How to Select a Wedding Photographer
Photo albums stick around longer than any cake flavors, so clearly you’ll be lamenting or loving your decision on wedding photographer longer than any other vendor.
Once you have danced your last dance, hung up your dress, and returned from your honeymoon, your photos will remain. We asked Brittany K. Blando, BKB & Co.‘s creative founder and lead wedding photographer, to share her insight into finding the perfect wedding photographer.
To start, establish a photography budget. Blando suggests that $4,000-plus is a good starting point for an accomplished Boston wedding photographer. “Interview three reputable wedding photographers in the same price point,” she says. “Compare their work, product line, online reviews, additional expenses related to your capture, as well as their personalities.”
Once you know what you can pay, consider the types of photos you want. She notes four styles when searching for your photographer: traditional, editorial, photojournalist, and creative. Once you understand what they each do, you can decide accordingly.
“A traditional photographer will focus on portraiture and posing, while the editorial photographer is known for capturing ‘real wedding’ magazine-style imagery, concentrating on details and decor with a hint of traditional,” she explains. “A photojournalist will capture your day without any posing, revealing documentary worthy shots. A creative photographer will combine all four styles and blend your story perfectly, creating a one-of-a-kind story line.”
How frequently they do what they do is equally as important as to how they do it, so she suggests hiring a full-time wedding photographer with at least three full-time wedding seasons completed. “A seasoned professional will know how to technically manage equipment, assistants, and second shooters, while navigating scheduling behind the scenes,” she continues. “The full-time wedding photographer is quick on their feet, organized, manages family dynamics, and knows how to direct the client, all while working alongside other vendors.”
Here are a few other areas for extra thought:
- Many studios offer “second shooters” in their package; be sure to ask who the second shooters are, how they are related to the studio, and how they are selected? Ask how their second shooter will enhance your coverage, how long they are there to capture, how does their style mesh with the lead photographer’s, and are they full-time trained?
- What would happen if there are unforeseen circumstances and your photographer is unable to capture your event? Ask for their “backup” plan and references to others.
- Wedding photographers work with either Canon or Nikon professional grade equipment. Your photographer should have at least two main camera bodies, one backup body, several lenses, flashes, additional lighting equipment, and digital media.
- Find out what your photographer wears on your wedding day. It’s important the photographer represents you and the style of your event.
- Inquire with your photographer candidate about their industry turn-around time to view your images. Review album designs and online galleries to see how a wedding day is presented.
- Ask about social media sharing, unplugged weddings, and blogging your wedding. These topics should be addressed at the time of consultation; every studio holds different policies, while every couple has different preferences.
- Communicate with your photographer during the wedding planning process, and don’t be intimidated to tell them “too much.” The more they know, the better!
Blando stresses that you read your contract. It’s so important to make sure the person you’re interviewing is the person who will actually be capturing your wedding, as well as knowing your product/coverage/expected final product date and payment schedule.
Her last word of advice: “Most importantly, choose a photographer that you connect with who understands your vision, and is committed to the success of your wedding.”
Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and with this advice, you’ll avoid having some of those be four-letter ones.
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