When hiring a wedding photographer what should I know?

How far in advance should I hire my wedding photographer?

Ideally, I would hire your photographer one year before your wedding date. A lot of photographers are hired one year to a year and a half before weddings. If there is someone specific you have your heart set on I would hire them as soon as I have a wedding date.

When looking for a wedding photographer what kind of images would you like for your wedding?

Do you like light & airy or dark & moody images? Does the photographer only shoot natural light or do they know how to use flash? Being able to use flash can make the difference between having dark sockets in your eyes or bad shadows. Flash makes the difference between having white skies or blue skies in your photos. A wedding photographer who understands flash can control the light and not be controlled by the light. Flash also creates 3D dimensions and not flat images. Flash used properly allows you to see uplights at the receptions that you paid a lot of money for.

(Note from Neil : remember what is in style now may not be in style 10 years from now, remember cepia tone – probably not. TNMPhotography keeps the colours real and will not have you asking why did we like that 10 years from now 🙂 )

When looking at a wedding photographer’s website or portfolio what am I looking for?

A photographer could have a beautiful portfolio or website but are they real weddings?
Many photographers have stylized shoots/models for their portfolios or galleries. They may look beautiful but when doing a stylized shoot you have a lot of time to capture the images you want. A real wedding you are limited on time and it may be a little chaotic. If you want to make sure it is an actual wedding ask to see reception and dancing pictures. You want to know how long they have been photographing weddings.

Is it important to have an engagement session?

Some wedding photographers include complimentary engagement sessions in their wedding packages. That is great. I feel it is important to have an engagement session with your photographer before the wedding. Engagement sessions allow you to work with and get to know your photographer before the wedding day. This helps to make your day run smoothly since you get to know their personality and they get to know yours. You know what to expect on your wedding day. Also, you get a sample of their style and you could use your engagement photos for save the dates or for other wedding decorations. If engagement sessions are not included in their packages I suggest that you pay the extra for them.

How many hours are included in their wedding packages?

Capturing your wedding from getting ready/ detailed images to dancing shots takes longer than you may think. I would suggest picking a package that has at least eight hours of coverage. With more coverage, you don’t worry or stress about having everything captured. If you need more hours of coverage what do they charge per hour for the extra coverage?

Should I pick a package with one or two photographers?

If you have a small wedding party with under 200 guests one photographer could capture everything without a problem. One partner would have to get ready a little earlier so the photographer could capture their getting ready and detailed shots. The photographer would then go to the other partner and do the same.
In my personal experience though if you have a larger wedding party and over 200 guests you should have two photographers. The main photographer will capture one partner and the second photographer will capture the other partner until they both meet at the ceremony. The main photography will capture the ceremony while the second photography will focus on the reactions of the guests and other angles of the couple. Once the ceremony is over the main photographer captures the formal pictures. The second photographer will capture your guests at the cocktail hour and the detailed shots of your reception.

Are there any hidden costs in their wedding packages?

Do they charge travel fees or is that included? Do you receive hi-resolution images or do they cost extra? How much does it cost for extra hours just in case your day runs longer than you expected?

Do you know who your main wedding photographer is going to be?

A lot of wedding photography places hire other photographers so they can have multiple weddings on one day. This could be a little scary since you don’t know what experience they have. On a personal note, this happened to us on our wedding date many years ago. We thought we were getting the person we had all our meetings with and we got a student with a faulty camera. Needless to say, we had to redo our formal pictures a month later. It was a nightmare experience for us. Neil wouldn’t smile for any pictures and I had a really bad cold.

What equipment do they have?

Do they have more than one camera and does their camera have two memory card slots? We have multiple cameras and always shoot with two camera bodies. All our cameras have two memory card slots. This way we don’t lose anything.

How long does it take to get your edited wedding images?

This is important. We have heard many stories of people waiting months to a year for their images. As a wedding photography business, we always make sure your images are fully edited hi-resolution and ready one month after your wedding.

When picking a wedding photographer communication is key. This is your day and you want someone who sees your vision, matches your personality, and communicates regularly.

Written by Danielle

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