1. Is an experienced professional company important?
Experience is a must — you don’t want a photographer using your wedding for practice. Do they seem passionate or jaded? Are they all in house or hiring an associate, is it a talented colleague or a random freelancer? Make sure you know who will be holding the camera on your wedding day, and that they’re committed to treating you like a VIP no matter how many other clients they have.
Maybe you have a cousin who just graduated art school or found a company just getting started in wedding photography and they’ve offered to shoot your wedding for freeeeee! While it may seem like money-saving serendipity, is the risk worth the reward or the disaster. Weddings are a tough gig with a lot of variables — just because your friend takes beautiful photos of sleeping babies, it doesn’t mean she knows how to light a pitch-black reception venue. And what if you don’t love the photos? What if your images get lost because your cousin has mad skills but no file-backup system? What if your family friend heads to the bar to do a quick shot with a guest — during your first dance?
Bottom line: When you’re choosing a wedding photographer, choose a wedding photographer.
2. What about price, I see a lot of photography deals?
The right photographer can make a budget dress look breathtaking, but the wrong photographer can make a Yumi Katsura look tacky. Ask anyone who’s been burned: It’s not a bargain if you hate your photos. If your favorite photographer is running a discount (like 10 percent off for Friday weddings, or a free engagement session), then heck yeah, jump on it! But don’t let a deep discount be your deciding factor. Good wedding photographers pay taxes, carry insurance and invest in high-end gear and professional-grade printing. So before you cut corners with a dirt-cheap photographer, ask yourself where they cut corners.
3. What about venue recommendations for photography?
Venue referrals are great, especially referrals that are earned by proven results time and time again. Venues like to see gorgeous images of their venue floating around on the web. One of the best questions to ask the venue is why they are referring this photographer to you, is it because of a trusted relationship and a belief in the vendor’s work or something more?
4. Amazing photographs are the goal, but also consider the experience your going to have that day spent with your photographer?
Really good photos of your wedding day is a great reason to book a wedding photographer! But it shouldn’t be your only reason. After you’re done drooling over the dreamy images and Pinterest-worthy poses, set up an in-person meeting. Remember, your photographer will probably spend more time by your side on your wedding day than your own mom — or even your newly betrothed. So no matter how much you love someone’s work, make sure your personalities click before you invite him or her along for one of the most important days of your life.