How To Pick The Right Wedding Photographer

I decided to write a post about what to look for, when choosing a wedding photographer. So many brides are overwhelmed by all the choices out there, package options, pricing, and so on. How do you know who to pick? What should you look for in a photographer? How do you know if they will understand your vision for your wedding?

Well, I have the answers for you! I will show you how to spot a professional from an amateur, so you can save yourself from hiring the wrong person. 

To start, you should always review a photographers work and profile before you hire them. Look at their website. Make sure you read reviews and look at the examples they show. Do they have high-quality photo examples? Do they have an 'about us' page? Is it easy to find their contact information? 

What to look for when reviewing a photographer's work: 
Image quality: This is the most important thing to look for, yet it can be difficult to determine, if you are not a photographer.

True professional photographers know how to: 
1) Use natural lighting AND flash photography. The right photographer will know how to work in all types of lighting situations and shows that in their body of work. 
2) Create crisp and sharp images. You can check the sharpness of a photo if you zoom in on the image. Does the area in focus look sharp, or blurry?
3) Knows how to pose people, and show the wedding couple at their best. The couples in the wedding photos should look natural and relaxed. The right photographer will always make you feel comfortable in front of the camera. 

Equipment: What type of equipment does the photographer use? A wedding photographer uses only the best equipment, cameras and lenses for shooting weddings. Check with the photographer to see what they are using. For weddings, professional photographers shoot with a Nikon D750, D800, or above. Canon's EOS 5D or 6D. Or, Sony's Alpha A99.

Reviews: What kind of reputation does the photographer have? Do they work well with other people? Credible reviews from past clients will help determine what it’s like to work with them. Sometimes friends/family recommend a professional, even though they have never worked with them. Do your research. If they have been in business for a while and lack reviews - that can be a red flag. 

Trust: You want to find someone who is passionate about photography and working with you. They need to be personable and be able to create a connection with you. Do they care about you and your needs? Do they treat you like you are their only #1 client? If not, it’s time to move on. 

Reliability: If you are in the midst of searching for a photographer, you have probably already started inquiring with them through email or phone calls. The most reliable and professional photographers are going to be the first ones to respond to you. They realize your time is valuable and you shouldn’t have to wait around for them to get back to you. Time is money. 

Value: You want a photographer who can demonstrate the benefits of working with them. What sets them apart from the competition and makes them unique? I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “you get what you pay for.” In most cases, this rings true for photography, so keep that in mind when looking at price. 

What to watch out for when reviewing a photographer's work: 
1. Not showing wedding photography examples on their website (yet, the photographer claims to offer wedding photography services). Photographers only show their best work on their websites, if they don’t have examples to show - that’s a red flag. 

2. Not using adequate lighting. A professional photographer knows how to work in all light situations and use professional lighting systems. If they do not, the photos will not have proper exposure. You can tell if the exposure is off in a photo, by looking at the tonal range (the range of lights and darks in an image). If elements in the picture have a drop shadow behind them, that's a sign the photographer is not using their flash equipment properly.  

3. Lack of mood or style in their photo examples. What feeling do the images portray? Do they make you feel happy and excited? Can you see the love and emotion between the couple? 

4. Showing photos that look outdated. This includes things like: Sepia toning, black and white images with one element in color, and vignetting (vignetting is when images look darker or lighter around the edges). All these things make images look dated, and not timeless. 

5. Lack of composition in their photos. What makes a great photo? 9 times out of 10, it’s proper composition. Composition is the manner in which things are position within a frame. It's important elements are balanced and there is a clear focal point. 

Investing in the right person can make the difference:
The importance of hiring the right photographer, is critical when it comes to your wedding. A day that ideally only happens once in a lifetime. This is a topic that is very close to me. My two best friends both had bad experiences with their wedding photographers, which ultimately lead to regret. Both of my friends hired a cheap, in-experienced wedding photographer and never received the photos they hoped and dreamed for. I never want a wedding couple to feel that way! 

In most cases, the "right" photographer is going to be the most "professional" photographer. When you invest in someone who is professional and loves what they do, the possibilities are endless! You will get amazing works of art, that you can cherish for a lifetime. I wish you all the best of luck during your wedding preparations! If you are looking for a professional, dependable photographer who will exceed your expectations, please reach out to me! I would love to work with you :)