Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Our best advice from asking our close colleagues, current and future brides.

You have set your budget, gathered names, viewed websites and narrowed it down to your favorites so now what?? 

 

MEETING WITH YOUR TOP CHOICES

Choosing a photographer needs to be just as much about personality as it is about portfolio.
You will be more confident and comfortable if you and your photographer jive on a personal level. Do you want someone who will help out on the day, someone who can intervene when necessary, help keep things on track or do you prefer someone who hangs back and documents. Your personal comfort level with your photographers personality and style will reflect in your final images. If you are uncomfortable it will show!!  Your photographer will be there for the most intimate moments of your day and they to be able to capture those moments authentically a level of comfort and trust is necessary.

ASK A TON OF QUESTIONS!! 

We have compiled a list of our favorite question to ask any professional photographer you are considering for your day.

I. How long have you been photographing wedding and how many weddings have your photographed in that time?
There is nothing like good old fashioned experience sometimes and photographing a wedding the more experience the better. From knowing when to anticipate moments to being able to manage large groups of people in a very short time frame, nothing beets good old fashioned experience. 
(Chrystal has been photographing weddings for the last 18 years and Lucas has been photographing weddings with her for the last 9 years) 

Dimly lit receptions are some of the most difficult lighting situations. Colin and Julie had an amazing late night new years eve wedding and boy oh boy did they celebrate! 

Dimly lit receptions are some of the most difficult lighting situations. Colin and Julie had an amazing late night new years eve wedding and boy oh boy did they celebrate! 

II. Do you have insurance??
An often never asked but extremely important question, not only your photographer but any vendor you will be working with. Most venues require event staff to carry a hefty 1-2 million dollar liability policy to even work onsite at your event. One of the tell tale signs that the person you are looking at hiring is not a professional is if they don't carry equipment and liability insurance, it's not only for their protection but yours as well. 

The look of pure joy escorting two of his best friends down the isle.

The look of pure joy escorting two of his best friends down the isle.

III. Can I see an entire wedding gallery? Or more than one.
Consistency and skill are what you will be looking for here. Just about anyone with a decent DSLR camera can take fantastic images outdoors during golden hour, but not all photographers are created equal. Technical lighting skills, difficult and dark venues, posing, anticipating moments, telling the whole story are just as important as those epic amazing portfolio images you have been looking at. View that full wedding day with a discerning eye and ask them if there are any situations that they struggle with. 

Christina and Stephen sharing a quite moment together as we visit one of their favorite spots.

Christina and Stephen sharing a quite moment together as we visit one of their favorite spots.

IV. What do we get? 
Make sure you fully understand what is included in the package that you invest in. From hours of coverage, to albums, editing, and digital files. Having a basic understanding of your timeline, wants, and needs makes choosing a package that will work best for you easier. How many hours of coverage do I think I need? Do I want to have an album to display in my home?  A few considerations to think about before deciding on a package design. 

V. Do you have backups?
Not just equipment backup either (which they need to have) but what happens in the event of illness or an accident. Does your photographer have a plan! We belong to a very strong network of the best photographers in the state! and thankfully we have never missed an event but we have filled in for others! It's a huge load off of your shoulders and ours knowing that no matter what you will be in amazing hands! 

Now back to that equipment... Camera bodies, flashes, lenses, batteries, light-stands the list goes on and on. What happens if something breaks. (because it will happen at some point) Well if your photographer is prepared you wont ever know! Back up equipment is essential for a smooth and stressfree day. We have seen to many stories online about couples stressed because a camera malfunctioned or broke and the mad dash scramble to find replacement gear last minute. We bring extra everything and then some, you can never be too prepared!

Eric seeing his beautiful bride for the first time after reading a heartfelt letter she had written him.

Eric seeing his beautiful bride for the first time after reading a heartfelt letter she had written him.

VI. Not really a question but a tip.
Talking advantage of having an engagement session with the photographer that will be documenting your wedding will go miles for your relationship and comfort level. It is not only beneficial for you but for your photographer as well. Having the opportunity to see how couples interact in front of the camera can make the wedding day itself flow much more smoothly and you get fun images that are just you being you! 

GO WITH YOUR GUT! 

When something just feels right don't second guess yourself. You know you better than anyone and when you find that perfect fit snatch it up before its gone! 

We hope that you are enjoying your engagement and the planning process! Just remember this is just the start of an incredible journey together!! Make the most of it and enjoy the little things. Your wedding will be an amazing day but don't loose site of what is important, not the photography, not the flowers, not the dress, but the person that you will be walking hand and hand with down this path called life. Cuddle them a little closer tonight and breath in that happiness. 

Cheers to LOVE and happy planning!!!

Chrystal and Lucas