What to know when hiring a Wedding Photographer – by Jennifer McAteer
Photography seems to be an ever increasing source of confusion in the wedding industry. Who should you hire? Why do they cost so much? Why do they cost so little? What’s the difference in Photographer A and Photographer B. There a few things you need to know when hiring a Photographer for your wedding or event.
Five things to consider when booking a Photographer by JMP Weddings
1. What kind of experience do they have?
What KIND of experience do they have? They may have ten years of experience, but if all they’ve ever shot is portrait photography at the same time of the day every time, they may not be the best fit. Can they shoot in low light? Can they shoot in bad light? Can they shoot in rain? Do they have experience dealing with hard-to-deal-with people? Are they good in stressful situations? All of these matter on your wedding day.
2. Be familiar with their STYLE of photography.
Photography is kind of like ice cream flavors. There are lots of different flavors of ice cream because everyone doesn’t like the same flavor. Everyone has a preference. Photography is much like that in that each photographer has their own style. It’s important for you to know that because as you search for a photographer, you should be aware of their style and the look of their photos.
3. Read reviews and referrals.
How did you find your photographer? Google is always a great place to search for someone, but be sure to look for reviews on Google, Facebook, etc., that previous couples have written. Do you have a friend who used them? Ask them what they liked about their photographer.
4. Have a conversation with them before booking.
It’s so important that you connect with whomever you book as your wedding photographer. You are going to be spending a LOT of time with them on the day of, and you want to make sure that you mesh well. Make sure your personalities don’t clash. Make sure that what’s important to you, is also important to them. You can tell a lot about a person by having an in person or over the phone conversation with them.
5. Understand the importance of photography.
In ten years, your wedding photos are how you are going to remember your wedding day. You can spend thousands of dollars on a venue, catering, floral, and more, but it’s the Photographer that captures all of those details and moments so that you have images to look back on and remember the day. I have found that a lot of people don’t allow for photography to take a priority in their wedding budget, and while I am ALL about a good budget, I would encourage you to make sure that you consider photography to be high on the priority list. It always makes me sad when someone spends thousands and thousands of dollars on details for their wedding and then get their images back, and either the quality was bad, or a lot of things were missed due to a lack of experience or poor communication. Your images are a legacy. They will be passed down from generation to generation long after the flowers have died and the food has been digested. What kind of legacy will you leave?
6. Why do Photographers charge what they do?
Professional Photographers have different prices for different reasons. Between expenses, hours spent on a wedding (about 30-40 average per wedding between meetings, emails, editing, business work, shooting, etc.), contracted labor (second shooters), that nice camera that they’re using to photograph your wedding; it all adds up. Additionally, professional photographers charge certain prices based on their experience. Someone who has been in the photography industry for ten years is more likely to charge more than someone who has been in the industry for one year. The same is true for most jobs. Typically, the more experience you have, and the longer you’ve been in your expertise, the more money you make. Make sure when looking at costs, that you also factor in the experience of the photographer. 🙂