10 tips when hiring a wedding photographer - Things to consider that extend beyond just price and if you like their photos

When looking for a wedding photographer, there are several things you should consider. It's easy to get wrapped on price or simply seeing a photo a photographer took that you like, but just like many other businesses, there are several factors you should think about before you say yes to your photographer!
1. He has a style you like. Make sure you can see an entire catalog of images you like from one wedding. It's easy to get a few portfolio worthy images from any event but make sure you actually like their images, their style and vision.
2. Check out their blog. That will show you multiple examples of what their work looks like. You can see the work they consistently put out.
3. When meeting with them in person, make sure you enjoy their personality. If you don't click, if they don't make you laugh, if they rub you the wrong way, chances are on the wedding day, they're not gonna be any more enjoyable to be around. If that's the case, you won't look as relaxed in your photos.
4. Make sure they have professional gear and actually have backups. I've had cameras stop working. If I didn't have back up gear, I WOULD HAVE BEEN SCREWED.
5. Sign a contract. This protects you, not only the photographer.
6. Communicate your expectations. Lack of communication is the biggest reason for disappointment when dealing with vendors that didn't do what you expected. I have a very good relationship with our couples because I've always made sure that I understood what they expected and wanted.
7. KNOW HOW TO USE FLASH AND ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING. Lots of photographers will say they are 'natural light photographers'. The problem is if it's because they don't know how to use flash, your photos will not be as good as they could be. In fact, in many cases, photos will be poorly done. Flash, when used correctly and flatteringly, will make any photo better. It will make it possible to photograph in any situation. It is impossible to shoot an indoor reception in dark venues without flash. Anyone who says their cameras are sensitive or good enough to handle a dark venue is lying. As good as cameras are nowadays, and can take photos in dark settings, but the increased sensitivity in their camera will cause lots of grain, noise, etc and will not look good. Especially in faces and if it's your wedding, you will want to look your best.
8. Look for photographers with experience. A photographer may know how to take photos, they may know how to light, pose, interact and make you smile, but the lack of experience in a wedding, will show when you get your photos back. There are things I did not know about weddings when I first started shooting them that are second nature to me now.
9. If a photographer is unwilling to work with your requests, you'll probably butt heads in the future. It's your day and yes the photographer is the professional but I've heard photographers say that they refuse to do a wedding if you want to see each other for the first time when you're walking down the aisle. They will only shoot weddings that you are willing to do the first look and formals before the wedding. Well, there is some convenience to doing it that way but if you truly don't want to see each other before the ceremony then by all means you shouldn't be forced to.
10. The last thing I will suggest is ask your photographer lots of questions. They should be more than willing to happily answer anything you ask. If you asking questions and being informed upsets or irritates them, then they're most likely hiding something. This is the best way to open lines of communication which in the end will be the recipe for a happy relationship with the vendor.
I hope this list has been helpful. There are many people in our profession that don't belong here. They are not helping to create a good experience for brides and grooms. I am ALL FOR new photographers entering and contributing but they should be professional and actually have something to offer and contribute. For those who think it's a quick way to make money will only make enemies because they will fail to live up to expectations and will end up disappointing their clients on the biggest day of their lives. T.H. Peterson Photography

Comments

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  2. Outstanding tips!! We are also planning to get married and for that we would like to have chic destination party at some local Seattle Wedding venues. Your tips would be very helpful for me to hire a professional photographer for our day. Keep sharing such posts.

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  3. Get referrals from your friends, family and colleagues, venue, wedding planner, stylist, dress designer, florist, hairdresser…when a photographer keeps getting mentioned, it probably means they are good, so check them out.


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  4. The camera’s flash will fire to illuminate foreground subjects and the shutter will stay open longer so that the background’s properly exposed. Rest your camera on a tripod, though, otherwise you’ll introduce unwanted motion blur. find local photographers

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  5. I'm planning on getting married in May, so I need to start booking a venue, caters, a photographer, and everything else really soon. Thanks for the advice to choose a photographer who has a portfolio that matches your vision for your wedding. I really love candid shots, and I want minimal posed pictures, so I will look for a photographer who is capable of that goal. https://dougburkephoto.com/wedding/

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