Finding a photographer can be tricky business—photographs are the only tangible thing that’s left from the day you planned, and you want them to be beautiful representations of your day. You don’t want to feel like hiding your wedding album anytime you have company or be embarrassed to post pictures on social media! Not only do you want a photographer that can deliver an aaaammmazzing gallery but someone who has the experience to handle anything a wedding day can throw their way.
So, here are some things to keep in mind:
ARE THEY INSURED?
This is a tell-tale sign of if your photographer is a true professional! They should be able to show proof of insurance (your venue might even require it). Why is this important? Insurance makes sure that they’re not liable for any whoopsies on the wedding day and, most importantly, it protects your final images!
CAN THEY PROVIDE FULL GALLERIES?
Ask for SEVERAL full wedding galleries when you’re searching for a photographer. Be acquainted with their style of work! You want to make sure that the galleries they are showing you tell the whole story of the day, are edited consistently, and capture all the moments like the first kiss, dances, cake, and everything in between!
REVIEWS, REVIEWS, REVIEWS!
Comb the internet, Facebook, and any wedding storefront pages like The Knot and Wedding Wire to check out reviews. It’s ok to ask the photographer for references too – you’re investing a lot into them! If they can’t provide you with a reference list, it may be a good idea to pursue some different options.
WILL YOU NEED A SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER?
I usually suggest a second photographer if the timeline is a bit cozy (that way we can tag team wedding party portraits) or if you have over 150 guests. A huge perk with having a second photographer is that you can have a different perspective of the same shot. Ask your photographer who they typically hire—relying on your photographer for referrals ensures that your photographer is comfortable working with that person, but more than that, it ensures that they trust that person. You shouldn’t have to deal with any drama between your photographers on your day! We go into more detail here.
ASK HOW MUCH TIME THEY NEED
We typically only need about 30 minutes to shoot each portion of portraits: wedding party, family, and couple portraits. However, some photographers ask for 2+ hours, so make sure you ask and their needs are covered in your timeline! This allows you to plan ahead so that you can set the wedding time accordingly, include a cocktail hour, etc.
HOW ARE THE SKIN TONES?
Does the skin look orangish or really blown out? Even with the trendy edits like the moodier style, sometimes skin can get a muddy or weird color. Light and airy editing can sometimes make people look WAY paler than they are, too! So, make sure you really look at the skin tones of the individuals in the provided galleries. The last thing you want is to look back on your photos in 10 years and think about how orange you look!
COMB THAT CONTRACT!
Read the fine print! What happens if they get seriously injured the day before your wedding? What do they do if their memory card corrupts? What is their turnaround time for images? These should all be covered in the contract! If they aren’t already included in the contract, talk with your photographer about these things and get. them. in. writing.
Yes, it is necessary. No, you are not annoying for asking!