How to find a great wedding photographer

You’ve set the date. Now you need a photographer and it’s always good to book well in advance. But how do you pick the right one for you? 7 tips on how to find a wedding photographer that you will feel comfortable working with during your special day. A photographer who does the following things can help you narrow down your choice.

1.       Gives you options and explains them to you. Your wedding day will be one of the most important days of your life, so you would want enough photos to capture the excitement of the day. What options is the photographer offering? Can you fit them into your budget? Knowing what you’re paying for and under what terms separates the amateur photographers from the professionals and helps you build a relationship with a photographer you truly want to work with.

2.       Does more than photography; offers an experience. A good photographer encourages and catches those impromptu moments on your wedding day, whether it’s a relaxed moment talking to a grandparent, admiring a child’s suit before the wedding, or greeting a friend not seen in a long time. Photography done well captures the ambiance of the day, not just the posed moments, and the best photographer keeps an eye out for those special moments that you might miss during the day’s excitement.

3.       Takes full advantage of the location. You can find many photographers online who are willing to take your photos for exceptionally low rates. But do they understand how to use a location to your best advantage?  A photographer may know the layout of the Alberta Legislature Grounds, but how about all the “secret” places, to make a known place new again in your wedding photo? You want to hire a photographer who can surprise your friends and family with photos in places we already think we know so well.

4.       Is easy to get along with for a day. It’s one thing to call and book a photographer over the phone, but another to actually work with them. So, take the time to interview several photographers before you settle on one based on their portfolio or price. Ask the photographer about their process and why he or she got into photography. If you get along well during the interview, most likely you’ll feel good about having that photographer shadow you on your wedding day. If your options for photographers are limited, think of it this way: Could you get along with this person for a day? Can they be in the way, but in a good way?

5.       Knows how to use Photoshop. Wedding photographers are everywhere, from professionals to the uncle who knows how to wield a camera better than anyone you know. But, can they use Photoshop? A skilled wedding photographer can quickly remove a makeup smudge on a dress, remove the acne that came a day before the ceremony, and add that tone that truly brings that something extra to your wedding photos while keeping them natural.

6.       Returns your photos and prints in a timely manner. We’ve all heard the stories: A friend waits until October or even Christmas to get his photos and prints back after his summer wedding. Yes, summer is the busiest wedding season, but it doesn’t mean that you have to wait until the snow flies to share photos of your special day.  Ask the photographer what their timelines are, and what they agree to if they can’t get your photos back in a timely manner. Set reasonable expectations about when you will get your photos back.

7.       Has a varied portfolio of wedding photos. Ask your photographer if you can see their photo books. Usually, photographers will have their photo galleries on their website, but it’s also nice to flip through actual photographs to get a feel for the photographer’s style. Are there varied shots and posed shots? Do you see spontaneity and fun in the photographs? Do you like the photographer’s style? Do the subjects look like the photographer has brought out their best selves?

Choosing a wedding photographer can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Following these tips can help you confidently choose a wedding photographer and check off one more thing from your wedding to-do list!