How NOT to Choose a Wedding Photographer

So you have probably heard that once you both say you’re I do’s and everything is said and done you’re going to have your memories and your photographs.

 So, needless to say, finding the right photographer is pretty important. It's also pretty overwhelming.

 There are an estimated 100,000 wedding photographers in the United States, and you’re just expected to find one that will be perfect and capture your wedding day exactly the way you want it.

That’s a lot to pile on the stress of planning a wedding! 

Unfortunately, some of the most common "selling points" for wedding photographers can actually be red flags. Here are a few factors that shouldn't influence your choice and how to make sure you've picked a winner.

 

1.        They are running a huge one time sale!

 You see this all the time, packages starting as low as $400.00, book now and get half off, the list goes on.  It's not a bargain if you hate your photos. If your favorite photographer is running a discount (like 10 percent off for Friday weddings, or a free engagement session), then heck yeah, jump on it! But don't let a deep discount be your deciding factor. Good wedding photographers pay taxes, carry insurance and invest in high-end gear and professional-grade printing. So before you cut corners with a dirt-cheap photographer, ask yourself where they cut corners.

 

2.       The Venue recommended them!

 There are a lot of amazing wedding venues in Florida, and they are beautiful.  A Photographer who shoots the same Venue on a regular basis will know the ins and outs of the venue; however, venues sometimes charge photographers fees to be “preferred vendors.”  Of course, this doesn't apply to every venue -- some offer excellent recommendations because they like to see gorgeous images of their venue floating around on the web. But always double-check recommendations against friends, online reviews and your wedding planner before plunking down a deposit.

 

3.       The Studio shoots 200 weddings a year!

 Esperance is super important; however, you have to understand that there are only 52 weekends in a year!  If someone says they are shooting over 100 they are shooting one on Saturday, and another on Sunday, every weekend!

 Photographers that say they are shooting more than that are hiring associate photographers to fill in their shoes at some weddings and events.

 Neither of those is an automatic deal-breaker, but you should get a feel for how these photographers handle their heavy workload. If they're doing it all themselves, do they seem passionate or jaded? If they're hiring an associate, is it a talented colleague or a random freelancer? Make sure you know who will be holding the camera on your wedding day and that they're committed to treating you like a VIP no matter how many other clients they have.

 

4.       The Photographer is a member of your family.

 This isn’t a deal-breaker, I shoot my family all the time!  But what you have is someone who is fresh out of a high school Photography class or a friend who recently launched a portrait studio. And they've offered to shoot your wedding for free!

 While it may seem like money-saving serendipity, you risk bad blood if they screw up. Weddings are a tough gig with a lot of variables just because your friend takes beautiful photos of sleeping babies, it doesn't mean she knows how to light a pitch-black reception venue. And what if you don't love the photos? What if your images get lost because your cousin has mad skills but no file-backup system? What if your shutterbug uncle heads to the bar to do a quick shot with his brother during your first dance? Bottom line: When you're choosing a wedding photographer, choose a wedding photographer.

 

5.       Their Portfolio is amazing!

 You have me there, that is a really good reason to book a wedding photographer!  It shouldn’t be your only reason though!  After you’re done falling in love with their images and Instagram posts make sure you take time to meet with the photographer.  Go out for a cup of coffee and talk about your dream wedding!

 Your Photographer is going to spend more time by your side on your wedding day than your own mother, and you’re going to need to be able to trust that they are going to be able to deliver your dreams!

 So no matter how much you love someone's work, make sure your personalities click before you invite him or her along for one of the most important days of your life.

  

So that’s my list, don’t forget to take time to relax and enjoy this time of your life!