High on your list of wedding planning priorities should be choosing a wedding photographer. Having wedding pictures to look back on years down the road is definitely something you won’t regret. In order to ensure that you love your photos for years to come, we would suggest you start with an amazing photographer. Of course, you already know we have compiled a list of our favorite DC area wedding photographer in our vendor guide but how exactly do you go about finding the perfect one for you? We’ve got 5 pointers for picking your wedding photographer. As an added bonus we have included some questions that you can ask prospective photographers so you can be sure to choose the perfect one!
- Portfolio & Persona – Before you even begin the interview process for your possible photographers (more on that later!), make sure you look at the online portfolio and online persona. Everyone puts their best foot forward on their website, social media handles, etc. so make sure you look closely. If you don’t think the photos you see there are your style, don’t reach out. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time meeting with someone who specializes in light airy photos when you are going for a dark, rocker vibe. You want to make sure that your aesthetic and their aesthetic meshes really well.
- Interview – Interviews are great for many reasons. First of all, you want to make sure that you and your photographer get along. They’re going to be following you around all day, sharing your intimate moments. It’s best if you really like them! Not only can you get a feel for their personality in an interview, but you are often able to receive a more extensive view of their work. If you ask, most photographer would be willing to show you a full wedding so you can find out what you’re in for. If you really want detail shots and the photographer you’re interviewing focuses on people shots, they might not be the right choice for you. It’s best to find out these things right up front.
- Determine Costs – Cost plays a huge role in wedding planning. No one wants to talk about it, but if you skimp on your vendors, your wedding quality is likely to suffer. I’m not saying spend an exorbitant amount on your wedding day; I am saying pick and choose where you want to distribute your funds. If having killer photos is important to you, make sure your budget reflects that. It would be silly to fall in love with a photographer and find out that you can’t afford them after you’re too far gone!
- Read the Contract – Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you are completely in the know when it comes to expectations. You may want to find out if your photographer has a time limit or if they have the ability to add hours on to the end of the day. Sometimes you need to know if a second shooter will be included in the package. Do you know if a deposit is required? Reading your contract thoroughly will ensure that there are no surprises leading up to or (gasp!) on the wedding day.
- Post Wedding Day – Make sure you know exactly what happens after the wedding day. Curating and editing your proofs takes a lot of time and effort on the part of your photographer. Some get them done quicker than others, as with anything in life. Some will give you every single photo while others will pick and choose the best. Make sure you know what you’re getting into. You will want to know the format in which you will be receiving your photos, timeline for hand off, number of images, etc. Make sure you’re all on the same page, after all of the action!
Questions to ask your potential wedding photographers:
- How many weddings have you shot?
- Do you shoot digital or film?
- What is your style and approach?
- Do you have a full wedding that I could view?
- Have you worked at my venue in the past?
- Do you have a second shooter?
- Can I give you a list of photos I want on my wedding day?
- How do you distribute your photos? Is it an online gallery or negatives?
- How long after the wedding will my proofs be available?
- How long will they stay available? Do you archive them somewhere?
- How many hours do your packages include?
- Do you charge overtime should be decide day-of that we need you for longer than expected?