How to hire a wedding photographer
I recently had a query for a wedding date that we were unfortunately already booked for. When I asked the bride if she would be interested in a referral she said what she would really be interested in is me telling her HOW to hire a wedding photographer.
And then it struck me. Most people have no idea how to go about hiring a wedding photographer. Sure there are friends of friends who knows someone or the always available Uncle Bob who has a new camera. But when you are starting from scratch and looking to be thorough there are very little, if any, guides available.
So here is MY take on what matters, how to go about it and greatly narrow the search for a fully professional wedding photographer.
Before we look at all that, let’s set the stage about cost. What is priceless tomorrow should not be inexpensive today. Here is an excellent link to a bride who hired a cheap wedding photographer. Check it out HERE:
- Start with a smaller haystack. One of the best ways to immediately make your search easier to manage and far more effective is to utilize professional organizations. The best that I know of are The Professional Photographers of America. You can check them out HERE: They offer excellent advice on 10 questions to ask your wedding photographer. You can jump to those HERE: There is an excellent video that was shot in our Marietta Studio that outlines the importance of certification. Check it out HERE:
- One other excellent resource is The Better Business Bureau. The BBB fully vets businesses before granting accreditation. You can see how easy the process is to locate by this filter HERE:
- Now that we are through the first two filters to reduce the size of your haystack, let’s talk style. If your photographers work doesn’t speak to you then move on. Your chosen photographer should be showing work that stirs your soul, work that tells the story YOU want told. This is a highly personal choice and a good photographer will be trying to attract their ideal clients while not attracting potential clients who just don’t get it.
- Ask to see work that runs from the start of a wedding day to the end. Stories always have a beginning, a middle and an end.
- Ask about experience. How many weddings have they shot?
- Ask your photographer if they have backup gear, backup plans and how your images are protected AFTER the shoot.
- Are there two photographers or only one? It is difficult to be in all places at the same time. Multiple photographers can better canvas your event and offer different perspectives.
- What is the normal timeline for delivery?
- What, precisely, is delivered? Digital files only or are albums and prints included.
- Do they have a written contract spelling out everything?
So there you have it. How to hire a wedding photographer. In our humble opinion this will go a long way towards making sure your photographs meet and exceed your expectations.
We are John and Tamera Webb. We own and operate a boutique wedding photography studio in Blue Ridge, Georgia. We shoot with our Hearts on the Shutter, and it looks like this..