Wedding planning can be an exciting or stressful time for engaged couples. I’m sure most married couples would describe their experience as crazy.
While it is best to hire a professional wedding planner, many couples decide to plan their own wedding. They quickly realize that even the smallest decisions are much bigger than they thought.
Table decorations, food, and venue are important, but one decision with long-lasting impact is the professional wedding photographer. But there are so many photographers who say they’re the best for you, they’re the best in your local area, they’re the best at this style, and so on. How do you choose?
Determining the best photographer for you is a very daunting task. I often come across couples that have difficulty choosing their wedding photographer. When faced with such a dilemma, I tell them to consider the three P’s: Pictures, Professionalism, and Personality.
Are their pictures any good?
On the surface, this sounds like an easy one, but how do you feel when looking at their photos? Some couples don't realize how personal wedding photography is. After all, you’re paying a stranger (in most cases) to capture one of the most emotional moments of your life. Choosing the best wedding photographer isn’t just about whether they take nice pictures. It’s also whether their style and quality matches with your vision of your wedding day.
Are they professional?
How do they respond to your emails? Are they pushing the sale or working to get to know you and your fiancée? How do they answer your questions, including the 5 not so obvious ones?
You’re about to spend a good amount of money on your wedding photographer. Would you want to hand over that much money to someone who isn’t organized or doesn't pay attention to details? If they don’t have their stuff together when meeting with you and your fiancée, how will they be prepared to capture your once in a lifetime event?
There’s plenty to think about on your wedding day. Your wedding photographer should not be one of those things.
Are they personable?
I talked about the vibe you get when seeing a photographer’s work, and the same applies to when you meet the wedding photographer in person. Not only should you determine whether you and your fiancée like the person, but will your guests, family members, and friends that will be with you the entire wedding day?
Notice I didn’t mention price, which is where most couples start when searching for the best wedding photographer for them. Case in point: I recently came across a bride – one who has followed my work for years – who said, “I can’t afford your prices.”
I understand that price is a big factor for many couples. Professional photography/videography typically encompasses 10 to 12 percent of a wedding budget, so for an average wedding of $33,391 (according to The Knot), photography/videography will cost between $3,300 and $4,000.
So yes, wedding photography isn’t cheap. But as I mentioned earlier, your wedding photos will last forever, so you want them to count.
I didn’t include price as a ‘P’ consideration because when couples talk about their wedding photos, they often don’t talk about cost. They talk about the quality of the pictures, the professionalism of their photographer, and how the photographer got along with them and their guests (or didn’t).
As for the bride I mentioned earlier – I’m shooting her wedding later this year.