I just came across this interesting list on the Zookbinders page – a great local photo album and book company. Selecting the right wedding photographer is important for many reasons… that person will create memories that one will come back to for years to come, that person will spend the most time with the bride on her wedding day (probably more than the husband does:), that person can be the single most important factor for your wedding day to be stressful or emotional/lovely/fun. I heard some truly horror stories from my customers about their friends' wedding photographers. The most drastic ones were when the wedding photographer simply didn't show, the wedding photographer was screaming at the couple getting married and the wedding party, or simply got drunk at the beginning of the reception and stopped taking photos. Yes, unfortunately those are true stories!
Here is the original list from Zookbinders:
Selecting the right photographer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as you plan your wedding. Be sure to choose someone who will capture your memories with professionalism, artistry, personality and your style in mind.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you identify photographers, interview candidates and consider your options…
- Know the difference between a “full-service” photographer and a “shoot and burn” photographer. Full-service photographers shoot your event; edit the hundreds of images captured; design your album layout; and have access to the professional album companies that deliver quality finished albums that last for generations. Shoot and burn photographers cost less than full-service photographers because they generally capture the event and hand over the files of hundreds (possibly thousands) of images for you to handle yourself. Shoot and burn photographers will cost a lot less, but you need to think about how you plan to use the images you’ll receive. The vendors that support a full-service photographer DO NOT work with brides directly.
- Learn the differences between photojournalistic and traditional styles, candids and formal posed shots—and select a photographer who specializes in the style you want or will do a mix of styles. Full-service photographers often offer a mix of styles whereas shoot and burn photographers may only offer candid photojournalistic shots.
- Determine whether the photographer can deliver both black and white photos and color photos. Consider both your personal taste and the type of wedding you are planning when deciding your preferences.
Look at sample albums that include an entire wedding from start to finish, rather than just a few select shots.
- Look for consistent technical quality (composition, lighting, exposure, etc.) and good variety, as well as whether the people in the photos seem at ease. Do the photos capture the excitement and emotion of the occasion and tell a good story? â€¨â€¨
- Be sure the sample work you see was done by the same person you’re considering hiring as your photographer. Many studios have more than one photographer and the sample work doesn’t always indicate this.
- Understand in detail how the photographer works and charges to effectively comparison shop. How long will the photographer stay at the event? Will there be an assistant? Is back-up equipment available? Can you provide a list of specific photos you want taken? What exactly is included in the costs quoted? What about proofs, negatives and/or digital files? How long will it take to get your proofs and your album?
- Do you click? Personality is as important as anything else. The last thing you need on your wedding day is someone you and your guests don’t feel comfortable with. If possible, try and meet the person who will photograph your wedding to ensure that you’re comfortable working together.
- Ask for references and call them. Past customers can give you insights you won’t get from the photo studio.