Weddings are such an important day. In fact, they are one of the MOST important days of your life.
Your photographs are what you will take with you after your day is done. I am writing this post to not only help brides, but to help photographers thinking about diving into the wedding industry.
It's hard. It's stressful. Out of all the vendors you will work with during the wedding planning process, your photographer is the one you will spend the most time communicating with. Or should.
I have made many mistakes through the years in this business, and have learned from them. I have also learned from my peers.
I laid in bed last night and thought about some things I think are important when looking for a wedding photographer. Is this all of them? No. But it's a very good start.
The Contract. First and foremost, there should always be a contract. If you are talking with a photographer about covering your day and they don't mention one, then ask. This protects both parties involved.
When looking through the contract, find out what the photographer's policy is if they aren't able to make it to your wedding day. Do they have a backup plan? Will they leave you with the responsibility of finding someone new? It breaks my heart to get phone calls and emails of brides looking frantically for a new photographer because theirs had to cancel.
I get it. Things happen. I have kids, I have a family too.
I do have a backup plan. I work with second shooters for my weddings. So, if my world was turned upside down and I was physically unable to make it to the wedding, my second would be there for sure. I would work tirelessly to find another photographer to cover the day. That is on me. Not my brides. This is stated in my contract. Photographers, please do this for your couples.
Other key things are deposit details. How much is required to hold the date? When is the balance due?
What about proofs? Is there a time stated in the contract when they will be done? Is everything you are receiving in black and white?
Read through your contract. Ask questions. You won't regret it.
The Connection. When you are talking with your photographer, do you feel connected in some way? Do you feel relaxed and you completely trust them?
This is something often overlooked. I was once a bride looking for my perfect photographer. I looked at price, I won't lie, but I also at their websites. Their about pages. When I found her, I knew the moment we spoke on the phone that I had made the right choice. We could talk freely and she was willing to listen to my ideas.
Talk to your photographer. Make sure you are relaxed when talking with them. That you can ask questions about how the day will go. Make sure they are open to your ideas. This is YOUR day and you should be able to have some input on the photographs. Don't expect them to completely duplicate something you saw on Pinterest, please. You are choosing them because you like their artistic view, however, you should be able to request certain photographs to be taken.
If the connection isn't there, then move on. You don't want to feel tense the day of your wedding worried that your photos aren't going to be everything you want them to be.
Insurance. Like car? No. Liability. Couples, please check to see if your photographer is covered. Photographers, invest in liability insurance. This is so important.
If you have someone do a crazy pose and the twist their ankle. Or have the groom lift the bride for a dramatic shot and he throws his back out. Your liability insurance will cover you if they want you to cover any medical bills.
Communication. You should have open communication with your photographer. I know a lot of super busy successful photographers that still make time to get back to their clients when they need them.
There are so many other things that could be on this list. Choosing the right photographer should be a process. Not something you do quickly.
I say this all the time, "Even if I am not the photographer for you, please find someone that you know will give you the wedding photos you deserve. It's your day."
I also will help anyone that needs it. Even if I am not your photographer, if you have questions, please feel free to ask. I just want everyone to have wedding photographs that they adore for the rest of their lives.