One of the most challenging things planning a wedding is finding and hiring the perfect wedding photographer. Style, price, availability(thats a big one), and experience are key factors of course but remember no matter large or small the wedding may be, photos are one of the remaining elements of any wedding. Because of this, it is important to take your time and follow 3 simple concepts to ensure you are hiring a quality and reputable wedding photographer.
Trust. Trust goes beyond just the photographer capturing key elements but also that they will be there after the wedding to help you pick your favorites, give customer support, and more.
Connect. Connecting with a photographer to capture you’re day, is one of the most important. Some one that understands your vision and the important aspects to a couple, will be sure to capture those key moments whether its a toast, the DYI decor, or classic moments as The First Kiss.
Friendly. Most wedding photographers have been photographing in other areas such as landscapes, business portraits, or even children. Hire a photographer that has a great all around personality that makes you smile and laugh. This is a sure sign of how not only you will get along but with you’re guests and family on the day of.
The search for a wedding photographer can begin in a number of places. Just knowing where to look is enough usually, but you’ll still need to meet with the photographer, review their portfolio, as well as hear experiences from previous couples. These are key elements to keep in mind in your search and greatly narrow down who matches you’re big day. The following are suggestions as to where you may begin the search for the perfect photographer and are tried and true.
Popular today with bridal shows is an opportunity to meet with numerous wedding vendors including photographers. There are many categories of vendors represented at the shows, making it an invaluable tool for doing research and for gathering wedding-related information. When you find vendors you particularly interested in, make a note of it and call soon after the show to book a personal one on one appointment.
Ceremony and Reception Location
The locations you select for your wedding day are quite familiar with particular vendors, and usually have a preferred vendor list. The vendors on this list have worked at that site many times before and are familiar with the logistics and rules of the location.
Word of Mouth and Referrals
This probably still outranks and search engine or advertisement. You will usually get honest no nonsense answers and opinions regarding products and services when you ask married friends and family members (even co-workers) about their own weddings. Ask them about their photographer not just about the wedding photos but about their experience on the day of the wedding and the experience after. What they liked and didn’t like, would they hire them again, etc.?
The Internet is an easy access, easy to use, anytime resource. You can find a wealth of vendors on the web. Checking out a vendor’s web site can give you a good idea of pricing, packages, and type of work they do before making a personal appointment.
Local Bridal Magazines
Using local wedding magazines and directories can at first seem overwhelming, as there are a large number of advertisements in these publications. You can, however, find excellent vendors in the magazines, but it will take some calling around to acquaint yourself with these vendors.
Venues and wedding planners have several pre-established relationships with local vendors. If you are working with a consultant, she should be able to provide you with preferred photographer list. However, if you are not working with a consultant, you can still benefit from this knowledge, as most consultants will share their preferred vendor list with you for a fee.
Once you have made your final decision, sign a written contract. Call the vendor to confirm the details and ask for a contract to be sent to you. A contract is the best way of ensuring you and the vendor understand what is expected, as it should outline specifics such as dates, times, names, and types of services/products provided. It will also spell out payment plans, refund and cancellation policies. It behooves you to read and understand the contract. Do not assume you have secured a vendor for your wedding day until you have a contract that is signed by you and the vendor. And finally remember, part of getting the most from a vendorís service is also being a good client and providing the vendors with the payments and other requested information in a timely manner.