It is exciting and it is time to start planning for that wedding! With that being said where do you start? After you have set your date and booked your venue, next would be a photographer. What do you need to ask your prospective wedding photographer and what things do you need to keep in mind while picking a photographer? Here is my list of top things to consider:
1. You like their work and it fits your style. ~ Even if the pictures are great, you need to make sure their work is it something that you are drawn to and could easily fall in love with. Every photographer creates the picture in their own way and edits the picture differently. It is through their eyes. It would be doing the photographer and you an injustice to ask them if they could edit it to someone else's style. If you wish to view any of the wedding galleries I have in it's entirety, let me know I will gladly let you see and recommend some that are from your venue, too!
2. Your personalities mesh well together. ~ You will be spending the most time with this person out of all the vendors on that day. You will also be trusting them to make you look good. If you feel you will be annoyed with the person in any way it will most definitely show in your pictures! This is why I feel it is important to sit down with both you and your fiancé to discuss all the details of your wedding and to also do the engagement session. The engagement session helps us work through any camera shy-ness and get to know your personalities, what your likes and dislikes are. It makes the wedding day go by much more smoothly.
3. They have a professional camera, lenses, and flash equipment and back-ups of that equipment. ~ What I'm saying is that they are not going to show up to your wedding with a point and shoot just like your friends have. That would be absurd! But also, because technology does fail sometimes, what happens if their camera just quits in the middle of your special day? Yep! That professional photographer better have another camera ready to go! I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III and my back-up is a Canon 5D Mark II, I use L lenses, and have three flashes.
4. They know how to use that equipment in all circumstances. ~ It is easy to put that nice camera in Program mode and just shoot away. Professional photographers use Manuel mode. That means they will control all aspects of that picture. The shutter speed, the depth of field (aperture), iso, and more depending on what lens is used. I only shoot in Manuel mode throughout the whole day in every changing environment (low lighting in the hotel room, bright outside, low lighting in church, etc.) and I'm fast at it and know what they should be ahead of time!
Questions to ask: Do you know how to make sure the sky is not washed out and stays blue? If my ceremony is during the mid-day sun, what can you do to make sure I don't have shadows under my eyes? What if I have a low lit reception, how do you make sure the picture is of high quality?
5. Do they have a professional photographer in mind in case they become ill and are not able to make it to your wedding. ~
You want to make sure they have a photographer, with professional equipment, that they have worked with in the past and is dependable so just in case they are very ill YOU will have a photographer and won't be scrambling for one last minute. I have a team of second shooters that have worked with me in the past and have shot many weddings.
6. How many weddings have they done in the past and have they shot at your venue? ~ You will want a Wedding Photographer, someone that has been to many of them and also knows the religious traditions of your faith. That way they can anticipate what is coming next in the ceremony and get the best angles as well as being respectful to the officiant. A photographer that has done many weddings will actually help you out in the timeline of your wedding and will know how long it will take throughout the day to get the photos that is needed (including formal posed photos of your wedding party and family). I'm very familiar with many different denominations and shot over a hundred weddings. I also have a timeline that we go over during the consultation just for photography so we are all on the same page.
7. What is done to make sure the wedding images are not lost? ~ A professional will have not only the memory cards but multiple ways of backing up your images. It would be very saddening and catastrophic to lose images. I back up my multiple memory cards on two external hard drives and my computer while editing and then all edited pictures are kept online for a year.
Taking all of these things into consideration should get you the perfect photographer for your perfect day! After all, your pictures are all that you have along with your memories of that one day of your life! Choose the right one!