Choosing a wedding photographer is by far one of the most important steps in planning a wedding. It is also often the task that takes the longest and requires the most research and consideration.
It is therefore important to make sure the photographer you choose will put as much consideration, thought, planning and time into photographing your wedding, as you have done in choosing them to do it.
Over the next few weeks, we will outline seven key qualities to look out for when you are choosing your wedding photographer and detail some useful questions for you to ask to ensure you are getting the best deal for you. At the end of the series we will combine these points in a printable, comprehensive guide to assist you in your decision.
1) Engagement or Initial Mini Shoots
Do they offer an initial mini photo shoot to cover your engagement or simply as a dry run?
Engagements shoots are an important part of the bonding process with your wedding photographer. It provides an important opportunity for you to get to know one another on a more personal basis.
This helps you both feel at ease in one another’s company, which makes discussing requirements frankly and posing those all-important couple shots at the wedding that much easier. A good photographer will naturally make you feel at ease regardless of whether they have previously photographed you, but a familiar face and one previous shoot already in the bag will help further calm your nerves on what will be one of the most important days of your life.
Whether a photographer offers a specific engagement shoot or simply a half hour mini session, you should check that they are prepared to offer some sort of pre-shoot as part of the wedding package.
A shoot prior to the wedding will also give your photographer an opportunity to assess how you photograph, so they are able to get it just right on the day. Everyone has a best angle and if you have a “best side” or a bit of yourself that you may be self-conscious about (even if you know you shouldn’t be!). This is the time to let your photographer know so they can bear this in mind when taking your portraits on the day it matters most.
2) Pre-Wedding Meeting
Do they request a planning meeting before the wedding and make it clear when this should be scheduled?
This will almost certainly be done at the time of the engagement/pre-mini session. Either way, it is important you check that your photographer will offer you the opportunity to meet before the wedding to run through any specific requirements you have and for you discuss any concerns if you request it. Once again it will give you an opportunity to get to know your photographer and for both parties to fully understand one another’s expectations.
Coming Next: Parts 3 & 4; Photo Worksheet & Venue Visit