Choosing the right wedding photographer
We’ve all got questions about where to find the right wedding photographer, what we can expect to pay and receive and what services a wedding photographer provides. We’ve done some digging and asked photography experts and business owners some things about the nature of hiring and choosing a photographer to capture your event’s proceedings. First, we asked about the most important things to consider when hiring a photographer and why brides and grooms should consider them. We learned that it is important that photographers know how to use their camera/equipment and work well with families. Having a creative background, an Art or Photography degree, and experience is important. You pay for what you get and you can see that quality in their galleries. It’s also important to consider how long it will take to get your images back. Brides and grooms should ask if they get the full rights to the images or if prints can only be ordered through the photographer. In the end, you want the best images to put on your walls or for picture books and you want that memory of your wedding day to be a good one. If you had a bad experience with a photographer, you’ll have that memory when looking at your pictures. A great photographer always does his or her best to make it a stress free environment and fun day for the people involved. About the bottom line: What can people expect to pay per hour for a hired photographer? New photographers that are building their portfolios charge around $50 for a one hour session for full rights of all the images whereas advanced photographers need to charge a heavier fee for a session to pay for equipment and make a living. On the upper range it can be up to a $1000 for a session and full rights to the images. There certainly is a large range, so be sure to ask what to expect to get with your dollars. Usually all the pricing information is clearly stated for clients, but some photographer’s have a minimum payment for prints or charge an additional fee to have the full rights or print release for images- sometimes, clients may have missed seeing that. Most photographers have a non-refundable deposit as well. But that is to protect the photographer’s time, since they are running a business. Every photographer has his or her own style and you’ve got yours. It’s important to communicate to your photographer what you want and whether he or she can make photos fit your style. Many photographers use matching props, some are very organic, some are very simple and clean. Also, consider the mood of your event. Are you going for casual? How about straight up fun? Do you want your photos to be posed/smiled? Having photographers know this goes into the editing style. Some photographers are masters at editing, some aren’t, so make sure to check out their galleries. Some are vibrant, crisp and clean while others are muted and soft. Do you want natural light or the use of a flash? Photographers use natural light or artificial, some use both. But know what look you are going for. Ask your photographer what his or her light source is typically and ask what that means for your finished images. Other questions to ask your potential photographer: Should I book now or wait? Some photographers are booked 6 months out, so you can’t always wait. Maybe you can just pay a deposit to get ‘penciled in’ for the month you are looking for. Have others enjoyed working with this photographer from beginning to end? Was the experience painless and fun? The job isn’t over once the session is done, that photographer needs to continue that relationship with their clients until images are sent or prints are mailed; and in a timely manner! There are many things to consider, but our best advice is to do your homework, communicate clearly with your photographer and always have an understanding of what is expected of each other. Bad wedding photography experiences, like states above, can forever remind you of a stressful or unhappy day and no one wants that! Happy hunting and good luck finding that perfect photographer to capture your big day!