You shouldn’t entrust the capturing of your precious wedding pictures to just anyone. You want to make sure you hire the very best professional wedding photographer (in your price range, of course) so you can feel proud to share them with your friends, family and each other for years to come.
Step 1 Where To Look For Wedding Photographers
There are several ways that you can begin your search for a wedding photographer:
Yellow Pages – OK I’m not sure anyone actually uses the yellow pages book anymore, but you could look on the online yellow pages.
General online search – Search for Wedding photographers in your city or town.
Other brides – Ask other brides and ex-brides that you know, who they used or are using and if you could see their wedding pictures. This is a great way to get the scoop first hand on potential wedding photographers.
Ask around – Ask your other vendors or the coordinator at your reception venue for recommendations.
Wedding magazines – Some regional or even national publications will sometimes have special guides listing vendors; including wedding photographers in your general area.
Wedding site vendor guide – Many large wedding websites have vendor guides that you can quickly search through. You can search by location and budget and look at reviews from other brides on each vendor.
Snapknot – A wedding photography directory, dedicated solely to helping you you find a wedding photographer by location and price range. You can compre and evaluate each wedding photographer in your area based on style, portfolio images, experience, and professional affiliations.
The best way of ensuring you have a wide variety of wedding photographers to choose from, is by using several of these methods and then compiling a list.
Step 2 Narrowing Down Your List Of Wedding Photographers
Once you have a list of wedding photographers (you will likely have a huge list) you can start narrowing it down to a more manageable number.
First, throw out any choices that are not in your city or nearby cities (unless you’re willing to pay them a travel fee) and any that are completely out of your budget.
Next, remove any that have bad reviews; such as, not showing up, losing all the wedding pictures, bad quality wedding pictures etc. It may have been a one time occurrence and they may be much better now, but this is not the time to experiment.
Lastly, go one by one and check out their websites. See if their style of photography and quality matches your vision. But remember the wedding pictures they put on their websites are their very best work (you’ll also want to see their portfolio later on in person once you narrow down your list). While on their site also look at the wedding photography packages they offer, to see if they have one that is within your budget and includes everything you want. Many photographers will have different packages based on a certain amount of hours and added features for you to choose from.
Step 3 Researching Potential Wedding Photographers
Before meeting with any potential wedding photographers you’re going to need to do a little research. Your first stop should be the Better Business Bureau (BBB), to see if any complaints have been filed against them. This may seem a little extreme, but it’s a great way to see if and why anyone else has been dissatisfied with their service.
A simple Google search for “insert name” wedding photography reviews can give you a glimpse of what other brides are saying about their service.
One of the most helpful ways I found to check up on wedding vendors was to look on wedding forums. These are places where brides discuss everything from vendors to family problems to decoration ideas. You can get a lot of great tips and advice. Just Google the photographer’s name and add the word forums (ex: ABC photography forums).
Step 4 Meeting with Wedding Photographers
Before meeting with your ‘short list’ of wedding photographers make sure they are available on your date, then meet with them in person. You’ll want to review their portfolio and see how you get on with them. You want to make sure that they are friendly and make you feel at ease. There’s nothing worse than having to work with a photographer on your wedding day that you don’t get along with, believe me it will show through in your wedding pictures.
Ask them any and all questions you have, their answers may just be the determining factor between two candidates.
Step 5 Choosing Your Wedding Photographer
Ultimately, the choice is up to you and I can’t tell you who to choose. But here a few tips on how to choose your wedding photographer. Once they meet the criteria, they are probably your best choice. These are the guidelines that I used to choose mine.
My wedding Photographer….
Was In a neighboring city and didn’t charge me travel fee
Was Professional and extremely nice
Made me feel relaxed
Had great reviews
Had beautiful wedding pictures in the style that I was looking for
Was within my budget and offered several packages for me to choose from
Your wedding pictures will provide wonderful lasting lifetime memories; you want to ensure they are just what you wanted. So don’t be afraid to shop around until you find ‘the one’. You can then rest assured that you are getting the best quality wedding photography at the best possible price and keep your wedding photography costs down.