When my husband and I got married, we had a small ceremony with just 100 guests in his parent’s backyard. We wanted to keep things simple, and one thing we opted to do was to skip having a professional photographer. Instead, we opted to have disposable cameras on each table (keep in mind it was 20 years ago so smartphones weren’t around) and have a few family members use our camera (which was a pretty good one) to take a few specific photos. Looking back, we both wish we’d gone with a professional wedding photographer.
Finding a wedding photographer these days is much easier than it would have been when we got married, and if I were choosing a wedding photographer today, I would follow these five steps when looking at wedding photographers:
- Follow them on Social Media. I’d look at their online portfolio, check out their Facebook and Instagram accounts, and read their blog to see if their style meshes with my style.
- Research. Once I narrowed down the list, I would check their online reviews and talk to past clients just to make sure they are punctual, prepared, easy to work with, and within budget.
- Set up meetings. A few years ago, I helped a friend with a project. Roughly a dozen wedding photographers got together for a Q&A session, and I spent several days typing up and summarizing their answers. All of it was from their perspective as a photographer and business owner, but I learned a lot. If they pass the Social Media and research tests, then I’d move onto meeting them in person where I’d want to gauge my comfort level and see if we developed any sort of connection. Connection seemed to be a big deal to many of the photographers, and from a bride/groom perspective, I feel like it would be incredibly important. The more you like your photographer, the more comfortable you’ll be, and that translates to better photos.
- Before making a final decision, ask about rights. Read the contract carefully because typically the photographer owns the rights to all the photos taken. That means they can use them in advertisements and on social media, and you cannot post the digital proofs they send to you. If you want to print the images yourself or order your album somewhere else, you may have to purchase the rights to the photos as well.
- Get the scoop on post-production. It can take several weeks to a month or even longer to get your proofs because it takes time to upload, process, and edit photos. Ask questions about the number of images you’ll receive, the image resolution, are images jpg or raw, if photos are retouched or edited, cost associated with retouching, and details on the completed album.
To help you get started with your search, here are two links to Triad area photographers: Triad Bridal Association Photographers and Triad Weddings Photographers. While we aren’t photography experts, we are gown experts. Let Shores help you ensure that your wedding gown is perfect for your big day, so that you can enjoy that perfection in photos for years to come.