Happy Thursday everyone! As I mentioned in my ‘How to Find a ‘Wedding Photographer’ post a couple of weeks ago, planning your wedding, while it’s a wonderful experience, can get frustrating with all the choices and decisions you need to make. Let’s take the wedding photographer as an example; the choices are endless just a Google search for wedding photographers in NY or Westchester or any city in the world will return hundreds of photographers; the large mass market studios with “affordable” pricing, the weekend warriors that do weddings on the side or the boutique style photographers that provide you with the best products and customer service; but how do you know how to choose the right photographer for your wedding? What do you need to watch out for to make the right decision? What style of wedding photography will match your vision?
To help you in this process I have put together a PART 2 for this post laying out the 6 key factors to consider when choosing your wedding photographer. Remember that out of all your wedding vendors, your wedding photographer is the only one that will leave you with something tangible and something that will let you remember and share the joy of your wedding day for many, many years!
1 – Style
Without a doubt, your wedding photographer’s photography style plays an important role. I suggest that the first thing you do is to buy a few wedding magazines and see what kind of wedding photography you like, is it airy, traditional, posey or a more contemporary style. Then, Google photographers in your area and take a look at their websites and blogs and make a list of the wedding photographers in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey or any area of the country you will get married that you find interesting. Once you have a list of the photographers you like, contact them for more information and to set up a call where you can find out more about them. Also, ask them for a sample of a full wedding to see if their overall style is the style you want in your photos.
2 – Personality
After style, I believe that your wedding photographer’s personality is the most important factor that will make or break a wedding and it’s important for you to take some time and thorough research before signing on the dotted line. Remember that you’ll be selecting more than just a photographer to snap pictures of your wedding day – you’ll be hiring a professional that will be with you and your family during your entire wedding day; therefore, finding a photographer you like as an individual and as a photographer plays a huge part in the selection process and something that should not be overlooked in any way!
Your wedding photographer’s personality can set the tone for the entire wedding celebration and it can impact the outcome of your overall wedding photography. In most cases you and your photographer will work together for a year or more; from the consultation to the engagement session, to the wedding day, to the post-wedding and to the album delivery.
3 – Price
I think price, while it’s very important in making the right decision; price alone should not be the one and the only factor to base your decision on. Over the last few years of being a wedding photographer in the New York City area, I’ve heard many horror stories from brides who made their wedding photography decision photography based solely on price, only to regret their decision at the end. Remember that after your wedding day when your guests are gone, the honeymoon is over, and years have gone by, your wedding photography (and album) will be the only thing you’ll have to remember that very special day.
4 – Wedding albums
One of the questions you should always ask yourself is what do I want to do with all the photographs that my wedding photographer will take? The ideal answer to this is to place them in a beautifully designed handcrafted wedding album that your wedding photographer should provide you with. I’d think twice about hiring a photographer who doesn’t offer albums. Sure many will offer you a beautiful branded USB or DVD with all the images in them, but don’t underestimate the importance of a wedding album from your wedding day. The wedding album is your first family heirloom! Just think about it for a minute and fast-forward 50 years from now, wouldn’t it amazing to show your grandchildren how beautiful you were on your wedding day? In my experience the USB drive is 9 out 10 times collecting dust in a drawer, or who knows, with technology evolving so fast in a few years those DVDs or USBs will go the way of diskettes!
Along with style, select a wedding photographer that best represents you and your new family. Wedding albums are available in a variety of shapes, materials, and sizes. The questions you need to ask your wedding photographer are: 1- How many pages will the wedding album include? 2- how many images will the wedding album have? 3- what materials (leather or non-leather) options will be available for the wedding album? Ask these questions to make sure you are making the right decision.
5- Wedding day coverage
One of the most overlooked aspects when selecting your wedding photographer is the number of hours of coverage that the photographer will offer you to cover the wedding. In an ideal world, your wedding photographer should be with you to capture and document every single moment of your wedding day. After all, a complete coverage is one of the reasons you are investing in hiring a professional wedding photographer. The ideal wedding photography coverage for a typical wedding in Westchester, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut is 8 to 10 hours depending on the size and duration of your wedding.
A word of caution here, there are a number of wedding photographers that will offer you a really “attractive” initial pricing; however, in many cases –aside from other hidden costs – they will offer you less than appropriate coverage for your wedding day. Once you realize is often too late and now you have to buy the additional coverage at no so attractive pricing. Please make sure you read the fine print before you sign your contract.
6- Number of wedding photographers available during your wedding day
The number of wedding photographers needed on your wedding day will depend on the length of your wedding, the size of the wedding and the guest number on your wedding. As a rule of thumb I recommend to have a second photographer if your wedding has more than 100 people and the bride and groom are getting ready at different locations. Having a second photographer will ensure that your main wedding photographer is focused on you and your bridal party while the second wedding photographer covers your groom, guests, and details.
In addition, having two wedding photographers will ensure that nothing is missed and that all your wedding photography needs are met. Remember, this is the most important day of your life!
I hope you find these tips helpful and please contact me to get more information about my wedding photography services.
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon!
To go to Part 1 of this Blog post, click HERE!