What do you look for in a professional photographer? Our expert shares her secrets.
Top Tips For Choosing A Wedding Photographer
1. Meet your photographer in person. Chemistry is not only important between the bride and groom. You will want to build great rapport with your photographer so you feel comfortable and supported by him or her during your big day. The images your photographer takes are best when all of you share a foundation of trust and friendship and when you know you have like-minded tastes in the pictures being captured. It will definitely show up in the pictures.
2. View an entire album. Ask to see a full wedding album or two. Any lucky photographer can capture a few amazing shots and post them on their website or in their shop window, but viewing an entire wedding will let you see how he or she tells a story of the day from beginning to the end. If your wedding and/or reception will be held in low lighting, ask specifically to see images taken in low light settings.
3. Schedule an engagement session. This is a huge part of building trust between the couple and the photographer so on the wedding day the couple isn't just looking at the camera, they are looking at the photographers as friends with cameras. Doing an engagement session gives the photographer a sense of what the couple's personality is, together and individually, and specifically provides an understanding of the dynamic between them and how they photograph together. It also provides a level of comfort for the couple, since they will be the focus of the photos throughout the event, as well as an understanding of the photographer's direction. [I] offer this as a gift to all of her couples, as [I] recognize the tremendous value it brings to the couple and to [my] partner, Michael.
4. Communicate with your photographer. Be sure to tell your photographer what you do and don't want photographed.
Yes, you are hiring a professional photographer because of his or her shooting style and expertise, but if there is a particular image you are hoping to capture, say something! It may be obvious to you, but make sure your photographer knows it is important to you.
Bonus Tip: Consider a first look. A "first look" allows the bride and groom to see each other for the first time in a private setting before the wedding ceremony — and have it photographed. It can be very emotional and gives the couple a chance to relish in it where they can let it out for a second together instead of in a very public moment down the aisle. It also allows you to go on to do group photos and family photos before the ceremony begins so that by the time you walk down the aisle, you can go right from the ceremony to cocktails and the reception. There is no pulling out of the couple for photos for an hour in between the ceremony and reception; just celebrating!
Photo credit: Chellise Michael at Chellise Michael Photography