Your wedding day is a pretty big deal. And your photos are an even bigger deal.
Which is why it’s so important that you find the perfect photographer.
And believe me, it’s about way more than good photos.
I started my business in 2011, and for more than half of that time, I’ve specialized in weddings. I love weddings and everything about being part of someone’s special day.
The joy, the laughter, the candid moments…all get me fired up.
But, make no mistake, shooting a wedding takes skill, precision, and the perfect amount of personality.
Hands-down, the starting point for choosing a photographer is that you like their photos. You want to make sure you are comfortable with their style, and the photos they’ve taken. If you aren’t immediately in-love, then keep searching.
But what about beyond the photos?
What else do you need to know about hiring a good photographer, aside from photos?
Here’s a quick list.
Are they efficient with time?
You want a photographer that is super-efficient when it comes to time. They need to have a plan for your wedding day, and a true understanding of how long things will take. You don’t want to be “that bride” whose friends and family are waiting for hours after the ceremony while the party takes photos.
You want someone who takes the time to get the best shot, but who can also keep things moving. Having a photographer who is efficient with time is as important as liking the photos.
Personally, my timer is my best friend on wedding days. I set that thing for everything. Without it, I would be lost, because I want to make sure the day goes smoothly so my couples can breathe, relax, and enjoy their wedding day.
Tip: Ask the photographers you interview how they keep things moving and on schedule, in order to get a better insight into how they will work on your big day.
Are they flexible and a problem solver?
Choosing the right lens is one thing, but being flexible and problem-solving is a whole different thing!
Can your photographer figure out how to make the best use of time when the transportation bringing guests to the wedding arrives late and pushes the planned timeline back by 30 minutes?
Or, when the hair and makeup artists take 20 minutes longer than planned and everything before the ceremony needs to be shot in 20 minutes instead of 40?
Or when it starts sprinkling in the middle of your beautiful outdoor group shots?
A good photographer will be able to make adjustments throughout your day and utilize the pockets of time they have when things don’t go as planned.
Tip: When chatting with photographers, ask them about a time they had to readjust the plan because something threw the day off schedule. That will give you some good insight into how adaptable they are.
No problem, let me go photograph the reception space now that will give me some time back.
Are they good with people?
Your wedding day is full of the most important (and sometimes – different) people in your life.
Keep in mind that your photographer will interact with almost everyone at your wedding. So, it’s important to ensure that your photographer is:
- Kind, warm, and welcoming.
- Able to hold a conversation with anyone.
- Gracious, but willing to take the lead.
- Someone who can put others at ease… because you want pictures that look natural!
As a photographer, I’m showing up to be part of your day. I know that everyone that you’ve invited matters to you, and that means they matter to me too.
Tip: While interviewing your wedding photographer, ask them about a time they were in a difficult situation with a family member or friend of the bride and groom at a wedding. Then, ask them what they did in response to that situation.
Does your photographer ask the right questions?
Every single question may not be asked and answered on your initial call with a photographer, but asking the right questions and listening along the way is incredibly important when choosing a photographer.
Are they asking questions about:
- The size of your wedding party (that affects your timeline).
- The timing of hair and make-up
- Any special traditions during your ceremony
- Any bridal party members with special requests
- The ages of your flower girl and or ring bearer so that they account for nap times
- Family members, you want to ensure are a special part of the day
You want your photographer to listen to what you want and need most.
I always ask my couples what they want to see and feel from their day. I’ll ask them to share everything that is important to them when it comes to their wedding day including a bit about their relationship, the candid moments they want to see, any grandparents who will be attending, cousins that they haven’t seen in years…all of the things that they might not remember to tell me on the wedding day.
Keep in mind that a good photographer will want to hear about everything that’s important to you BEFORE your wedding day, so they are ready to go when the day comes!
One of my favorite examples is when I caught the reaction of one of my brides who had a memory table set up for someone incredibly important to her. I get chills looking back at that photo when she first laid eyes on something that was so meaningful to her. The look on her face was priceless.
I was able to catch that shot because I asked the right questions before the wedding day.
As you consider who your wedding photographer will be, make sure that you go into every discussion with these things in mind. Great pictures are necessary, but there is so much more to consider when choosing a wedding photographer.
Did I leave anything out?
What’s one thing that you would want in a photographer other than good photos? Let me know in the comments below!