I am going to get my most sage piece of advice out of the way here. In regards to hiring a photographer for your big day there is one word that you need to remember. Research! Research photographers until you are blue in the face. Just when you think you have done your homework and that you’re ready to pull the trigger, make sure you do the extra credit because trust me you want the person in charge of capturing your perfect day to be the perfect fit for you and your significant other. I thought I had done my homework. I studied websites, contacted photographers, set up meetings, and scoured their online reviews. Even after all that groundwork, we ended up hiring people we knew from school because they appeared to do great work for a very small fee. I waited with excitement for our wedding pictures to come in the mail. I was so thrilled to be able to relive our happy day through the pictures they took. Boy oh boy was I disappointed! As I clicked through the pictures I started taking notes on what I would end up having to fix myself. Pictures were too bright, group shots weren’t centered, and there were quite a few unflattering shots of guests that I have stored away in my blackmail folder. Moments that were meaningful to me (that I had asked be captured) were nowhere to be found. I didn’t have a picture with my Mom, my Nana, or my Grandma. Our first kiss as man & wife was taken in a blurry black & white shot. Our sparkler send off was summed up in 4 pictures, with one usable picture of us. Our ceremony and reception décor was barely documented. Pictures of my family at the reception were not taken. But we did get 500 images of our guests dancing. Folks I love ya, but I do not need 45 pictures of y’all doing the electric slide. I think there are maybe 20 pictures of Mr. and I as a couple. Now the people we used as our photographers are as wonderful as can be and when they took our wedding pictures they were still a fledgling business and amateur photographers. So I can place some of the blame on me. I simply did not do my research. A year later they have improved brilliantly and are taking great pictures. But that doesn’t change the fact that I still have 10 images taken above me while I put my dress on, leaving me with very lovely aerial images of my décolletage.
So future brides here are several pieces of advice I have in regards to your photographer.
- RESEARCH! I cannot say that enough. Read over the website, find reviews or testimonies by past clients, look through past events that they did. See if you can, find pictures that were taken during the same season of your big day. Our photographers had zero images taken inside during the wintertime so I had no idea what their experience was in taking those types of shots.
- Consider your budget. Decide how much you want to spend on your photographer. If you want an amazing photographer who charge buco bucks, then simply cut the budget in a different area of your wedding. To me the venue was the most important aspect of our day so that’s where the majority of our budget went. I can’t imagine having our reception anywhere else so I can’t say that if I could I would change it.
- Do not make an emotional decision! This may not be relevant for any other brides, but looking back I know that our choice to go with our photographer was 60% emotional. We were getting married during the most stressful year of my life. I was graduating college, Mr. was entering grad school, I was working 3 jobs, and my family was experiencing a terrible year of personal loss. The photographer was one of the last vendors that we hired and when we did, I was so stressed out about many things that I just wanted to be able to check that off our list.