Your wedding photos are really the one tangible thing you get to look back on for years after that best-day-ever.
There’s a reason why photographers are among the first vendors booked when it comes to planning weddings. They are often viewed as one of the most important. But, it’s with good reason! Whether you initially view wedding photographers as too expensive or not, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that wedding photography is an investment. In fact, it’s one I promise you won’t regret!
My first little piece of advice is to take some time and follow various photographers on social media. This is more to figure out the style of photography that you like. Instagram is perfect for this and you can search by location using hashtags such as #atlantaweddingphotographer. There’s a variety of styles when it comes to photography. Really, there’s too many to name. Just take some time to scroll through their feeds and figure out what makes your heart sing.
Take it from someone who loves to surround herself with photographers all the time. It’s no lie that each and every photographer is different. It’s important to match what you love with what their passion and style is so that you ensure you’re the perfect pair!
Side note: Also making sure that the photographer specializes in weddings will give you some of the ease of mind that you need to trust them with your big day.
So, you’ve found a photography style you can’t stop swooning over. You’ve contacted a few in your area to meet with for consultations. The consultations went wonderful. You feel like you found your new best friends. Now, you’re ready to move forward and start taking your own Pinterest-worthy engagement photos. Whether you’re choosing between a few or deciding if one is ‘the one’, make sure you ask these questions before you book to ensure that you found your perfect wedding photographer!
So how do you find your perfect wedding photographer?
Before you hire your wedding photographer, ask yourself these questions. Did you genuinely like them as a person? Do you feel comfortable around them? You’re going to be around your photographer on your wedding day possibly more than your new husband. Make sure to choose someone that you genuinely like and get along with! If you’re awkward or uncomfortable around your photographer, it will definitely show in your photos.
How many weddings have you shot? or How many do you do per year?
There’s no do-overs when it comes to your wedding day. Thus, hiring a photographer that specializes in weddings is important for reasons that are completely obvious. Photographers that specialize in weddings know weddings in and out. Period.
Have you ever shot a wedding at my venue?
This is probably one of the most important questions in my humble opinion. Hiring a photographer that has previously shot weddings at your venue is great because they already know the lighting, where to get the perfect shots, and how to use the space to their advantage.
However, in a huge city like Atlanta, GA, you’re bound to meet photographers that haven’t been to your venue — which isn’t a bad thing! I definitely wouldn’t discredit a photographer you love only because they haven’t been to your venue. (It’s just a major plus if they have!) Ask them if they’d be willing to do a site visit with you and your coordinator when you have your venue planning meeting. This way they can prepare ahead of time with a visual of the space and a game plan before arriving on your wedding day.
Would they bring a second shooter?
Some wedding photographers bring assistants with them to weddings in order to ensure that they capture your day fully, and often times this is already included in the package price. Asking if they are bringing a second shooter and about the process of creating a cohesive style between the two of them will make you feel even more confident that your day will be captured beautifully!
What is the Plan B if there is an emergency and they will no longer be able to photograph your wedding?
This is really a question that you need to be asking all of your wedding vendors – not only your photographer! Let’s be real, life happens, and you don’t want to be without a photographer on one of the biggest days of your life.
Thankfully, most photographers have back up plans and those they can recruit to take their place if need-be. Making sure that your perfect photographer has a back up plan in case ‘life happens’ is essential for your sound mind as a stressed out bride.
Can you request certain images to be taken at the wedding?
There’s a reason why photographers send out questionnaires to their brides a month or so before the big day. Most photographers are great about making sure that you get those requested photos you are wanting from your big day as long as it doesn’t go against their artistic style.
What exactly is included in the package price?
How many images can you expect to see from your wedding? Are you getting all of the digital images? Do you have to print exclusively through them? How much are prints? Do you have to purchase a print release? Is an album included? Do you limit the amount of images you will edit? Understanding exactly what you are getting with your money is hands down the most important question that you should be asking during your initial consultation before you sign that dotted line.
This is not just something that should be asked of your photographer. At the same time, I’m not saying that wedding vendors are out to scam you or steal your money. However, most problems between vendors and clients actually arise when there is a misunderstanding about what exactly packages include. Save yourself the headache, read your contracts carefully. If the contract isn’t specific enough, speak up! Reading their contract carefully and going over in detail with them what is included in the package price will ensure that you both are on the same page, you are happy with your decision, you’re getting what you want, and avoiding possible conflict later from misunderstandings.
From experience, I can tell you that there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re not getting what you paid for. (But, there’s nothing better than finding your perfect photographer!)
I am a firm believer that you should be doing this with each vendor that you hire.
Asking questions is an essential part of the wedding planning process to ensure that you and your vendors make the perfect pair! If you’re not clear on something or simply just want to get to know your vendor’s process a little more, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’ll feel more confident in your booking decisions. Plus, you’ll thank yourself for avoiding any headache later.