How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Having trouble picking a photographer for your wedding?
Finding it hard to know what to look out for?
Perhaps some of the tips below may help you…
There are really only three key points to making a good decision on a wedding photographer:

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Personality

Do they have the personality that you can work with? If you can’t work with them, if you don’t feel comfortable – then the chances are it will show in their work.

Experience and style

Have they done enough weddings shooting in the style that you like? Weddings are not easy to photograph, there are a lot of pitfalls. Also it's no good getting a traditional photographer if you want documentary. You have to like the style of the photographer as this is what you will end up with – for happily ever after!

Budget

Price should only come into your decision if you are 100% happy with the above two points. Then the only question remaining is... Do their packages fit with your budget?

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Top 20 “choose a photographer” tips

  1. Has this person photographed other weddings? Does he/she do this for a living or for fun?
  2. Ask for references, check them out personally. This a great way to get feedback directly about the photographer especially if it’s from the last wedding they did.
  3. When viewing a photographer’s portfolio or website, make sure he/she is not only capable of taking aesthetically-pleasing images, but also has an eye for quirky, spontaneous and fun situations. Ask to see photos from a whole wedding – this will give you a fair idea of their ability.
  4. Do they show consistency in the quality of their work? Or is it only one or two fantastic images from a whole shoot.
  5. Are they Qualified members of a professional body, for example the NZIPP?
  6. You may not be shopping on price, but is this person within your budget?
  7. Whether it's a la carte or a package, do you understand what you are getting?
  8. Is there any room for changes and will it cost to do so?
  9. Sometimes the packages are fixed, sometimes they can be customized, in any case, ask. How much time will he/she spend? What if you need more time? Make sure that you know what's coming.
  10. Delivery: How long does it take to get your proofs back, thank you cards, your finished album, your bridal portrait etc.?
  11. Contract: Do you understand the contract? Is it fair? Is everything spelled out? When it comes down to going to court, only what is WRITTEN really counts, not what was promised. Make sure that you have no doubts before signing. Read it ALL.
  12. What about deposits and payments? What does it say about cancellations and the photographer not being there? If the photographer protests; ask him why? This is one area NOT to take lightly. You could be disappointed for a long time.
  13. Is this the photographer that will be photographing your wedding or will they send in whoever is available? This is often not a problem but just make sure that you know which photographer is going to be there and that you see HIS/HER work and meet with them individually face to face.
  14. Is the photographer that you meet someone that you can get along with? Is the "chemistry" there?
  15. Ask the photographer how he/she intends to dress. Is this person well groomed?
  16. Do they dress appropriately and professionally?
  17. Ask how they normally work? An “in your face” style may not be appropriate at the church during the vows?
  18. Does the photographer work alone or have an assistant. It generally pays to choose a photographer who works with an assistant as it helps to cover more of the wedding from different perspectives.
  19. Is there a plan for wet weather? Ask your photographer for recommendations. There are some great photo opportunities during wet weddings, think twice if a photographer is unsure about this.
  20. Do they do a “pre-shoot” or “engagement shoot”? This is becoming a more common place practice as it is very valuable for the parties involved to get more comfortable with each other prior to the big day.