5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Wedding Photographer

May 29, 2020

Yayy! You’re engaged! Time to pop some champagne and start planning this beautiful wedding!
Maybe I should introduce myself. My name is Melissa Parrott and I own Bliss Photos LLC. I have been in business for myself for 3 years and have over 10 years of Wedding Photography experience. I wanted to share this very helpful guide with you because choosing a Wedding Photographer can be so daunting! This list will definitely help you decipher who is the BEST wedding photographer for you.

…But When Should I hire?

1. The best time to hire your photographer is right after you book your venue. This will ensure that you have a definite date and the photographer can check their calendar to make sure that date is available. You will want this to be one of your first decisions because good photographers will book up fast! Also, as a photographer myself, I am always happy to offer recommendations for other wedding vendors. So, make sure to ask!

What’s your Style?

2. Ask yourself a series of questions: Are you someone who is drawn to Traditional style images (posed, smiles at the camera), Are you captivated by a more Documentary feel (Candid shots of laughter, tears, and silly moments), Do you prefer a Lifestyle approach (Candid moments with slight direction, prompted poses that bring out personalities). Do you want a photographer who allows the candid moments to happen and allows the wedding day to continue without too much interruption?
And what about the editing style? Do you love a very bright and soft look to your images, or maybe a warm and romantic feel? Some people prefer bright and bold colors as well. The best way to figure this out is to go on Pinterest and search “Wedding Photography.” Here you can create a collection of images that inspire you and will ultimately narrow down your style preference.

Yes, but do you Vibe with them?

3. Yes, the personality of your photographer IS important. Get on the phone with them and feel out who they are, why they do what they do, and how well you connect with them. This is important because you are starting a year long, if not longer, relationship with them at times. In some cases, the relationship will last long after your wedding, which is something we should all be searching for in our photographers. Just like your hair dresser, you should have a photographer that you can call on for those important moments in your life.

What’s it going to be like?

4. The best way to understand what the experience with your photographer will be like is to ask them a series of questions; For example: “What is it like to work with them,” “What does a normal wedding day look like from their perspective,” “When will the images be delivered after the wedding,” “How will the images be delivered,” etc. Make sure to plan out a list of questions for the photographer before your consult. Another really great way to get a feel for the experience with the photographer is to read their reviews and find out what exactly other couples have experienced.

How do you Value the Photography for your Wedding?

5. Now, this is a very important one. There are a lot of photographers out there whose pricing ranges from next to nothing all the way up to as high as you can think. There is always a reason for a photographer to charge what they charge. I know especially in these times, it is easy to want to spend as little as possible, BUT that decision is never in your best interest.
The photographers I’ve seen that charge very little also seem to have very little experience and expenses. I’m not saying that they aren’t talented. They very well may be, but there are some things for you to consider. Keep in mind that they may not know the best way to back up the photos, the best way to use their gear, the best understanding of lighting, etc. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where the photographer accidentally lost/deleted your wedding photos and they have no back-ups.
Gear is expensive and some of the best cameras come with a dual – card reader, which means your wedding photos are being read onto two cards at once! This is something to consider because memory cards can corrupt. I’m not trying to scare you, but this is one tiny reason for you not to choose the cheapest photographer. For instance, I have a dual slot camera, I don’t delete the photos off of my memory cards until they have made their way into my editing software, have been transferred to my external hard drive, and have been edited and sent to the online gallery where you get to view your images.
You should ask the photographers you are talking to about their back up process. I’m only saying all this to say that there is a lot that goes into a photography business, so you will want to consider the value that you are getting from these photographers.
Also, a very important question to ask yourself is…If you lost all of the photos from your wedding day, and 10 years later were able to get them back; What is the price you would put on getting those memories back?

I hope this guide has been helpful and insightful. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have. I am always looking for chances to connect and honestly, I just love this stuff!

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Photography by Melissa Parrott, Bliss Photos LLC