That’s great but not every photographer can do both.
- Break the rules. Who says the girl has to sit in front of the guy while he holds her? Why can’t he be lying in her lap? These are little things but don’t follow preset rules!
- Do not look like twins! If you want real photos of you and your love – it doesn’t mean you have to dress alike. Yes you should coordinate but that doesn’t mean sacrificing your individual style. The reason you love one another may be because of your differences – let that come through. Just talk to your photographer before hand on the best clothing choices.
- Smile! I understand that not everyone enjoys having their photo taken – but you don’t want to look depressed in your engagement or save the date photos. Just think of it not as a “photo session” but a very short, photo documentary of your upcoming nuptials.
- Consider having your shoot “styled” by a professional. They can bring elements together to make your photos truly unique. Your photographer or wedding planner would be great resources to use – just be open to creativity.
- Have your makeup and hair professionally done for the shoot. Not to say you have to look any different from yourself, but the camera, especially digital ones, pick up every detail!
- Write out your story for your photographer. What brought you together? Do you both enjoy a similar type of drink? Was there something funny or unique that brought you together? Then ask if he/she can incorporate that into your photos.
- If you are using these as your save the date cards – tell your photographer! Ask your photographer if he/she can incorporate the wedding information into the picture. Maybe leaving space at the top for the date to be “photo-shopped” in. This is a lot more unique than simply putting a photo on a pre-made template.
- Don’t be in a hurry! If you think you will get awesome photos in 30 minutes or less after you beat the traffic home from work and rushed to change clothes and grab a bite to eat – well I think you get the “picture”. This should be enjoyable for you and your spouse to be – make sure you have the time and a photographer that will take the time to make them great.
- Have fun! Yes have fun while having your professional engagement or save the date photos taken. Joke around, be yourselves, don’t let the camera dictate to you how you will interact with one another. Go to a place that you love, relax, be yourselves and look forward to the awesome photos you are about to have done!
This isn’t an all-inclusive list…but it will definitely get the job done and hopefully give you some ideas you hadn’t had before! Feel free to leave comments or share with us your engagement pics!